Thursday, January 21, 2016 Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 4
383 Morningstar Avenue, Welland Ontario

Meet and Greet: 6:00 pm
Dinner: 6:30 pm
Keynote speaker 7:30 pm
Presentation of Awards 7:45 pm

Tickets: $ 35.00 each
This is an event to express thanks for the hard work Union Health & Safety, Political and Social Justice Committee members and community activists do. The following awards will be presented at the dinner: Workers’ Health and Safety, Occupational Disease Response Team, Eric Blair Social Activist and the Peter Kormos Political Activist. The event is sponsored by the Workers Health and Safety Centre and the Niagara Regional Labour Council.

 Please send in your nominations for the various awards and your ticket reservation form to reserve your tables.
All cheques are payable to the Niagara Regional Labour Council.


Major rallies planned!
A half a billion dollars per year – that is what’s at stake in the sale of Hydro One. As Ontario’s Financial Accountability Officer Stephen LeClair has reported, the provincial Liberal government’s sale of our public utility will cost the province $500 million per year in lost revenue. This is revenue that our schools, hospitals, and transit systems need desperately. Add to this the loss of public oversight, increased costs to hydro users, and potential restrictions on shaping policies to reduce energy use and fight climate change, and the case for rejecting the sale remains strong.
Next week, Keep Hydro Public and Hydro Not for Sale are planning a number of rallies in Toronto to call on the government to reverse course. Please join us at one or more of these events and help us spread the word:
  • Monday, December 7th, 4 pm - 5:15 pm, Queen’s Park
  • Tuesday, December 8th, 4 pm - 5:15 pm, King Street West and York Street
  • Wednesday, December 9th, 4 pm - 5:15 pm, Queen Street East and Lee Avenue
Let’s step up the fight to Keep Hydro Public!
Send your email to the Ontario Energy Board
Visit to e-mail the Ontario Energy Board directly, and also share this link with your networks on Twitter and Facebook.

National Day of Action on Violence against Women

Please join us on Sunday, December 6, 2015, to recognize the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women and to honour the memory of the victims of the Montreal Massacre who were murdered 26 years ago. 

Sunday, December 6, 2015 at 10:30 a.m
*****Doors open at 10:00 a.m.****
Donations at the door gratefully appreciated
Unifor Local 199 Hall, Retiree Centre, 124 Bunting Rd., St. Catharines

This year, the UNIFOR Local 199 Women’s Committee would like to shine a light on Elder Abuse, in our community and in our country. We welcome our two guest speakers:
Dion McParland, Niagara Elder Abuse Prevention Network
Erin E Warman, Community RN, Care Partners, President , Local 294 OPSEU
The event will include a memorial service and continental breakfast buffet. There is also a door prize.
Proceeds from the event will be donated to local organizations fighting elder abuse. We will also be accepting gently used winter wear for various local organizations.
Please share this invitation with family and friends. This is a community event,  open to all.
For more information please contact or


Hosted by Niagara Region nurses and administrative staff from OPSEU Local 294.

Everyone welcome! Bring friends and family. Free admission, food and refreshments.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

6:15-7:00 p.m. Meet and Greet, food and refreshments
7:00-9:00 p.m. Town Hall

Grantham Lions Club Hall, 732 Niagara Street, St. Catharines

We want to hear:
• Your stories as home care patients and families
• Your stories as health care providers in our community
• How you feel about the current state of home care in Ontario
• How you think the home care system can be improved

The home care nurses and administrative staff from Local 294 have a deep commitment to community-based health care. We know the system is not working well for everyone. Let’s work together to make it better.

Deb Tungatt, OPSEU Region 2 Vice President.

Cindy Forster, MPP (Welland); Wayne Gates, MPP (Niagara Falls)
Natalie Mehra, Executive Director, Ontario Health Coalition
Sue Hotte, Co-Chair, Niagara Health Coalition
Smokey Thomas, President, OPSEU; Eddy Almeida, 1st VP/Treasurer, OPSEU
Others to be announced.

For more information, please contact Local 294 at

Guest column appearing in the Toronto, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Calgary and Edmonton Sun newspapers

NDP lost election by veering to the right

Sid Ryan, President of the Ontario Federation of Labour
Special to Postmedia Network (Sunday, October 25, 2015 08:10 PM EDT)
Click here to read and share the column from the Toronto Sun website.
There were many factors that played into Liberal leader Justin Trudeau’s unexpected majority government.
But in the opinion of this lifelong union activist and former NDP candidate, neither the much-maligned niqab, nor cynical strategic voting, played as much of a role in the NDP reversal of fortune as the decision to abandon its social democratic roots.
When the NDP holds a post mortem on the 2015 federal election, it can mark Tom Mulcair’s Aug. 25 visit to a small factory in London, Ontario as the day its promising lead in the polls took a nose-dive.
On that fateful day, Mulcair shocked his political base by announcing the NDP would deliver four years of balanced budgets, despite record low borrowing rates and growing evidence that Canada was slipping into another recession.
The Liberals pounced on this announcement, accusing the NDP of adopting a “Stephen Harper budget” that would inevitably lead to “severe austerity” measures.
Trudeau countered with an ambitious proposal to run an annual deficit of under $10 billion over three years to finance a multi-billion dollar public infrastructure investment program that would create thousands of jobs.
By thumbing his nose at the neo-liberal fiscal orthodoxy that has gripped this nation for two decades, Trudeau boxed the NDP into the same fiscal corner as the most unpopular prime minister in living memory.
Trudeau outflanked Mulcair just as Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne had done in last year’s Ontario election, when she masqueraded as more left than Andrea Horwath’s NDP.
Fool me once, as the saying goes.
It was a masterful play that came at a time when the polls were reporting that 70% of Canadians were looking for change and many were considering the NDP.
This NDP budgetary misstep also revealed an inherent contradiction in Mulcair’s plan that undermined other popular planks in the NDP platform.
In particular, it gave rise to closer inspection of the crown jewel of the NDP platform – a $15-per-day universal childcare program.
What became apparent was that the protracted eight-year roll out for these one million childcare spaces was a direct result of Mulcair’s self-imposed fiscal constraints and his reticence to increase taxes on the wealthy.
In essence, the message to voters was one of fiscal conservatism over progressive public policy.
Suddenly, the Liberals, not the NDP, were able to present themselves as the agents of “real change”.
Many NDP members are asking themselves why their party tried to win government by accepting the campaign strategy of its opponents, rather than seeking to redefine politics.
Early in the marathon election campaign, Conservative-weary voters proved they were ready for some risk taking.
Early polls rewarded the NDP for adopting a principled opposition to Bill C51, committing to a $15 federal minimum wage and calling for the abolition of the Senate.
It was not the time to quit while they were ahead, or to be coy about their core values as social democrats, not when most voters were looking for bold change.
South of the border, Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is making headlines and inspiring a generation with a bold critique of capitalism.
Across the pond, the moribund U.K. Labour Party has been reinvigorated with the election of Jeremy Corbyn and his unapologetic advocacy for a “return to the welfare state.”
New Democrats would be wise to wrap themselves in their social democratic values, rather than going to such great pains to disguise them.
This election served as a stark reminder that the NDP path to electoral success is inextricably tied to the courage of the party’s convictions.
— Sid Ryan is president of the Ontario Federation of Labour
         It's nice outside, GO VOTE !       
Here are elections-related  FAQs


With the global economic crisis still hitting working people hard in every part of the world, trade unions around the world will once again organise mobilisations, events and activities on October 7 to demand decent jobs and full respect for workers’ rights.
Just 7% of working people in the formal and informal sectors are union members, yet hundreds of millions more want the security and protection that unions provide. ... read more

At Brock University, both CUPE 4207 and  BUFA will be holding info tables on October 7th to illuminate the critical situation in post-secondary teaching. In Canada 1 of 3 professors is temporary of part-time. See more here.

Defend Auto and Auto Parts Sector Jobs

RALLY this Wednesday, SEPTEMBER 30,  at 3 PM 

in front of MP Dykstra's campaign office on 22 Geneva Street in St. Catharines

The Federal government is close to signing a new free trade agreement (Trans Pacific Partnership) the terms of which will result in auto and auto parts job losses and plant closures on a bigger scale than the North American Free Trade Agreement.  The Economist magazine recently reported that over the last 15 years an estimated 20,000 workplaces and 500,000 manufacturing jobs were lost in southern Ontario.  NAFTA facilitated this by gutting domestic content requirements and by treating production in Mexico to be North American.  The Trans Pacific Partnership now being secretly negotiated with twelve other countries will sharply lower auto and auto parts domestic content requirements even further. 
      This will decimate what’s left of auto and auto parts production here by enabling corporations to continue the race to the bottom by globally seeking cheaper and cheaper production and labour costs.   Unifor estimates it could result in the loss of another 26,000 auto and auto parts jobs in Canada.  Many would be here in Niagara accelerating the exodus of youth from the Niagara Region due to a lack of job opportunities.
      We cannot stand for this and must make our voices heard now.  We must demand that any and all future trade agreements secure the future of the auto and auto parts industries in this country as a way to secure the economic future of the Niagara Region.

Issued by: 
Bruce Allen, President of Unifor Local 199

The time for change is now


Never before have we been this close to defeating Harper and electing a federal NDP government. Ontario is essential to the outcome of this election and in the Niagara Region - everyone is watching the Niagara Falls, and Niagara West ridings.

Please join us at a Niagara labour canvass on Tuesday September 29, 2015 from 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm in support of Carolynn Ioannoni, and Nameer Rahman our NDP Candidates in Niagara Falls and Niagara West.

When:    Tuesday, September 29th, 2015     5 pm - 8 pm
Where:   Niagara Regional Labour Council  1 Ormond Street South, Thorold

RSVP at:

The Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL), in co-operation with the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC), the Niagara Regional Labour Council, affiliates, and our community partners are mobilizing workers in support of NDP candidates. We have scheduled labour canvasses across the province and we need your support to ensure they deliver maximum impact. Help us by volunteering for these canvasses and recruiting others to join you.
If you have any questions don’t hesitate to call Rob Halpin in my office at 416-707-9014.

In solidarity,

Sid Ryan
Ontario Federation of Labour

LABOUR DAY September 7

The NRLC will participate in the St. Catharines annual Labour Day Parade on September 7th.
Participants should gather at 9 AM at the Pen Centre parking lot. Look for the Niagara Regional Labour Council's trailer, this time carrying House of Labour.

It will look like this, only much better!

Here is reposted OFL Labour Day 2015 statement:

It's Time for Workers to Demand the Change They Want

Every generation of parents, from Canada’s First Peoples through each wave of immigration since, have trusted that hard work would deliver a brighter future and improved fortunes for their children and their grandchildren. However, despite record levels of education, today’s youth will become first generation in history to expect a lower standard of living than their parents.
For most of the last century, high school students could expect to graduate into well-paid jobs in manufacturing or other sectors that allowed them to buy a home, support a family and join the middle class. Their counterparts today are graduating from college or university with unprecedented levels of student debt only to wind up wallowing in low-paying service jobs that offer no security, limited benefits and little room for advancement.
Over nearly a decade in office, the Harper Conservatives have engineered a dramatic reversal of fortune across Canada that is driving down wages and threatening to leave future generations behind. For the first time since the 1950s, employment rates have dropped and new job creation has hit the skids. Even in Canada’s economic epicenter, barely 50 percent of workers can take comfort in full-time, permanent jobs.
For the country’s labour unions, this alarming workforce transformation is triggering a profound re-imagining of the labour movement. We are confronting the harsh reality that declining union density and an increasingly precarious workforce are dragging down wages and benefits faster than union standards can pull them up. Unions can no longer respond through self-preservation at the expense of other workers. A truly universal labour movement requires a bottom-up approach to worker action that is driven by a movement of all working people, the unemployed, the precariously employed, the retired and the many diverse communities who are being marginalized within today’s economy. The Ontario Federation of Labour, which has historically only given voice to unionized workers, is now partnering with diverse and vulnerable communities to mount a vigorous defence for the rights and interests of every worker.
For Canada’s voters, the façade of the Conservative economic restructuring has crumbled away. A falling Canadian dollar, plummeting oil prices and the recent backslide into a second recession give the lie to the Conservative claim to be sound fiscal managers. However, for many Canadians, it is the deepening income inequality, wage stagnation and cuts to social programs that are causing voters to look for a more balanced road to shared prosperity.
When Albertans went to the polls last spring in Canada’s Conservative heartland, the result was the punishing defeat of a 40-year-old Conservative Dynasty and an unprecedented mandate for the Alberta New Democratic Party. Alberta NDP Leader Rachel Notley campaigned on a bold commitment to corporate tax fairness, the environment and a $15 minimum wage – the same hallmarks of Thomas Mulcair’s platform for Canada’s NDP.
What was mistaken at first as simply an Alberta election upset, is looking more and more like a federal forecast. Those who are fed up with corruption in Ottawa, blanket support for corporate Canada and an inexcusable indifference to inequality are seeing the NDP as the better choice.
Around barbecues and campfires across the country, Canadians may be inclined to spend this Labour Day weekend lamenting the end of summer but there is also cause to look optimistically towards the future. The federal election on October 19 will provide and opportunity for voters to chart a new course for Canada. In the weeks and months that follow, we must work together to make the Canadian economy work for everyone.

