Our last delegate meeting of the year is not a Bourinot Rules of Order affair but a SOCIAL!

SATURDAY DECEMBER 10 from 5:30 on
Wrigley's Sports Bar
2 North Service Road, St. Catharines (Best Western)

See you there! Come early while the food lasts! All monies collected for the nosh is yours, dear delegates :-) When you attend monthly delegate meetings and contribute towards the little red tickets, part of it comprises our annual social fund.  Come and be merry! You deserve it.


Strike over for UNIFOR 199 at Seneca

Thanks to workers' successful defence of the picket line, auto parts did not leave the company's premises and the employer was pressured to talk to Unifor rep.  Employer maintained that the company is on the verge of bankruptcy. The company who was to receive the parts (a third party to the dispute), offered to pay lost wages to the workers in order to receive the parts. Of the 14 workers of this bargaining unit, only eight will be going back to work.

Workers involved in Standoff at Seneca Manufacturing win Settlement

Unifor Local 199 is pleased to report a settlement to end the work stoppage at Seneca Manufacturing has been reached.  At 9 pm on Monday night after a full day of bargaining workers voted overwhelmingly in favor of the agreement that includes immediate payment of lost wages withheld by the Employer as well as a full settlement to the outstanding arbitration and Labor Relations Board rulings. 

The agreement will see up to half of the fourteen workers return to work beginning Wednesday however, the future of the business with the current ownership is questionable as a result of the negative financial environment and failing business model.‎ The agreement allows for the terms of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement to be enforced month to month as well as a continued relationship with their current customers into 2017 as we look for new investment. 

A resolve to this very difficult labor strike was reached after a nine-hour standoff on Sunday evening when the employer tried to remove parts from the plant.  The standoff brought the parties back to the bargaining table on Monday. This settlement could not have been achieved without the outpouring of support of so many union activists from all over the province who walked the picket line, night and day throughout the stoppage. 

The Local Union would like to thank the Seneca Bargaining committee and Unifor National Rep Doug Orr for their hard work pulling this agreement together.  

The Bargaining Committee would also like to acknowledge the people of the community for their generosity to the picket line over the two week work stoppage as well as the Niagara District Labour Council, MPP Wayne Gates and his staff for their support.

Images from the Seneca Standoff have been posted on our website at the following links.


 Unifor Media Release


Employer: Industrial Management Group (formerly Seneca Manufacturing)

Address : 7 Niagara Stone Rd., NOTL

Number of Employees : 14 represented by Unifor Local 199 President 199

Parts Produced: door hinges and front end components supplied to THK St. Catharines.

Strike began 12:01 am November 13, 2016

Issues in dispute:

1. Employers refusal to make payment of Labor Arbitration Award issued by Arbitrator Rose December 2014 - OLRB also placed award against the Employer for enforcement.

2. Employers failure to remit Union dues deducted from workers pay to Local Union. Four months arrears to date.

3. Employer arbitrarily altered pay day from weekly to bi-weekly payroll.

4. Employer inconsistent on payment of workers wages and inconsistent in their method of payment from cheque to electronic payment.

5. Wage increase proposed by Union as workers have not received increase for six years.

Union Contacts:
Doug Orr, Unifor National Representative
905 650 5977

Greg Brady,
Unifor Local 199 President
905 933 5256


Hi All
This is an urgent request for your support and action, Seneca Manufacturing workers have been on strike since November 13th and need your support.  Seneca has only 14 members who are scheduled 24 hours per day 7 days per week  on the picket line and they need help. 
·         The employer has withheld their wage for the last two weeks worked meaning they have not been paid for four weeks. 
·         The company has been running the equipment and are preparing to ship the parts this weekend.
·         Today a truck ran through the picket line and has been loaded with parts. The only thing that is keeping the truck in the plant is a thin picket line. If these part get out the strike will go on for months hence the call for help.
Keeping the parts in the plant  this weekend is critical. Please make a commitment to show up for a four hour shift this weekend, the biggest shortage is between 5 pm and 6 am.  Call to be added to the schedule, or just show up.
Seneca Manufacturuing Under the skyway bridge 7 Niagara Stone Road.
In Solidarity
Peter Scott
Unifor Local 199
905-682-2611 x 238
905-328-9899 cell

7th Activist Awards Dinner

The Niagara Regional Labour Council is holding its Seventh Annual Activist Awards Dinner night in February 2017 (venue and date TBA).

The Activist Dinner is an opportunity to join with labour activists from Niagara to celebrate the work of deserving individuals from the labour movement.*

Four awards will be presented at the Event:

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 Peter Kormos Political Activist Award, sponsored by the Niagara Regional Labour Council.
*The Eric Blair Social Activist Award, sponsored by the Niagara Regional Labour Council. This award is open to union and community members alike.

Click on the links of the respective awards to download nomination forms.
Deadline for nominations is TUESDAY JANUARY 31, 2017

NRLC's statement on TPP to the House Standing Commitee

NRLC submitted a positional brief on Trans Pacific Partnership to the House of Commons Standing Committee on International Trade:

Submission to the Standing Committee on International Trade Re: Opposition to the Trans- Pacific Partnership

With this submission, the Niagara Regional Labour Council (NRLC) would like to express its opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and call on the government to reject this deal.
Ultimately, the TPP will have negative consequences for the Canadian economy in general and for the working class in particular. More specifically, a study from Tufts University projects Canada will lose 58,000 jobs by 2025 and the economy would only be 0.28% larger.1 The report also predicts that the unemployment rate will increase and wages which are already stagnating will be driven down even further, resulting in the expansion of wealth and income inequality.2 Furthermore, the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provisions contained within the agreement further consolidates corporate power to the detriment of Canada’s national sovereignty, democratic institutions, and environment.

Well attended TPP Townhall

Today's event on the Trans Pacific Partnership was attended by 45 people including two guests from the U.S., one of whom was a the President of a UAW local in Lockport, NY. Below are introductory remarks of NRLC VP Bruce Allen, who acted as a Chair.

NRLC's cheque to Fallen Workers Memorial

On October 18th, Niagara Regional Labour Council (NRLC) and local Union representatives presented a cheque for $25,000 to the Welland Canal Fallen Workers Memorial Task Force Chair (St. Catharines Mayor Walter Sendzik) and Campaign Chair (Greg Wight). The Welland Canal Fallen Workers Memorial will be unveiled in 2017 near Lock 3 of the Welland Canal.

The fourth Welland Canal, built between 1913 and 1932, resulted in the death of 137 workers. In 1932, the Government of Canada promised to establish a memorial to honour the men whose lives were lost during the construction of the fourth Welland Canal – it will take 85 years for that promise to be fulfilled.
The deaths were devastating for family members, local communities, and communities in places as far away as Italy and Poland, as there was a significant number of immigrants who helped build the Welland Canal.

In the photo:
Front Row (Left):
Lara Lorge, Steward for CUPE 1757; Mohammad Nazir, Unifor 199 and NRLC Executive Committee Member; Lou Ann Binning, President of the NRLC and President of CUPW 614; St. Catharines Mayor Walter Sendzik, Task Force Chair of the WCFWM; Greg Wight, Campaign Chair of the WCFWM; Kara Emberson, on behalf of MP Vance Badawey; Susan Erskine-Fournier, Unifor 199 and NRLC Recording Secretary; Mark Roy, Vice-President (V.P.) of Unifor 199.
Back Row (Left):
Shane Jenkins, President of CUPE 1295; Bruce Allen, Past President of Unifor 199 and V.P. of Niagara North for the NRLC; Sheri Laekeman, Past President of Unifor 4212 and WCFWM Task Force Member; Daniel Peat, Past President of OSSTF D22 and Past President of the NRLC; Bruce Timms, Regional Councillor and WCFWM Task Force Member; Brian Hodgkins, Health and Safety Coordinator for CUPE 1287; Chris Grawey, CUPE 4207, V.P. of Niagara South for the NRLC, and WCFWM Task Force Member.
Thanks to the 27 Union Locals in Niagara that contributed to the NRLC’s $25,000 donation:
ATU 1602, BUFA, COPE 343, CUPE 150, CUPE 157, CUPE 1263, CUPE 1287, CUPE 1295, CUPE 1757, CUPE 2977, CUPE 4156, CUPE 4207, CUPW 614, CUPW 628, IBEW 636, ETFO Niagara, ETFO Niagara - Occasional Teachers, OPSEU 212, OPSEU 215, OPSEU 242, OSSTF District 22, OSSTF District 35, Teamsters 879, UFCW 1000A, Unifor 199, Unifor 4401, and USW 6428.

