TORONTO, Jan. 14, 2014 /CNW/ - Clergy and other faith workers of the
United Church of Canada and their families marked the official launch
of their new union today in Toronto. The group held the inaugural
meeting of the Unifor Unifaith Community Chapter that will aim to unite
and mobilize members across the country.
Today, members attended the meeting in person or via electronic means.
The meeting welcomed new members, adopted a set of founding bylaws and
conducted the first election of the community chapter. Former CAW
president Buzz Hargrove, Unifor representatives and other well-wishers
attended the meeting.
"We have spent many years interacting with hundreds of people in paid
accountable service to the church and we believe in the need to
organize to provide support and representation to our members," says
Rev. Jim Evans, Unifaith's interim president. "Now we've got a formal
body of solidarity, and we can continue to build it."
"This has been a fascinating and necessary journey for our members,
starting with our nine years organizing as Clergy United with the CAW,
and now with our transition to Unifaith following the formation of
Unifor," says Evans. "We attended the historic convention on Labour Day
weekend and are proud to stand side by side the 300,000 sisters and
brothers at Unifor, Canada's largest union in the private sector."
Since 2004, Evans and volunteers from the United Church have been
educating colleagues and laity in self-care and social unionism;
communicating with church people across the country; researching
concerns regarding benefits, pensions, church closures and other
issues; providing pastoral care and advocacy to clergy and families
burdened by the church's admittedly serious problems of isolation and
bullying within its organization; and getting union cards signed by
Evans observes, "The origins of the United Church are closely linked to
the Social Gospel movement of the early 20th century. The church has
always presented itself as an advocate for social justice and an
encourager of social unionism; its official pro-union statements
include upholding the right of its own workers to form a union. By
forming Unifaith, our leadership and members are respectfully acting in
accordance with the United Church's wisdom, going forward firmly in
More information on the Unifor Unifaith Community Chapter is available
Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, with more than
300,000 members in 20 industrial sectors that span the Canadian economy
and in every region of the country. Its community chapters are a new
form of union membership that aims to reach out to groups of workers
that are generally excluded from union membership. More information can
be found at www.unifor.org.
SOURCE: Unifor the union
For further information:
For more information, please contact Karen Paton-Evans, Unifaith Communications at (519) 902-4161 or firstname.lastname@example.org; Rev. Dr. Scott Boughner at (416) -996-9803 or email@example.com or Roxanne Dubois, Unifor Community Chapters Coordinator at (613) 724 - 7486 (cell) or Roxanne.Dubois@unifor.org.