Volume XXV No. 3 October 2016
THE NEWS MAGA ZINE FOR MEMBERS OF LOCALS 175 & 633 UFCW CANADA
The Local Union for All Workers
Our Members at Work: First Student page 10
CAN BBQ & Pride Events page 22
Labour Day Photos! page 14
LOCAL 175 Shawn Haggerty, President; Kelly Tosato, Secretary-Treasurer; Karen Vaughan, Recorder; Sylvia Groom, Luc Lacelle, Jim McLean, Harry Sutton - Executive Assistants LOCAL 633 Dan Bondy, President; Marylou Mallett, Secretary-Treasurer; Neil Hotchkiss, Recorder WORKERS’ COMPENSATION Georgina MacDonald - Intake Representative; Joanne Ford, Jody Jones, Christina Mayberry, Sarah Neath - Workers’ Compensation Representatives COMMUNICATIONS Jennifer Tunney - Senior Communications Representative; Laurie Duncan Communications Representative; Meemee Seto - Servicing Representative HEALTH & SAFETY Mary Shaw, Chris Watson - Health & Safety Representatives LEGAL Fernando Reis - Director; Maryanne Galati, Roberto Henriquez, Matthew Jagodits, Jane Mulkewich Legal Counsel ORGANIZING Rick Wauhkonen - Director; Farman Ali, Joce Cote, Linval Dixon, Amy Tran - Organizing Representatives; Amit Singh - Organizing Apprentice TRAINING & EDUCATION Rob Armbruster - Director; Kelly Nicholas - Co-ordinator; Tim Deelstra - Engagement & Media Relations Strategist REGION 1 Dan Lacroix - Regional Director; Colby Flank, Tracy Stubbs - Union Representatives REGION 2 Derik McArthur - Regional Director; Mona Bailey, John DiFalco, Anthony DiMaio, John Di Nardo, Melody Slattery, Mark Stockton, Dave White - Union Representatives
Our Members at Work
Page 10 Page 14
Union News & Letters
Altered Lives Project Les’s Story
Community Action Network Page 22
Negotiations Page 8
REGION 3 Daniel Mercier - Regional Director; Shannon Epp, Paul Hardwick, Lionel MacEachern, Dean McLaren - Union Representatives; Jacques Niquet - Servicing Representative REGION 4 Chris Fuller - Regional Director; Ron McGuire, Brenda Simmons - Union Representatives; Orsola Augurusa, Rick Daudlin, Virginia Haggith, Lee Johnson-Koehn, Derek Jokhu, Casey Magee - Servicing Representatives REGION 5 Angela Mattioli - Regional Director; Jehan Ahamed, Bob Kearney, Brad Morrison, Mario Tardelli - Union Representatives; Rolando Cabral - Servicing Representative REGION 6 Rob Nicholas - Regional Director; Wendy Absolom, Sam Caetano, Matt Davenport, Joe De Melo, Ashleigh Garner, Jason Hanley, Jeffery Lu, Mike Mattioli - Union Representatives; Fred Teeple - Servicing Representative REGION 7 Sharon Kempf - Regional Director; Diane Sanvido, Steve Springall - Union Representatives; Dan Bondy, Dave Forbes - Servicing Representatives REGION 8 Sandra Rogerson - Regional Director; Jeff Barry, Matt Belanger, Tony Nigro, Arlene Robertson Union Representatives ISSN No. 1703-3926
CHECKOUT is an official publication of Locals 175 & 633 of the United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW)
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President’s Message Shawn Haggerty
Changing Workplaces Review may bring Long-awaited Labour Law improvements For the first time in a generation, a review is underway to make changes to Ontario’s Employment Standards Act (ESA) and the Ontario Labour Relations Act (OLRA). The focus of the Changing Workplaces Review is vulnerable workers in precarious jobs and the need for legislative amendments.
So it’s about time that something like the Changing Workplace Review took place. In July, an interim report was released with the information the panel received from Unions, employers and other interest groups. UFCW Canada submitted the following recommendations to better protect workers’ rights in this province:
We all want a vibrant, cutting-edge economy with good jobs. But having a dynamic adaptive workforce shouldn’t mean that only workers feel the impact of changes. We’ve seen the rise of ‘flexible’ work – which basically means, we’ll call you if we need you – and we’ve seen older workers abandoned because being close to retirement basically precludes you from being hired for meaningful work. We’ve seen part-time work become the norm, as have lower wages and no benefits. But if workers have to adapt, employers should be required to sacrifice too.
