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.

Machinists Union ratifies new agreement with Medivan

Medivan Transportation provides 24/7 non-emergency transportation for health care system clients. The stretcher service ratified a new agreement on November 23, 2016, collectively bargained by Local 2247.

The District Executive Board and the Negotiating Committee would like to thank all members who took the time to participate in this important process.

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.

Winnipeg May Day march 2016



Winnipeg’s Labour Movement displayed strength in numbers at Winnipeg Labour Council’s annual May Day march this afternoon. Families, union members and rights activists marched in solidarity from City Hall to Market Square with a united message:

Protect the Natural and Human Environments!

Be sure to check out the May Works Program for the full month’s events!

IAM activists to meet with federal labour minister

IAM representatives will be meeting with Federal Employment, Workforce Development and Labour Minister Maryann Mihychuk on April 18 to discuss workers’ rights and benefits.

Local reps will be visiting the minister’s constituency office in Winnipeg.

For more information, or to join, contact Glenn Tomchak at (204) 979-1665 or Tony Didoshak (204) 771-9989.

LL 1953 MCI Negotiations Progressing

LL 1953 has met with MCI seven times over the last few months and has scheduled seven more until the end of May. The committee has hopes that they will be able to have a contract to bring back for ratification by that time.

We ask that you continue the support you have show your committee in the last few contract votes.