Campaign to Raise the Minimum Wage

Are you concerned about the growing poverty levels in our communities? Want to do something about it? Then join us!

Saturday November 9th, 2013
Guest speaker: Pam Frache,
Minimum Wage Campaign
Club Capri, 36 Cleveland, Thorold

For more information please contact
or call 905-932-1646

Minimum wage in Ontario has been frozen at $10.25 for three years.  There is a campaign to raise the minimum wage to $14.00/hour at in order to help bring workers and their families above the poverty line.  Visit the web site to send tweets and e-mails to Premier Wynne, and to learn more about the campaign.

Ontario workers are struggling to get by working 2 or 3 low paying jobs. No one should work full
time and yet still live in poverty. The minimum wage has been frozen at $10.25 for three years and there has been a large increase in the number of people living in poverty.

Minimum Wage

Low Income Measure (1)

% Below LIM


$10.25 per hour

$18,655 per year (2)

$ 21,772 per year



$10.25 per hour

$18,655 per year (2)

$ 23,105 per year (3)


1) Statistics Canada " Low Income Lines 2011-2012" June 2013

2) Based on a 35 hour work week.

3) Based on an estimated two percent increase in CPI each year since 2010. The actual increase in the Ontario all items CPI was 3.1 percent in 2011, 1.4 percent in 2012 and is not available for 2013.

An increase in the minimum wage to $14.00 in 2013 would bring workers and their families 10% above the poverty line – and a commitment to annual cost-of-living adjustments.  

Toronto Star editorial: Don't Wait, Boost the minimum wage

Bill C-377 Returns to Parliament. Take action!

After the vote amending Bill C-377 in the Senate, the Canadian Labour Congress hoped that the government would at least give pause and think about the implications of legislation that was poorly written, discriminatory and unconstitutional.

However, it appears that notwithstanding the message from the Senate and the report and
recommendations of the Banking, Trade and Commerce Committee, which heard from many witnesses opposed to the bill, the government is still prepared to push the bill through Parliament.

We are asking you to call the Senators listed below and urge them to carefully consider the purpose of  the bill, its discriminatory and unconstitutional nature and vote to defeat Bill C-377.

Flyer with list of Senators

Activists Appreciation Awards Dinner December 5th

The Niagara Regional Labour Council will be hosting its annual Activists Appreciation Awards Dinner on December 5, 2013.  It will be held at the UNIFOR (CAW) Hall at 124 Bunting Rd, St. Catharines commencing at 5:30pm.  Tickets are $30.00 each.

This is an event to express appreciation for the hard work that Union Health and Safety, Social Justice, political activists, and committee members do.  It is sponsored by the Workers' Health and Safety Centre and the Niagara Regional Labour Council.

Four awards will be presented at the dinner:

The Health and Safety Activist Award, sponsored by the Workers' Health and Safety Centre.
The Occupational Disease Response Team Activist Award, sponsored by the Ontario Federation of Labour.
The Eric Blair Social Activist Award, sponsored by the Niagara Regional Labour Council.
The Peter Kormos Political Activist Award, sponsored by the Niagara Regional Labour Council

To nominate an individual, e-mail for the nomination form and further information on the nomination process.  Nominations are due by November 1st, 2013.

Ticket Order Form

Take Back The Night 2013

Take Back the Night takes place on September 19th, 2013.  Event begins at 6:30pm at the St. Catharines Central Library.

Join us as we rally, march and unite in solidarity to challenge rape culture and promote a future without sexual violence.  This years theme "Find Your Voice" reaches out to both survivors and bystanders to take an active stance in breaking the cycle of sexual violence.  Open to all ages, sexes and genders.

Event Poster

Labour Day Celebrations Monday September 2

Labour Day celebrations in Niagara will begin as usual at the Merritton Lions parade, leaving the Pen Centre on Monday, September 2nd at 11:00 am and going along Glendale Avenue and Merritt Street.  Please arrive by 10:00 am in the forming-up area on the west side of the Pen Centre near the cinemas.

Union celebrations after the parade are at the CAW 199 Hall, 124 Bunting Road, St. Catharines.  All union members and their families and friends are invited to attend.  Food and beverages will be available at a modest cost.  There are inflatables and pony rides for our younger folks.  Music will be provided by “Syndication”.

Statistics on the union advantage in Niagara

Niagara Shadow Summit July 24-25

ALL OUT to Tell Harper to Renew Canada’s Health Accord – July 24/25 
    Premiers from across Canada are going to Niagara-on-the-Lake in July for the “Council of the Federation” meetings. This is the last Council of the Federation before the expiration of the National Health Accord in 2014.

    Come out to Protect National Public Medicare & Stop the Federal Government from Walking Away from the Table.
    The Shadow Summit will take place on Wednesday July 24, 2013 from 10:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. at St. Mark’s Anglican Church, located at 41 Byron Street in beautiful Niagara-on-the-Lake. Registration is critical as we will be providing brown bag lunches and need to know numbers well in advance.  The rally begins (arrive early) at the same location on July 25th at 11 a.m.
    There will be a bus going to NOTL on both days starting in Port Colborne, with stops in Welland and St. Catharines.  Space is limited, so reserve your spot using the bus reservation form below if you need transportation.
    Mass Rally to Uphold National Public Medicare & win a Renewed Health Accord – Thursday, July 25, 11 am

Niagara Fights "Right to Work"

Niagara Fights "Right to Work" Conference
Date: Saturday, June 15th
Time: 9:30 AM
Location: CAW Local 199 Hall, 124 Bunting Rd, St. Catharines
Admission: Free

Prof. Bryan Palmer - Trent University
Tami Friedman - Brock University Labour Studies
Sam Gindin - past CAW Research Director
John Clarke - Ontario Coalition Against Poverty
Mike Kohloff - Lansing, Michigan Workers Centre
Malcolm Allen - MP Welland Ontario

Music, display tables, and food.
For more information contact Bruce Allen: or 905-934-6233.

