In 1988, United Way Centraide Canada and the Canadian Labour Congress formalized our long-term cooperative relationship. The Canadian Labour Congress is the largest federation of unions in Canada, representing over 3 million working people, and is a key partner in strengthening our communities. The Canadian Labour Congress and United Way Centraide come together at both a national and local level to engage and support workers and working families. Union members and their families represent a broad spectrum of community members. They are United Way Centraide donors and volunteers, as well as users of the programs and services United Way Centraide funds. At the direction of their membership, unions are also active in the community in their own right, providing cooperative housing, childcare and other services. It just makes sense for us to work together.
We are stronger together
- The Canadian Labour Congress and United Way Centraide jointly offer the three-level Labour Community Advocate training program. This program teaches union members about the resources available in their community and issues of concern to community members. It explores how unions contribute to and can become more involved with their communities. Elements of the program, such as workers’ legal employment rights, are available for delivery to non-unionized workers, new Canadians and young workers. In addition, program graduates provide information about available resources to co-workers who are seeking assistance with personal challenges.
- Local labour councils and United Ways Centraides have teamed up to support workers who have lost their jobs due to workplace closures or mass layoffs. In some locations they established community-wide adjustment centres to assist workers in their search for alternate and comparable employment, thus keeping the local economy strong and the community healthy.
- United Way Centraide and the Canadian Labour Congress work together at the local level to address the immediate needs in their community. For example, unions work with United Ways Centraides to provide meals to hungry community members; backpacks with school supplies for kids whose parents can’t afford them; and renovation and repair for community organizations working on a shoe-string.
- Unions and United Ways Centraides work together to gather the resources necessary to build strong, resilient communities. Unions seek out members who are interested in the community and United Way Centraide and facilitate their involvement. Unions are key supporters of the annual United Way Centraide campaign, encouraging members to volunteer and give. Approximately 55 percent of the total (national) campaign comes from individual workplace donations, with up to 80 percent of campaign dollars coming from unionized workplaces in some communities.
- United Way Centraide and the Canadian Labour Congress connect almost 50 Labour Programs and Services staff in communities across Canada. Labour Programs and Services staff bring United Ways Centraides, unions and community organizations together around common issues, such as anti-poverty initiatives, retirement security and affordable housing.
Endorsements: 2016 Campaign
Canadian Labour Congress and Federations of Labour
- Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions
- Canadian Office and Professional Employees Union
- International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers
- International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
- Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association
- Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation
- Service Employees International Union
- United Food and Commercial Workers Canada