Unifor Rights at Work campaign comes to Winnipeg

TORONTO, Jan. 24, 2014 /CNW/ - Canada's largest union in the private sector will be meeting in Winnipeg on Monday as part its preparations 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," said Unifor National President Jerry Dias, who will be attending the Winnipeg meeting. "Unionized or not, we believe that's what all Canadian workers want."

Local and national Unifor leaders attending the meeting - at 9am on Monday, January 27, at the Union Centre at 206-275 Broadway - will be discussing threats posed to basic labour rights, and what they can do about it. Coffee and a light breakfast will be served, starting at 8am.

"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."

Dias will also meet with Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger on Monday afternoon to discuss threats to labour rights and the middle class.

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.

Even Manitoba, with an NDP government, can't count itself safe. 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.

Media are welcome at Monday's meeting to get a sneak peak at Unifor's spring Rights at Work campaign and to talk to the union's top leadership and research staff about these issues.

For a complete list the tour stops go to www.unifor.org/sites/default/files/attachments/19-city_tour_2014.pdf

There will be two guest speakers at Monday morning's meeting: Bonnie Hidlebaugh, Communications Manager at the Spina Bifida & Hydrocephalus Association of Canada, and Leslie Spillet, Founder of Ka Ni Kanichihk, non-profit community based group providing support to families whose relatives have been found murdered or are missing.

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.

SOURCE: Unifor

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

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