Brothers & Sisters,
As the world continues to be affected by the pandemic of COVID-19, all of us are searching for answers. Currently, the truth is that there are more questions than answers when it comes to this pandemic.
During this unprecedented time in our history your Local Master Bargaining Committee have been working closely with the National Union and other Local Unions representing Unifor Autoworkers. We and National Union have been in consultation, ensuring we are all updated with the constant changes being brought forth by both Federal and Provincial Governments, and how these changes will affect us all. We have also been lobbying the Government to make improvements to the current Employment Insurance (EI) programs to lesson the financial burden on all Canadians affected by COVID-19.
Unifor has been fighting for workers during this time of massive wide spread lay-offs due to the pandemic. Our National President sent a note to the Detroit Three (Ford, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler) urging them to take extraordinary measures to maintain wages during this time. We truly believe the workers must not bare the brunt of this crisis.
The answer given by all of the Detroit Three were the same. Our employer Ford Motor Company, responded by stating they would maintain providing income security provisions currently in our Collective Agreement.
What this means is our members that will not be working will have to collect E.I. and Supplementary Unemployment Benefits (SUB). With what is currently going on in the world and with other Company’s working to minimize the economic burden on their employees, your Local Leadership were hopeful Ford Motor Company would be compelled to want to do more for our members. There is no doubt this pandemic will have far reaching economic implications on every sector of the economy and the Auto Industry will not be spared. This membership stepped up in 2009 for Ford Motor Company when they needed help most, when the Auto Industry was on the brink of collapse. This is the time for Ford Motor Company to step up for its unionized workforce.
Our plant is currently undergoing a deep clean and is being sanitized, this process will continue throughout the week. The Leadership has meetings set up with the company to deal with protocols and precautions that will need to be put in place moving forward. Upon our members return to work your Local leadership, will continue to ensure your health and safety is our utmost priority. We are living and working in a different world today, it is NOT business as usual. We will ensure that precautions and protocols are properly communicated to our members, and updates regarding our facility to be posted as soon as possible on our website, so that our members can plan accordingly. This situation is very fluid, we ask that you continue to check our website for updates. As indicated previously, there will be a separate posting for our members with instructions on applying and reporting for E.I. Benefits on Monday afternoon.
To date we have not had any member of Local 707 or employee of the Oakville Assembly Complex test positive for COVID-19. Any member who was at home in self-isolation did so due precautionary measures that were implemented by the Federal Government to help flatten the curve of this pandemic. During these uncertain times now more than ever we need to stand united. As always, your Union Leadership will continue to advocate for the members of Unifor Local 707.
Mark Sciberras Bob Scott Marc Brennan
President OAC Plant Chairperson Unifor, Vice Chairperson
Unifor Local 707 Unifor Local 707 Ford Bargaining Committee