• Extend card-check certification to all sectors to make it easier for workers to join a Union, and;
Too many employers get away with illegal business practices. They rely on our government not enforcing compliance or carrying out regular inspections, and they absolutely rely on the fact that workers are too intimidated to take up the fight on their own at the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB). Even if employers do get caught, the penalties aren’t enough to discourage breaking the law again. Ontario’s workforce must stay competitive and the nature of ever-changing local and global economies means that some industries and jobs will shift. But our province has done very little to protect workers or adapt our industries for change. There has been no progress in our laws to mitigate these changes either. And working people are getting caught in the middle. If an employer insists on a flexible workforce there must be fair compensation to those employees like ample notice on shifts, standby pay, minimum shift-cancellation notice, the option to participate in health and pension plans, and more.
• Adopt automatic access for first contract arbitration to restore balance to the labour relations process. These aren’t attention-grabbing or glamourous things – but if these suggestions can be enacted as law, the power of working people will rise exponentially. Our labour laws are out of date and very employer friendly. That wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing if employers stepped up and gave of their own free will, or if our government enforced laws and protected workers. But we know, in most cases, neither of those things are happening. It’s about time that our laws put working people first and I am cautiously optimistic about positive changes coming from the Workplaces Review. I encourage you to check out the Interim Report yourself at: www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/about/pdf/cwr_interim.pdf While it is a long document, it provides great detail about the issues facing working people in this province and how critical it is that we fix the situation soon. In Solidarity, Shawn Haggerty
| October 2016
Secretary-Treasurer’s Message Kelly Tosato
We are the Local Union for All Workers Our members live in all parts of the province and work in all sectors and job types. From retail to manufacturing, health care to hospitality, red meat and poultry to ice cream and canning, emergency services to dentistry, and much more. We truly are the Local Union for all Workers.
charities, and I hear many stories of members helping out other members when tragedy strikes. I also know that many more members give their free time to help out in their communities on a regular basis too. Your Union family is full of amazing people.
We might not brag about it as much as other Unions, but we have some of the best collective agreements out there.
No matter our differences – whether part-time or full-time, single or raising a family, putting yourself through school or close to retirement – we are the Local Union for All Workers. In fact, that’s the slogan we’ve embraced going forward as we continue to grow and service our vibrant membership. If you haven’t seen it already, you’ll start to see it on more of your Union communications, and on things like t-shirts in the photos here!
Sometimes improvements come in the form of wages and benefits, and sometimes it’s about achieving important trend-setting language. There is no doubt that it continues to be a struggle in some sectors to make real gains during negotiations. Most employers are looking to cut costs wherever they can. But we are 70,000 members strong. And, I do mean strong. Working people from almost every sector can find a home with Locals 175 & 633 to help better provide for their family. When times are tough, families make it through by sticking together and showing up to support each other. It’s the same with your Union family. To help ensure that every member of our Union family can benefit from belonging and can reach out to the Union for support and answers when they need to, we mailed out new membership cards to every member for whom we have an accurate address. (Stewards and Health & Safety Committee Reps will receive theirs soon.) We know not everyone ended up getting one – some were returned to us as bad addresses and for others we simply had no address to send it to. Please update your information with us when you move or get a new phone number. UFCW Locals 175 & 633 is your Union. It’s your community; Your family. Our members are charitable and generous. They give their money and energy to raise money for
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What we all are, is workers. Working people who all deserve a living wage, steady work, reliable health coverage, and respect on the job. If we join our 70,000 voices together to fight for workers’ rights – a higher minimum wage, more full-time steady work, health benefits and pensions – it will be impossible to ignore us. In Solidarity, Kelly Tosato
