Jagmeet Singh wins NDP leadership

CLC congratulates Jagmeet Singh on a decisive leadership win

Sunday, October 1, 2017

The Canadian Labour Congress is congratulating Jagmeet Singh on a decisive win in today’s New Democatic Party leadership vote.

“On the first ballot, Jagmeet has won the support of over half of the NDP’s membership, both from the party’s base, and those who’ve signed up because they’re excited to see a bold new vision,” said CLC President Hassan Yussuff.

“We’re looking forward to working with Jagmeet to advance the goals of working people across Canada,” he added.

Singh won 53.8 percent of the more than 60,000 votes cast in the leadership contest today.


Al Cerilli MFL Scholarship


The Al Cerilli Manitoba Federation of Labour Scholarship is a $500 award presented annually by the MFL Young Members Committee to a member of an MFL affiliated union enrolled in a continuing education or post-secondary program.

In selecting each year’s recipient, the MFL Young Members Committee looks for the applicant demonstrating the most significant record of activism in the labour movement and a commitment to continuing labour activism into the future.

The scholarship is named in honour of Al Cerilli, a long-time activist in the Manitoba labour movement.

The application deadline for this year’s award is June 30, 2017.

Download the application below.

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Al Cerilli Scholarship Application 2017 115.89 KB

Manitoba unions make last effort to stop contentious labour bills

CBC News – Kristin Annable

Manitoba’s public sector unions were working double-time Monday evening to stop the passing of two bills that will make sweeping changes to collective bargaining under the Pallister government.

Dozens of delegates lined up at two separate committee hearing rooms at the legislature to have their final say to government on two contentious labour bills before they become law in the coming months.

Union representatives ranging from Doctors Manitoba and the Manitoba Nurses Union to the Manitoba Teachers’ Society spoke out against Bill 28, which effectively takes wages off the bargaining table and institutes a two-year wage freeze for all future collective bargaining agreements.

Across the hall at another room, more gathered to speak out against Bill 29, which seeks to chop the number of bargaining units in the health sector from 183 to seven.

Representatives such as Manitoba Nurses Union president Sandi Mowat played double duty, speaking at both hearings. The contract for Manitoba’s 12,000 nurses expired in March, making it one of the first collective agreements to test the bill that will mandate two years of freezes, followed by a 0.75 per cent raise in the third year, and one per cent in the fourth.

“It infringes on our right to bargain,” said Mowat of Bill 28. “We are concerned that this bill actually infringes on our charter rights to bargain collectively.”

Mowat wouldn’t confirm that a legal challenge is in the works if the bill becomes law, but said her union is looking into the idea.

Manitoba Teachers’ Society president Norm Gould called the bill “Draconian” and said it contradicted promises made by Premier Brian Pallister that he would consult with unions before passing such legislation.

“Our hope is that they will come to their senses and allow us to go to the bargaining table and work this out,” Gould said. “It is not a public sector deficit, so to put it only on the shoulders of the public sector is improper and inappropriate.”

Today’s debt is tomorrow’s tax increase: CFIB

The committee hearings allow for private citizens to speak to government officials in a public forum and offer suggestions for amendments before the bills reach third reading and then become law.

Over 30 delegates were scheduled to speak at both meetings, with Finance Minister Cameron Friesen speaking for government at the Bill 28 hearings and Health Minister Kelvin Goertzen at the head of the Bill 29 hearings.

While the vast majority were speaking in opposition to the bills, the government had a cheerleader in the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. Its director of provincial affairs, Jonathan Alward, presented in favour of the bill, saying all Manitobans are bearing the brunt of a massive deficit and something has to give.

“Today’s deficits, today’s growing debt, are going to translate to tomorrow’s tax increases,” he said.

“At the end of day, private sector companies have difficult decisions to make … the government is in that position right now,” Alward told CBC News. “They (the unions) are only showing one side of the story … this type of a wage freeze is a difficult, but necessary decision.”

‘We must do our best’: Pallister

The government has been firm on its stance that both bills are necessary to get the government’s fiscal house in order. When asked about the bills in question period by the Opposition NDP, Pallister reiterated that his government inherited a “fiscal challenge.”

“We must do our very best” to fix that, Pallister said Monday.

Pallister has previously said a one per cent increase in public sector salaries costs the government $100 million.

As for limiting collective bargaining units, Goertzen told CBC News last week that the measure will bring Manitoba in line with the rest of Canada.

He said British Columbia has five collective bargaining units. In Saskatchewan there are 14. Bill 29 would drop the number in Manitoba to seven from the current 183.

“There is so many different bargaining units, which means there is so many different labour agreements, which means every time somebody is trying to schedule somebody … or ensure there is proper coverage in a hospital or on a ward, we have to check to make sure that the individual collective agreement allows somebody to do it,” Goertzen told CBC News.

The bill also would lead to the appointment of commissioner who could supercede rulings by the Manitoba Labour Board and would not be accountable to legal challenges.

Unions will have to wait and see

Mowat said she didn’t understand the need for the bargaining unit bill, explaining that most of the units in the health care system bargain together. She also said it would also further disrupt a health-care system that is already in the midst of a major revamp with the closing of three emergency departments in Winnipeg.

“To get all these health-care unions to have to have runoff votes is not something we need right now when the health-care system is already pretty disrupted,” she said.