See Press Release here.

NRLC contributes $25,000 to Fallen Workers memorial

A ceremonial presentation of a cheque for $25,000 that NRLC affiliates donated to the Welland Canal Fallen Workers Memorial will be held on Tuesday, October 18th at 3:30 p.m. at the site of the memorial north of Lock 3 in St. Catharines. 

Welland Canal Fallen Workers Speaker Series

Welland Public Library hosts Welland Canal Fallen Workers Speaker Series.  Beginning this Fall and continuing into Spring 2017, the Welland Public Library will be hosting this series which will focus on those whose lives were sacrificed in the construction of the Welland Canal.  The speakers are experts in their fields and include:

•       Terry Hughes (The Canal Landscape of Welland – Sep. 27)
•       Andy Panko (Welland Canal Construction Railway – Oct 25)
•       Isabel Bachmann (Medical Services on the Canal – Nov 29)
•       Debra Antoncic (Art & Poetry on the Canal – Jan 31)
•       Arden Phair (Life & Death on the Welland Canal – March 28)
•       Sara King (Lock 6 Gate Collapse – April 25)

Each presentation will take place in the Community Room at Welland Civic Square starting at 7:00 p.m.

This speaker series will precede the launch of a new book highlighting the Welland Canal Fallen Workers in 2017.  A monument to those who sacrificed their lives to build the canal is also planned.  Welland Public Library would be honored to have you attend this Speaker Series.

Registration is not required. Please contact Jason Redshaw, Coordinator of Adult Services at 905-734-6210, ext. 2503 or for more information.


The Trans Pacific Partnership is one of three trade agreements* that will allow corporate interference in, and rule over many regions of our civic and personal lives: the economy, health care, social programs and services, the environment, and privacy protection. Under the agreement the super wealthy corporate owners can sue governments of signatory states** for non-compliance, should for example a policy or domestic law protect the environment, public assets, etc.

 In the words of Chris Hedges:
"These three agreements solidify the creeping corporate coup d’├ętat along with the final evisceration of national sovereignty. Citizens will be forced to give up control of their destiny and will be stripped of the ability to protect themselves from corporate predators, safeguard the ecosystem and find redress and justice in our now anemic and often dysfunctional democratic institutions. The agreements—filled with jargon, convoluted technical, trade and financial terms, legalese, fine print and obtuse phrasing—can be summed up in two words: corporate enslavement."

The NRLC has made six presentations at city councils in the Niagara Region. Six councils passed a motion to oppose TPP: St. Catharines, Port Colborne, Fort Erie, Welland, Thorold, Niagara Falls.

*TiSA Trade in Services Agreement and TTIP Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. Workers of countries affected by these there brazen corporate power grabs rally, march, lay strike and protest against it.

**Canada is one of the 12 signatories to TTP. Australia, Brunei, New Zealand, Singapore, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Chile, Peru, USA, Vietnam.

Response to Changing Workplaces Review

October 14 deadline for feedback on Changing Workplaces Review Interim Report

  • Workers' Action Centre and Parkdale Community Legal Services have published a response to the Changing Workplaces Review. Download it here. They have also prepared a sample cover letter for others to use as a template while endorsing the WAC & PCLS submission: available here.
  • The Ontario Federation of Labour is also working on a submission that can serve as a template document and we will share it as soon as it is ready for distribution. We are encouraging all groups to support the OFL's submission.

