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President’s Message Our strength & unity can create change for the better Political action is key to how your Union protects and expands the rights of the membership and all working people. It’s important for all of us to be active and engaged at every level of our government. Changes don’t just happen on their own. Change is a direct result of groups, like your Union, that get involved. In the last few elections (provincial and municipal) Members assisted in campaigning door-to-door to speak with other Members about important issues facing working people. The involvement of Members in a number of campaigns and key ridings has shown how much we can do when we take action. The Union has made presentations to Federal Minister of Labour Patty Hadju on Pay Equity and Paid Sick Leave, and presented to Prime Minister Trudeau and Minister Hadju on the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). Much of our economy and employment are driven by trade deals and legislation. The USMCA threatens supply management for the dairy and poultry sectors – where our Members work. Beyond the workplace, every one of us is affected in some way by the way that Doug Ford is dismantling what it means to be Ontarian. Our health care is a source of pride for all Ontarians and it is under threat from Ford. Ford has reduced funding for community health and changed the administration of emer-

Shawn Haggerty

gency services, which will have a direct effect on our Members, not to mention patients, in those fields. He also proposed scrapping out-of-province coverage.

able to secure many contracts with the better benefits and protections contained in Bill 148 before Ford repealed it. And your Union contract cannot be stripped away by Ford.

Since Doug Ford’s election less than a year ago, he has:

Several of our Bylaw & Policy guest presenters – from President Perrone and Secretary-Treasurer Barclay, to Gabrielle Carteris – spoke of improving public opinion when it comes to Unions. More and more people from all walks of life – Union and non-Union – are realizing the strength and benefits of belonging to the Labour movement

• Delayed minimum wage increases. • Taken away paid leave. • Made overtime harder to get. • Reduced access to unionization. • Gutted funding for social programs including autism care. • Slashed education and school repair funding while he increased class sizes. • Cut post-secondary education and library funding. • Eliminated funding for conservation and environmental programs. • Cut legal aid funding. And, in place of all that, we got... • Buck-a-Beer and tailgating. • ‘Open for Business’ signs at the border. • A new slogan for license plates. Ford’s goal is to underfund our public programs to the point that they don’t work for most people, and then those who can afford it choose private services – whether it’s health care, education, etc. Those who cannot afford it are left dealing with an underfunded system staffed by overworked, underpaid people. This is why belonging to a Union is more important than ever. We were

When Unionized employees in a workplace are connected and engaged, it creates a stronger Union with more power. These employees are harder to divide in tough times because they support and have a strong connection to one another and their Union. This same strength can be found in our communities and among all working people if we work together to raise each other up and stand up to protect the things that are important to all of us. We must see what’s happening for what it is: an attack on what it means to be Canadian. Let these attacks ignite a fire in you that will build our strength and momentum as a movement to empower all workers. It’s up to all of us to not let that fire die out. Let’s create the future we want and deserve for our families, our province, and our country. In Solidarity, Shawn Haggerty

Profile for UFCW Locals 175 & 633

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