Sponsored by the Niagara Regional Labour Council.

Tribute to Peter Kormos, 1952-2013

Welland MPP Peter Kormos – a one-of-a-kind socialist cowboy and a stalwart in Ontario’s New Democratic Party for 23 years – hung up his signature cowboy boots on March 30, 2013 when he passed away peacefully in his home at age 60.
“There is no question that Peter’s firebrand politics, brilliant speaking skills and unwavering convictions earned him a place as the true conscience of Queen’s Park,” said OFL President Sid Ryan. “Peter had a deep respect for working class people that permeated everything he did. He didn’t believe that you could be a part-time supporter of Labour."
A Memorial Tribute and Reception will be held at Pleasantview Funeral Home (located at the corner of Hwy 20 and Merrittville Hwy, Thorold 905-892-1699) on Saturday, May 11th, 2013 at 1 PM . Father Nicholas Deak, Pastor of St John the Baptist Hungarian Greek Catholic Church Officiating.

In the spirit of Peter’s lifelong commitment to social justice, donations of time or financial support may be directed to your local charities that help those in need.

An online book of condolence and funeral home location map is available at You are invited to share in the creation of the site by adding a condolence and any remembrances, photos, and video clips appropriate to the life of Peter Kormos. Simply click on the link and start sharing your valued memories. 

To read the OFL's full tribute to Peter, click here.

CCPA releases Alternative Federal Budget

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives has released its annual Alternative Federal Budget.  This year's AFB shows how growth-killing austerity can be replaced by a plan that strengthens the economy, leads to a better quality of life for all Canadians, and eliminates the deficit by 2016.

The Alternative Federal Budget shows what the federal government could do if it decided to seriously tackle Canadians' largest social, economic, and environmental concerns.

You can download and read the Alternative Federal Budget here.

The CCPA has also released a report on Ontario's austerity measures, entitled More Harm than Good: Austerity's Impact in Ontario.

Stop the Corporate Tax Giveaways

Corporate executives in Canada will be dancing in their suites and celebrating Corporate Tax Freedom Day on January 30. A CLC research report shows that by that date corporations will have paid their entire share of taxes for the year to all levels of government.

Corporate income taxes in 2011 amounted to only 8.3% of all government revenues, down from 8.8% in 2010 and an average of 11% in the 1960s and 70s. In return for tax breaks, companies are supposed to be investing their windfall, but studies have shown that rising corporate after-tax profits are not all invested in increased productivity and the creation of good jobs in Canada.

There were 1.35 million unemployed Canadians in December 2012 compared to 1.1 million unemployed in October 2008, just prior to the recession. Today’s unemployment rate of 7.1% remains well above the pre-recession rate of 6%.

The federal corporate tax rate has dropped from 28 per cent in 2000 to 15 per cent today.  Provincial rates have also declined, but not as dramatically.

Between 2001 and 2011, the total cash reserves of private, non-financial private corporations in Canada grew from $187 to $575 billion.

Between 2010 and 2011 alone, there was a one-year increase of $72 billion in cash reserves. This is a figure more than double the entire $33.4 billion federal government deficit for 2010-11.

Click here to read more about corporate tax giveaways.

Rally for Rights and Democracy Jan 26th

Photo of rally:

PDF of event callout.

PDF of Event Flyer (En Francais)

#J26Rally on Twitter


St. Catharines 10:30 am
CAW 199, 124 Bunting Rd.

Port Colborne, 9:45 am
USW, 87 Clarence St

Welland 10:15 am
950 E Main St (park on west side)

Fort Erie 9:45 am
194 Garrison Rd (old Zellers)

Niagara Falls 10:15 am
Casino Lot #1 off Stanley Avenue, southwest
corner of Stanley Avenue and 420 Highway

Grimsby 11:00 am
Southwest quadrant Casablanca/QEW at Gateway Niagara

 To reserve a spot, please contact:
 Dan Peat at 905-933-1889 or email at

Bruce Allen at 905-934-6233 or email at

Union advantage in Niagara: $7.47/hour

The Canadian Labour Congress has published a study showing that unionized workers in Niagara earn on average $7.47 per hour more than non-unionized workers.  The study is based on data published by Statistics Canada in 2011.  Union members in Niagara accounted for 31% of all employees, yet earned 39.7% of all wages.

Clearly, it pays to be part of a union.  Want to learn more?  Contact the Niagara Regional Labour Council, and we can put you in touch with an organizer from a union appropriate to your workplace.

Download the Union Advantage factsheet for Niagara.

Resist the Austerity Agenda!

January 15th, join us at Brock University's Pond Inlet.

3-5 pm: Resist the Austerity Agenda
7-8:30 pm: Revitalizing the Labour Movement: Mergers and More.

Town Hall January 12th

Click image or here for PDF of poster.  En Francais

A Bill 115 rally is being held on January 16th at Jim Bradley's office, from 3:00pm to 5:00pm, and at the Ontario Liberal leadership convention on January 26th.