Labour and United Way

The Canadian Labour Congress and United Way share a common vision for strong, healthy and prosperous communities offering a wide range of accessible, universal and high-quality social and public services. Labour acknowledges the important role of volunteers in creating these communities and United Way recognizes the need for fully funded and staffed public services.

The partnership between organized labour and United Way has evolved and grown for more than 50 years. The Canadian Labour Congress and United Way of Canada have signed a statement of principles that acknowledges their shared vision for strong communities and a plan to work together to achieve this goal. Canadian Labour Congress representatives liaise and work closely with United Way so our combined voices, networks and resources can make our vision real.

At United Way Elgin Middlesex there is a Labour Programs & Services Coordinator that works with labour in the community, the London and District Labour Council, the London & District Building and Construction Trades Council and United Way to keep this partnership alive. Our labour coordinator offers a number of programs and services in Elgin and Middlesex.

Labour Appreciation Awards

Each year at our Labour Appreciation Night event, United Way and our labour partners recognize outstanding volunteers within workplaces who contribute so much to United Way, and to their community.

Images of Hope award

Images of Hope recognizes the effort of an extraordinary individual from the labour community who has provided outstanding volunteer service to United Way and the community. Considered a lifetime achievement, this award celebrates a community  leader  who has demonstrated leadership and contributed to major change in Elgin,  Middlesex. Sponsored by the London & District Labour Council and the London and District Building Trades Council, this award was established in 1999. Each year, Labour United is responsible for choosing the Images of hope recipient.

Labour Appreciation Volunteer Awards

The Labour Appreciation Volunteer Awards recognize some of the most dedicated volunteers who help make United Way workplace campaigns so successful. Award recipients are union members who have worked “in the trenches” for several years, raising funds for United Way London & Middlesex. They exemplify innovation and creativity, incorporate best practices of resource development and often leave a legacy by creating succession in their workplaces. Each year, 10 to 12 recipients representing a broad base of unions and campaign accounts and divisions are selected by the Labour Campaign Committee, a subcommittee of United Way’s Campaign Cabinet, in partnership with the London & District Labour Council and the London and District Building Trades Council.


Images of Hope award recipient

Sharon Lupton

More award recipients


Images of Hope award recipient

Jim Reid

More award recipients


Images of Hope award recipient

Dan Borthwick

More award recipients

The Labour Community Advocate Training Program

The Labour Community Advocate Training Program can help your members cope with the many challenges in their lives.

Local unions with the Labour Community Advocate Training program help members with drug and alcohol problems, mental health issues, violence in the family, financial problems and more ─ essentially any personal issues affecting them in their workplace, home or community.

Labour Community Advocate Program

***NOTE: Level 1 is a prerequisite for Level 2
Level II  Session – 2017 | Starts September 25, 2017 – Registration Deadline: September 16, 2017

Program runs for nine weeks. All sessions are from 6:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Course details and registration forms will be sent out. Watch your emails and our website

What is the Labour Community Advocate Training program?

  • Members are trained as Union Counsellors to help with other members’ problems in a respectful, understanding and confidential manner.
  • Union Counsellors connect members with the appropriate community services and agencies for help with their particular problem.
  • Union Counsellors are then available to provide ongoing support and follow up for your members.
  • It is a 30-hour, three-level Canadian Labour Congress sanctioned program spread over 10 weeks.

Why Start the Labour Community Advocate Training program?

  • Get members the help they need.
  • Strengthen your local by involving more members in the union.
  • Be part of a national network of union activists and staff who work with our partner, the United Way – Centraide, to support community services
    and agencies through advocacy.

Labour Adjustment Advisory Program

Through the Adjustment Advisory Program (AAP), the Ontario government works with employers, employees and communities to develop strategies to cope with company downsizing or plant closures.

What services are available?

The AAP supplies advisory and financial assistance to its clients to help them adjust to the effects of job loss in the workplace. AAP advisors help clients identify their needs and secure appropriate support, including career counselling, training, referral and job search skills training. Adjustment committees are established to ensure full employer and employee participation in the process.

Employee or displaced worker adjustment

The APP helps employees who are being laid-off to deal with the effects of losing their jobs. AAP helps them review their options and plan next steps through adjustment committees. Committees include representatives from all the affected employee groups, as well as management and the union of the company. The committees plan and implement any programs and services staff require, including job-search assistance, vocational and educational counselling, information on training, personal support in dealing with the stress of job loss, financial counselling, and information on starting a small business.

Who can participate?

Participation is open to any Ontario resident affected by layoffs, downsizings or closures of employers with 50 or more employees that have been reported to the Ministry of Labour by a Form 1 Summary.

United Way and labour adjustment

Through our work with various partners and agencies, United Way works with adjustment committees to find appropriate trainers for the people who will be helping the laid off workers. We also use our expertise and contacts to help leverage and manage the resources needed.

Employee Family Assistance Program

Workplaces have changed dramatically over the last decade. Distressed employees do not always know where to turn for help when personal problems take over. United Way, in cooperation with the Labour Community Service, facilitates workplace programs to direct employees to the help they need.

What is the Employee Family Assistance Program?

Employee Family Assistance Program (EFAP) is an in-workplace program that helps distressed employees with personal problems to find appropriate human care services. The goal of the program is to ensure that employees and their families get the precise service they need – anonymously, and without negatively affecting their job status.

Who are the referral persons?

Referral persons are individuals selected by their peers to act as a link between distressed employees and services that could be of help. The referral persons are trained, through this United Way program, to identify problems early and assist the individual employee in a caring, sensitive way, to find appropriate services.

Who should take the training?

Union representatives or individuals representing an employee group or association, management, medical unit staff, human resource managers, first line supervisors. The training is open to both unionized and non-unionized workplaces.

Benefits of the program

This program increases awareness of the personal and family needs of employees. It offers concrete approaches to guidance and assistance that result in: healthier employees; better employee productivity; reduced grievances and associated arbitration costs; reduced absenteeism; fewer Workers’ Compensation Board claims; fewer confrontations; a more productive and happy workplace.

Training provided

Employee Family Assistance Program training is provided each spring through United Way London & Middlesex. Among other relevant presentations, the 10-session program covers the topics of substance abuse, stress, community resources, interviewing and listening skills, and assisting families in crisis.

If you have any questions about the Labour programs, please contact:

Dani Bartlett
Labour Programs & Services Coordinator
Ph: 519-438-1723
Ext. 232

Dakota HalfpennyLabour Services