National Day of Mourning, April 28, 2023

Unifor logo, April 28 Day of Mourning, black background with candles buring.

Each day we benefit from the labour of millions of workers who give large proportions of their lives to provide us with everything that makes up modern life, from providing power and fuel to making finished goods and moving and taking care of people. Sadly, every year, thousands suffer injury or illness because of their working conditions and horrifyingly, workers continue to die on the job or as a result of it.

Since our last Day of Mourning, we remember Unifor members:

Yan Ni, Local 252

Camil Pouliot, Local 299

Adam Love, Local 4268

Michael Daye, Local 506

Brad Poupard, Local 2009AP

Jean-Xavier Proulx, Local 299

Terry Roberts, FFAW-Unifor

Michael Gravelle, Local 6008

Paul Totten, Local 45

They are not forgotten.

“Mourn the Dead, Fight for the Living”

The slogan for the Day of Mourning reflects the need to remember those who have lost their lives but also contains a strong reminder of the need to press for improvements in health and safety in our workplaces, ensuring workers are protected from the workplace hazards that lead to preventable, needless death, serious injury or illness.

On April 28, too many Canadians can name a victim of a workplace fatality, disease or injury. The years may have passed but the work-related death statistics have not improved. Multiple fatality incidents every year across the country still shock us. On average, three Canadians die every day from their work. As a society, we must do more to protect working people.

The lives of the families of those killed and injured in these and other workplace tragedies change immeasurably; they often feel let down by a justice system that takes far too long to establish exactly how their loved ones died, or in the case of those injured or ill, the circumstances that led to them to suffer life-changing injuries or illnesses.

Occupational health and safety laws across Canada require employers to take every precaution reasonable to safeguard workers. When this duty of care is not met, employers can be subject to compliance orders and prosecution. But when this breach amounts to a wanton or reckless disregard for the lives and safety of workers resulting in death or bodily harm, justice demands more. The Canadian labour movement  lobbied for 12 years to amend the Criminal Code which is embodied in Bill C-45, also known as the ‘Westray Law’, which was enacted in 2004.

Although there is a need for new or improved health and safety regulations in a number of areas, even more urgently, Unifor demands that all Canadian regulators enforce existing laws vigorously and effectively, including the Criminal Code Amendments.

On April 28, please take time to reflect on the service rendered to each of us by thousands of unseen workers who make up the workforce in our communities and who support the lives we lead. This is also an important time to revisit your workplace’s health and safety measures and review the resources available through your union.

Let us collectively ensure that this year’s Day of Mourning observances send a strong message to all governments and law enforcement agencies. At every opportunity, we need to tell our elected politicians that we want action and we intend to support only those who will give us this commitment.

Download Unifor’s Day of Mourning poster and social media sharables here. Post messages on social media, tag your representatives, and tell them we demand strong protection for workers.

We ask all Unifor Locals to share stories and photos of activities and events related to participation in this year’s Day of Mourning activities at

Unifor Day at Canada’s Wonderland

Unifor Day Canada's Wonderland a asian family smiling at the park

Dear members,

GTA members and their families are invited to Unifor’s Member Appreciation Day at Canada’s Wonderland on Sunday July 9, 2023. This day of family fun is brought to you by Unifor National and your Ontario Regional Council.

Download the Unifor Wonderland poster to display in your local or workplace here.

Discounted tickets are as follows:

  • $49.99 Ages 3 and up. Includes parking, admission, rides, and lunch at the Courtyard Buffet.
  • $19.99 for Courtyard Buffet only (park admission required to gain entry).
  • Free for kids under age 2.

9:00-10:00 a.m. Special Unifor hour with early access to some rides.

Wear Unifor swag or red for a chance to win prizes.

Purchase tickets now at

Delta Toronto Airport Hotel

Members who wish to book overnight accommodations can call the Delta Toronto Airport hotel at (416) 244-1711 and request the Unifor rate of $169/night which includes breakfast and self parking.

