The Canadian Freelance Union (CFU) is a Canadian trade union. It was originally a new kind of local created in 2008 by the Communications, Energy, and Paperworkers Union of Canada (CEP), a local that did not have a collective agreement with a single employer. When CEP merged with the Canadian Auto Workers in 2012-2013 to create Unifor, the CFU became one of Unifor's first "community chapters" (a union local for members not in a single location sharing common interests and common work types).
The CFU has a strong focus on freelance media contributors, such as writers and designers, but in 2015 broadened its scope to seek to affiliate freelancers in many fields and among vulnerable workers in Canada engaged in precarious work.
In 2016 the CFU has part-time paid organizers working in Vancouver, Toronto, and Halifax, but has no paid leadership or central staff positions. The members of its board of directors are elected by the full membership to two-year terms.
The union identifies three key areas of focus:
- To take action for better standards for freelancers.
- To provide medical plans, arbitration insurance, and other services individuals cannot access on their own.
- To combat social isolation by helping members connect with other freelancers.
The CFU surveyed its membership at the end of 2015. The word cloud summarizes the responses to a question asking what its members do: