Unifor National Update:
Supporting workers through a crisis
We’re a few weeks into the COVID-19 public health crisis that is causing tremendous impacts on our members across the country.
In these troubled times, our union is focused on two main priorities. Firstly, we are doing everything we can to flatten the curve of contagion so that our health care system, and the front-line workers who keep it afloat, can be protected and withstand large-scale propagation of this virus. Secondly, we are supporting our members through the economic impacts of job losses, layoffs, and helping expand and access income replacement programs.
This is the most difficult situation any of us have faced in our combined experience as trade unionists.
In accordance to government advisories and in consultation with Public Health, we have decided to close Unifor National and Regional offices for the time being. Our union is operating remotely and entirely focused on supporting our members in this difficult time. We have made alternative arrangements for any work normally conducted in our offices, and have also developed work-from-home guidelines for staff.
Local unions should determine if and when their own offices should close after conducting risk-assessments and consulting with Public Health authorities.
For the health and well-being of our members and staff, we have made the difficult decision to cancel all Port Elgin programming until September 2020. All areas schools have also been cancelled for this period, but we will be monitoring the situation and will reassess based on ongoing developments with respect to COVID-19.
We have new materials and resources being posted daily. As questions and concerns arise from our membership, our entire team is focused on providing answers, support and continuing to call on various governments to be there for workers in this crisis. Some of the new resources include:
- How to access Employment Insurance
- Resources for Joint Health and Safety committees and representatives
- Fact sheets for seasonal, part-time, full-time, and gig workers
- Sector-based letters and resources
- And many more at www.unifor.org/covid-19
We know this isn’t easy for anyone, and we hope that, through our work together, we can protect the health and safety of all our members, their families, and the broader public in Canada.
As always, we encourage you to reach out to us when issues arise in your workplaces and within your membership.