On May 5th & 6th, over 100 delegates arrived in Toronto to attend the Workers United Annual General Meeting. The two day meeting included guest presentations by John Cartwright, President of the Toronto & York Region Labour Council; Robin Pacific, an artist who has been working on an exciting photo exhibit featuring our members and garment workers in Bangladesh; Brynne Sinclair-Waters and Monica Avero from the $15 & Fairness Campaign, and musical performances by DEYS.
We were also joined by retiring Workers United President, Noel Beasley, and heard from our new incoming President Lynne Fox. Thank you Noel for all your years of work, leadership and support of Workers United Canada Council and a big welcome Lynne!
Executive Board elections were also held during the AGM. The following are members who were voted in or acclaimed:
Workers United Canadian Executive Board
President: Randall Hutchinson, Local 1821
Vice-President: Sandra Rebrovich, Local 2347
Recording Secretary: Susan Taylor, Local 2641
Sgt-At-Arms: Michelle Palmer, Local 152
Members at Large
Christine Parag, Local 206
Lenora Jones, Local 437
Richie Le-Catequista, Local 2742
Nina De Luca, Local 136
Daniel Kay, Local 2759
Alex Dutka, Local 753
Andrew Spence, Local 2740
David Bramley, Local 1821
Allyson Cullen, Local 154
Troy Lewicki, Local 314
Hazel Cain, Local 152
Jagdeep Bawa, Local 152
Alternate Members at Large
Tracey Gough, Local 2347
Mildred Caldo, Local 206
Attendees were also treated to a series of workshops led by our guest facilitators from LaborNotes. Thank you to Sonia Singh, Mark Brenner, and Samantha Winslow for coming up and joining us!
We'd also like to say congratulations to our 2016 award winners who were recognized for their outstanding contribution to our union.
Volunteer Organizer Award Winner
Finally, our raffle draw was a huge success, with $925 being raised by members for the Red Door Shelter. Thank you to our financial auditors who also contributed, pushing our fundraising effort to $1,000!
We are now accepting applications for our 2016 Workers United Scholarship Award! Each year, Workers United awards two scholarships to our union members, their children or their grandchildren. For more information, or to download our online form, please click here.
Ontario's outdated labour policies and legislation is leaving thousands of workers in the province without adequate protection. Basic standards are lacking or are not being properly enforced, and employers are making it difficult for workers to stand up for their rights or to form a union to improve the quality of life for themselves and their families. The Ontario government is currently undertaking a comprehensive review of the Ontario Labour Relations Act & the Employment Standards Act. However, unions and labour advocates need to ensure that the government makes meaningful changes to labour policy to better protect precarious workers and raise standards for everybody.
In response, the Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) has launched the 'Make it Fair Campaign' to begin educating, organizing, and mobilizing communities across the province to pressure the Ontario government to improve working conditions for all workers. Learn more about the campaign, and how to get involved in your local community, by visiting their new campaign website: makeitfair.ca
The Toronto Star recently released a story on our ongoing organizing campaign aimed at GoodLife Fitness professionals seeking to form a fitness professionals' union. Workers United have been working closely with Personal Trainers and Fitness Instructors who have been seeking a wide range of improvement to working conditions, including: access to WSIB benefits in case of injury, an end to unpaid work time, not being forced to sign non-compete clauses, and general respect as professionally trained fitness workers.
Ten workers have lost their jobs at the Brampton-based trucking company Interstate Freight Systems Inc. (IFS) Drivers have been working closely with Workers United in attempts to form a union in order to improve workplace conditions and safety. Instead, the drivers have been met with intimidation, threats, and harassment by company President Paul Bhullar. We have filed an Unfair Labour Practice with the Canadian Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) and are advocating strongly on behalf of the workers.
Read the full Toronto Star article here.
Please note that as of October 1st, 2015 our Toronto office will be moving to Mississauga. Our new address will be:
2800 Skymark Ave., Unit 10A
Mississauga, ON L4W 5A6
Workers United Canada Council is please to welcome our newest members of the Portage Ave & Wall St. Tim Hortons restaurant in Winnipeg, Manitoba! The Manitoba Labour Relations Board issued a Consent Order granting a discretionary certification to the union after the Tim Hortons' franchisee's management admitted that they had engaged in several violations against worker's rights to unionize. We welcome the Board's decision which sends a strong message to employers that harassment and intimidation of workers will not be tolerated and that workers' rights to collective representation cannot be trampled over.
Workers United would like to give special thanks to the Manitoba Federation of Labour, the Winnipeg Labour Council and the University of Winnipeg Students' Association for all their assistance and support during this campaign.
Additional media coverage: