GreenShield Canada workers go on strike

WINDSOR, ON, March 1, 2024 /CNW/The over 600 members of Unifor who work at GreenShield Canada’s Windsor and Toronto offices went on strike just after midnight on March 1.

Unifor Local 673 members at the picket line in Toronto after GreenShield Canada workers went on strike, after the company refused to offer a fair wage increase and to address the key issue of job security and contracting out. (CNW Group/Unifor)

“It is extremely disappointing that a deal could not be reached,” said Unifor National President Lana Payne.

“Our bargaining committee worked hard to get there, but it takes two to tango. We expect the employer to come to the bargaining table with the goal of actually getting an agreement that our members can support.”

Members from Unifor Locals 240 in Windsor and 673 in Toronto hit the picket line after the company refused to offer a fair wage increase and to address the key issue of job security and contracting out.

The locals say the strike will affect plan members, as there was already a staff shortage.

“The main concerns are job security and contracting out language. Our bargaining committee worked hard to get to an agreement, but the employer simply would not provide assurances that our members’ work would not be taken away,” says Unifor Local 240 President Jodi Nesbitt.

Over the past three years, the company has eroded the locals’ bargaining unit work, provided no growth or commitment to our members, and has outsourced bargaining unit work.

“It’s very disappointing,” said Unifor Local 673 President Maryellen McIlmoyle. “GreenShield purchased a lot of entities over the years, and we just want to ensure job security isn’t being outsourced. This is the first time in 65 years in GreenShield’s existence there has been a strike.”

The affected members are adjudicators, call centre representatives, work in accounting, client administration and provide IT services.

There are over 580 union members in Windsor and 24 union members at Local 673 in Toronto.

The union and the company have been negotiating a new collective agreement since Jan. 15. The last contract expired on Feb. 29, 2024.

Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad and strives to create progressive change for a better future.