Greetings Member, May 8, 2020
I hope everyone remains safe and healthy, continuing to practice a safe social distancing during these unprecedented times. We are happy to be able to provide you a way of keeping updated, with so many different outlets for information from the governments to employers. As the continuing impacts of the COVID-19 measures play out in our workplaces, we continue to work to ensure that your rights and entitlements are protected. The unprecedented nature of the pandemic has resulted in unparalleled actions being taken by some of our employers. The governmental supports, specifically the CERB and now the CEWS, are new programs that were implemented quickly and while for many people has been a much needed support, for some of our members is requiring working through how the CERB, CEWS and our Collective Agreement protections interplay. Unifor National continues to put together with the support of their departments from Research, Communications, Health & Safety and Pension and Benefits a link that will support and to help guide us.
While it is completely understandable that we as individuals are worried about ourselves, we also need to remember we are not alone in this. Our brothers and sisters and comrades are going through the same thing. We may not all be in the same boat, but we are weathering the same storm.
As always, your Local Leadership is focused on the physical, mental and financial wellbeing of our members, their families and our community. Our National Union has compiled some resources for those who may need some support for their mental wellbeing. There are resources for addictions, domestic violence, and crisis lines as well as options for those who may need support for their children.
Please visit our Unifor Local 673 Website http://uniforlocal673.org/ and friend us on Facebook Unifor Local 673 and Twitter Unifor Local 673 @673Local
The National regularly updates on COVID-19 can be found at https://www.unifor.org/en/take-action/campaigns/unifor-covid-19-information-resources
We encourage you to explore this resource and use it to find helpful and appropriate supports. https://www.unifor.org/en/covid-19-mental-health-guide
Unifor COVID-19 Online Education
Unifor Education department have courses available to you our members to keep you informed on what is happening and how to navigate through this difficult time. New online sessions are being added weekly please visit email@example.com Navigating Employment Insurance and the Canada Emergency Response Benefits, Mental Health - Connecting members to resources and services, Understanding the right to refuse unsafe work, Mental Health - Addiction during a time of crisis, Young Workers and the crisis.
The Provincial Government has released their plan on reopening Ontario https://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2020/04/ontario-unveils-guiding-principles-to-reopen-the-province.html and while at this point there are no firm dates set, we can see how the decisions on relaxing the various emergency measures will be determined. This gives us something to start looking at when we turn our minds to how the employers will start safely bringing employees back to work.
Your Local Union representatives are continuing to work through all of this.
The Local Union office is remains open Monday to Friday from 7:00 am to 2:00 pm and we can be reached by calling 416-636-5767 to assist you, however we do require that arrangements be made ahead of time if you need to visit the office so we can ensure safe social distancing measures are in place.
In Peace, Solidarity and Appreciation
Mary Ellen McIlmoyle
Unifor Local 673
Building Activism Since 1954
Unifor Local 673
712 Wilson Avenue
Toronto, ON M3K 1E2
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WE ARE NOT IN THE SAME BOAT
WE ARE NOT IN THE SAME BOAT I heard that we are all in the same boat, but it's not like that. We are in the same storm, but not in the same boat. Your ship could be shipwrecked and mine might not be. Or vice versa. For some, quarantine is optimal: a moment of reflection, of re-connection, easy in flip flops, with a cocktail or coffee. For others, this is a desperate financial & family crisis. In some homes a sole occupant faces endless loneliness. In others, family members are getting peace, rest, and time with each other — while in still others, quarantine means an increased danger due to domestic violence. With the $600 weekly increase in unemployment some are bringing in more money to their households than they were working. Others are working more hours for less money due to pay cuts or loss in sales. Some families of 4 just received $3400 from the stimulus while other families of 4 saw $0. Some were concerned about getting a certain candy for Easter while others were concerned if there would be enough bread, milk and eggs for the weekend. Some want to go back to work because they don't qualify for unemployment and are running out of money. Others want to kill those who break the quarantine. Some are home spending 2-3 hours/day helping their child with online schooling while others are spending 2-3 hours/day to educate their children on top of a 10-12 hour workday. Some have experienced the near death of the virus, some have already lost someone from it and some are not sure if their loved ones are going to make it. Others don't believe this is a big deal. Some have faith in God and expect miracles during this 2020. Others say the worst is yet to come. So, friends, we are not in the same boat. We are going through a time when our perceptions and needs are completely different. Each of us will emerge, in our own way, from this storm. It is very important to see beyond what is seen at first glance. Not just looking, actually seeing. We are all on different ships during this storm experiencing a very different journey.