In 1982, Sherree Backus became a UFCW member working at Colonial Cookies in Kitchener where she was Plant Chairperson for 10 years. She was hired by Local 617P as a Staff Representative and Recorder. When 617P merged with Local 175, Sherree became a Union Representative. A short time later, she shifted her focus to Workers’ Compensation, where she worked until retirement. Sherree could be counted on to show her support at rallies and she often spoke at events such as the annual Injured Workers Day rally at Queen’s park. She fought hard to demand justice for injured workers and better protection for all working people. She was an open critic of the Workplace Safety & Insurance Board (WSIB) and its bad policies that take benefits away from injured workers in the name of cutting costs. Sherree had many responsibilities including handling members’ appeals at the WSIB and Workplace Safety & Insurance Act Tribunal (WSIAT), as well as with Employment Insurance (EI) and Canada Pension Plan (CPP). Many Stewards and Members took part in courses instructed by Sherree over the years and she was an active participant in the UFCW WSIB Working Group. She took many courses
herself, including Occupational Disability Response Team (ODRT) WSIB Training and Instructor Training, and she helped develop the Ergonomic Training session for the UFCW National Defence Fund (NDF). Sherree also represented Locals 175 & 633 members’ interests at the Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) WSIB Committee, and often on the OFL Best Practices Group & Labour Injured Worker Advisory Committee (LIWAC). She was part of two OFL small working groups that presented submissions regarding the New Appeals Procedure to the Ministry of Labour (MOL) Fair Practice Commissioner and submissions to the WSIB regarding Policy Reviews. She also co-presented at the provincial legislature to the Government Standing Committee to address WSIB concerns. In 2014, Sherree received a plaque from the BramptonMississauga Labour Council honouring her dedication to the ‘fight for justice and dignity for injured workers.’ Her fight to improve lives also led Sherree to organize an annual Ice Fishing Derby to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada (LLSC) for 10 years in a row. “Sherree has been a great resource for our members and staff over the years,” said President Haggerty. “Her tireless efforts helped improve the quality of life for many members of UFCW Locals 175 & 633, and all injured workers. Her dedication will be missed.” In her retirement, Sherree will enjoy spending time with her two daughters, her four amazing grandchildren, and her husband of 41 years, Murray, who is also a UFCW Local 175 member at Fearmans in Burlington.
Welcome New Staff Earlier this year, Fred Teeple joined the staff of Local 175 as a Servicing Representative in Region 6.
Fred was also appointed as the WSIB Coordinator for Local 175 at Fearmans, and he sat on the Local Union Executive Board for two years.
In 1994, Fred started working at Fearmans Pork as a member of UFCW Local 1227. After a strike that lasted four and a half months in 1997, Local 1227 decided to join Local 175.
“I pursued a position with the Union in the hopes that I could use the skills I’ve learned to help and support all of the members of Locals 175 & 633,” he explains. “I look forward to the challenges ahead of me and I will continue to be a strong advocate for the members of this Local.”
After a few years as Steward, Fred became Plant Chairman and held that position for eight years. “I’ve always made my voice heard in the workplace, and as a Steward I was able to utilize that skill to benefit all of my co-workers.”
“Fred brings years of experience as a UFCW member and Steward to this new role,” said President Haggerty. “He is a dedicated labour activist and advocate for workers’ rights and I know our members will benefit from his leadership.” | October 2016
Welcome New Staff (continued) Amit Singh joined the Local 175 Organizing Department in June. She worked at the Ontario Addiction Treatment Centres (OATC) Brampton Clinic for almost three years and became a Union Steward when the clinics were organized by UFCW Local 175. Prior to that, Amit worked as a Personal Support Worker (PSW) and a Paralegal. Through her work experience, Amit recognized that not everyone is treated fairly in the workplace. “I’ve studied some labour law and even though I knew my rights, I wasn’t always in a position of being able to help myself or others.”
“As a Steward, I dealt with a number of issues with my employer at OATC,” she says. “My Union Rep, Jehan, assisted me and taught me a lot of things that helped me become more independent. I learned quite a bit about the process of resolving conflicts with the employer to help my co-workers.” Amit thought becoming an Organizer would be a great chance for her to grow. “I’ve always enjoyed being in a position of helping others and I was very excited to get this opportunity.” “I want to welcome Amit to our Organizing Team,” said President Haggerty. “She knows firsthand that belonging to a Union improves your work-life and I know she’ll work hard to bring Union representation to other workers.”
Letters Dear Mr. Di Maio I just want to take this opporunity to thank you for putting in enormous effort in making this deal the best possibly financially as well as benefit wise for the UFCW members at Orbis Canada. Many members from our ‘D’ shift and other shifts too want to thank you for this great deal they say, has not been done for many many years. Me too, on behalf of shift ‘D’ and all those who have approached me, send my gratitude for this great work done. Thank you. Vijay Agarwal Steward, ‘D’ Shift, Orbis Canada
If you have moved please make sure you notify the Union Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-800-565-8329 6
| October 2016
altered altered livesproject livesproject ufcw175.com/alteredlivesproject
Les‘ s story
Les is a maintenance worker and UFCW Local 175 Union Steward at a health care facility. Les’s older brother was a fit, active, and affable older worker who drove a lift truck at a non-Union manufacturing facility. His brother had submitted a written safety complaint about the number of close calls he had witnessed while driving the truck. The complaint cited overall congestion, pressure to produce, and driver inexperience, since many drivers were temporary employees. Despite his complaint, the problems persisted. Life for Les’s brother changed in an instant one day. While standing by his lift truck, adjusting a load that had shifted, another driver backed a lift truck into him crushing his leg between the two vehicles. After several failed surgeries to save his leg, doctors amputated it at the knee. As his brother grappled with the physical and psychological effects of losing his leg, Les and his family were deeply worried for his well-being: He just wasn’t the same. The injury took its toll. The ability for Les’s brother and his partner to participate and enjoy in many daily activities had been forever changed. Initially, the workers’ compensation board provided assistance: That compensation ended when he turned 65 years old. But his mortgage payments were still due and his other bills kept coming. He may still lose his home.
support,” said Les. “Maybe things would have turned out differently.” Currently, WSIB loss of earnings benefits are paid on allowed claims until you are no longer impaired by the work-related injury or illness, until you no longer have a loss of earnings, or until you reach 65. But many who have worked their whole lives able-bodied do not have enough savings to retire and need to work past the age of retirement. WSIB does not take this under consideration when it stops all benefits at 65. The accident motivated Les to become more active in the Union, and he is now a Union leader in his workplace. He is also passionate about improving the compensation system to provide greater dignity and fairness to injured or ill workers and their families, so that workers don’t get abandoned by the system at any age.
Under normal circumstances, he would be able to take a job to make ends meet, but at his age with his injury, the job prospects are much bleaker.
“It takes coordinated action to achieve any legislative improvements,” he said. “But we have to do better. We have to protect vulnerable workers, and in particular, young workers.”
The extended family helps out whenever possible but they too have been extremely frustrated with the many failings of the workers’ compensation system and the limited benefits available to their brother during his time of need.
His message: “Know your rights. Know what to do. Get educated and raise your awareness and understanding, and pass that knowledge on to others so we can all make a difference.”
“I wish my brother had been part of a Union and had their
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NEGOTIATIONS Contract ratified by housekeeping workers in Sudbury Sixty members employed by National Corporate Housekeeping (NCH) Services at Laurentian University in Sudbury achieved a new three-year contract on July 13, 2016. • Current employees receive 40 cents per hour in the first year, 40 cents per hour in the second year, and 45 cents per hour in the final year of the contract term.
• A new shift premium of 25 cents per hour will be paid for Off-Airport Vehicle Service Agents (VSAs) assigned to perform return work and ancillary duties. • More Gold Choice Customer Service Representatives can now take vacation concurrently. • Short-term Disability payments double to provide $500 per week in coverage.
• Additional language ensures that employee’s wages remain above the minimum wage set by the province.
• Employer-required doctor’s note for an absence will be reimbursed up to $20.
• The uniform allowance increases to $125 for those employees who required safety footwear and pants.
• As of January 1, 2017, the dental max increases by 25% to cover up to $1,250 per year for basic services.
• An additional paid floater day has been added for those with three years or more seniority.
• Eye glass coverage improves to $300 per 24 months.
Union Negotiating Committee: Nathan Lanigan, Mike Pierini, and Union Rep Lionel MacEachern. ... Members at O’Reilly’s Your Independent Grocer More than 80 bargaining unit members O’Reilly’s YIG in Prescott achieved a new agreement on July 18, 2016. • Wages increase by $1 per hour over the contract term with additional lump sum payments in years 1 and 4. • Part-time progressions receive adjustments to ensure that wages remain above the minimum wage. • The supervisory premium and relief pay improve. • Part-time hours increase to 28 per week, up from 24. • Contributions toward the employee’s dental plan increase to ensure benefits are maintained. • Statutory holiday work will be scheduled by seniority. • Full-time openings will be filled as full-time positions. • Increased paid time off for the birth/adoption of a child. • Paid time off for Stewards to meet with new employees. Union Negotiating Committee: Mary Alice Allan, Susan Chillson, Shane Patterson, and Union Reps Shannon Epp and Simon Baker. ... Employees at GTA Hertz locations achieve 3-year deal The 100 members at Hertz Canada locations at Pearson Airport, Union Station, Billy Bishop Airport, Scarborough, and Hudson’s Bay have secured a new 3-year contract. • Wages increase by 55 cents per hour in each year of the contract term.
