Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Day of Mourning

 TO: Unifor Local Unions, Presidents & Recording Secretaries

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

Each day we benefit from the labour of millions of workers who give large proportions of their lives to provide us with everything that makes up modern life, from providing power and fuel to making finished goods and moving and taking care of people. Sadly, every year, thousands suffer injury or illness because of their working conditions and horrifyingly, workers continue to die on the job or as a result of it.

Since our last Day of Mourning, we remember Unifor members:

Yani Ni, Local 252

Camil Pouliot, Local 299

Adam Love, Local 4268

Michael Daye, Local 506

Brad Poupard, Local 2009AP

Jean-Xavier Proulx, Local 299

Terry Roberts, FFAW-Unifor

Michael Gravelle, Local 6008

Paul Totten, Local 45

They are not forgotten.

“Mourn the Dead, Fight for the Living”

The slogan for the Day of Mourning reflects the need to remember those who have lost their lives but also contains a strong reminder of the need to press for improvements in health and safety in our workplaces, ensuring workers are protected from the workplace hazards that lead to preventable, needless death, serious injury or illness.

On April 28, too many Canadians can name a victim of a workplace fatality, disease or injury. The years may have passed but the work-related death statistics have not improved. Multiple fatality incidents every year across the country still shock us. On average, three Canadians die every day from their work. As a society, we must do more to protect working people.

The lives of the families of those killed and injured in these and other workplace tragedies change immeasurably; they often feel let down by a justice system that takes far too long to establish exactly how their loved ones died, or in the case of those injured or ill, the circumstances that led to them to suffer life-changing injuries or illnesses.

Occupational health and safety laws across Canada require employers to take every precaution reasonable to safeguard workers. When this duty of care is not met, employers can be subject to compliance orders and prosecution. But when this breach amounts to a wanton or reckless disregard for the lives and safety of workers resulting in death or bodily harm, justice demands more. The Canadian labour movement  lobbied for 12 years to amend the Criminal Code which is embodied in Bill C-45, also known as the ‘Westray Law’, which was enacted in 2004.

Although there is a need for new or improved health and safety regulations in a number of areas, even more urgently, Unifor demands that all Canadian regulators enforce existing laws vigorously and effectively, including the Criminal Code Amendments.

On April 28, please take time to reflect on the service rendered to each of us by thousands of unseen workers who make up the workforce in our communities and who support the lives we lead. This is also an important time to revisit your workplace’s health and safety measures and review the resources available through your union

Let us collectively ensure that this year’s Day of Mourning observances send a strong message to all governments and law enforcement agencies. At every opportunity, we need to tell our elected politicians that we want action and we intend to support only those who will give us this commitment.

Download Unifor’s Day of Mourning poster and social media sharables here. Post messages on social media, tag your representatives, and tell them we demand strong protection for workers.

We ask all Unifor Locals to share stories and photos of activities and events related to participation in this year’s Day of Mourning activities at healthandsafety@unifor.org.

Read the statement on our website here.

Download the poster here.

Download the graphic here.

In Solidarity,

Lana Payne                   Daniel Cloutier                     Len Poirier
National President         Quebec Director                     National Secretary-Treasurer 

Friday, August 19, 2022

Message from Unifor Officers

 

To: Unifor Local Union Presidents, Recording-Secretaries, All Staff, NEB

Message from Unifor officers

We want to express our heartfelt thanks to all Unifor activists and local unions who participated in the 2022 Constitutional Convention, which took place last week in Toronto.

It was the first time we gathered in person since the start of the pandemic, and this Convention is sure to have its place in the history books of our great union.

There are too many highlights to list them all. You can read some of them below, and find more on the Unifor website<https://www.unifor.org/>.

  *   Lana Payne was elected<https://www.unifor.org/news/all-news/lana-payne-elected-unifor-national-president> Unifor National President, Len Poirier as National Secretary-Treasurer and Daniel Cloutier was affirmed as Quebec Director, along with Regional Directors, Gavin McGarrigle, Jennifer Murray and Naureen Rizvi.
  *   Unifor member Marc Roussel<https://www.unifor.org/news/all-news/new-brunswick-pulp-mill-worker-marc-roussel-receives-2022-bud-jimmerfield-award> was awarded the Bud Jimmerfield award for his dedication to workplace health and safety.
  *   Federal Labour Minister Seamus O’Regan<https://www.unifor.org/news/all-news/labour-minister-promises-action-harassment> promised action on workplace harassment
  *   We rallied<https://www.unifor.org/news/all-news/unifor-members-rally-ashgrove-workers> for the locked-out members at Ash Grove cement plant in Joliette, Quebec.
  *   Mozart Mimms<https://www.unifor.org/news/all-news/former-canadian-pacific-railway-porter-104-wins-neil-reimer-award>, a 104 year-old Black sleeping car porter, was recognized with the Neil Reimer Award.
  *   We unveiled 29 recommendations to boost Canada’s auto sector<https://www.unifor.org/news/all-news/unifor-unveils-29-recommendations-boost-canadas-auto-sector>
  *   Mexican auto worker and labour activist Alejandra Morales Reynoso<https://www.unifor.org/news/all-news/mexican-auto-worker-wins-mandela-award> was awarded the Nelson Mandela Award.
  *   We heard from two organizers<https://www.unifor.org/news/all-news/turning-point-workers> about the challenges of working at Amazon.
  *   We celebrated our union in a new video<https://www.unifor.org/news/all-news/celebrating-unifor-new-video> and closed Convention on a note of solidarity and strength<https://www.unifor.org/news/all-news/lana-payne-closes-convention-unifor-united>.

In the coming weeks, we will be planning our union’s activities for the months ahead, and you can be sure to hear from us about exciting initiatives, events and projects.

We hope that you will enjoy the rest of the summer, and we encourage you to participate in upcoming events during Labour Day weekend.

In solidarity,

Lana Payne, National President

Len Poirier, National Secretary-Treasurer

Daniel Cloutier, Qu├ębec Director