The Union of Northern Workers is a leading advocate for social, political, economic and environmental justice.
We work in partnership in the North with the Public Service Alliance of Canada North, our sister Yukon Employees Union and Nunavut Employees Union and the Northern Territories Federation of Labour. We are a partner in the national actions of the PSAC and the Canadian Labour Congress.
Advocacy and political action
Some of the UNW's advocacy activities include:
- Education of Members on workers’ rights, and support for political action through campaign schools, election activities and programs
- Public advocacy through media relations, events and demonstrations, lobbying of federal, territorial and municipal political leaders
- Partnership in advocacy with NWT social justice organizations and across Canada and the world with the PSAC Social Justice Fund
The Union of Northern Workers takes an active role in lobbying for progressive action on:
- Workplace Issues, including health and safety, access to child care, Day of Mourning, domestic violence at work and pay equity
- Human Rights and Equality issues, including women’s equality, Aboriginal rights, gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans-gendered rights, visible minorities, disabilities and young workers
- Environmental issues, including chemical hazards and cancer prevention, climate change and energy and Social and Economic Issues
- Social and economic justice through government budget analysis and lobbying on issues including health and Medicare, labour and migration, pensions & retirement, training and apprenticeship, unemployment insurance and the role of unions
PSAC Social Justice Fund
The labour movement has an important role in fighting the social and economic inequities that impact the lives of workers and people in Canada and around the world. The Social Justice Fund is one of PSAC’s contributions to that struggle.
PSAC's success in negotiating the Fund at the bargaining table is growing. To date, we have achieved the Social Justice Fund with over 102 bargaining units from coast to coast to coast. These bargaining units range in size from hamlet councils and housing authorities in the North to a national employer like Canada Post. Four national components also contribute to the Fund.
The promotion of the right to decent work, quality public services, human rights and equity are cornerstones of the PSAC Social Justice Fund. Through education, mobilization and empowerment, PSAC's Social Justice Fund works to advance the role of our members in building more equitable and sustainable communities in Canada and the around the world.
UNW President was one of the founding members of the PSAC Social Justice Fund Steering Committee. The Steering Committee plays an active role in the administration of the SJF and the approval of the budget and initiative. Since the fund was established in 2003, the UNW President has held a position on the Steering Committee, and the UNW has been one of the largest component contributors to the Fund.
Café Justicia is an organic fair trade plus coffee produced by the Campesino Committee of the Highlands (CCDA), a farmer’s organization working for labour rights and long term social change in Guatemala. The CCDA also works to promote traditional Mayan agriculture.
Café Justicia is also a philosophy and expression of solidarity between consumers and producers. Your purchase will help to raise funds and consciousness for social justice projects in Mayan communities. All proceeds are designated for the housing program, paying the salary of a full-time school teacher, improving access to potable water and food sovereignty for the population.
How to become involved in your union
Come Out to Events
The UNW is a strong union, with lots of community involvement and participation. The only way we can maintain this is through a vibrant group of volunteers. We hope you will help out with one of our events and donate some time to make your union more effective. If you aren’t sure what you can offer, just stop by to meet people with common interests. Check out our events calendar.
Attend Meetings of Your Local
Meetings of your local are advertised on bulletin boards and through this website. Attending local meetings introduces you to the priorities and activities of your local and the UNW as a whole. You make friends and partners and help to protect and expand the rights of your fellow workers. Contact your Local for information on meetings and watch for announcements.
Become a Shop Steward
If you want to become a work place advocate for your co-workers, you may want to become a shop steward. You will become an asset in your workplace, and you will gain confidence and skills that are transferable into all aspects of your life and work. Talk with your Local President and/or Chief Steward and let them know that you are interested.