UNIFOR 1917 – A Note from the President
Energy unions ratify four-year national collective agreement
TORONTO – Representatives from Unifor’s energy unions have ratified the tentative agreement that establishes the pattern for 8,500 members of the National Energy Program.
“Our energy members came together and used their collective power to make significant gains,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “Energy workers are a critical part of Canada’s economy.”
The four-year collective agreement covers Unifor members working in the sector across Canada. It includes gains in wages, severance, and a new framework for addressing domestic violence. Suncor was selected by Unifor as the chosen employer to set the pattern that will be rolled out to the remaining energy sector employers.
GM, Unifor announce investment in Oshawa plant that will save 300 jobs
TORONTO — The union representing Canadian auto workers claimed a partial victory Tuesday after General Motors Canada announced an Oshawa, Ont., plant slated to close later this year will be converted to a part-stamping and autonomous vehicle testing facility.
Unifor and GM Canada said the transition will cost $170 million and save 300 of the 2,600 union jobs at the plant, with the potential to attract more jobs as the facility attracts new customers.
GM Canada president Travis Hester, who announced the so-called “Transformation Agreement” alongside Unifor national president Jerry Dias, said the Oshawa site will still end vehicle production at the end of 2019.
GM announces $170M investment in Oshawa plant that will save 300 jobs
General Motors Canada says it will invest $170 million in its Oshawa, Ont., plant to transition the facility from manufacturing vehicles to stamping, sub-assembly and autonomous vehicle testing.
GM Canada president Travis Hester says the move will save 300 of 2,600 union jobs at the plant.
Hester made the announcement this morning in Toronto alongside Unifor national president Jerry Dias at a news conference. He said the transformed plant will have the potential to grow and attract more jobs as the facility attracts new customers.
Bell Canada issues layoff notices while outsourcing Wireless to the Home project
TORONTO, April 18, 2019 /CNW/ – Unifor cries foul at Bell Canada’s decision to layoff technicians and outsource major Wireless to the Home project.
“By issuing layoff notices with one hand and contracting out work with the other, Bell is continuing its long history of job erosion at Bell Canada,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “The launch of a program like Wireless to the Home should be good news for people who work at Bell, but instead the company chose to exclusively hire non-union contractors.”
On Thursday, April 18, 2019, 76 technicians received layoff notices from Bell Canada across Ontario and Quebec.
Statement from Unifor National:
WINDSOR — Unifor is outraged and disappointed in Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ (FCA) sudden move to eliminate Windsor Assembly Plant jobs.
“I’m deeply concerned about the 1,500 workers and additional workers in the parts supply chain that will be impacted by FCA’s intention to cut the third shift in Windsor,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias.
FCA has announced plans to eliminate the shift in six months, effective September 30, 2019. This comes just days after the company released news that the plant would be on shutdown for two weeks in April.
“Fiat Chrysler is a key employer in the Windsor region,” said Dave Cassidy, President of Unifor Local 444. “We build a quality product and we’re going to keep the pressure on the company to maintain production here.”
Unifor National President Jerry Dias has already has conversations with Premier Doug Ford and representatives from the Prime Minister’s office. Dias will also speak with the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Navdeep Bains later today.
“I’m encouraged that there appears to be a commitment from the Provincial and Federal government as well as local NDP MPs to work with us to find solutions to prevent job loss for thousands of people in the region,” said Dias. “For all of President Trump’s blustering it is clear that government action can influence corporate policy. We need a united strategy to fight together for Canadian jobs.”
The union has also called for an emergency meeting with FCA officials to discuss the future of Windsor Assembly and address a potential derating at the Brampton Assembly Plant that could result in the loss of an estimated several hundred jobs this summer.
Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.
Unifor reports productive talks with GM on Oshawa jobs, suspends public campaign
TORONTO — Unifor says it has suspended a media campaign against General Motors amid productive talks with the automaker on the future of the company’s assembly plant in Oshawa, Ont.
The union says the company has been clear it won’t extend vehicle manufacturing at the Oshawa plant beyond the end of the year, but that there is potential to transform operations to maintain some jobs.
Union president Jerry Dias, who sat down Tuesday with senior GM officials in Detroit, said a deal could be reached within weeks while declining to offer details.
“It’s about maintaining a footprint, and it’s about being in a position to build for the future. So I’m feeling more optimistic now than I have in a long time.”