Visit our website event page.

Unifor celebrates Asian Heritage Month

Asian Hertiage Month

Representation matters.

Unifor celebrates Asian Heritage Month in May by joining with our members to celebrate accomplishments and honour people’s complex and diverse experiences from all across Asia including, eastern, northern, southeast, central and western Asia – from language and culture to stories of immigration.

Asian Heritage Month has been celebrated since the 1990s, but it wasn’t until 2001, that the Canadian Senate adopted a motion proposed by Senator Vivienne Poy to officially designate May as Asian Heritage Month. The following year, the Canadian government officially declared May as Asian Heritage Month.

2023 is significant as it marks the 100th anniversary of the revocation of the head tax, a large fee charged to discourage Chinese people from entering Canada. Shamefully, it was replaced with the Chinese Immigration Act – also known as the “Chinese Exclusion Act” – which virtually halted all immigration from China.

It took until 1947 for the government to repeal the Act, but Chinese immigrants were still treated inequitably. In 2006, the Canadian government formally acknowledged, and apologized for this discriminatory treatment.

Discrimination and racism are not things of the past. During the pandemic, there was a 300% increase in police-reported hate crimes, according to StatsCan.

Most recently, some members of the Chinese-Canadian community have expressed concern about racist backlash relating to geopolitical incidents involving China.

With anti-Asian sentiment and racially motivated crimes against people of Asian descent still prevalent, we must also see Asian Heritage Month as a time to act, to come together to combat all forms of anti-Asian racism and discrimination.

Our union is committed to anti-racism and has expressed clear calls of action to demand government support of Asian community organizations and for measures to help end racism and discrimination.

We believe it is the role of our union to create safer workplaces and dedicated spaces to celebrate the invaluable contributions and accomplishments of Asian people and our diverse membership, by bargaining for workplace protections. This includes initiatives such as bargaining float days that could be used for culturally significant days.

We encourage all locals, unions and Unifor activists to not only encourage workplaces to create opportunities for our Asian, and Black, Indigenous and Workers of Colour members in leadership roles, but to heed the same call.

By being in leadership roles, Asian voices can be properly heard and represented, with the ability to make real change.

We call on our members to be allies. Examine your thoughts and closely held views of Asian people for unconscious biases. Recognize and understand the challenges and barriers faced by Asian and South Asian members of our communities and of our union. Do not stand by silently. Speak against xenophobia, challenge stereotypes and support those experiencing racism and discrimination.

Let’s embrace our workers’ successes. We encourage members of the diverse Asian communities to spread their messages of calls to action and positive achievements on social media and for all members to post our new shareable, using the hashtag, #Unifor4RacialJustice.

For more information on Asian Heritage Month, visit this page.

Global working-class resistance resonates across borders on May Day

May 1 International Workers' Day, colourfull graphic fists in the air.

Unifor proudly marks  International Workers’ Day, celebrated internationally on May 1, as workers and trade uinons continue to struggle for peace, equality, and economic and social justice.

This past year has been particularly challenging for workers as central bankers and corporate profiteers in Canada and elsewhere have waged an open war on the working-class. Shamefully, they have blamed workers for rising inflation and the high cost of living, asserting that too many people are working and that worker wages are increasing too rapidly.

Globally repressive regimes continue to target trade union leaders and labour activists , highlighting the ongoing dangers workers face in attempting to exercise their basic rights. The recent murder of Alex Dolorosa, a call centre union organizer in the Philippines, and the imprisonment of trade union leaders like Reza Shahabi, Hassan Saeedi, and Nasrin Javadi in Iran, among others, demonstrate the need for greater protection of workers’ rights.

Despite these challenges, workers are refusing to stand idle in the face of injustice.

From all corners of the earth, we see workers organizing, mobilizing and resisting the economic and political forces that seek to enrich the lives of a few at the expense of the many.

