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President’s Message: Organizing...


Secretary-Treasurer’s Message: Community...


Staff Changes Announced...


Workplace News: Firestone Textiles...


Polical Action Committee...




Organizing: Levelling the playing field...




What matters to workers...


Health & Safety: JHSC profile...


Out & About...


Community news...


LOCAL 175: LOCAL 633:

Shawn Haggerty, President; Teresa Magee, Secretary-Treasurer; Betty Pardy, Recorder; Ray Bromley, Harry Sutton – Executive Assistants Dan Bondy, President; Marylou Mallett, Secretary-Treasurer; Neil Hotchkiss, Recorder

Benefits Victoria Shen, Legal Counsel; Orsola Augurusa, Sherree Backus, Georgina Broeckel, Joanne Ford – Benefits Representatives Communications Jennifer Tunney - Senior Communications Representative; Emily Groom - Communications Representative; Meemee Seto - Servicing Representative Health & Safety Janice Klenot – Senior Health & Safety Representative Legal Fernando Reis – Co-ordinator; Marcia Barry, Michael Hancock, Rebecca Woodrow, Natalie Wiley – Legal Counsel Organizing Mario Tardelli, Amy Tran, Rick Wauhkonen – Organizing Representatives; Tony Nigro – Organizing Apprentice Training & Education Kelly Nicholas – Co-ordinator; Laurie Duncan, Ashleigh Garner, Jason Hanley – Education Representatives CENTRAL EAST REGION Kelly Tosato – Director; Jehan Ahamed, Mona Bailey, John DiFalco, Anthony Di Maio, John DiNardo, Linval Dixon, Emmanuelle Lopez, Angela Mattioli, Dave White – Union Representatives SOUTH CENTRAL REGION Sylvia Groom – Director; Judith Burch – Union Representative; Lee JohnsonKoehn, Virginia Haggith, Casey Magee, Brenda Simmons, Mark Stockton – Servicing Representatives CENTRAL WEST REGION Luc Lacelle – Director; Sam Caetano, Matt Davenport, Tim Deelstra, Joe DeMelo, Rick Hogue – Union Representative; Chris Watson – Servicing Representative EASTERN REGION Dan Lacroix – Director; Simon Baker, Chris Fuller, Paul Hardwick, Marilyn Lang, Daniel Mericer – Union Representatives; Jacques Niquet – Servicing Representative SOUTH WEST REGION Paul Jokhu – Director; Wendy Absolom, Kevin Dowling, Julie Johnston, Angus Locke, Rob Nicholas, Roy Reed – Union Representatives NORTH WEST REGION Dan Lacroix – Director; Colby Flank, Dean McLaren – Union Representatives


CEP 571-0

CHECKOUT is published six times yearly. ISSN No. 1703-3926 CHECKOUT is an official publication of Locals 175 & 633 of the United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) PROVINCIAL HEAD OFFICE 2200 ARGENTIA ROAD MISSISSAUGA, ON L5N 2K7 TEL: 905-821-8329 TOLL FREE: 1-800-565-8329 FAX: 905-821-7144 HAMILTON OFFICE 412 RENNIE STREET HAMILTON, ON L8H 3P5 TEL: 905-545-8354 TOLL FREE: 1-800-567-2125 OTTAWA OFFICE 20 HAMILTON AVENUE N. OTTAWA, ON K1Y 1B6 TEL: 613-725-2154 TOLL FREE: 1-800-267-5295 KITCHENER OFFICE 124 SYDNEY STREET S. KITCHENER, ON N2G 3V2 TEL: 519-744-5231 TOLL FREE: 1-800-265-6345 THUNDER BAY OFFICE 21-929 FORT WILLIAM RD THUNDER BAY, ON P7B 3A6 TEL: 807-346-4227 TOLL FREE: 1-800-465-6932

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE - Organizing is key Your Local Union and Ontarians alike have been concerned with the continuing issues facing our economy. Layoffs, concessions and pension uncertainties have tainted the past two years and severely damaged our province’s workforce and working families. Workers cannot sit idly by while good paying jobs are driven into the ground and more precarious, underpaid and unorganized work arises. As Ontario workers – those who provide services and products that keep our economy going – we should not be made to take concessions or made to sacrifice our standard of living. Your Local Union fights to negotiate fair contracts with increased wages and improved benefits among many other important factors for you and your families. This is why Locals 175 & 633 see the necessity to continue our drive to organize the unorganized workers in Ontario. This drive has never taken a back seat in the past, but moving forward into 2010 we are looking to step up our work in this area. Union organizers are trained to lead workers seeking to engage in a collective struggle to benefit their working conditions. Our Organizing Department is moving forward on various levels and achieving new successes. This year, young fiery organizers have come on staff bringing new ideas to the table on how to reach workers in a wide range of sectors. Our members not only work in retail, but also in retirement and nursing facilities, industrial factories, packaging, manufacturing, social services and many more. We see the necessity to continue our organizing drive in all of these sectors. Unorganized workplaces do not have the wages, benefits or pensions enjoyed by our members. Because of the cheaper labour costs in unorganized workplaces, other employers use their anti-union practices as a guise to table concessions during contract negotiations for our members, which certainly makes bargaining difficult. These are just some of the many reasons to organize the unorganized workers in Ontario. Recently, two organizing campaigns came to a successful close. Aramark workers, employed as maintenance, cleaners and food service workers at Sherbourne Health Centre in Toronto, voted in favour of certification. Workers at Saakaate House, a women’s shelter in Kenora, held their certification vote on February 5th and members voted in favour of unionizing. Your Local continually works toward branching out into different workplaces such as Saakaate House. Social workers and other staff employed by shelters endure

definite hardships in their positions. Frequently, their rights to scheduled breaks, lunches and a safe work environment are ignored due to the inherent challenges of such a sensitive workplace. Unionized workers in this sector can deal with issues in a more transparent manner, which will ensure their rights are upheld. The organizing team strives to educate non-unionized workers about their rights in the workplace and how the presence of a Union can have a big impact on their treatment as workers. Their right to a grievance procedure, arbitration and fair standards of work is of utmost importance. If a worker is ignored when they file a complaint, it can take a serious toll on a person’s self-worth. An employer who ignores a worker does not respect them individually or the value of their work. To have a procedure in place that allows for grievances to be closely monitored and dealt with can have a positive impact on a worker. Ultimately, unionization means there is a real level of respect gained for workers and their issues. I have said time and again that you, the members of Locals 175 & 633 are our front line organizers. By simply discussing your Local Union with family and friends you create Union visibility. By discussing the benefits of being part of a Union, you can inspire those who do not have collective protection. Our Organizing Department has initiated a new incentive program that looks to level the playing field for all workers. Our current members have the opportunity to be a part of this exciting new period in organizing, which will benefit all 50,000 UFCW Locals 175 & 633 members (see page 10 for details). It is very important that all of us realize the necessity of organizing new members. Our strength lies in numbers. The more collective power we have, the more strength we have to bargain fair and just contracts for all our members. I am confident in our Organizing Department and our membership. Together, our continuous drive to organize the unorganized private sector workers of Ontario will benefit our members and families alike. In Solidarity, Shawn Haggerty

APRIL 2010


SECRETARY-TREASURER’S MESSAGE - Community Your Local Union has definite obligations to you, the members. Bargaining good collective agreements, ensuring your rights and respect on the job, and providing a counterbalance to an employer’s power are just some aspects of what the Union does for our members. Another very important aspect of your Local Union is community. Locals 175 & 633 have 50,000 members and if you think about it, that’s the size of an average Ontario town or community. Because of our diverse membership, your Local works to build strong relationships with organizations and community groups that share our commitment to our member’s participation outside of the workplace. In February, the Community Action Network hosted the annual Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations at the Mississauga office. All members and their families were invited to participate (details on page 18). The success of this event is in large part because of our members. The members saw the necessity to celebrate such a vibrant and important event and the CAN committee was excited to organize it. This is what our Local Union strives for. It’s important for the Union and its membership to work together to engage our communities and showcase our achievements and diversity. In the past year, the CAN committee has furthered its work in reaching out to various organizations in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender & Queer (LGBTQ) communities. We worked with the Women & Liminal committee in Hamilton during Pride 2009 and we look forward to doing so again this year. Last month, 4

our Local sponsored as well as exhibited for Rainbow Health Ontario’s first annual conference, which focused on improving access and equity in health for LGTBQ people. We were excited to participate in such a conference as your Union represents many members in the health care sector, including community health centres. Last year, Local 175 organized Sherbourne Health Centre in Toronto. Contract language established a duty to accommodate Transgender, Transsexual and gender variant employees coupled with anti-discrimination and harassment language. This language is a massive step forward in the fight for equal rights for all workers. Members on your Executive Board have also taken up CAN’s work. Members of the board recently organized draws and raffles for Youth Without Shelter (YWS). YWS is a Rexdale emergency residence and referral agency serving homeless youth aged 16 to 24. This organization provides the basic necessities of life such as shelter and clothing as well as invaluable life skills that empower youth to break the cycle of homelessness. Locals 175 & 633 are pleased to be involved with this work because it not only educates all of us about circumstances and issues that face our various communities, but it strengthens us as a Union. The CAN committee works to provide that needed strength and to instill a deeper meaning of the term solidarity. Our obligations to you the members, go beyond good wages and benefits. Yes our Union is a community, but it’s also the quality of life, acceptance and appreciation of each other which makes us whole. In Solidarity, Teresa Magee

STAFF CHANGES Locals 175 & 633 welcomes Meemee Seto to the Communications Department as a Servicing Representative. After receiving a business degree from Ryerson University, Meemee ran a successful import and export business for seven years, then a furniture and retail store downtown Toronto for three years. Fluent in Chinese, Cantonese and Mandarin, Meemee is a great asset to the Local. Her fluency makes it possible to serve our diverse membership. Meemee has already become actively involved in the Community Action Network as she helped organize last month’s Chinese Lunar New Year celebration.

Chris Watson has joined the staff at Locals 175 & 633 as a Servicing Representative in the Central West Region. Chris became a member of UFCW 1992 when he started working at Better Beef Ltd. in Guelph. Chris became a Steward in 1993 then held the position of Plant Chairperson for nine years and also sat on the Local 175 Executive Board for five years. Chris has instructed at several Stewards Seminars over the years in London and Niagara Falls. Brother Watson has been involved in various Leukemia fundraisers including barbecues at Better Beef and Ride 4 a Cure.

Amy Tran is the newest member of Locals 175 & 633’s organizing team. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from York University in 2002. As a student she participated in countless rallies on the part of those less fortunate, volunteered at Sick Kids’ hospital and did outreach work with her church. To put herself through school, she worked as a sales co-ordinator at Union Sportswear, a Toronto-based manufacturer of union-made apparel and novelties whose workers are members of Local 175. From there, developing skills as a communicator and listener, and working together with UFCW Canada National Office staff, Amy got the opportunity to become a National Representative with the union in 2005. In 2006, she was assigned as a National Office Representative to the Ontario Growth Team, UFCW Canada’s joint effort to bring together organizers from the National Office and all local unions to create a stronger organizing presence.

Dan Serbin, Union Representative (Central West Region) has retired. Sam Caetano has accepted a position as a Union Representative in the Central West Region. Mario Tardelli has accepted a position as Organizer in the Organizing Department. Casey Magee has moved from the Benefits Department to the South Central Region as a Servicing Representative. Georgina Broeckel has moved from the Training and Education Department to the Benefits Department. APRIL 2010



WORKPLACE NEWS - Firestone Textiles What most people think of when they hear the name Firestone, a division of Bridgestone, is simply tires. They may not think about how these tires are actually made. Local 175 members at Firestone are all too familiar with how their tire cord ends up on Formula 1 race cars and even your four-door family sedan. Our members at Firestone Textiles in Woodstock make it possible for Firestone to be rated the top tire and rubber manufacturer in the world. Approximately 138 Local 175 members work at Firestone Textiles where they manufacture nylon yarns, resins and woven tire cords, which is the basis for tire production. In 1936, the plant began producing its own tire cord fabric to supply the Firestone plant in Hamilton. In the 1960s, it was clear that the necessary requirements for manufacturing tire cord fabric were growing, so this resulted in the plant relocation to the present site in Woodstock. The chemical compounds that make up the nylon are shipped to the Woodstock site for processing where they endure high levels of heat that basically thread the liquid nylon into very thin malleable strands. The strands are passed down to the weavers where they are woven onto various spool sizes and then twisted off and ready for shipping. Workers at Firestone Textiles produce approximately 24 million pounds of nylon per year. The process is much more arduous then explained here but the workers at Firestone Textiles definitely know their stuff. It takes roughly six months to fully train a worker on any given machine or process in the plant. From the members who work with the software system that automates productivity measurement, waste reporting and the inventory system to those who weave, wind and manage quality control, every worker is highly skilled in what they do. Through constant innovation, development and the labour of our skilled members, Firestone has evolved into a leader of the textile industry. So the next time you’re thinking about purchasing tires think of your brothers and sisters working at Firestone Textiles who make them possible. 6

Nick Balevski General Labour/Steward

Frank Teves Maintenance

Draw Twister/Union Exec

Garth Sutherland

Jeff Atkinson General Labour

Dan Peixoto Quality Control

Dan Watson Weaver

John Vanderdooster Winding Operator

Judy Cunningham Shipper/Receiver

Martin Waterland Direct Cabling Operator

Robert Gerber Direct Cabling Operator

Marek Domagala Draw Twister

Paul McCutchen

Assistant Shipper/Receiver

Tom Karn Janitorial

Mike Rutherford Process Control Tech

APRIL 2010


POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE Health Care: Who’s On Your Side? “A nation’s greatness lies not in the quantities of its goodness but in the quality of its life.” - Tommy Douglas Health care in Canada was founded on equality and shared responsibility. In 1984, the Canada Health Act secured a national public health care system. Health care was now a right and not a privilege to all Canadians. We must protect this system for future generations. Roles and responsibilities for Canada’s health care system are shared between the federal and provincial/ territorial governments. Under the Canadian Health Act (our federal health insurance legislation), criteria and conditions are specified that must be satisfied by provincial and territorial health care insurance plans in order for them to qualify for their full share of the federal cash contribution available under the Canada Health Transfer. Provincial and territorial governments are responsible for the management, organization and delivery of health services for their residents.

Provincial Party Platforms

Federal Party Platforms

Conservatives •Dramatically increase private ownership in health care

•Reduce patient wait times

•Increase number of family physicians

•Establish the Canadian partnership against cancer

•OHIP crack down

•Increase funding for new training spaces to address doctor shortage

•Will build more “for profit” MRI/CT clinics •Will continue with “for profit” home care

•Encourage provinces to explore “for profit” delivery •Invest 400 Million in the Canadian health info highway to develop electronic health records

Liberals •Oppose “for profit” P3 hospitals

•Increase federal transfer to provinces over 5 years

•Oppose “for profit” MRI/CT scans

•Reduce wait times

•Clinic back to public system

•Home care

•Support “for profit” home care

•Hire more nurses

•E-Health – Major scandal 1 Billion dollars of health money mismanaged

•Pharmacare program

NDP •Promise to reduce medical school tuitions

•Train and hire more doctors and nurses

•Create more full-time nursing and nurse practitioner positions

•More money for home care, helping seniors and people with disabilities

•Create 100 new community health centres

•Pharmacare and affordable prescriptions

•Increase home care hours

•Promotion of good health and healthy living

•Promise to bring home care and long term care under the principles of universality and accessibility in the Canada health act •Oppose “for profit” P3 hospitals: promised to build public hospitals in Ottawa and Brampton where P3 are proposed •Opposed “for profit” home care: will return the privatized home care services to non-profit public control


JUSTICE FOR MIGRANT WORKERS! Toronto community groups and labour activists including UFCW Locals 175 & 633 participated in the Day of Action for Migrant Workers last December. This rally was a part of a province-wide action to call attention to the failed Temporary Foreign Worker Program. Migrant workers are the most vulnerable in the workforce. Dangerous working conditions, constant denial of a decent living wage and always living under threat of deportation makes their situation very precarious. In January, four migrant construction workers fell 13 stories to their deaths when the unfit platform they were standing on outside of a Toronto highrise collapsed. Their deaths were certainly in vain. If they had been properly trained on the job and if they had the necessary equipment to keep them safe, they would be alive today.


President Haggerty,

Dear Friends,

I would like to thank you very much for the $1,000 scholarship that I received from you at the Stewards banquet in Kingston on November 7, 2009. It is a very generous gift and I promise to spend it wisely on my education. I also want to thank you for inviting me to the banquet. The meal was excellent and I had a great visit with my Mom and Dad.

How grateful we are for those who give so generously to the Salvation Army! Thank you for collecting toiletry items and food for our year-round food bank. You helped make Christmas happen. We couldn’t have done it without your support. God bless you for sharing and for giving hope today. This year we assisted over 1,400 families including 2,650 children with food, toys, books, knitted items, clothing, stocking stuffers, gift certificates, and food vouchers through our Christmas Assistance Program.

Sincerely, Alex Duquette

We wish you many blessings throughout 2010. Sincerely, Sharron A. Millard Director Community & Family Services


APRIL 2010


LeveLling the pla Organizing new members is critical to the very survival of our Local Union. Your Union must organize in order to secure your individual future both financially and in job security for both yourself and your family. Simply put, true strength comes in numbers and from this empowerment comes the power necessary to stand up and deal with even the strongest and most difficult of employers. Don’t be under any misconception; your Local Union with your assistance must level the playing field in all of your Local Union sectors, be it Industrial, Retail, Warehousing, Health Care, Hospitality, Meat Processing, Pharmacies or Waste Management. We must all take the time to consider that it is a statement of fact that on average a typical non-unionized setting receives 30 per cent less in financial compensation be it in wages or in benefits, not to mention the lack of respect and dignity experienced within most non-unionized workplaces. Levelling the playing field means raising the wages, benefits and working conditions within non-unionized workplaces through unionization. If we as Unionized workers fail in this endeavour – organizing our non-unionized competitors – we will face the inevitable: Our employers will demand more and more concessions so that your unionized workplaces are competitive with non-unionized competitors. Your Local Union wants each of our 50,000 members to understand how important organizing and growth is to both the strength of our Local Union but also to the security of our own individual workplaces. In order to make organizing and growth a new reality in 2010, your Local Union introduces a NEW Organizing/Growth Incentive Program to award our members who join the campaign to help unionize the unorganized and in turn level the playing field. I am sure we all know of a friend or a family member who is currently working in a non-unionized workplace where they are not being treated with the respect they rightfully deserve or are currently receiving substandard wages and benefits.


Please speak to each of them about your Union and the many advantages of unionization: that of having the legal right to negotiate with your employer for better wages, better benefits, a grievance procedure, just cause protection, seniority rights and all other aspects of your collective agreement’s language. The process for this is very simple! For those who express an interest to you, simply forward their name and telephone number to the Organizing Department at 1-800-565-8329 or A full-time Union Organizer will speak or meet with them and in turn educate and empower them as to the organizing process. Be assured your Local Union will follow up on each and every lead you put forward.** If in fact your Local Union is able to successfully organize and certify a workplace as a result of a lead that a member called in to our Union Office, that member advocate will be awarded an honorarium based on the size of the unit that was certified. The sole purpose of this new innovative organizing program is to encourage our valued members and advocates to become more involved in helping their Local Union grow, which in turn will lead to securing better Collective Agreements for our members as well as adding a level of security for our membership within each of the above mentioned unionized sectors. This Incentive Program is structured in a way that each of our 50,000 members who so choose to become involved in their own future, as well as the Local Union’s future through organizing the unorganized, shall reap the rewards of the honorarium(s) mentioned above. Sisters and Brothers, the choice is truly in your hands. We must seize the moment. Let’s level the playing field before the non-unionized workplaces level us. In Solidarity, Shawn Haggerty