• Unused sick days are now paid out at up to 200% for those with 10 unused days, 150% for five to nine unused days, and 100% for those with four or fewer. • Language addresses layoffs, and provides enhanced job security including better job posting notice and job filling, and ensuring that no cross-bargaining unit work will be done without the agreement of the Union. Union Negotiating Committee: James Anthony, Lily Tan, Ruddy Velupillai, and Union Rep Jehan Ahamed. ... Members at Park’N Fly achieve 5-year contract More than 160 members at the Park’N Fly Toronto airport location ratified a new agreement on June 14. “This contract is a great achievement for this committee and the members,” said Local 175 President Shawn Haggerty. “It exceeds the industry’s average wage increases and contains numerous improvements.” • Wages improve on average by 3% with an immediate increase of 40 cents per hour. Subsequent increases total $1.80 per hour over the contract term. Full-time receive a signing bonus of $300. Part-time receive 40 cents per hour worked since the expiry of the previous agreement. • The night shift premium increases to $1 per hour. • The Prescription Dispensing fee cap is removed. Total prescription coverage increases to $2,250 per year. • Effective January 1, 2017, members receive improved reimbursement of 90% with no frozen formulary. • Dental will be covered to a max of $1,750 effective January 2017, and to $1,800 per year in January 2018. • Vision care increases to $275 per 24-month period and it now covers immediate family members as well.
All of our negotiations don’t always fit into the magazine! You can find more online at www.ufcw175.com
Local 175 members affected by Silverstein’s Bakery closure Members of UFCW Local 175 employed as Drivers at Silverstein’s Bakery on McCaul Street in Toronto were handed permanent layoff notices on July 28 by their employer, and on July 29 the bakery closed. “The company informed the Union on July 28 that the business would close immediately,” said Shawn Haggerty, President of Local 175. “We were given the impression that the business had gone into receivership.” The Union had been in negotiations with Silverstein’s for a renewal contract. “Our members have the full support of their Union,” said President Haggerty. “We are taking the necessary steps to • As of January 2017, employees receive five paid sick days per year, up from the previous four. • A new massage/physiotherapy benefit provides up to $200 this year, $500 in 2017, and $600 in 2018. • Employees may remain in the company’s defined contribution plan, which includes a 2% match from the employer, and participate in the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP); or participate in the enhanced company pension plan to meet ORPP eligibility; or remain solely in the ORPP. • Full-time shift bids will be by seniority, and part-time will be offered shifts by seniority up to a guarantee of 24 hours if employees are available. • New shift exchange language provides paid overtime when working through lunch, and vacation pay for fulltime employees will be paid out at the end of the year or the employee can bank up to two years. Part-time vacation pay will be paid on each paycheque. • Bereavement now applies to out-of-country deaths, and leave increases to three paid days for the deaths of a sibling or sons- and daughters-in-law. • Negotiating committee’s wages will be paid 100% by the company for the first eight days, for three members. • Employer contributions to the UFCW Local 175 Training & Education Fund increase to $2,000 per year. Union Negotiating Committee: Dot Benjamin, Kay Hines, Vantanio Wint, and Union Rep John DiNardo. ... Ridgewood Industries employees ratify new contract The 300 members of the United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 175 employed at Ridgewood Industries in Cornwall have a new four-year collective agreement following a ratification vote held June 5, 2016.