NEW MUSIC VIDEO: Raise the Minimum Wage to $15

Please join us in calling for at least $15 an hour for all workers now. Watch and share this fantastic music video written, performed and produced by Nadine MacKinnon. And don't forget to tweet Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne @Kathleen_Wynne and Ontario Labour Minister Kevin Flynn @MPPKevinFlynn to let them know that all workers deserve at least $15 an hour - NOW! Please use #15andFairness and #MakeItFair.

Successful Presentation to Ban Asbestos at Niagara Regional Headquarters

From left: John Pula, retired Unifor 199 H&S Representative Renee Guay, health and safety advocate, and Chris Grawey, NRLC Vice President, Niagara South

LABOUR DAY September 5th 2016

Workers and unions participating in the St. Catharines annual Labour Day parade, gather at the
on Monday  in the Pen Centre parking lot at 9:30 a.m. 
The parade procession starts at 11:00 a.m. and is heading into Merritton.

The Niagara Regional Labour Council will be joined by CUPE Council, the Niagara Workers Activist Group [NWAG], and Postal Workers.  About 10-12 labour unions will be participating.
The NRLC and NWAG contingents will be  distributing flyers for the October 1st Rally for Decent Work at Queen's Park,  organized by the Fight for $15 and Fairness campaign and the OFL's Make it Fair campaign. 

The fight to ban asbestos continues

The NRLC's  Renee Guay and Chris Grawey will be making a presentation on Tuesday, September 6th at the Niagara Regional Headquarters (Campbell West) with regard to the asbestos ban. The meeting begins at 1:00 p.m.

Fort Erie the SIXTH to pass anti-TPP motion

At Fort Erie’s Town Council meeting tonight, two NRLC Vice Presidents, Bruce Allen and Chris Grawey, made a presentation with regard to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The NRLC’s motion was passed by Council. It states that Council will send a letter to the Minister of International Trade and local MPs stating that the Trans-Pacific Partnership in its present form cannot be supported. Fort Erie is now the 6th municipality in Niagara to do so. The motion was moved by Councillor Marina Butler and seconded by Councillor George McDermott. The only Councillor opposed was Kimberly Zanko.

Latest news on fight against TPP

The NRLC continues to voice opposition to Trans Pacific Partnership [TPP] at city councils. Tonight,
at Port Colborne’s City Council meeting, the NRLC's submission regarding the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) was supported unanimously by Council.
The resolution passed by Council states that the City opposes the TPP in its current form. In addition, the City will send a letter to the Minister of International Trade and our local MP stating such. 
Port Colborne is now the 5th City in the Region to vote in favour of the resolution and send the letter opposing the TPP to the Minister of International Trade and the local MP. The 4 other cities in Niagara are St. Catharines, Niagara Falls, Welland, and Thorold.

NRLC takes a stand on repression of sex workers in St. Catharines

The Executive Committee passed a motion to oppose recent police crackdown on sex workers at a St. Catharines neighbourhood. The Council added its name to a letter* authored by activists and concerned citizens.

*We are writing as members of the St. Catharines community to express the anger and grave concern we feel in response to the recent "crackdown" on sex workers along Gale Crescent and in the surrounding neighbourhood. While all genders do sex work, Indigenous and racialized women and LGBTQ youth are overrepresented among survival sex workers, and it is especially disturbing to see these arrests target women doing street-based sex work. We demand that the arrest of sex workers in our community be stopped immediately, that the release conditions for arrested sex workers be dropped and that no other targeted criminalization measures (e.g., ticketing) be taken.

 Read the whole letter here. It is a public document, if signed, the signature will be saved automatically. 

NRLC advocates banning asbestos

NRLC delegates will make a presentation to the Public Health and Social Services Standing Committee for the Niagara Region on September 6th with regard to the asbestos ban. They will present the resolution which passed successfully in St. Catharines; it includes a letter to be sent to the federal government. 
During the presentation, we will ask that the Mayors and Councillors from each municipality bring the resolution/letter to their respective Councils to be passed. 


Summer 2016 Health & Safety/WSIB Educational APPLY ASAP!

