Upcoming Training and Education Workshops

The following conferences have been approved by the membership. If you are interested in any of these please let the executive know and additional information can be supplied.

Education Schedule   Saskatchewan Area Course List

National Schedule  Port Elgin  Link to National Training Schedule


Unifor’s Annual CPP/EI Conference Port Elgin ON April 20 – April 22 Registration Dead line: April 6
Details: http://www.unifor.org/en/whats-new/event/ei-cpp-conference

Unifor Prairie Council Saskatoon SK May 7 – May 10 Registration Dead line: April 7
Young Workers Conference: Monday May 7 (9:00 AM – 5:00 PM) Delta Bessborough Hotel (Salon Batoche)
President’s Meeting: Tuesday May 8 (10:00 AM – 3:30 PM) Gallery C/D (main floor)
Prairie Regional Council: Wednesday May 9 & Thursday May 10 (9:00 AM – 5:00 PM) Salon B/C/D (upper level)
Details: http://www.unifor.org/en/whats-new/event/prairie-regional-council-2018

Unifor Family Education Program Registration Dead line: April 6
The Unifor Family Education Program is funded thought the National Union and Not the though the Paid Education Leave (PEL) fund. Unifor members are not required to have PEL in their collective agreement in order to apply.
Members attending the Family Educaiton Program are asked to use vacation time to attend.
There are three sessions this year:
Session 1 – July 15 – July 22
Session 2 – July 22 – July 29
Session 3 – July 29 – Aug 5
Details: http://www.unifor.org/en/education/family-education-program


Unifor’s Dissassociation for the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) FAQ

Read the Update from National of the Dissassociation from CLC

FAQ CLC disaffiliation – Doc Link

January 18, 2018
Why did Unifor leave the CLC?
This dispute is about the governance of the Canadian Labour Congress and its failure to prevent attacks on workers from their U.S.-based unions. The Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) has rules in place to ensure workers have democratic rights, and that Canadian members of U.S. unions have clear autonomy. Unfortunately, this is not being followed or respected. Unifor is gravely concerned with U.S.-based unions trampling on the rights of workers and has made the decision to disaffiliate.
This exact issue was raised in 2017 when Unifor was vocal about the trusteeship of Local 113 of the ATU. Our union’s opposition is simple: we are opposed to any union that threatens, harasses, intimidates, or silences workers for simply asserting their democratic rights and autonomy. When workers turned to the CLC for support, they have been met by silence, despite Article 26 of the CLC constitution that is suppose to protect the rights of workers in Canada who are members of U.S.-based unions.
In addition to the lack of action to defend the democratic rights of workers in Canada, there has been an ineffective application of Article 4 of the CLC constitution. Article 4 outlines a democratic process for workers to change unions, but it is not enforced. Affiliates agreed to it, but, in practice, do not grant workers those rights. When members apply for justification (to change their union) under this process, their rights are not protected and affiliates have worked to shut down any investigation. Subsequently, virtually no members have been granted justification in recent memory. In two recent cases, ATU Local 113 and UNITE HERE Local 75, we have seen local unions put under trusteeship by their U.S.-based union to quell dissent. Trusteeship has meant that offices have been taken over, democratically-elected officers were removed, staff fired and property or membership funds have been seized. The constitution of the CLC should protect workers, but this has not happened and Unifor is at odds with many CLC affiliates. We will no longer stand by and be silent or to allow this to continue.
Given all of this and our desire for immediate change to defend workers in Canada from U.S.-based bullies, our union made a decision it will no longer participate in the CLC.
This decision is a principled one. It’s about holding others accountable for not putting principles into practice. Unifor’s leadership believes strongly that in order to make things better for workers there is a need to advance this issue now in the hopes that there will be a stronger labour movement in Canada.
What is Unifor seeking?
Change is needed to stop the bullying tactics of U.S.-based unions that deny workers in Canada basic and fundamental democratic rights. This decision is rooted in a perspective that unions and the CLC must act as defenders of workers’ rights and remain a relevant voice for workplace and social justice—without that we are not upholding our obligation to members.
The birth of Unifor was an act of hope for the Canadian labour movement and working people more generally. Our union has pushed for workers’ rights and made great gains and we will continue to do this. It is our hope that the action to disaffiliate from the CLC will trigger change to ensure that workers in Canada have their democratic rights respected.
Has Unifor broken solidarity with the labour movement?
Absolutely not. Solidarity is not about paying dues to a central labour body, it is about the work that we do every single day.
Unifor has been adamant about supporting labour councils, community actions, and grassroots organizations. The President of the CLC has now directed labour federations and councils to block Unifor members and activists from participating in their work. This is an act that seeks to remove our participation and involvement in the movement but our activism will continue. We are dedicated to building a new kind of unionism and will continue to do this with those who want to work with us.
Building a movement is not about relying on the bureaucracy it is about solidarity actions, inclusion, and moving forward for justice.
How was this decision made?
This was a difficult decision and it was not made lightly. Unifor first discussed this issue in 2017 and in light of recent events involving UNITE HERE Local 75, a decision was made by the leadership team to raise the concerns with the members of the National Executive Board, Unifor’s highest governance authority between conventions. After a thorough discussion the National Executive Board made a unanimous decision to leave the CLC. This decision is one of principled action that is rooted in upholding the values of our union.
If Unifor is not affiliated with the CLC, what does this mean for Unifor’s relationship with the broader labour movement?
Unifor is proud to defend the rights of working people and unions and will continue to do so. The union will continue to build workers’ power and defend workers’ rights. All members and staff are asked to continue to show the enormous power of our solidarity with and for working people. That will never change.
Regardless of Unifor’s affiliation with the CLC, we will continue to play an important role in building a vibrant, active and diverse labour movement. Unifor locals are encouraged to play an active role in regional labour councils and provincial and territorial federations of labour.