Garlic for Health!

Ontario Health Coalition 8th Annual Organic Locally-Grown GARLIC Fundraiser

The Ontario Health Coalition works to improve the public health system: to reduce wait times and keep our hospitals and community health services vibrant. We believe care should come before profit and all should have equal access to care based on need, not wealth. We work to ensure that these values which underlie Public Medicare are protected and strengthened.
By ordering garlic with us, you are supporting this vital work and you are also supporting local farmers by purchasing fresh, Ontario-grown garlic.

Click here to learn more and for the Order Form or go online

Summer 2015 Health & Safety/WSIB Educational

July 27-31, 2015 at Brock University, St. Catharines Ontario offered:
ODRT Level 1&2
ODRT Level 6
WHSC Level 1
WHSC Law Provincial, Level 2
WHSC Law Federal, Level 2

For details on courses and registration form  click on the sun!

Registration Deadline is July 3, 2015

For more information please contact:

Norm Westbury, (905) 688-5550 ext. 4978 or

Health Care for people, NOT for profit!

Our local public hospitals and home care services are at serious risk from escalating cuts that deliberately pave way for privatization of this vital social need.

Say NO to profits!

Take a stand -- come to Jim Bradley's office on May 22 at noon and tell him that health care must be high quality, publicly funded and controlled. Our health is not for sale!

2 Secord Dr., Unit 2, St. Catharines

Workers Rights and $15 Min Wage

Join us Monday, May 11, 2015 to find out and to share your experiences about jobs and working conditions in our communities in Niagara. We don’t want to just talk – we want action to make jobs decent! 

Date: Monday, May 11, 2015
Time: 6:30 pm
Place: Goodwill Stokes Community Village, 36 Page Street, St. Catharines

Among the agenda is Organizing for Day of Action May 22. Click here for details.


On Tuesday, April 28, the NRLC  holds ceremonies at monuments dedicated to fallen workers at nine locations in the region. Join the workers, activists and community members to commemorate workers killed on the job and be reminded of the work that lies ahead in making working conditions safe for all workers.

Schedule of ceremonies on Day Of Mourning April 28, Tuesday:
  • 8:00 a.m. in St. Catharines at the monument dedicated to four fallen workers under the St. Catharines Skyway. Located on the Welland Canal Parkway – west side of the canal under the bridge.
  • 9:00 a.m. Niagara-on-the-Lake, Centennial Arena, 1557 Four Mile Creek Road in Virgil.
  • 10:00 a.m. Niagara Falls, Niagara Falls City Hall – 4310 Queen Street. 
  • 11:00 a.m.  Fort Erie City Hall, 1 Municipal Centre Drive along Highway #3
  • 12:30 p.m. Port Colborne, H.H. Knoll Park on Sugarloaf Street beside the hospital.
  • 1:30 p.m. Welland,  Merritt Park – 151 King Street.
  • 2:30 p.m. Port Robinson Esquire Canada explosion site (1999) – 125 South Street North. In memory of Robyn Lafleur.  
  • 3:30 p.m. St. Catharines, Memorial Park, 6 St. Paul St. West
  • 4:30 p.m. Niagara Region, Region of Niagara Headquarters – 2201 St. David's Road
See the Workers Health and Safety Centre's brochure listing Niagara ceremonies here .
For a MSWord list click here.
For a  list of speakers here.

Mourn for the dead,
fight for the living,


Members of OPSEU 294 need help boosting their picket line on Saturday April 25th.

Their union is holding a townhall Saturday April 25 from 1-3 pm at the Holiday Inn on Ontario Street in St. Catharines, a meeting with community members and patients. 

They need bodies on their picket line while some of them attend the townhall.

Labour Niagara, rise! Help the nurses to win a fair contract!

Come to do some solidarity picketing between 12 noon and 4 pm on Saturday 25th at 149 Hartzel Rd. St. Catharines. 


Are you concerned about low paying and unstable jobs in our communities? 

If so, join us Monday, April 27th 2015 to find out and to share your experiences about jobs and working conditions in our communities in Niagara. We don’t want to just talk – we want action to make jobs decent!

Monday, April 27, 2015
6:00 pm - light meal provided
Goodwill Stokes Community Village
36 Page Street
St. Catharines
Speaker: Deena Ladd, Toronto Worker’s Action Centre, will be sharing ideas from their latest report Still Working on the Edge for action and news on the Fight for $15 minimum wage and Fairness.


A message from Bob Holder, President, OPSEU Local 243 

Sisters and Brothers,

Local 294, CarePartners, has been on strike for 5 days.  They need our help.  The employer is bringing in scab labour and is using extreme bullying tactics.  They have hired security to photograph and video tape our members.  This group of home care nurses and admin support have been fighting for 20 months to get a first contract.  The CEO, Linda Knight, has shown only disrespect. 
Please consider making a donation, joining their picket line, and/or contacting the CEO-tell her to get back to the table and bargain a fair contract!

Donations can be made out to: 
OPSEU Local 294 and sent to the Niagara Regional Office-2285 Highway 20 East, Fonthill, L0H 1E6
  Picket Line Location:

                     149 Hartzel Rd, St. Catharines

                              7am - 5pm
                            7 days a week

MAY 1 is International Workers Day and....

the Niagara Labour Council's FIFTH ANNIVERSARY!

It couldn't be a better day chosen for the amalgamation of the three regional councils in 2010. Here is an invitation. Come and celebrate the five years of struggle for better working conditions in the Niagara region!


May 1, 2015
at Club Capri, 36 Cleveland St, Thorold
Time:       6:00 – 7: 00 pm        Meet and Greet
 7:00 – 10:00 pm        Dinner

Speakers include Sid Ryan, President, Ontario Federation of Labour, and  Marie Clarke Walker   Executive Vice President Canadian Labour Congress


       Spaghetti Fundraising Dinner 
               Thursday March 26
         Guest Speaker: Natalie Mehra
              Ontario Health Coalition

Royal Canadian Legion Br. 4
383 Morningstar Ave. Welland
5:30 Meet & Greet 
6:00 Dinner   

For tickets: Contact Wendy 289-820-8129 , Sue 905-932-1646 
The Wine Factory: 136 Thorold Road, Welland 905-788-1900 
Tickets : $ 15.00


Documenting Health and Safety Workshop

NRLC  organizes a H&S workshop Saturday, April 25, 2015. This is a hands on, jump-start documenting system developed in response to the need to address health and safety at work in a systematic and timely fashion. The following areas will be examined: why documentation is critical, specific types of documents to use, which ones , when to document, organizing your documents.

Workers need a way to ensure their health and safety at work is taken seriously, that it is protected and addressed in a systematic and timely fashion. The WHSCs three-hour program, 'Documenting
Health and Safety' is a hands-on, jump-start documenting system developed in response to this need. Participants will examine six basic areas: (I) why documenting health and safety is critical, (2) ways to document, (3) specific types of documents to use (4) what to document (5) when to document, and (6) how to organize their documents.

Participants are introduced to various forms and reports in workplace settings. They quickly discover
how these forms work together to ensure health and safety issues are tracked from start to finish. Participants take part in a work refusal and sit in on a JHSC meeting to practice their note taking skills while listening to interactive audio-led worksheets.

Hard copy forms, reports and various documents in the participant's manual are perforated and provide easy access. These documents can be used as master templates, copied or modified as necessary. They are also accessible as interactive pdfs. Participants can apply what they learn as soon as they return to their jobs. Documenting health and safety raises the profile of workplace health and safety. With a strong, reliable, documenting system, neither issues nor workers will fall through the cracks.

Saturday, April 25, 2015
37 Front Street, Thorold : Niagara Regional Labour Council Office
9:00 am to 12:00 pm (Noon)
$15 per person : Please make cheques payable to NRLC.

Go here for more and  to print out the form.

Stop Bill C-51!

On the invitation of the NRLC, two Action for Civil Liberties representatives attended March 11th delegate meeting to speak about the proposed Bill C-51, as introduced by the federal government.  The guest speaker (right) asked the Council to oppose the dangerous legislation.

Bill C-51 would effectively remove fundamental democratic freedoms guaranteed by the Canadian constitution.

There is a demo on Saturday 14th in Toronto.
Toronto day of Action Against Bill C-51

And here is a good analysis:
Canada’s Bill C-51: A sweeping assault on democratic rights and legal principles
Part 1
Part 2

NRLC supports striking academic workers at York and U of T

The Executive Committee of the NRLC stands in solidarity with academic workers at the University
of Toronto represented by CUPE 3902 and with their York University brothers and sisters represented by CUPE 3903.

 Both locals are on the picket line fighting for quality public education and for working conditions that would bring academic frontline workers above the poverty line!

Letter of support for CUPE 3902
Letter of support for CUPE 3903

Education Seminars

Unifor-McMaster Labour Studies Certificate Program presents three education seminars, all held at the Unifor 199 office 124 Bunting Road, St. Catharines:

1. February 23 and March 2, 2015
 Gender-based Violence at Work 
  6:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
This workshop was canceled

2.  March 9, 2015
Missing Aboriginal Women
  6:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Click here for more info

3. March 16 and April 13
Tax is not a four letter word
  6:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Click here for more info

Calling for contributions to Yearbook


MAY 1  not only marks International Workers Day but also the fifth anniversary of the founding of the NRLC on May 1, 2010. 

As we look back over our first five years, we want to celebrate the struggles and successes of the labour movement in Niagara. In order that each local affiliate of the Labour Council can be recognized, we will be publishing a Year Book which will be available in time for our celebration on May 1, 2015. 

Every local union is invited to submit articles and photos that will document the accomplishments of the local, whether over the past five years, or over many years that have brought you to where you are now. 

The Year Book will be financed by the sale of advertisements in the book, as outlined on the attached form. Any surplus of revenue over expenses will be allocated to the NRLC's contribution to sponsorship of the Welland Canal Fallen Workers Memorial.

Please return the form as soon as possible, so that we can begin allocating space in the Year Book.

We look forward to your local's participation in this project.


ImageThe Niagara Health System decided that the Welland General Hospital will close once the new hospital in Niagara Falls is built.  This decision was made without a public consultation with the more than 94,000 residents living in Pelham, Port Colborne, Wainfleet and Welland Both Niagara Falls/Fort Erie (population of over 113,000) and Welland/Port Colborne/Wainfleet/Pelham need to have their own full service hospital. 
The Niagara Health System did not take into consideration the potential health, social and economic impacts of the closure the Welland hospital on South Niagara. 

Dr. Kevin Smith’s Report on Restructuring of the Niagara Health System included no evidence to support the closure of the Welland General Hospital. The report did not have a health needs assessment for the residents of South Niagara; it did not say how much it would cost the taxpayer, the region and the municipality to restructure the health system in Niagara; and it had no proposals to lessen the impact of reduced hospital access.

  •  Sign up for updates 
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Royal Canadian Legion Br. 4
383 Morningstar Ave. Welland
5:30 Meet&Greet  6:00 pm Dinner
Tickets $15

Ergonomics Workshop

Ergonomics: Recognizing Injuries, Risk Factors and Design Workshop 

The workshop has been canceled.