What is offered:

  • WSIB Level 1 & 2
  • ODRT Level 3
  • ODRT Instructor’s Course
  • WHSC, Level 1
  • WHSC Level 2 Law Provincial

When:      July 15-24 (ODRT Instructor’s Course)

                July 24-29 ( WSIB 1&2, ODRT 3,WHSC 1 & 2)

Where:     Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario

Click here for a full description and a registration form.

The 2016 H&S Summer School is a collaborative effort of
Niagara Regional Labour Council
OSSTF D. 35 Brock University Support Staff
Workers Health and Safety Centre, and
Ontario Federation of Labour-Occupational Disability Response Team

Workers Health And Safety Centre Conference
 Registration form

June 24 and 25, 2016 

All Presidents Meeting

June 13, 2016 at 7pm – 9pm

Welland Arena
 501 King St
Welland, ON L3B 3K4
 Google map and directions

 Make It Fair is an OFL initiative. All Presidents Meeting is open to all members of the NRLC affiliates. Learn more and register at

Let your voice be heard!

Vote in the Volunteer-Led Referendum
To save our local hospital services & stop the cuts to our community hospitals

All across Ontario hospital beds, emergency departments, birthing and surgical units, palliative care and even entire hospitals are being closed down. Hundreds of nurses have been cut, along with the thousands of hours of hands-on care that they provide for patients. Public laboratories, diagnostics, outpatient clinics are being shuttered and privatized. Vital housekeeping and support services have been cut to the bone and privatized.

It is beyond time that the cuts to our community hospitals stop. We are calling for Ontarians to join a province-wide vote to make Ontario’s government listen to the concerns of our communities & restore our local hospital services.

To learn more about how to set-up voting locations, please click here for an informational poster and order form.

Niagara advanced voting stations:

Port Colborne, Wainfleet & Welland Town Halls
Weekdays, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Port Colborne Library, 301 King St., Port Colborne
May 25, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Pelham Market, 20 Pelham Town Square, Fonthill
May 26 4 p.m. - 8 p.m.

No Frills, 53 West Side Rd., Port Colborne
May 21, 8 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Seaway Mall, 800 Niagara St., Welland
May 27, 12:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

Market Square, Port Colborne,
May 27, 9 a.m. - 12 noon

Friends Over 50, 554 Fielden Ave., Port Colborne
May 27, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Farmer's Market, Market Square, Port Colborne
May 27, 9 a.m. - 12 noon

See more on the Ontario Health Coalition's website.


The Niagara Regional Labour Council invites workers to celebrate their international holiday on

 Saturday April 30th 
from 7:30 pm to 11:00 pm

 at the Best Western Hotel, Welland Room,
2 North Service Road, St. Catharines

Speaker:  Dr. Murray Smith, Brock University

Refreshments courtesy of NRLC               BYOD

Contact: Bruce Allen 905-934-6233

2016 May Day rallies and marches:

May 1  Labour organized rally at the Pearson airport
May 1 in Hamilton
May 1 in Brampton
May 1 Traditional downtown Toronto

About MAY DAY 

Fight for $15 & Fairness

Workers, are you sick and tired living under precarious working conditions?

Come, hear, see,  and discuss what we can do to make our working conditions better!

In coalition with the Niagara Workers Activist group, NRLC hosts Fight for $15 & Fairnes.

Speaker is  Deena Ladd  from the Toronto based Workers Action Centre.

10 am to 1 pm
Registration and Light breakfast served at 9:30 am.

Stokes Community Centre, 36 Page St., St. Catharines

APRIL 28 DAY of MOURNING for workers killed on the job

Click on the image to see calendar of DOM ceremonies in the Niagara Region.

On April 28, workers, their families and many others gather in memory of those who have died as a result of work and many more whose lives and livelihoods are forever impacted by hazardous working conditions. A National Day of Mourning was first recognized by the Canadian Labour Congress in 1984 to raise public awareness of worker injury, illness and death. More than 100 countries now observe a Day of Mourning.(

A PDF of Niagara DOM ceremonies is here.