Unifor members stage friendly rally in front of local retirement home
Unifor, the union representing workers at several Chartwell Retirement Residences, held what they called a ‘friendly rally’ in front of the Chartwell Montgomery Village Retirement Residence in Orangeville on Monday, March 4, to bring awareness to what they consider unfairly low wages paid to employees at the retirement residence and several other facilities owned by the company.
“Caregivers are vital in providing a safe and enjoyable living environment for seniors in retirement homes,” said Katha Fortier, assistant to the Unifor national president. “Chartwell’s track record of paying workers poverty wages makes it difficult for workers and residents to receive the adequate care they deserve and pay for.”
Several union members gathered at the entrance to the Montgomery Village Residence on Riddell Road waving flags and holding up posters, but did not disrupt any traffic entering or leaving the property.
What you need to know about Ontario’s new model for health care
It’s being called Ontario’s biggest health system reform in 50 years, since the advent of medicare. But what will it actually look like for patients?
The government of Premier Doug Ford is merging 20 agencies, which employ more than 10,000 people, into one big agency in what will be called Ontario Health. While much of the attention so far has been on its creation, the crucial part of the reform will be something called Ontario Health Teams.
The teams will also be crucial to whether the restructuring succeeds or fails.
Proposed Ontario health agency set to de-stabilize public healthcare
TORONTO, Feb. 26, 2019 /CNW/ – Ontario’s largest union in the private sector expresses deep concern for the proposed amalgamation of healthcare oversight and delivery into an unaccountable partisan agency.
“First, Minister Elliot claimed that this bill didn’t exist. Now, this secret agency is just as damning in the light of day as it was when public sector whistle-blowers first released it,” said Naureen Rizvi, Unifor Ontario Regional Director. “Workers see this agency for what it is: an attempt to bring in privatization through the backdoor and reward the Conservatives’ corporate friends.”
If adopted, the bill will shift decisions about more than $60 billion of Ontario’s public spending and healthcare delivery to a small board of unelected, partisan appointees.
Unifor proudly recognizes Pink Shirt Day
Unifor proudly recognizes Pink Shirt Day, an annual event on the last Wednesday in February where Canadians across the country come together to support the important commitment to a safe, harassment-free environment at work and school.
Pink Shirt Day began in Berwick, Nova Scotia in 2007 when David Shepherd, Travis Price and a large group of students decided to defend their peer who was bullied for wearing a pink shirt. In a show of solidarity, they, and many students turned up to school the next day wearing pink shirts.
Canada’s Largest Health and Safety Conference and Trade Show Set for Toronto
“Partners in Prevention 2019”
TORONTO, Feb. 20, 2019 /CNW/ – Canada’s largest and longest-running health and safety conference and trade show, Partners in Prevention 2019, takes place on April 30 and May 1, 2019 in Toronto. This year’s edition, with the theme What’s Your Story?, will highlight the ‘safety superhero’ who advocates for health and safety in the workplace. The conference features over 60 educational presentations that focus on legislative and legal issues, leadership, human resources, hazards, mental health and workplace culture and is complemented by an expansive trade show floor showcasing the latest innovations, market trends, products and services to improve workplace safety and productivity.
Scott Stratten, one of the “Top Five Social Media Influencers in the World,” on Forbes.com, will deliver the opening keynote address. Keynote speakers also include Mark Henick, whose TEDx talk “Why We Choose Suicide” is among the most watched in the world; and Canada’s most popular comic and political satirist, Rick Mercer.
Canadian auto union faces Catch-22 in General Motors fight
TORONTO (Reuters) – Jerry Dias, the leader of Canada’s auto union, is unsparing in his rhetorical attacks on General Motors Co’s decision to close its Oshawa, Ontario, assembly plant and lay off thousands of union workers by year-end.
But when it comes to action, Unifor’s president has been far more circumspect.
Dias promised “drastic measures” to compel GM to extend production of sedans and pickups, including the Silverado, to Sept. 21, 2020, when the current labor contract expires.
For more than a century, GM’s complex in Oshawa, a city east of Toronto, has been an economic engine for Ontario and Canada, anchored by thousands of highly paid manufacturing jobs.
OPSEU & Unifor members to Ford government: ‘We’re ready to ramp up the fight’
TORONTO – Workers represented by Ontario’s largest public and private sector unions have joined forces to deliver a message to the provincial government: if priorities don’t shift in the provincial budget, we’re ready to ramp up the fight.
