Recommendation 3 – Bargaining Workers’ Power

Last year, Unifor undertook to redevelop its national Collective Bargaining Program, informed by the experiences, struggles and best ideas of the local union leadership, activists, and bargaining committeepersons. This months-long, cross-country regional strategy tour centred around the idea that collective bargaining is central to building workers’ power.

Workers face extraordinary challenges in today’s economy, underpinned by chronic inequality. Goods and services have become unaffordable and out of reach for too many workers and their families. Wages and salaries are barely keeping up, despite corporate profits – in many industries – hitting record highs.

Collective bargaining remains the most effective tool at workers’ disposal to win decent work, fairness, and dignity on the job. It is a transformative exercise that puts power in the hands of working people. Over the next year, our union will continue to refine its bargaining strategies, raise awareness and build the capacities of local bargaining committees, and fight to expand bargaining coverage for more workers in Canada.

As Unifor National President, I recommend that:

  • Unifor delegates endorse the union’s new, national Collective Bargaining Program – along with any agreed to amendments – as presented and debated at the first, ever Collective Bargaining Summit held this week in Halifax;
  • Unifor develop additional supporting resources to support local unions, bargaining committees, and staff representatives in effectively tabling the positions outlined in the program, as appropriate, as well as monitor the program’s progress;
  • That local union leadership circulate and communicate the Collective Bargaining Program to bargaining committees and its broader membership;
  • The National Union advance its commitment outlined in the 2022-2025 Action Plan, to coordinate an internal Working Group, responsible for exploring the concept of “broad-based bargaining”, its application and potential to expand access to collective bargaining for workers in critical sectors of the economy.