Presentation against TPP to NF Council

On IWD, March 8, NRLC Vice President Niagara North, Bruce Allen, presented to Niagara Falls
City Council about the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement [TPP].

The Council voted in favour of a motion to send a letter to the Federal Trade Minister and Members of Parliament to request that the TPP Agreement be reviewed and changed so that Canadian auto jobs  will be kept in Canada.

WHSC Workplace Violence and Harassment workshop.

Date:        Saturday, April 16, 2016
Location: Silver Spire Church, 366 St. Paul Street, St. Catharines       Ontario
Time:        9:00 am to 12 pm
Cost:         $30.00 Please make cheques payable to NRLC.

Details and registration form.

Letter to the Ontario Minister of Labour‏

Hon. Kevin Flynn, Minister of Labour 400 University Ave. 14th Floor Toronto, ON M7A 1T7
February 22, 2016

Dear Mr. Flynn,
                           In 2005 the Ontario enacted Bill 211 crafted by your government.  It abolished mandatory retirement at age 65.  The premise for this was compliance with the Ontario Human Rights Code.   In doing so your government exempted the WSIB from the application of this legislation.  Due to this the WSIB was able to continue to deny loss of earnings benefits to workers 65 years of age or older.  I believe this is clearly discriminatory.
       I am especially concerned about this because the number of workers employed in our workplaces who are 65 years of age or older is growing. They are at least as likely to get injured on the job or be afflicted with an occupational disease but are legally denied the same WSIB benefits as workers under the age of 65.  I believe this can`t be justified and I wish to know your thoughts on this matter.
       In the meantime I am encouraging workers 65 years of age or older who are denied WSIB loss of earnings benefits due to their age to appeal their denial  I intend to pursue their appeals to the WSIAT citing the Ontario Human Rights Code in support of them.

Yours Sincerely,

Bruce Allen
President, Unifor Local 199

BroadBand Celebrates Women in Music for the 24th time!

On  March 8th the world celebrates  International Women's Day.
In St. Catharines we hold a wonderful annual celebration performed by the BroadBand band.
Sunday, March 6, 2016
5-8 pm
Black Sea Hall, 455 Welland Avenue
St. Catharines
$ 20.00 advance (purchase at the Peanut Mill and Ryson's Music)
$25.00 at door or pay what you can.
Food by Chef Greg Willis
Cash bar

Concerned about the Liberal’s government decision to privatize Ontario hydro without public consultation, debate, accountability or transparency? Wondering how will this decision impact you, local businesses, industries, municipal and regional governments?

If so….join us Monday, February 8, 2016 at 6:30 pm 

Niagara Regional Labour Council Office
1 Ormond St. South, Thorold, side entrance stair well, downstairs.

Office is located downstairs: please use south side entrance.

Please RSVP : or call Sue 905-932-1646

Or drop in!


On January 21 2016 the NRLC held its 6th Annual Activist Dinner at the Welland Royal Legion, 

Four Activists Awards were received by

KEITH LEVERE, CUPE 4156  Peter Kormos Political Activist Award
ED GOULD,  UNIFOR 199   OFL Occupational Disease Response Team Activists Award
SERGE VALCOURT, OPSEU 270    Workers Center Health and Safety Activists Award
SUSAN, SARAH, and JOHN PRUYN Sr    Eric Blair Social Justice Activists Award 

Left to right: Norm Westbury, SERGE VALCOURT, Ross Riddell and Lou Ann Binning

 Solidarity salute: Bruce Allen and ED GOULD

Susan Erskine-Fournier, KEITH LEVERE, Lou Ann Binning


 With Lou Ann Binning and Daniel Peat

Health and Safety Courses

The NRLC education Committee organized two health and safety courses facilitated by the Workers Health and Safety Centre

February 6 - 7 and  February 20 -21, 2016
For details and registration form click here.

February 13 - 14 and February 27 -28, 2016
For details and registration form click here. 



MONDAY January 18th @ 12 noon

116 King Street, West
There is parking available underground at the Sheraton and across the street next to the Convention Center.