Unifor signs first contract since its inception

Non-traditional workplaces targeted by new super-union

New mega-union Unifor has ratified its very first contract since its formation at the beginning of September.

And as national president Jerry Dias promised during Unifor’s founding convention, this collective agreement has targeted a non-traditional, virtual workplace.

Signed between Unifor Local 433 and their employer, Left Hand Media Co-op back in August, the eight staff members mailed their votes in, which were counted on Sept. 1. Since Left Hand Media is a virtual workplace — with staff located across British Columbia and Alberta — the majority of negotiations were conducted via email and over the internet.

“This is what Unifor is all about,” Dias said. “We want to help workers who have been left out of traditional unions.”

Even more rare is that, because the company’s staff are also its owners, one of their own members sat on the management side of the bargaining table.

The contract includes a two per cent wage increase for each of the two years, designated days off and shift differentials, something Unifor said was not in place before.

Earlier this month, the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) union and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers (CEP) union merged to form Unifor — and solidified its title as the largest private sector union in the country.

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