She described it as “interesting” that the government would appoint a commissioner.

“We will have to wait and see what the regulations say at the end of this,” she said of the appointment.

Canada’s unions celebrate federal asbestos ban

The Canadian Labour Congress is celebrating today’s announcement that the federal government is banning the manufacture, import, export and use of asbestos.

“We can all breathe easier,” said CLC president Hassan Yussuff. “This is good public health policy that will, without question, save lives for generations to come.”

“Canada’s unions, along with survivors and health advocates, have been working hard for this ban for decades. We know this will strengthen occupational health and safety protections for workers and make workplaces and public spaces safer for everyone,” said Yussuff.

This year, Canada’s unions redoubled their efforts to win a ban on asbestos, releasing a powerful video on Labour Day and staging a captivating holographic installation at West Edmonton Mall in October to raise awareness of the need for a ban.

More than 2,000 Canadians die every year from diseases caused by asbestos exposure such as mesothelioma and lung cancer. Experts estimate that 150,000 Canadians are exposed to asbestos at work, particularly in industries like construction, automobile maintenance, shipbuilding, trade contractors and waste management.

“Because these diseases have a long latency period, the danger is not over, but this is the beginning of the end,” said Yussuff. “Now we need the provinces and territories to show the same leadership that the federal government has shown and move quickly to take stock of where asbestos is, harmonize regulation around disposal and remediation, and ensure a comprehensive health response,” he added.

Yussuff also emphasized the need for governments to work with First Nations to address high levels of friable asbestos in on-reserve housing.

“We must ensure we move to protect everyone living in Canada from exposure, including those living in First Nations housing filled with asbestos-ridden vermiculite insulation,” he said.

“This week’s announcement from the federal government is the result of years of advocacy and hard work by people dedicated to safer, healthier workplaces. Today, I celebrate with them and thank them for giving the next generation of Canadians a better future, free from the pain and suffering caused by asbestos,” Yussuff said.

Al Cerilli MFL Scholarship: June deadline

The Al Cerilli Manitoba Federation of Labour Scholarship is a $500 award presented annually by the MFL Young Members Committee to a member of an MFL affiliated union enrolled in a continuing education or post-secondary program.

In selecting each year’s recipient, the MFL Young Members Committee looks for the applicant demonstrating the most significant record of activism in the labour movement and a commitment to continuing labour activism into the future.

The scholarship is named in honour of Al Cerilli, a long-time activist in the Manitoba labour movement.

The application deadline is June 24, 2016.

Abridged version of the original.

District Lodge 181 New DBR

At the March 2015 election meeting  DBR Relf announced his retirement effective July 31, 2015 at the end of his current term.

Glenn Tomchak of LL 1953 was acclaimed as the new DBR for the District.

DBR Relf thanked all the delegates for their support and patience over the 10 years he was able to be their servicing rep and wished them the best in the years to come. He stated that he was sure the locals would show Glenn the same support they had given him during his tenure as DBR and that he was going to do his best to help Glenn get up to speed on the Districts issues and challenges.

The Right to Strike is Supreme in Canada!


For Immediate Release


Toronto, ON – The Supreme Court of Canada has affirmed that the right to strike is essential to meaningful collective bargaining.

“This is a great start to the new year,” said a satisfied IAM Canadian General Vice President Dave Ritchie. “We pride ourselves in that 99 per cent of our collective agreements are settled without a strike but all too often in recent years, governments turn to unfair essential services arrangements that tip the scales in management’s favour. This decision levels the playing field for Canadian workers.”

The precedent-setting decision determined that the Saskatchewan government’s Public Service Essential Services Act (PSESA) violates the freedom of association protected by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This decision overturned a 2013 decision by the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal which had previously ruled in favour of the provincial government.

“While strike activity itself does not guarantee that a labour dispute will be resolved in any particular manner, or that it will be resolved at all, it is the possibility of a strike which enables workers to negotiate their employment terms on a more equal footing,” Justice Rosalie Abella wrote for the majority in a 5-2 ruling.

“This is great news for our members at Air Canada whose collective agreement expires in the spring of 2016,” said Ritchie. As recently as 2012, the Harper government passed legislation taking away the right to strike from 8,600 IAM Air Canada employees after contract talks had reached an impasse and strike notification was issued. Then Federal Labour minister Lisa Raitt insisted a work stoppage would not be in the best interests of the fragile Canadian economy.

“This decision takes away management’s trump card and allows us to use ours if necessary,” explained Ritchie. “The decision spells it out in plain English, the right to strike is essential to meaningful collective bargaining and what governments have been doing in the past will no longer be tolerated.”



For further information:

Dave Ritchie – IAM Canadian General Vice President

416-386-1789 Ext # 6323

Bill Trbovich – IAM Director of Communications

416-386-1789 Ext #6331/416-735-9765

Pension Innovation for Canadians: The Target Benefit Plan

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers represents over 50,000 Canadian workers.  About half of our Canadian membership is employed in the federal jurisdiction, primarily working for airlines and air transport related companies.

Most of our membership participates in registered pension plans, both single employer and multi-employer.  We have sponsored target benefit multi-employer pension plans in Canada for over 40 years and we currently sponsor two jointly-trusteed multi-employer plans, one of which is exclusively for our members in the federal private sector.

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