CFU / Unifor launches first-ever freelancer organizing drive

MONTREAL, Aug. 18, 2015 /CNW/ - As freelancing is becoming more and more common, the number of self-employed Canadians working in precarious jobs has grown. These workers are increasingly looking for new ways to foster collaboration, support and social connection, as well as improving workplace protection and benefits. To respond to this growing need, the Canadian Freelance Union has launched its first-ever organizing drive as a community chapter of Unifor, Canada's largest private sector union.

"Self-employed communications professionals are growing in numbers at the same time as they have seen their incomes plummet. The Canadian Freelance Union seeks to reverse this trend and improve the working conditions of freelance workers. Unsurprisingly, our numbers are growing," said Leslie Dyson, acting president of the Canadian Freelance Union.

The organizing drive is being coordinated nationally, with efforts concentrated in Vancouver, Toronto and Halifax, where local organizers have been hired. Through the CFU, freelancers can access discounted insurance rates, press credentials and advocacy in the case of disputes with a contractor. The CFU seeks to offer protections and benefits that are synonymous with unionized jobs to the most precarious communications workers.

The CFU represents hundreds of freelance workers including artists, designers, online communications workers, journalists and translators. It draws on the traditional labour union model to extend benefits and protections to workers in atypical workplaces.

The launch coincides with Unifor's national organizing conference in Montreal, August 17-18.

For further information: Nora Loreto, Québec Director of the Canadian Freelance Union: 581 983 4397 (EN/FR)

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