deal with this abrupt closure and will be going to arbitration over severance not being paid in accordance with the collective agreement.” The Union is providing ongoing support by helping members file forms and documents to recieve support from various government programs. In addition to the 12 drivers represented by UFCW Local 175, there are a number of other workers at the Silverstein’s Bakery facility affected by this closure who are represented by the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers & Grain Millers (BCTGM) Union. The bakery had been in business since 1918. “The negotiating committee members worked hard to achieve this contract,” said Union Rep Daniel Mercier. “It marks significant improvements for these members over their previous agreement.” • Rates increase by 35 cents per hour, retroactive for hours worked since April 1, 2016, and subsequent increases total $1 per hour over the contract term. • Operators/Back Up Operators receive an increase to $15 per hour, up from $13, and then $16 per hour in 2018. • Shift premiums increase by five cents per hour retro to April 1, 2016, and another five-cent increase in 2018. • Employees can now transfer shifts and/or departments prior to the company hiring new staff for that position. • Health benefit plan premiums, will be paid 100% by the employer for the duration of the agreement. • New hires now qualify for benefits after six months instead of the previous nine months. • Short-term disability improves to provide $100 more per week. • Additional monetary improvements include a tool allowance of $225 per year for maintenance employees plus new uniform language, and license renewal fee reimbursement of up to $200, for the same classification. • All employees receive an improved safety boot allowance of $100 per year, up from the previous $80. • Members also receive tuition reimbursement of up to $150 per year for an employer-approved workplace education course. Union Negotiating Committee: Albert Boileau, Brent Branchaud, Bernadine Casselman, Jean Patenaude and Union Rep Daniel Mercier. | October 2016
OUR MEMBERS AT WORK
Meet UFCW Local 175 members who work at First Student Members at First Student, some of whom are featured on the following pages, work hard every day to ensure children get to and from school safely. UFCW Local 175 represents about 340 bus drivers in Welland, 57 in Kenora, and 140 in Sault Ste. Marie. With the start of a new school year, we all need to remember to do our part, slow down, and pay attention around school buses and in school zones. At your children’s school, make sure you’re familiar with the rules for drop-off and pick-up. If you’re driving behind a bus, you MUST come to a complete stop at a safe distance when the bus’s upper red lights flash and its stop sign is extended. Drivers travelling in either direction on a road with no median must stop for a stopped bus. That means if you’re on a four-lane highway with no physical division between the directions, you MUST stop if a bus is coming toward you and puts on its flashing lights. Do not move forward until the bus’s lights have stopped flashing and the bus begins to move. If you pass a stopped school bus with its upper red lights flashing you can be charged between $400 and $2,000 plus
| October 2016
six demerit points for a first offense. If you drive through a school zone on your commute, please slow down! School zones have lower speed limits, usually marked between 30 and 50 kilometres per hour, and are often increased fine zones, especially before and after school. Students have responsibilities too. • Be on time and wait at a safe distance from the road for your bus. • Walk 10 big steps from the front of the bus to cross the road. • Always cross the road in FRONT of the bus – never cross behind. • Look all ways for traffic before crossing, and look to the driver for a signal that it is safe as well. • While on the bus, students need to remember that their driver needs to concentrate in order to get all the students to their school safely. Behave. *Source Ministry of Transportation Ontario avaialble at: http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/safety/school-bus-safety.shtml
In 2011, Susan Lowen joined First Student in Sault Ste. Marie after working in retail for 11 years. Halfway through her second year with the company, she became a Steward, and at the end of the 2014/15 school year she became Chief Steward. “I enjoy having good working relationships with my fellow drivers, management and my Union Sisters and Brothers.” Susan has attended two Stewards’ conferences so far and has completed several courses through the UFCW Canada webCampus too. “I like driving district and city runs, and in-town and out-of-town charters too,” says Susan. “I’ve been very fortunate to have great kids and parents over the years.” In 2015, Susan was nominated for ‘Outstanding Bus Driver of the Year’ by one of the schools on her route.
Marvin Gauthier has been employed at First Student for the last 29 years. He works in the maintenance department and is responsible for ensuring the fleet of buses in Sault Ste. Marie runs safe and smooth. Marvin is very involved with the Union: He has been a Steward for all of his time at First Student and he has been part of the negotiating committee through seven rounds of bargaining.
Jim Montgomery has been a member of UFCW Local 175 for 54 years. He is a Steward for the Welland group, has participated in negotiations through various contracts, and has served as Executive Board Vice-President for 49 years. For 39 of his years as a member, he worked at Miracle Food Mart. After retiring from that job, Jim decided to become a school bus driver in September 2000 to supplement his retirement income and for something to do. “I love kids and it gives me something to do every day,” said Jim. “It’s not a job, it’s my hobby.” Jim became a Steward out of necessity as there was no one else willing to take on the role. “I feel very supported by the Union and I’ve never regretted becoming a Steward. It lets me help those who might not be able to help themselves.”
