Thunder Bay

Unifor stops in Thunder Bay to discuss 'attacks' on labour rights

A national campaign aimed at revitalizing unions made a stop in Thunder Bay on Wednesday.
Unifor economist Jordan Brennan gave a presentation to the roughly 100 people who attended Wednesday's meeting. (Adam Burns/CBC)

A national campaign aimed at revitalizing unions made a stop in Thunder Bay on Wednesday.

About 100 people gathered at the Finlandia Club for a meeting organized by Unifor, the country's biggest private-sector union.

Jerry Dias, Unifor's national president, said the new rail car order at the Thunder Bay Bombardier plant showcases the importance of unions.

"Bombardier is hiring, is strong. They just finished getting a whole bunch more work,” he said.

“Those are real jobs. Those are real manufacturing jobs."

Unifor national president Jerry Dias says unions are under attack by governments across Canada, including the federal Conservatives. (Adam Burns/CBC)

Unifor is preparing for a nationwide campaign against what Dias calls an attack on basic labour rights by governments across the country — including a federal government bill the union says will make it easier to decertify unions in the federal sector.

“This government firmly believes that, 'We'll just let the business community do whatever they want, and somehow the trickle-down effect is gonna put people to work’,” he said.

“Well it's not working. It hasn't been working for years, and Canadians are starting to understand that."

The national campaign was expected to continue Wednesday afternoon in Sudbury.

Unifor was founded Labour Day weekend, 2013, when the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers unions merged. With more than 300,000 members, Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector.


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