It is true that the constitutions of various labour central bodies require affiliation to the CLC as a condition of active participation. The CLC itself requires affiliated unions to actively participate in the work of federations and local labour bodies. However, we know this is not always the case. We also know that these rules are unevenly applied across affiliate unions while some pick and choose where and how to participate in federations or labour councils. Some CLC unions do not pay affiliation fees or have membership in labour bodies, including provincial and territorial federations of labour. Some do not actively participate in their work.
It is important to remember the depth and diversity of the labour movement more generally. Apart from the central coordinating role played by the CLC, our movement is rich in grassroots worker activism and advocacy that is rooted in communities. Our voices must continue to be heard as we advocate for the needs of working people, including those workers who are not in unions. Our work in support of these community organizations will continue, whole-heartedly, with renewed vigour.

What should Unifor locals do?First and foremost we must continue to service and represent members to the best of Unifor’s ability and to defend workers’ rights in the workplace and in the community. It is important to maintain open lines of communication to keep members informed about what is happening. All local executives, stewards and workplace activists are asked to step up their efforts to share information from the national union on this issue so that members are involved and receive proper accurate information.
Unifor locals must continue to build a movement of workers and continue to be the strong activist fighting union that we are. Involvement in labour, community and solidarity efforts should be supported. This means that Unifor will support union democracy, social justice, equity and the rights of workers, and our union must continue to act in solidarity from coast to coast to coast with all working people.

If I have more questions, who do I ask?
To help facilitate a quick response to members’ questions on this issue, contact Scott Doherty, the Executive Assistant to the Unifor National President via email at scott.doherty@unifor.org.
Members are also encouraged to contact their Regional Director, the Quebec Director or any member of the National Executive Board. Information on the Unifor National Executive Board is available at www.unifor.org/en/about-unifor/meet-leadership

Updated National Website

Members told us about the need to improve our website, and we listened.

Starting today there are new and exciting changes to the Unifor National website and work is in progress to enhance our online presence.

Check out the new and simplified look to the homepage. These changes bring unifor.org in line with modern website layouts, relying on a simpler design with better use of images. The search function of the site is also being overhauled to help you locate great Unifor resources.

In an effort to support the needs and requests of members, the navigation has been reconfigured with new sections. While you search the site please note that our work is in progress, and materials and content will continue to be added and updated.

There a few new sections on the site that have been added:

    • A new standalone education section to help members learn about courses, conferences and the family education program;
    • A new standalone health and safety section with great resources and campaign information on your rights at work;
    • A new standalone equity section to learn about the work of committees and Unifor efforts to create a socially justice world;
    • A new standalone resource section to find research briefs, government submissions; and there is more.

As content is reviewed and updated on the site wide there has been a focus to ensure full bilingualism of all materials. The site can be viewed in either English or French but simply selecting your desired language, this button is located on the top of the home page.

Changes to the site are based directly on testing conducted with members during 2016 and an accessibility and usability audit that was conducted. The Communications Department will continue to find ways to improve the site. Tell us what you think – email communications@unifor.org.

Building a Better, More Balanced NAFTA

Sisters and brothers,

As most of you know, the governments of Canada, Mexico and the United States are just over one month away from starting talks to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

NAFTA hasn’t been good for workers or to Canada, despite what corporate and government cheerleaders say. In fact, NAFTA and other so-called “free trade agreements” haven’t been good to workers anywhere, right across the continent. The promises of prosperity didn’t materialize as advertised. U.S. and Canadian manufacturing has been hammered. Wage growth has barely kept up with inflation. Mexican living standards are as poor, if not worse, than before NAFTA was signed.

While some are afraid at the prospect of reopening this bad trade deal, our union welcomes the opportunity. This is the first chance we’ve had in a generation to fix NAFTA – and we are going to take full advantage of it.

I’ve been public about my views too. Meaningful changes to NAFTA won’t be made by small twists and tweaks, as I noted in a recent interview with BNN (watch it here). And making NAFTA look more like the hated Trans-Pacific Partnership, as the U.S. hopes to do, won’t cut it either.

Fixing NAFTA means thinking differently. It means boldly resetting our priorities on trade. It means raising standards for workers, not trampling on them. It also means setting a new benchmark to define what a truly “fair” and “progressive” trade agenda looks like. The kind of trade deals that Canada has right now, just don’t cut it.

As negotiations near, our union has laid out a set of initial recommendations for Canada’s negotiating team. You can find those in our submission to Global Affairs Canada, attached. To help share our recommendations with co-workers, friends and family we have also produced a short, one-page summary sheet which you can find here. Of course, we’ll have more to say as negotiations get going, and new issues emerge.

Most importantly, I want you to get ready. There’ll be a lot more talk about trade at our upcoming Canadian Council in Winnipeg, and I am excited to talk with you about a plan of action and next steps. Unifor will be leading the charge for a fair trade future. And we need all local unions and members fully engaged to send a message to the federal government.

Keep up the great work sisters and brothers.

In solidarity,

Jerry Dias, National President

IT Workers of Saskatchewan, Unite!

Welcome to Unifor Local 911. The Information Technology UNIon FOR everyone! On Labour Day 2013, two great unions, CEP  (Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada and CAW (Canadian Auto Workers, sent over 4,000 delegates from all over Canada to the city of Toronto where they joined to form Unifor Canada, the largest trade union in the country. Over 300,000  strong, Unifor has members in every sector of the Canadian economy. Local 911, a former CEP union represents 350 information technology workers wherever ISM Canada, an IBM Company operates in the province of Saskatchewan, Canada.