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Bell Canada clerical workers ratify collective agreement

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Unifor members working at Bell Canada Clerical division ratified a four-year collective agreement that improves working conditions and job security for nearly 5000 workers.

“This round of negotiations was monumental. Workers across Ontario and Quebec came together to demand that their good, unionized jobs at Bell Canada stay at Bell Canada,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President.

The new collective agreement includes wage increases, protections against job erosion and outsourcing and adds more than 600 jobs to the bargaining unit. Over the past 10 years, clerical employees experienced a concerted strategy to cut the workforce that eliminated more than half of the jobs in the bargaining unit. Unifor members also gained access to paid domestic violence leave and 10 women’s advocates, who are members of the union trained to advocate and assist people facing sexual and gender-based violence, will now be established.

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Auto parts members reach pattern agreements at four suppliers

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Local 444 has reached tentative agreements for approximately 650 members at four Windsor-Essex area auto parts suppliers. The agreements all follow the pattern of the deal first reached on March 3 with tire and wheel module manufacturer Avancez Assembly Canada.

“Achieving the pattern is a major victory for the bargaining committees,” said Local 444 President James Stewart. “These were difficult negotiations, but in the end we achieved consistent wages and benefits for all members.”

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Lucrative contract for strand board mill workers

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On February 28, 135 workers represented by Unifor Local 324-99, at Norbord’s Oriented Strand Board (OSB) mill in Barwick, Ontario ratified a new five-year contract.

The agreement includes 2 per cent wage increases in each of the first four years and a 2.5 per cent increase in the fifth year. The contract is retroactive to August 1, 2017.

“We’re very satisfied with the gains in this contract,” said George Smith, President of Local 324-99. “Our committee bargained tough and it paid off with better rates than most others in our sector.”

In addition to the significant monetary gains and the improved contracting out language, the local also bargained a profit-sharing plan with the employer. “The profit sharing will be anywhere from 16 to 20 per cent in addition to wages,” said Smith of the annual bonus that can be up to $10,000 per employee.

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Family Education Program

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Since the early 1970’s our Union has offered a Family Education Program for members and their families.

The program takes place during the summer months at the Unifor Family Education Centre in Port Elgin, Ontario. A call letter is sent to all Unifor locals in January, with a registration deadline in April. Selection is complete by early May.

If selected by the local/national union to attend, the member agrees to give up their vacation time and the national union covers costs for meals and accommodations while at the Unifor Family Education Centre, and where required, air travel.

Preteens participate in recreational programs run by fully-trained child care workers and counselors.

Teenagers participate in a specially-designed program which recognizes their unique interests but also incorporates the issues of social unionism in their curriculum.

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Care for Ontario seniors

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The long term care sector in Ontario is at a crisis point. Ongoing budgetary cuts, combined with short staffing and more complex patient needs mean that residents are not getting the care that they need.

Did you know that in many long term care facilities, personal support workers have only six minutes in the morning to prepare residents for breakfast?

Unifor is proposing a six minute challenge – can you get ready in six minutes in the morning? Give it a try! Then challenge your MPP and let them know that they need to support four hours of direct, hands on care per resident, every single day.

The union is advocating for an evidence-based, minimum, measurable and enforceable standard of care within long term care homes. This includes a legislated daily standard of direct care of four hours per resident – as included in Bill 33 ‘A Time to Care Act.’

Currently, there is no minimum standard of daily care. Approximately 78,000 Ontarians live in long term care homes, most of who are over 85 years old and have mobility issues, dementia, and complex medical needs.

Unifor is urging all political parties to support four hours of minimum daily care in long term care homes, the integration of front-line workers into the implementation of the new Aging with Confidence: Ontario’s Action Plan for Seniors,’ as well as measures for accountability by nursing home operators to be included in the new regulations.

http://www.unifor.org/en/take-action/campaigns/care-ontario-seniors

Celebrating International Women’s Day in 2018

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Never underestimate the power of women. Each and every day, the women of Unifor are building and resisting in the streets, at the ballot box, and at the bargaining table. Activism makes a difference. When we work collectively, across our diversities, we are a force that makes change.

International Women’s Day gives us the opportunity to reflect on progress made and strategize for our future.

This past year we have witnessed the enduring strength of women in the streets advocating for political change during mass demonstrations like the Women’s March, #MeToo rallies, No Islamophobia vigils and many more. Actions that put gender justice as a core demand are an important step towards awareness and progress for women. What has also been a driving force is that women from different communities and different generations shared their anger and their hope. New alliances were made.

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New action to keep aerospace jobs at Bombardier Downsview

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Unifor has launched a new online petition in support of members at Bombardier’s Downsview facility in north Toronto.

The site employs more than 2,100 Unifor members represented by locals 112 and 673 in the production, office, and technical divisions along with a number of other direct and indirect jobs.

“Preserving Bombardier’s presence at Downsview is critical to the future of good jobs in the aerospace sector, for our members and for many other workers in the area,” said Scott McIlmoyle, local 112 president.

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Rally to support Time to Care Act

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Seventy Unifor activists joined hundreds of workers who showed their support for the Time to Care Act, at a rally outside Queen’s Park in Toronto today.

The Act proposes to extend the minimum number of hours of care received in long term care to four hours, which is what Unifor’s #6minutechallenge campaign has been advocating for months.

“Right now long term care workers are rushed to provide adequate care for vulnerable residents and that creates a stressful environment for workers who are already overworked at understaffed centres,” said Naureen Rizvi, Ontario Regional Director.

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Budget fails to save local news

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Funding announced in today’s federal budget will help broadcasters but fails to save local news said Unifor, the union representing 12,000 media workers nationwide.

“The financial increase to the Canada Media Fund will help provide much needed revenue to broadcasting in general but I’m disappointed that this budget provides no aid for local news, which is in imminent danger,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias. “Canadian newsrooms have shrunk by at least 30 per cent in the last four years, with more newspaper closures and journalist layoffs expected to come, so solutions are needed now.”

Unifor had recommended closing the digital loophole in the Income Tax Act to put online Google and Facebook advertising under the same rules as TV and print advertising, driving about $250 million back to Canadian news outlets starved for revenues.

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Conference calls for action on Rohingya genocide

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An international spotlight was shone on the slaughter of the Rohingya people as human rights activists, scholars, legal experts and politicians gathered at the ‘Berlin Conference on Myanmar Genocide’.

“Myanmar deliberately creates conditions to destroy the whole Rohingya community ethnically, cultural, historically and religiously,” said the Chair of the EU Rohingya Council, Dr. Ro Hla Kyaw, a participant on the event’s “Rohingya Speak for Themselves” panel.

Western Regional Director Joie Warnock attended the February 26 conference at the Jewish Museum of Berlin where she bore witness to first-hand accounts of the systemic murder and brutal persecution of the Rohingya.

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Ontario confirms CPTPP will kill auto jobs

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Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne has confirmed the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) will have negative consequences for Ontario’s auto sector that will hurt both workers and Canada’s overall competitiveness in the industry.

“The province recognizes the fact that this deal will lead to job loss, yet the federal government is still proceeding with all haste to ratify this terrible agreement,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias.

Speaking at the Toronto Region Board of Trade Wynne said that new opportunities for trade should not come at the expense of auto workers and stressed that there is no need to rush to ratify the CPTPP. The Premier also called on the federal government for $1.26 billion in transitional funding for Ontario’s auto sector before ratification.

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