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Ontario's Union for fairness, equality and respect at work.

UFCW Canada Local 1006A proudly joined community and labour allies and activists on April 11 for Equal Pay Day in downtown Toronto.

Equal Pay Day is a stark reminder of how far we as a society have to go before we truly achieve gender equality.

The Ontario Equal Pay Coalition reports women, on average, have to work until April 11, 2017 to earn what a man did in 2016. In other words, a woman has to work 15 ½ months to earn what a man makes in 12 months.  With women increasingly becoming the breadwinners within their families, the persistent pay gap has a profound impact on the financial security of workers and their families and the overall prosperity of our economy.

"Precarious work remains the reality for many women, and is one of the contributing factors to the gender wage gap," said Glacier Samuel, Recorder of Local 1006A and coordinator of the Women's Issues Network (WIN). "Unionization is vital to stopping the increase in precarious work as it provides workers with increased access to stable schedulign and hours." 

Samuel, who spoke at the downtown rally, encouraged workers and allies to join UFCW Canada's campaign, Closing the Gender Wage Gap

"We, as a society, have to do better," said President Wayne Hanley. "Eliminating the gender pay gap is about standing up for equality and fairness for all and we need to raise awareness and take action where and when we can. When women prosper, so do their families and their communities."

Tachani Bishop, a union activist from Toronto, said it's important that we keep observing Equal Pay Day.

"Women juggle many roles, including being a mother, and being in the workforce. It is wrong that women are not being paid equally and getting the respect they deserve." 

Caroline Brisebois, a union activist from Ottawa, was proud to observe the day.

"It's so important that we take the time to reflect on Equal Pay Day," Brisebois said. "More and more women are the main breadwinners in their families and it's only fair that a woman is paid the same as men for the same work."

Cathy Watson, an activist from North Bay, said: "Long after we are gone, future generations will be happy that our union sisters and brothers were there long before them, fighting for them for equal pay. If we want to right the wrongs, we have to be loud enough to let everyone know we deserve to be equal."

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  • As a follow up to our membership meeting, the union has received an employee contact list from the employer. We have reconciled our list with their list and it was noted that we do no have cell phone numbers for 8 members.  We are currently working on getting these missing numbers to ensure all members have access to these updates.

    As discussed at the meeting, the union also requested of the employer that 6 members be allowed to form the negotiating committee; 2 members from fleet, and 4 from the plant, representing various job classifications. The employer has yet to agree to the number of committee members based on ensuring “minimal business disruption”.

    Although we’ve also requested to negotiate the fleet and plant together, as they were separate certifications, we may be faced with two separate sets of negotiations. 

    A link to nominate bargaining committee members will be sent to you soon.  When looking to nominate someone, or nominate yourself, please take into consideration that those sitting at the negotiations table may likely be your future union stewards.  You should feel confident with these representatives to ensure that they will look out for the needs of all classifications and your bargaining unit as a whole and not just their individual needs.  These representatives should be knowledgeable and have a good understanding of the business. 

    For clarity, our proposed bargaining unit includes workers from Waste Water.  The employer has challenged Waste Water based on “having a different community of interest”.  We wholeheartedly disagree with this challenge and will first attempt to include this classification in negotiations.  Failing this, we will request hearings at the Ontario Labour Board to argue our position, which we feel we have  a very strong position.

    This attempt at challenging Waster Water is simply an effort for the employer to continue to divide and detract from your goal of achieving the best union contract for your co-workers. 

    Unfortunately, we may be faced with having to follow due process at the Labour Board in order to resolve this matter. 

    Remember – your union cannot stop the employer from making business decisions.  We unfortunately have to wait for them to act before we can respond accordingly.

    We know this seems counterintuitive but we will hold them accountable to you by means of utilizing the Labour Relations Act.  Our hope is to eventually build a relationship that will avoid utilizing the act to expedite resolutions. 

    Thank you for all your continued support during this transition period. 

    Stay strong and stay united!  Workers matter and your voice is being heard.   

    Visit our 'New to the Union' section for more information. 

     
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