TORONTO, Jan. 27, 2014 /CNW/ - The national president of Canada's
largest union in the private sector met today with Manitoba Premier
Greg Selinger and urged him to do all he can for working people in the
province, and across Canada.
"Working people across this country are being challenged like never
before, and we need premiers like Greg Selinger to stand up for them -
and that's exactly what I told him today," Unifor National President
Jerry Dias said after the meeting.
At a time that the federal government and other provinces are attempting
to weaken workers' rights, Dias emphasized to Selinger that he's in a
unique position to reverse the trend by doing more for working people.
Dias is in Winnipeg in the first western stop in a series of meetings
across Canada to prepare for a nationwide campaign to defend the rights
of Canadians in the workplace.
"Unifor is standing up for the rights of Canadians to provide for their
families in safe and stable workplaces," Dias said. "Unionized or not,
we believe that's what all Canadian workers want."
Dias invited Selinger to be part of that effort, telling him that as an
NDP premier he should be doing more to advance the rights of working
people, including bringing in anti-scab legislation and union
certification when more than half of employees in a workplace sign
Dias warned that efforts by Ontario conservatives to eliminate the Rand
Formula will put pressure on other jurisdictions to do the same. That
would be a huge step back for Manitoba, which in 1972 became the first
province to implement the Rand Formula, making union dues a payroll
deduction for everyone in a bargaining unit.
"Without unions and collective bargaining, it will be impossible for
most Canadians to attain a decent, secure life," Dias said. "The
current attack by governments across Canada on our basic labour rights
will fundamentally damage our quality of life - and that's why we are
determined to stop it."
At the federal level, the Harper government's Bill C525 would make it
easier to decertify unions on the basis of biased voting rules. In
Alberta, Conservatives have made it illegal for some unions to simply
talk about striking.
Unifor was founded Labour Day weekend 2013 when the Canadian Auto
Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers unions merged.
With more than 300,000 members, including 13,000 in Manitoba, Unifor is
Canada's largest union in the private sector.
For further information:
For more information or to set up and interview, please contact Unifor Communications national representatives Stuart Laidlaw at 647-385-4054 (cell) or Stuart.Laidlaw@unifor.org or Ian Boyko at 778-903-6549 (cell) or Ian.Boyko@Unifor.org