Chief Steward Heidi Lukacs has been driving with First Student since September 2005. Her previous job as a lead hand in a factory was shift work. “I decided to become a school bus driver because I could bring my child to work,” said Heidi. “As a single mother, this job allowed me to still be a full-time mom too.” Heidi took on the role as a Steward for the Welland members because she believes that everyone should be treated with dignity and respect. “My union looks out for me, my family and my community,” she explained. She enjoys being a steward because she can hold the company accountable and create an atmosphere of mutual respect. The best part about driving a school bus for Heidi is the kids: “I love the kids, they are amazing!”
| October 2016
Since 1978, Carol Thompson has been a school bus driver. “I wanted to be at home with my children and still be able to work part-time,” she said. In fact, driving a bus runs in Carol’s family. Her brother and husband are both bus drivers as well, and her daughter is a driver and trainer. Carol’s favourite part of driving a school bus for First Student in Welland is all the wonderful children, parents, and teachers, and the many friends that she has made over the years. “I also really enjoy special needs and seniors charters,” she said. “I love my job!”
Terry Smith retired from his job in the steel industry four years ago and has lived in Sault Ste Marie his whole life. In September 2013, he decided to start driving a school bus for First Student. Terry, who is married and has one daughter, has been active with Unions his entire working life. “I believe strongly that Unions provide for and support their members,” he said. “We are assured a comfortable work environment that is safe and free of discrimination, and a good quality of life because of the wages and benefits in our contract.” Terry has been a Steward for the past two years and sat on the Union negotiating committee for the contract that the membership ratified in June.
In September 2011, Larry Amadio became a school bus driver after retiring from GM in St. Catharines. He worked 15 years at the plant as an hourly employee and 26 as a salaried employee. His decision to start driving a bus was a good one, as his favourite part about his job is being a part of the elementary school kids’ day.
Richard Atamanyk became a school bus driver In April 2013. He was a previous volunteer and enjoys teaching young people. Over the years he has also volunteered at Cubs, Beavers, baseball, and karate. His four grandchildren take First Student buses to and from school. “As a trained tractor trailer and bus driver,” Richard explained, he “wanted to determine the safe status of the buses and drivers.” Richard says he feels very supported by the Union and his employer in Welland. “The team is and always has been available for information and good advice.”
Carly LaDouceur has been a school bus driver at First Student and a part of the Union family for nearly 20 years. She participated on the Union negotiating committee for this year’s round of bargaining and is active as a Steward for members in Sault Ste. Marie as well.
Roland Bartlett retired 21 years ago from his job as a Letter Carrier with Canada Post. In May 2005, he decided to become a bus driver for First Student out of Welland, because he really enjoys working with children and wanted something to do. “My favourite part about driving the bus is seeing the kindergarten kids going to school and helping seniors,” said Roland. He adds that he feels supported by the Union and that the office staff is always very helpful and informative.
For the last 22 years, Mary Guhl has enjoyed being a bus driver. Her previous employment in hairdressing, a denture clinic, and retail did not allow the flexibility she was looking for. She became a bus driver because the hours were accommodating to her as she raised her children at home. “My favourite part of driving a school bus is helping children get to school and home safely,” she explained. “I love my job. It makes me proud to know that I’ve contributed to their future education.” Mary also enjoys working with the public to do various charters throughout the year from the Welland area.
In May 2001, Marianne Best-Visser decided to become a school bus driver in the Welland area. “It was cost-effective for our family because I could take my children to work with me. And it runs in the family: My Dad was a bus driver too.” Previously, Marianne worked as an administrator of a women’s shelter for abused women and children. Her favourite part of driving a school bus is that she has “a chance to make an impact on children and their families. I love being around the kids.” “I’ve always felt that when I have a problem or need praise, both First Student and the UFCW teams are here for me!” One challenge that Marianne and other drivers do face though, is ensuring that parents follow all the bus safety rules to set a good example. “It keeps the children safer and makes everyone’s jobs easier too.”
Pictured (l - r): Denise Aarrestad, Angie DeGagne, Susan Stover, Janet Prokopsky, and Brent Scott
The five members pictured here from the Kenora group at First Student have a combined 100 years of driving experience. In fact, Janet Prokopsky was an original member when the employees at Excel first unionized with UFCW. These members enjoy the steady work and dependability of driving a bus, and the advantages of belonging to the Union such as job protection, security, equal rights, and fairness. They don’t believe they would be where they are now without the Union.
Let’s all do our part for School Bus Safety
Cornwall This year’s Labour Day celebrations brought many members out to events in their communities across the province. From Cornwall to Kenora, and Windsor to Sudbury, members of Locals 175 & 633 proudly wore their UFCW gold as they marched in parades, and enjoyed great food, entertainment, and amazing company. A special thanks to all of our volunteers who helped set up, take registrations, get t-shirts and hoodies handed out, and made everything run smoothly. Please keep in mind, as with any fundraiser or community event the Local Union runs, your teenagers can earn volunteer hours with us! Contact your Regional Office to learn more about where they can help out! Labour Day is a great opportunity to celebrate what it means to be a worker and a Union member. But it’s also an amazing time to give back to our communities and remember that we are all part of a larger family! In Cornwall, pictured on this page, members also took the opportunity on Labour Day to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada (LLSC). This pledge drive happens every year, and the amount raised increases every year too!
This year’s collection was an impressive $5,641. At a number of other events, members brought non-persishable goods to donate to local food banks and charities as well. Thank you to everyone for your generosity. Your communities and neigbours all benefit when you give back. We’ve got many (many!) more photos available online from Labour Day! Check them out at ufcw175.com/labourday.
| October 2016
Canada’s first Labour Day ‘event’ took place in 1872... while Unions were still illegal.
| October 2016
April 15, 1872: 2,000 workers marched in solidarity with the striking members of the Toronto Typographical Union. The march grew to 10,000 supporters by the time it reached Queenâ€™s Park!
The 1872 Printersâ€™ Strike was successful in winning a 9-hour work day for those workers. | October 2016
On June 14, 1872, Parliament passed the Trade Union Act which legalized Union activity.
In June, UFCW Canada announced the fundraising total for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada (LLSC). Thanks to the generosity of our members like those featured on these pages
UFCW Canada raised $2,472,013 Thunder Bay Golf $1,870
last year including a contribution from Locals 175 & 633 of $251,756.33! Over the summer, our members and communities continued their generosity at Peterborough Cares, Arts for Leukemia, the Thunder Bay Golf Tournament, BBQs at Maple Leaf Heritage, Kraus/Strudex, and Cargill Watson, Canal Days, and the 12th Annual Ride for A Cure! Thank you to everyone who gives their time and money to this worthwhile cause. Visit llscanada.org for more information. #somedayistoday
Arts for Leukemia $3,178 Peterborough Cares $8,000 Visit ufcw175.com/fundraising
Canal Days ~ $4,169
Cargill Watson BBQ ~ $1,025
Maple Leaf Heritage BBQ ~ $1,200
Kraus / Strudex BBQ ~ $2,076
UFCW Ride for a Cure ~ $7,000
COMMUNITY ACTION NETWORK
Annual Picnic BBQ! This year the Community Action Network (CAN) Committee members decided to switch things up and take our annual BBQ & Family Day to the Windsor area. Since 2007, the BBQ had taken place in the Toronto area and the committee wanted to move the celebration so that members in other areas of the province could enjoy it too. “Next year’s barbecue will be in a different location again,” said President Haggerty. “It’s great to see so many families out enjoying a day of fun and good food with their Union Sisters, Brothers and Friends.” The date and location for the 2017 CAN BBQ will be announced next Spring. Thank you to everyone who made the Windsor BBQ such an amazing success!
| October 2016
Happy Pride! Throughout the summer, Union staff and members celebrated Pride at events across the province. Staff were on hand with Union information and swag for the community and participants in Hamilton, Toronto, and Ottawa!
| October 2016
Region 8 BBQ & Family day
Return postage will be paid by: United Food and Commercial Workers Locals 175 & 633 2200 Argentia Road Mississauga ON L5N 2K7 Canada Post Corporation Publication Agreement No. 40064671
The October 2016 issue of Checkout magazine for members of UFCW Locals 175 & 633: The Local Union for all Workers