February 1, 2020
Every February, Unifor celebrates Black History Month to honour the contributions Black Canadians have made and continue to make in our workplaces and communities.
Black History Month has been officially marked in Canada since 1995 following a motion introduced in the House of Commons by the first Black Canadian woman elected to parliament, the Honourable Jean Augustine. This month continues to provide an opportunity to reflect on the unique challenges facing Black communities and individuals.
Guided by this year’s theme Celebrating Our History and Making Our Own, Unifor highlights the tireless work of Black people in the continuing fight for workers’ rights, human rights, and in seeking equality for all.
This year also marks the sixth year of the United Nation’s International Decade for People of African Descent dedicated to recognition, justice and development. These concepts are integral to the union’s work as we continue to oppose ingrained and persistent inequalities. Recognition of historical struggles and accomplishments broadens our understanding of the challenges that persist, and inspires our activism to promote respect and engage in meaningful change.
Unifor actively seeks justice for marginalized communities, both through workplace supports and through solidarity with the tremendous Black leaders from coast to coast developing and strengthening their workplaces and communities.
Resolutions against racial profiling were adopted across the country at each of Unifor’s Regional Councils and the union is coordinating broad discussions with police forces across the country to ensure discriminatory practices are eliminated on paper and in practice.
All month long, Unifor will be collecting stories featuring the work of Black members from across the country. To be featured in our Black History Month review, have your Unifor Local submit a photo and a short description of your work and accomplishments to email@example.com.
December 4, 2019
TORONTO – Unifor welcomes Bombardier’s announcement of a long-term lease agreement with the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) to build the new Global Manufacturing Centre located at Toronto Pearson International Airport.
“The announcement of this new manufacturing facility is an important step in advancing the long term job security of our members at the Bombardier Downsview facility,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “These are hardworking, highly skilled, and well trained workers who can look forward to a more secure future at the new location.”
The Downsview facility currently employs 2,100 Unifor members represented by locals 112 and 673 in the production, office, and technical divisions as well as numerous other direct and indirect jobs. In 2018, Bombardier announced its intention to sell the facility creating anxiety and uncertainty for workers.
“We wanted reassurance that Bombardier would continue to assemble the Global family of aircraft in the Toronto area, and todays announcement provides it” said, President of Unifor Local 112. “Our members have been through a lot recently. I couldn’t be happier for them.”
“I am proud of the determination and resolve our members showed throughout the past year of uncertainty,” said Maryellen McIlmoyle, President of Unifor Local 673. “This agreement brings tremendous relief to Bombardier workers and their families.”
The long-term lease agreement with the GTAA runs until 2058 and the new facility’s planned completion date is in 2023.
In addition to selling the Downsview property in 2018, Bombardier also sold its Q400 aircraft program to De Havilland Aircraft Company. The Q400 is currently assembled at Downsview.
De Havilland workers are also members of Unifor Local 112 and 673. Both locals and Unifor National will continue to work with De Havilland and all levels of government in an effort to secure the Q400 program beyond 2022.
For more information, please contact Unifor Communications Representative David Molenhuis at David.Molenhuis@unifor.org or 416-575-7453 (cell).
TORONTO – The Ford government decision to proceed with municipal funding cuts to public health and childcare threatens the health and security of Ontario families.
“It’s shameful that Doug Ford’s only plan is to improve his government books at the expense of public health and childcare,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias. “Ford is forcing municipalities across Ontario to cut vital services or raise taxes. Shirking off your responsibilities on others is not leadership.”
The cuts to municipal funding, originally slated to take effect this year, were paused following huge public outcry but have now been resurrected and scheduled for January 2020.
Ford’s plan will force all Ontario municipalities to shoulder massive increases to fund childcare spaces and to public health programs, such as vaccinations, disease prevention, and ambulance services.
“It’s clear Doug Ford doesn’t want to be responsible for the health and wellbeing of Ontarians and families can expect even more cuts to critical services if Andrew Scheer is elected.” said Dias. “It’s clear that Conservatives across Canada are taking their cues from Scheer and workers are paying the price.”
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.
For more information, please contact Unifor Communications Representative Kathleen O’Keefe at firstname.lastname@example.org or 416-896-3303 (cell).
August 20, 2019
QUEBEC CITY – Jerry Dias was acclaimed as National President of Unifor and Lana Payne was chosen as Secretary-Treasurer of Unifor at the union’s National Convention in Quebec City.
“I am energized to continue leading this great union. We still have a lot of work to do, the fight for social justice does not stop and we have a great leadership team to take us through the next three years,” said Jerry Dias, who now begins his third and final three-year term as National President.
Payne replaces Bob Orr who is retiring after 35 years of labour activism.
“I am so grateful to our members and look forward to working hard with our amazing Unifor family to make gains for workers across Canada,” said Payne, who previously served as Unifor’s Atlantic Regional Director.
Two new Regional Directors were also elected today at the union’s third constitutional convention.
Replacing Payne as Atlantic Director is Linda MacNeil, previously Atlantic Area Director.
Renaud Gagné was elected at Quebec Regional Council and was acclaimed by the membership as one of the top three officers of Unifor.
Gavin McGarrigle, B.C. Area Director, was chosen as the Western Regional Director, replacing Joie Warnock, who will become an Assistant to the National President and will lead Unifor’s efforts on Indigenous issues.
Naureen Rizvi, former Toronto Area Director and Director of Telecommunications, will continue as Ontario Regional Director.
For more information please contact Unifor Communications Representative Kathleen O’Keefe at email@example.com or 416-896-3303 (cell).
Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Sisters and Brothers,
Today members of Unifor Locals 112 and 673 walked out of their Bombardier aerospace plant in Downsview to call on Boeing to drop its trade complaint against the company. As past President of Local 112, I was proud to join the 1,500 workers at the rally to protect Canadian jobs and Canadian innovation.
Today’s action follows last week’s meeting with Boeing officials in Washington D.C. where I encouraged the company to drop allegations that Bombardier sold the C-Series plane at an artificially low price due to support from the Canadian and Quebec governments. There is still time for Boeing to withdraw its baseless complaint and seek a fair resolution with Bombardier before the ruling, which is expected next week.
Prior to today’s rally I spoke to BNN about the Boeing situation and the inherent flaws in Canada’s trade agreements. You can watch the interview here.
I’m writing with a link to the video that summarizes the proceedings of our 2017 Canadian Council: https://youtu.be/Go3fiHNtyIA
If you were a delegate, thank you for your contributions to another engaging and meaningful Council.
If you were unable to attend, I encourage you to watch the video and share it with your friends and family. Delegates made important contributions to the resolutions that will move our union forward, and our speakers inspired us to work even harder to achieve our goal of a better world.
Convention documents are available at unifor.org/canadiancouncil.
On behalf of the National Executive Board,
Robert J. Orr
August 12, 2017
Greetings Sisters and Brothers,
A cease and desist order has ended Occupy Northstar. At this time no further action is scheduled. Thank you to all who stood the line in solidarity for the past three days. Through our efforts we were able to bring this issue to the forefront and generate an important public discussion on pensions. Unifor will continue the fight for fair pensions for our Local 112 members and for all workers. Please stay tuned for further details.