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What to do when the paycheque stops

Getting through a strike

A guide to assist union members and their families during difficult times.

Strike? Lockout? What should you do?


Make sure your family knows what has happened. Acknowledge there will be increased stress during this period. Ongoing, hidden, or new problems may intensify or surface while you’re under pressure, but together you can make a plan to get through it.

Evaluate & plan

You will have limited income during this time. Make a list of your necessary expenses and regular payments.

This may include:
• mortgage or rent
• utilities
• food
• car payments and gas
• credit cards and loans

Plan to be on a stricter budget during this time, and defer any major new expenses if you can.

Put your plan in motion

You may have to consider alternate sources of income, such as selling unused items, drawing from your savings, borrowing from life insurance, and cashing in securities.

Contact any creditors as soon as possible and discuss payment options, given your situation. They can be surprisingly accommodating and may offer supports, services, or options you don’t know about.

Document your actions, calls, and conversations so you can refer back and so you have a record.

Your local or union may have someone designated to help you access community or government programs and services.
You can also talk to someone who has taken part in the Labour Community Advocate Program, who is trained to offer support to union peers. Contact United Way Winnipeg’s Labour Director for more information.

Call 2-1-1. A friendly and knowledgeable 211 Manitoba navigator will help you find what you need, whether it’s food, counselling, parenting support, and much more. You can call 24/7 and speak to someone in over 200 languages.

Finding help at United Way Winnipeg agencies

Our agency partners can help with family, financial, and personal difficulties.

211 Manitoba

Not sure what’s out there or what kind of help you’re looking for? Call 2-1-1 any time, day or night, to be connected with a helpful service navigator who will listen and connect you with the right supports, from goverment and health to social services.

Phone 211 / Email / Website

Community Financial Counselling Services

Need help with debt? Credit counselling, debt consolidation, debt repayment, assessment, and budgeting for people experiencing financial stress. Information & referrals for income assistance.

Phone 204-989-1200 / Email / Website / Location 516-294 Portage Avenue

Family Dynamics

Need help dealing with stress? Free or low-cost counselling.
Need help with basic needs like food and clothing? Visit one of several family resource centres.

Phone 204-947-1401 / Email / Website / Location 401-393 Portage Avenue inside Portage Place

Community Unemployed Help Centre

Need post-strike support with Employment Insurance? Information, representation and support services to help eligible, unemployed workers apply for benefits like EI and EIA.

Phone 204-942-6556 / Email / Website / Location 102B-275 Broadway Avenue

Finding help at community agencies

These community agencies can help you with specific needs.

Harvest Manitoba

Worried you don’t have enough to eat? Harvest Manitoba distributes emergency food. A current Manitoba Health card is required to get emergency food supplies.

Phone 204-982-3663 / Email / Website / Location 1085 Winnipeg Avenue

Community Legal Education Association (Manitoba) Inc.

Need a lawyer? Understanding the law and lawyer referral service.

Phone 204-943-2305 / Toll Free 204-943-2305 / Email / Website / Location 301-441 Main Street

WRHA Mobile Crisis Unit

Are you suffering a mental health emergency? 24/7 mobile unit with intervention, mental health assessment, emergency support, and short-term follow-up.

Phone 204-940-1781

Klinic Community Health Centre

Need help dealing with stress? 24/7 crisis line to discuss depression, grief, self-esteem, suicide, anxiety, domestic abuse, and more.

Phone 204-786-8686 / Toll Free 1-888-322-3019

Manitoba Suicide Prevention & Support Line

Are you (or someone you care about) struggling with suicidal thoughts? 24/7 crisis line to help you find a reason to live.

Toll Free 1-877-435-7170 / Website

Residential Tenancies Branch

Need help with your landlord? Information about landlord and tenant obligations, investigates complaints, mediation and dispute resolution.

Phone 204-945-2476 / Toll Free 1-800-782-8403 / Email / Website / Location 1700-155 Carlton Street

Get in touch

Our Labour Director embodies Labour’s commitment to critical social issues through their relationship with United Way Winnipeg. Email our Labour Director if you would like to connect. 

Winnipeg Labour Council and Canadian Labour Congress logos.