This resurgence in labour activity is evident across the globe, with Germany recently experiencing one of its largest strikes in decades as transport workers demanded fair wages. Similarly, over a million workers and trade unionists in France took to the streets to protest the government’s pension reforms and raising of the country’s retirement age. In the U.S., Michigan recently became the first state to repeal regressive “right-to-work” legislation thanks to the advocacy of trade unions. Meanwhile, Canada is witnessing one of its largest labour strikes in decades, with 155,000 public servants represented by the PSAC fighting for a fair collective agreement.

As labour union activists, we must never be complacent when it comes to safeguarding our rights.

Right-wing governments look for every opportunity to chip away at the union movement’s hard-fought victories. We saw how quickly the labour movement in Canada united and displayed unprecedented solidarity against Ontario Premier Doug Ford when his government attempted to curtail union rights to bargain by imposing a contract on CUPE education workers. This was followed by the invocation of the Constitution’s notwithstanding clause to override the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms so that the union could not challenge the government’s decision.

These victories inspire workers to continue fighting, even when the odds seem against us. Connecting our local struggles globally only serves to strengthen working-class unity and is the foundation from which we will create a fairer and more equitable world.

I am wishing all Unifor members, locals and activists a Happy May Day!

In solidarity,

Lana Payne
National President

An Open Letter Concerning the PSAC Strike

To: The Honourable Mona Fortier, President of the Treasury Board, House of Commons
Workers whose job it is to assist other workers when they need EI income benefits are now on strike for a fair contract.
The undersigned community and civil society organizations urgently call on the federal government to negotiate a fair collective agreement with striking Service Canada workers.
We work with and advocate on behalf of unemployed workers and others in need of EI when they’re laid off, on sick or parental leave, or require training. Many are vulnerable or racialized. We know firsthand how important it is that their EI applications and appeals are processed in a timely fashion. The livelihood of individuals and families depend on it.
Across the country, tens of thousands of Canadians rely on the front-line Service Canada workers who administer the EI program. The vast majority are represented by the Canada Employment Immigration Union (CEIU), a component of the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) which declared a nationwide strike on April 19th.
To properly serve clients and do this vital work, Service Canada employees need improved staffing levels. They also deserve respect and wages that allow them to keep up with inflation.
Not long ago the Government of Canada thanked public service workers like those at Service Canada for their critically important and high-quality service during the Covid pandemic.
We couldn’t agree more. It’s now time to negotiate a fair deal with PSAC and a collective agreement that respects and values the vital work of Service Canada workers… day-in and day-out.

– On behalf of the Inter-provincial EI Working Group

Endorsed by the following organizations:

  • Action chômage Kamouraska
  • Action-Chômage Côte-Nord
  • Alberta Federation of Labour
  • Child Care Now
  • Community Unemployed Help Centre
  • Conseil national des chômeurs et chômeuses (CNC)
  • CTF / FCE Canadian Teachers’ Federation
  • DIgnidad Migrante Society
  • Good Jobs for All Coalition
  • HIV & AIDS Legal Clinic Ontario (HALCO)
  • Income Security Advocacy Centre
  • Justice for Workers
  • Le Mouvement autonome et solidaire des sans-emploi (MASSE)
  • MacKillop Centre for Social Justice, PEI
  • New Brunswick Federation of Labour
  • Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Labour
  • Ontario Federation of Labour
  • Open Policy Ontario
  • Parkdale Community Legal Services
  • PEI Coalition for a Poverty Eradication Strategy
  • PEI Federation of Labour
  • Quinte Immigration Services
  • Social Planning Council of Winnipeg
  • South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario (SALCO)
  • Toronto & York Region Labour Council
  • Unemployed Workers Help Centres, Saskatchewan
  • Unifor
  • United Steelworkers (USW) National
  • United Steelworkers’ Toronto Area Council
  • Vancouver & District Labour Council
  • Workers’ Action Centre