The workers are on strike - and they're getting their way
Unions in Ontario negotiate with retailers and vote to strike.
Canadian workers continue to fight for their rights. Unifor, one of the country's largest unions (more than 315,000 members), working in all major sectors of the Canadian economy, has issued a statement on the results of the recent strike. A month-long strike by employees of the Metro retail chain ended in success on August 31: the management of the grocery giant was forced to come to the negotiating table. In addition, sociologists believe that public support for labor strikes is growing in Canada, and this may also be affecting their results. For example, many Canadians refused to shop at Metro during strike weeks.
Unifor representatives today joined Trudeau's demand announced last week. According to the Prime Minister and union members, large retailers should take into account the high inflation of the last two years and stabilize food prices. Unifor is also pushing for global wage increases for industry employees and is in talks with representatives of Metro, Sobeys and Loblaws. The union plans to use the success of the summer strike as a template.
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The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO), which represents about 83,000 teachers, caregivers and some other education staff, is also serious. Today, the union launched a vote for or against a strike. The reason for the vote is the organization's dissatisfaction with the pace of negotiations with the government to improve working conditions.
ETFO President Karen Brown sees the vote as one of the tools of the fight. It should convince officials that the organization is serious.
"There is never a guarantee of gains during bargaining, but the best chance of getting government cuts off the table and getting the improvements ETFO members and students need is to give the legal bargaining process a chance. That includes participating in the legal steps of the collective bargaining process, like taking strike votes and conciliation."
ETFO has been negotiating with the Ford government for more than a year. The union has reached some agreements, but the majority of members found them insufficient. The ETFO members' vote will continue until October 17, and the Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association will hold its strike vote on October 18 and 19.
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