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Unifor locals encouraged to submit proposals to Local Union Equity Fund

Press Release

June 12, 2024

The Local Union Equity Fund was established in 2023 to support locals in their efforts to build equity.

“Unifor members are doing incredible work in their communities to break down barriers and foster a culture where all workers feel a sense of solidarity and belonging,” says Unifor National President Lana Payne. “This fund is about members coming together to make our workplaces and union stronger, more inclusive, and responsive to the challenges facing working people today.”

The fund, with $250,000 available for its inaugural year, supports the grassroots work Unifor members are doing to address the specific needs of equity-deserving members.

“Collective bargaining is one of the most powerful ways workers are challenging power and achieving equity—but it’s not the only one, our members are tackling issues head-on in their communities. Together we must address the systemic barriers that prevent people from thriving at work and in society to ensure that no one is left behind in the future of work that we’re building,” continued Payne.

The deadline for Unifor locals to apply to the fund is July 26, 2024. The first round of funding was awarded to four local projects that each respond to the unique needs of their communities.

“Our members’ drive and determination to do this important equity work is what makes this fund truly transformative,” says Unifor Human Rights Representative Tricia Brown. “The issues facing all working people today are rooted in deep, systemic inequality. Income and gender inequality, the growing wealth gap, and the rise of hate in Canada are all interconnected—which is why unions have always been on the forefront of the most profound social movements in our history.”

Here are the projects selected for the first round of funding:

  • Local 111 International Day of Pink event to build awareness about the impact of bullying on the 2SLGBTQIA+ community.
  • Local 531 Red Dress Day to raise awareness of the high rates of violence, disappearance, and murder of Indigenous women, girls, and Two-Spirit people, pay tribute to the lives of those who have gone missing due to violence and show respect for their families and communities, challenge harmful stereotypes and stigmas that contribute to the marginalization.
  • Local MWF-1’s Walk with BIWOC initiative to bring members together to create opportunities for understanding and learning.
  • Unifor Atlantic Region BIWOC Committee’s International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination event to bring Halifax locals together to address systemic discrimination and dismantle barriers.

“To really address the needs of all workers, we must work together to uproot the systems that prevent their full participation in their workplaces and communities. These initiatives do just that. This work also means recognizing that regressive anti-worker practices like scab labour, high costs-of-living and borrowing, automation, and mass layoffs affects some groups of our members differently,” continued Payne.

Unifor locals are encouraged to apply to the fund and get in touch with Unifor’s Human Rights department with questions and ideas for projects.

About the Local Union Equity Fund

The Local Union Equity Fund was created to encourage and support local unions who wish to step up their work on equity issues. The fund aims to broaden the work of equity-deserving groups within the Union and encourage more local unions to dedicate time and resources to equity campaigns and initiatives.

Contact the Unifor Human Rights department at equity@unifor.org to ask questions and learn more and get involved in our union’s equity work.

Media Contact
Paul Whyte
NATIONAL COMMUNICATIONS REPRESENTATIVE

Email

Paul.Whyte@unifor.org

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