Unifor and OPSEU members from sectors and regions across Ontario are at Queen’s Park this week to meet with Members of Provincial Parliament (MPPs) and present a vision for well-funded public services and decent work in Ontario.
“Despite all the rhetoric and slogans, Ford’s policies have been anti-democracy and anti-people,” said OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas. “But political power comes from the people. It’s why we’ve joined forces; our unions know working people’s priorities, we understand that a strong economy depends on cooperation between the public and private sectors, and we support one another.”
In addition to presenting plans for much-needed investments, members of both unions are sounding the alarm about the PC’s dangerous secret plan to contract out public delivery of healthcare, threatening access and quality of care.
Black History Month Unifor members speak on activism
Each week throughout Black History Month we will profile a members from across the country, highlighting their activist contributions and those who inspired them.
Arlette Magbity is a young, passionate activist who has been working for Suncor Energy Inc. since 2013. She is a member of Unifor Local 707a in Fort McMurray, Alberta. The eldest of four siblings, Arlette’s mother is from Rwanda, and her father hails from Sierra Leone. She has travelled extensively in her childhood, due to the nature of her father’s job. This experience has made her very versatile, equipped her with a thorough understanding of diversity and instilled in her a deep appreciation for different cultures.
Unifor donates $20,000 to Community Food Sharing Association after warehouse fire
ST. JOHN’S, Feb. 1, 2019 /CNW/ – Unifor is donating $20,000 to the Community Food Sharing Association in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador after a fire wiped out its entire stock at the warehouse that supplies many area food banks.
“We have been a strong supporter of the Food Sharing Association and, like so many, we wanted to assist during this most difficult time. As a social union we understand the importance of social justice first and foremost, but also in supporting each other during times like these,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias.
Watch The Commercial GM Autoworkers Aired During The Super Bowl
Unifor President Dias rallies Sask. crown workers as CBA talks with SaskTel begin
With a deal set to expire in March, talks for a new collective bargaining agreement between unions and SaskTel kicked off Tuesday in Regina.
But just before that, the national leader of Unifor made it clear they won’t take a government mandated deal.
The province, said Jerry Dias, has mandated crowns give zero percent wage increases in the first two years of a deal, one percent in the third and two in the fourth, something they refuse to accept.
UPDATE: Unifor vows to barricade GM Canada headquarters until company reverses plans to close Oshawa plant
OSHAWA — Unifor stepped up its protests against the closure of the Oshawa GM plant with a barricade of GM’s Canadian headquarters on Wednesday.
On Jan. 23 between 5 and 6 a.m. Unifor workers from GM’s Oshawa plant, Durham GM feeder plants and Unifor retirees set up the barricade on Colonel Sam Drive in south Oshawa in front of the Concentrix building just west of GM’s headquarters.
Concentrix workers who showed ID were allowed through while GM headquarters employees were turned away.
Unifor Local 222 president Colin James said the goal was to pressure GM about the decision to close the Oshawa plant at the end of the year.
Unifor looks forward to fighting GM Oshawa closure with province and feds
The future of the General Motors Oshawa assembly plant is in talks again on the first day of the 2019 North American International Auto Show.
Unifor National President Jerry Dias has met with Ontario Premier Doug Ford and federal minister of innovation, science and economic development, Navdeep Bains, about GM.
“It appears as if people are starting to take a different tack,” said Dias after his meetings.
GM meeting with Unifor Tuesday in Detroit about Oshawa plant future
General Motors (GM) has spoken to Unifor national president Jerry Dias Monday and a face-to-face meeting has been scheduled for Tuesday afternoon in Detroit, Mich., about the future of GM’s Oshawa, Ont., plant.
A response was expected from the company Monday after a December meeting between the two parties, on whether GM would be willing to work with the union representing autoworkers to keep the Oshawa plant open.
Save Oshawa GM
The jobs of 2,200 Unifor members are on the line with thousands of additional spin off jobs at risk as General Motors (GM) announces restructuring with no product allocated to the Oshawa Assembly Plant past December, 2019. Unless this decision is reversed the plant, which has been manufacturing in Oshawa for 100 years, will close.
Two U.S. assembly plants and two smaller U.S. transmission operations are also threatened but Oshawa will bear the brunt as it accounts for 45 per cent of the workers affected by the restructuring plans.