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News & Stories

November 9, 2020

MFL News Health & Safety

The MFL mourns the death of a health care worker from COVID-19

The Manitoba Labour movement mourns the death of a CUPE health care worker from Victoria General Hospital who lost their life from COVID-19. We are saddened by this loss and hope the family, coworkers and friends of our fallen worker can provide each other comfort and support.

Every worker who goes into work deserves to go home safe and healthy at the end of every shift. Now, more than ever, we are relying on essential service workers to be there for us. We hear daily from workers who fear they aren’t being supplied with the appropriate personal protective equipment, how there are not enough staff to provide the care they need and want to, and how our health system is struggling to keep up with increased demands.

Manitobans deserve better. Workers deserve the right personal protective equipment to be safe at work, and that means having the best protective equipment available. We believe workers need to be informed and have an equal say in establishing the right PPE, and that they should not be provided with any less due to costs or other criteria. 

Today is a day filled with sorrow, let us ensure we do not continue to suffer losses tomorrow.

In Solidarity,

Kevin Rebeck

President of the Manitoba Federation of Labour

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October 7, 2020

MFL News

Manitoba Federation of Labour responds to Pallister government's Throne Speech

Statement by MFL President Kevin Rebeck on the Pallister government's Throne Speech:

Manitobans are concerned right now. They are concerned about keeping themselves and their loved ones safe from COVID-19. They are concerned about their jobs, and they are concerned about the future.  

People are waiting far too long to get a COVID-19 test, forcing them to wait in their car for hours and put their jobs on hold. Working families want to see tangible results that bring these wait times down as we continue to see rising cases of COVID-19 in our province. But making COVID-19 testing easier was barely mentioned in this speech.  

Working families also want to see a plan for rebuilding our province, one that creates good, mortgage-paying jobs. This needs to include expanded non-for-profit, affordable child care to allow parents to get back to work.  

We do give the Pallister government credit for one thing: we are glad to see them commit to the calls from labour unions to institute a paid sick leave program for Manitoba workers. Ensuring that all workers can stay home when they are sick without losing pay will play an important role in stopping the spread of this virus. 

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October 1, 2020

MFL News


The Manitoba Federation of Labour, representing over 100,000 unionized workers in the province, is supporting the call by UFCW 832 to boycott all Stella’s locations in the province, MFL president Kevin Rebeck announced today following a vote by the MFL’s Executive Council. 

“Workers at the Stella’s Sherbrook location are on strike because of the continued disrespect shown to them by their employer,” said Rebeck. “And instead of realizing the error of their ways, this employer continues to dig in and treat their workers poorly. Enough is enough, it is time for to show your support for fairness in the workplace and boycott this employer until they start treating workers with respect.”

As a result of constant attempts at worker intimidation and suppression, UFCW 832 is calling on the public and the broader labour community to boycott Stella’s at all locations:

1.    Stella’s Sherbrook – 116 Sherbrook Street

2.    Stella’s Catering & Commissary – Unit16 – 1100 Waverley Street

3.    Stella’s Bakery – 110 Sherbrook

4.    Stella’s Grant – 195 Grant Avenue

5.    Stella’s at Plug In – 460 Portage Avenue

6.    Stella’s au CCFM – 340 Provencher Boul.

7.    Stella’s on Pembina – 1463 Pembina Highway

8.    Stella’s YWG – This location is closed

The strike and boycott will continue until either the employer come to the table, and we resolve the outstanding issues. Or at the end of 60 days, either side can apply to end the strike through alternate dispute resolution.

– 30 –

You can read more about UFCW 832's call to boycott Stella's here


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June 11, 2020

MFL News


Manitoba’s labour movement has won an important victory for workers and their Charter-protected right to collective bargaining, Manitoba Federation of Labour president Kevin Rebeck announced today on behalf of the Partnership to Defend Public Services (PDPS).

“Today’s ruling clearly shows that the Pallister government’s heavy-handed law violates the right to collective bargaining for 120,000 Manitobans who work in the public sector,” said Rebeck. 

Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench Justice McKelvey ruled that the Pallister government’s Public Services Sustainability Actand its actions to impede collective bargaining in the province are a violation of the Charter of Rights and Freedomsand workers’ right to collective bargaining. Today’s ruling confirms that the Public Services Sustainability Act is unconstitutional.  

“We said all along that this government was violating the rights of workers, and that Manitoba should allow the tried and tested process of collective bargaining to take place in the public sector,” added Rebeck. “Now, workers and employers can get back to the bargaining table when it becomes safe to do so without the threat of this unconstitutional legislation hanging over their heads.”

Rebeck added that he was glad to see the ruling so strongly struck down the government’s law and rejected its legal arguments, cautioning that the Pallister government needs to stop interfering with collective bargaining in the public sector with further unconstitutional legislation. He noted that workers throughout the public sector have been working under expired contracts for years, and are now facing the additional challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“I want to thank Manitoba’s labour movement and our great legal team for this substantial victory for working people,” said Rebeck. “Manitoba’s unions will always be there to fight for workers’ rights on the job, and this legal victory represents another step in the pursuit of workplace justice.“

As was agreed at the beginning of the trial, the court will now set further dates to determine what financial and other remedies will be payable to the union plaintiffs by the government, including compensation for legal costs.

The Partnership to Defend Public Services represents more than 110,000 workers who are members of: AESES, CUPE, General Teamsters Local 979, IBEW 2034, IBEW 2085, IBEW 435, Operating Engineers of Manitoba Local 987, LALA, MAHCP, MGEU, MNU, MTS, PIPSC, UA Local 254, PSAC, UFCW 832, UMFA, UNIFOR, USW 7106, USW 7975, USW 8223, USW 9074, UWFA, WAPSO IFPTE Local 162, BUFA, IATSE Local 63, UBC Local 1515, PCAM, and the MFL. 

You can read the court decision here.

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May 1, 2020


MFL shines light on WCB rejection of Covid-19 cases

The Manitoba Fedration of Labour has learned that WCB COVID-19 claims by workers in Manitoba are being approved at an alarmingly low rate, with just six per cent of claims having been accepted so far (7 out of 123). The vast majority of claims related to COVID-19 have been submitted by health care workers. The MFL has been calling for the Pallister government to provide presumptive WCB coverage for COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic here in Manitoba.

After learning of these deeply concerning numbers, President Kevin Rebeck has once again written the Minister of Finance to encourage the government to do the right thing and provide presumptive WCB coverage for COVID-19 to make sure workers have access to a simpler, more straightforward claims process that provides them the supports they need. You can read that letter here

You can read a previous letter from President Rebeck on this issue here



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April 6, 2020

MFL News General

MFL calls for the extension of health care coverage for uninsured Manitobans

Today, MFL President Kevin Rebeck wrote to the Minister of Health, Seniors and Active Living to join in the call for the Government of Manitoba to extend health care coverage for those residents in Manitoba who are currently uninsured and do not meet the eligibility criteria for provincial health care coverage during the COVID-19 pandemic. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, we know that the health of our province depends on the health of all Manitobans. When those that are most vulnerable are denied health care, and believe they are unable to access free testing and treatment for COVID-19, it puts our entire community at risk of a more rapid and greater spread of the virus.

Migrant workers, international students, and undocumented migrants who have lost their status, are all at risk of contracting the virus and spreading it without access to easily acceptable free public healthcare. Currently some have some type of insurance, often private emergency service insurance that may not cover COVID-19 assessments, testing or treatment. Others may face the unaffordable barrier of paying up front for services and waiting for insurance companies to reimburse them. And still others have no health insurance at all. These circumstances, along with the fear of possible detention or deportation negatively influence these members of our community to put all of us at risk by not seeking healthcare services. You can read President Rebeck's letter here


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April 1, 2020


Manitoba Federation of Labour continues to call for presumptive workers compensation coverage for COVID-19

Statement on behalf of Kevin Rebeck, President of the Manitoba Federation of Labour:

Many Manitobans are going to work to be there for us during the COVID-19 pandemic. From health care to grocery stores to public services, these Manitobans are putting themselves at greater risk to exposure to COVID-19 on the job. 

We need to make sure that the right type of workers compensation coverage is in place for them, and the right type of coverage is called presumptive. So far, the Pallister government has failed to commit to presumptive workers compensation for COVID-19.

The claims process for this coverage would be easier for workers to navigate, and would get them the supports they need more rapidly. We should not force workers who are exposed to COVID-19 on the job to go through a longer, more difficult claim process. 

We call on the Minister of Finance to commit that workers compensation coverage for exposure to COVID-19 on the job will be provided on a presumptive basis, as it is with post-traumatic stress disorder. 

We owe it to the Manitobans who are showing up for us in this pandemic to have the right workers compensation coverage in place for them. The time to act is now. 


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March 29, 2020

Health & Safety

Manitoba Federation of Labour urges increased funding for Workplace Safety and Health to respond to increased demands of COVID-19 pandemic

(Winnipeg) - The Manitoba Federation of Labour (MFL) is urging the Pallister government to immediately restore $500,000 in funding cuts to Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health to help the branch meet the increased demands of the COVID-19 pandemic, MFL President Kevin Rebeck announced today.

“A pandemic is a bad time to cut workplace safety and health, but Manitoba’s Budget 2020 does just that,” said Rebeck. “We need our workplace safety and health officers to be well-equipped and fully-resourced to be able to respond to workplace concerns about COVID-19, as well as to provide information to workers and employers to help them prevent the spread of the virus.”

Trained provincial safety and health officers are best-placed to educate and respond to worker and employer questions and concerns about preventing COVID-19 transmission on the job. These officers should also be equipped with personal protective equipment when physically responding to workplace investigations.

Rebeck added that with new rules in place to limit public gatherings, Manitoba’s workplaces remain the largest congregations of people in our province, and so ensuring they remain safe is critically important to the overall public health response to COVID-19. These funding cuts to the branch affects the ability for safety and health officers and staff to be able to inspect workplaces and help respond to workers concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“We know that Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health is receiving increased requests for information about how to keep workplaces safe during this pandemic, and workers are wondering about their right to refuse unsafe work,” said Rebeck. “We hope that the Pallister government will do the right thing and increase funding for this important front-line service.”

Manitoba’s unions have been flooded with calls about the pandemic from workers who are raising concerns of the safety of their workplaces and what prevention measures their workplaces should take to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The province has released a number of public health orders that focused on public gatherings, the hospitality, retail and transportation sectors, but did not speak to other industries that depend daily on large workforces. 

You can read President Rebeck's letter to the Minister of Finance regarding workplace safety and health cuts here.  



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March 23, 2020


Manitoba Federation of Labour calls for workers compensation coverage for workers exposed to COVID-19 on the job

Statement by MFL President Kevin Rebeck about the need for workers exposed to COVID-19 on the job to be covered under Workers Compensation immediately:

With the growing number of cases of COVID-19 in our province, the Manitoba Federation of Labour has written to the Minister of Finance to highlight the urgent need to put a plan in place to ensure workers exposed to COVID-19 on the job are covered by workers compensation.

Even with many Manitobans in isolation or practicing self-distancing measures, we are all still relying on many workers to attend their jobs to provide health care services, operate grocery stores and pharmacies, deliver meals, transport essential goods, and maintain vital transit, infrastructure, community and emergency services, as well as other desperately needed services like child care and flying Canadians home from abroad.

Many are putting themselves at greater risk to exposure to COVID-19 to help us all. We owe it to them to provide presumptive workers compensation coverage for all Manitobans who contract COVID-19 during the course of their employment. 

This would provide some assurance that they can continue to provide for their families if they are required to self-quarantine or seek hospitalization. The time to act is now.

You can read the letter here


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March 19, 2020

MFL News


Statement by MFL President Kevin Rebeck on the Provincial Government Budget

We realize that this budget was originally meant to be introduced last week, but our province and economy have changed dramatically since then. 

We need an emergency economic action plan that meets our new realities: large numbers of workers experiencing reduced shifts and layoffs, schools and child-care centres shut down, businesses and non-profit organizations closing, and workers and their families struggling to stay afloat.

Working families in Manitoba, and our economy and health care system are all facing unprecedented challenges. The budget as presented does not reflect the new realities Manitoba workers are facing.

Manitobans are worried about their health and their ability to pay the bills over the coming weeks. They are worried about keeping their jobs or having jobs to come back to. People are looking to their government for support in navigating the uncertain economic times ahead. And they are looking for increased investments to meet our increased health care needs, not the flat-lined funding for health care that this budget presents.

We are calling on the Pallister government to take a necessary first step and make a clear commitment to all working Manitobans to immediately implement 14 days of job-protected leave. People need all the support they can get right now, from all levels of government.

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Upcoming Events

Virtual Memorial for the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women

Friday, December 04, 2020 at 12:00 pm until Friday, December 04, 2020 at 1:00 pm

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