I Shop Canada

To all members,

I am excited to tell you about the launch of Unifor’s ‘I Shop Canada’ campaign to promote the purchase of products manufactured in Canada with the goal of creating and maintaining good jobs.

I Shop Canada is about making a choice at the cash register to use our collective consumer purchasing power to aid workers in our communities and across the country.

This online awareness campaign is in response to the escalating trade war with the United States and the growing sentiment among Canadian consumers to support homegrown industries. I Shop Canada provides a social media platform for consumers from coast-to-coast to share information on their favourite made-in-Canada goods and services.

This initiative is designed to actively promote Unifor made products and hospitality services. I encourage all members and locals to join in the campaign to get word out on the quality items and services that you work hard to produce each day.

Here’s how you can participate:

  1. Take a picture of your Canadian-made purchase, or if you manufacture a product take a photo with your co-workers!
  2. Post the image on Twitter using the #IShopCanada hashtag
  3. Share the image on the I Shop Canada Facebook page

If you are one of our many service or hospitality members or if you plan on vacationing or enjoying local activities in Canada this summer you can also share your experiences using the #IPlayCanada hashtag.

By choosing to shop or play Canada you are investing in good paying jobs while also providing a boost to the economy.

Want to tell your friends about the campaign? Visit the IShopCanada Facebookpage to add a frame to your profile picture to let your friends and family know that you support workers in Canada. On Twitter make sure to tag in @IShopCA and @UnifortheUnion so your posts can be easily shared. You can also email your pics to the communications department at IShopCanada@unifor.org

The campaign kicks off tomorrow, Thursday June 28 just ahead of the July 1 date for the imposition of Canadian counter-duties against the U.S.

Together we can make a difference – one purchase at a time. Let’s get #IShopCanada trending by Canada Day.

In solidarity,

Jerry Dias

Natioanl President

New U.S. automotive tariffs would only be ‘foolish’ if they included Canada: Unifor boss

A proposal to impose steep new tariffs on U.S. automotive imports is “absolutely foolish,” says the head of Canada’s largest private sector union — but only if those tariffs target Canada directly.

In an interview on this weekend’s edition of The West Block, Unifor president Jerry Dias said it’s still unclear exactly who would be affected by the potential duties.

U.S. President Donald Trump again threw an unexpected wrench into the deadlocked NAFTA talks on Wednesday, threatening to impose tariffs of up to 25 per cent on imported vehicles. The move would be a death knell for the Canadian auto sector, experts suggest.

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PARKIN: With TPP, Trudeau throws Ontario’s auto sector under the bus

Trade negotiations have become a confusing mash-up of abbreviations with an unclear list of countries.

But it’s simple to understand why auto sector representatives say Trudeau has put Ontario jobs at risk by signing the Trans-Pacific Partnership. You just have to know that 45% is less than 62.5%.

The president of the Auto Parts Manufacturer’s Association, Flavio Volpe, said TPP “could not be a dumber move.” Mark Warner, a prominent trade lawyer, said he didn’t see any improvements from the TPP text Canada rejected just three months ago. Jerry Dias, president of UNIFOR, the major auto sector union, called TPP a “total disaster” and said Ford, Chrysler and GM were also “furious.”

But the Japanese Auto Association of Canada supports TPP. And so does at least one Canadian billionaire operating auto parts plants in China.

Under NAFTA, vehicles assembled in Ontario plants can be exported to the U.S., tariff-free, if 62.5% of the value of the vehicle’s parts originated in North America.

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Unifor takes action on TPP and NAFTA

On January 23, Unifor members in Ontario and Quebec rallied for worker’s rights and good jobs as they took action to oppose the new Trans-Pacific Partnership deal and to call for a better North American Free Trade Agreement.

The day began as hundreds of members took to the streets of Montreal in the March for a Better NAFTA, which included a demo in front of the hotel where round six of NAFTA renegotiations are currently underway. The marchers, led by National President Jerry Dias and Quebec Director Renaud Gagné, sent the Canadian government a clear message that the needs of workers, labour rights, and the protection of good jobs must be the key priorities in all international trade agreements.

“The Canadian government must stand firm,” Dias told the marchers. “Trade deals are about working class people. Whether it’s NAFTA or the TPP labour standards must be the number one issue at the table.”

The marchers represented a variety of sectors targeted by U.S. trade attacks, including paper, softwood, manufacturing, and aerospace.

“We will not let Trump destroy our economy and our jobs,” said Gagné. “We must continue our mobilization. I am confident that together we will make a difference.”

The surprise announcement of the signing of the new Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTTP) was condemned both in Montreal and also in Windsor where almost 100 members rallied at a Ford plant where Minister of International Trade Francois-Philippe Champagne cancelled a scheduled visit at the last minute.

“He signs a deal that compromises auto workers directly and can’t even show up to his commitment and look us in the face,” said John D’Agnolo, President of Unifor Local 200. “Is this the kind of transparency that the Liberals are offering?”

Unifor firmly denounced the new CPTPP in a statement calling it “a slap in the face to the trade union and civil society activists around the world who have spent decades pursuing an alternative, more humane model for truly progressive international trade and development.”