Friends, 2022 is nearly at a close. It has been another difficult year for many. With inflation, a housing crisis, our healthcare system in shambles, and supplier shortages leading to layoffs, 2022 has taken its toll.
However, this year also had its successes. The Local negotiated fifteen contracts over the course of 2022, with two of those to be finalized early in the new year. Not a single agreement was concessionary. Each saw wage gains, benefit increases, and language amendments. I would like to thank Bargaining Committees at each one of those units for their dedication and hard work on behalf of the membership.
The following units saw contract renewals:
Iafrate, Welded Tube, Ed Learn Ford, Grimsby Ford, Niagara Motors, Brian Cullen Motors, City of Welland, Securitas, Welland Chevrolet, Tora, Assemble Rite, John Bear and Genaire. Pleasant Manor and Canada Forge to be finalized in 2023.
This year the Local endeavoured to rekindle membership involvement. A successful golf tournament, Labour Day Celebration, Walk-A-Mile In Her Shoes event, Alzheimer’s Walk, Vigil for Action on Violence Against Women, and first ever Family Holiday Movie Event are just a few examples. These are events that we, as a Local, want to continue to build on and grow.
The Local has also seen an increase in member involvement on Standing Committees. After multiple years of limited engagement, I can excitedly report that twenty two members put their names forward for various committees. I would like to thank all the volunteers who have come forward. Without your activism and participation, some of our events would never be possible. It also should be noted, that anyone can join a Standing Committee at any time by reaching out via email at President@Unifor199.org.
This year also marked a historic moment for our Union. Sister Lana Payne was elected National President during the Canadian Constitutional Convention held in Toronto this past August. Lana, along with Len Poirier, Financial Secretary; Daniel Coultier, Quebec Regional Director; Gavin McGarrigle, Western Regional Director; Jennifer Murray, Eastern Regional Director; and Naureen Rizvi, Ontario Regional Director, make up the new National leadership group.
Elections were also held at the Ontario Regional Council in December of this year. With the support of members of our Executive Board, I was honoured to run for, and win, a position as Member At Large on the Ontario Regional Council. This would never have been possible without the support of the membership, members of the Executive Board, and delegates from across all of Ontario.
Regardless of all the other events or historic moments, there is one thing that must be recognized above all else. That is you, the membership. Despite all the struggles this year has offered, you have gone to work. You have produced the highest quality goods, offered the highest quality service, and provided the highest quality care. You are second to none.
In my role I have had the opportunity to meet outstanding members from every workplace. From the Healthcare Heroes at Pleasant Manor, to mechanics at the six dealerships, to steel workers at Welded Tube, to line workers at General Motors, to officers at Securitas and the Casino – and so many others. To work with dedicated Chairpeople, Stewards and Representatives all focused on doing their best on behalf of the members they represent.
So in closing, thank you. Thank you all for your hard work, commitment, and activism. Thank you for going to work and doing your best. Thank you for making 2022 a successful year.
Here’s to 2023 being even better!
Wishing you all a safe and happy holidays!
Jordan Lennox, President