WINDSOR, ON, Nov. 8, 2013 /CNW/ - Over the coming weekend, delegates from across the country will gather in Windsor for the first meeting of the Unifor Skilled Trades Council. Central in the discussions will be the development of strategies to coordinate apprenticeship program requirements and experience recognition across Canada.
The meetings will take place at Caesars Windsor in the Luna/Martis/Mercuri Room starting tonight at 5pm. Meetings will take place in the same location from 9 am to 5pm on Saturday and Sunday. Unifor National President Jerry Dias will be addressing the delegates on Friday evening.
"It will be exciting to bring together skilled trades workers from across the country and representing both former unions," said Dino Chiodo, President of Unifor Local 444 and Ontario Chair. "It is important for us to come together to discuss issues facing skilled trades workers across the country, including apprenticeships."
Right out of the gates, Unifor is pushing for the harmonization of apprenticeships across Canada. Similar to the Red Seal program, which allows skilled trades workers to relocate and maintain their credentials, Unifor and other stakeholders believe there needs to be a similar program for apprenticeships.
Delegates will be addressed by the chair of the Canadian Council of Directors of Apprenticeships (CCDA) to hear about a three year project underway in the Atlantic provinces to harmonize apprenticeships as well as national strategies the CCDA is undertaking.
"We see a huge number of apprentices unable to complete the program because they lose their job and are unable to find other work," said Dave Cassidy, National Skilled Trades Council Chair. "It is important for apprentices to be able to move where there are jobs available and still have their experience recognized."
Unifor, founded this Labour Day weekend, was formed by the coming together of the Canadian Auto Workers union and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union, is the largest private sector union in the country. Unifor represents roughly 40,000 skilled trades workers and apprentices across Canada working in over 20 sectors.
For further information:
David Cassidy, National Skilled Trades Council Chair (cell) 519-999-7708 or Pat Blackwood, Unifor Skilled Trades Director (cell) 416-371-4811.