aying field

a new organizing initiative GET INVOLVED! If we successfully organize & certify a group of workers because of a lead you call in, you will be eligible for one of the following honorariums: more than 30 but fewer than 50 workers more than 50 but fewer than 75 workers more than 75 but fewer than 100 workers more than 100 workers core sector bonus *Call the Organizing Department for details on the Core Sector Bonus.

$300* $500* $800* $1,000* 25%*

Disclaimer – Only members of UFCW, Local 175 & 633 are eligible to receive the Honorarium. The Honorarium will not be paid to an employee of UFCW, Local 175, immediate families of such employees and persons with whom such employees are domiciled. For the purpose of the Honorarium, “immediate family” is defined as parent, sibling, child or any person residing in the same household or domiciled with any such employees. Members of UFCW, Local 175 & 633 who are also employed in a non-unionized location may contact the Union to provide a lead however an individual member who is employed at the same location will not be eligible for the Honorarium. In all cases, the Local President will make the final decision as to who will receive the Honorarium. All decisions of the Local are final and binding. ** While all leads are welcome and will be investigated, the campaigns that the Local Union chooses to pursue from those leads remains at the discretion of the Local Union.

APRIL 2010


NEGOTIATIONS Maple Leaf workers vote in favour of new agreement On February 11, 2010, more than 1,100 members working at Maple Leaf Consumer Foods in Burlington secured a new fouryear collective agreement. All active employees receive a wage adjustment lump sum of $550 following ratification with subsequent increases to all classifications of 30 cents per hour in year two, 35 cents per hour in year three and 40 cents per hour in the fourth year. Company contributions to the Canadian Commercial Workers Industry Pension Plan (CCWIPP) Stabilization Fund increase to 40 cents per hour. The employees will now participate in a dental plan through the company’s benefits and the company will maintain the current level of health and welfare benefits with no cost increase to the workers for the duration of the contract. Vision care coverage improves to $190 per 24-month period effective April 2011, and to $200 effective April 2012. The workers’ annual boot allowance increases to $90, up from $80, in the first year, to $95 in the second year and $100 in the third year. Improved language addresses seniority and vacancies. Union Negotiating Committee: Gord Cutts, Lionel MacEachern, Alan Reston, Fred Teeple, Conrad Villeneuve, Union Rep Joe DeMelo and Central West Director Luc Lacelle.

Members at Fin-Aire secure first contract

Wage improvements for Havelock Foodland workers

On March, 1, 2010, new members of UFCW Local 175 achieved their first collective agreement. The bargaining unit at FinAire in Bloomfield ratified a four-year agreement establishing general contract language including provisions for seniority, grievances and arbitration and steward representation.

The 29 members working at the Foodland in Havelock had the opportunity to vote on a new three-year contract at a meeting held February 22, 2010. Department Heads receive wage increases totaling $2.50 per hour over the term of the contract. Full-time members receive $1.50 per hour in increases over the three-year duration and the part-time top rate improves to $11 per hour, over the course of the contract, up from the previous $9.65. The premium for Assistant Head Cashier increases to $20 per week, up from $15.

All rates increase by 2 per cent in year one, 2 per cent in year two, 2.25 per cent in the third year and 2.75 per cent in the final year of the contract term. In addition to Statutory Holidays, each employee will receive one floater day per year, effective February 2012. Workers receive one day paid parental leave for the birth or adoption of their child. Bereavement entitlement provides three days paid leave for the death of an immediate family member and one day paid leave for the death of an in-law family member. The company will reimburse workers up to $75 per year for the purchase of safety boots. Employee health and welfare benefits will be maintained at the current level with no additional cost to the employees. Language addresses procedure for layoff, leaves of absence, health and safety provisions, hours of work and overtime. Union Negotiating Committee: Gary Hawke and Union Rep Paul Hardwick.


Union Negotiating Committee: Michele Ellis, Maureen Vincent and Union Rep Chris Fuller.

Bick’s workers approve three-year renewal contract 180 members at Bick’s Pickles (Smuckers) in Dunnville, have secured a new three-year collective agreement. At a meeting held March 6, 2010, members voted to ratify the new deal. Current full-time workers covered by Appendix A receive lump sum payments of $250 each year of the contract term. Those covered by Appendix B receive an annual increase of 1.5 per cent plus the $250 lump sum in each year with several classifications receiving an additional increase in the first year of between 56 cents and $1.01 per hour. Part-time benefits increase to $400, which can be rolled over to a maximum of $800 at any one time. Dental plan coverage will correspond with current Ontario Dental Association (ODA) fees and part-time workers are now eligible to participate in the pension plan and any part-time worker retiring within the term of the contract will remain eligible for a lump sum of $1,700. Employees attending company meetings or other work related activities as defined in the agreement receive pay at their regular rate or overtime rate if the hours exceed the normal workweek. Maintenance Department Tradesmen receive a tool allowance of $350 per year and all workers receive an annual safety shoe allowance of $175 per year. Bereavement leave improves to provide five days for the death of an immediate family member and three days for other family members as defined in the agreement. Family Day has now been added as a paid holiday and language improvements address seniority and shift preference, overtime and job filling. Union Negotiating Committee: Wanda Dowling, Suzanne Glover, Joanne Hannigan, Dave MQuillen, Janie Terreberry and Union Rep Tim Deelstra.

Worker solidarity leads to new deal at Horizon Plastics In the weeks leading up to Christmas, members at Horizon Plastics were given an ultimatum. Take the employer’s final offer, or find the plant doors locked the next Sunday at 11 p.m. The Local Union met with our members a few days before the potential lockout. The members rejected the employer’s bottom of the barrel final offer. Two days prior to the shutdown, the workers arrived at the plant wearing their yellow UFCW toques as a sign of solidarity with each other and their Union. After witnessing the sea of yellow hats and the courage of the workers, the employer went back to the bargaining table. On December 23, 2009, members at Horizon Plastics ratified their new four-year collective agreement, which they fought for on their terms.

Full-time workers will receive lump sum payments of $200 while part-timers receive $120 at date of ratification. On November 2, 2010 full-time will receive $400 and part-time will see $240. On November 2, 2011 full-time workers will get $600 while part-time receives $360. In the final year of the contract, wages will increase 2% across the board on all rates and classifications. New language mandates the employer to give no less than 48 hours notice of any lay-off. The employer will now contribute up to $190 toward the cost of prescription safety glasses. Union Negotiating Committee: Will Askew, Tom Bell, Kyle Watson, Executive Assistant Ray Bromley, Union Rep Rob Nicholas and Chief Negotiator Chris Fuller.

Carriage House workers ratify new deal On January 25, 2010, members working at The Carriage House in Oshawa ratified their new three year collective agreement. Wages increase 32 cents across the board to all rates and classifications during each year of the contract. On March 31, 2010, the server start rate increases to $10.25, up from $9.75. The employer will now reimburse full-time staff up to $50 for protective footwear, and all members will benefit from improved Health and Safety language. Family Day is now a recognized paid holiday and an employee’s birthday will be scheduled as a day off with pay. An employee with 10 or more years of service is now entitled to four weeks vacation, paid out at 8%. If a member has Christmas Day or New Years Day off, the employer will schedule that member off the day before both holidays. The employer will now split the cost of meeting rooms during negotiations and will continue their annual contribution of $300 to the Training & