March 30, 2020
Message from our National President: We continue to fight for our members facing Covid-19
I want to keep you apprised of some of the important work that your union is doing in these trying and difficult times.
UNDE recognizes that COVID-19 is impacting each and every one of our approximate 18 000 members in a different way depending on their job, family, health and financial situation.
The Union of National Defence Employees’ National Executive and I remain committed to helping every single one of our members and continue to be in conversation with each other, National Defence, Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services and Separate Employers.
Although the National Office is closed as a result of the global pandemic, we worked quickly with our Labour Relations Officers and Administration Staff to continue the ongoing work of Union of National Defence Employees remotely. The National Executive have been meeting via teleconference to ensure the business of the Union of National Defence Employees continues.
We recognize that as front-line workers, the work of the UNDE membership directly supports the Canadian Armed Forces. National Defence relies upon UNDE members who perform critical tasks to support the CAF in successfully completing their mission, should they be called upon during this global pandemic. As such, many of our members have been asked to continue to report to work and perform those critical tasks even during these trying and dangerous times.
We have received a commitment from National Defence to limit the scope of work performed by contractors to essential core activities in the workplace and ensure contractors will continue to receive fair and timely payment for goods received and services rendered.
We have had success in gaining clarification on what constitutes critical tasks and as such have managed to have our members removed from potentially unsafe environments. There is more work that needs to be completed in this regard and I encourage you to contact your Local Executive if you are feeling unsafe or are being ordered to perform non-critical tasks and cannot come to a resolution with your manager.
It is critical that everyone remains safe and in those situations where you feel your safety is being jeopardized I encourage you to refuse dangerous work.
My husband Blair and I are amongst the more than 400 000 Canadians who are stranded abroad but we are healthy, safe, and we are appreciative of the membership and staff for sending their kind thoughts and prayers.
Regardless of where each of us is physically located, UNDE will continue to remain strong, united and our fight to protect members will endure.
UNDE National President
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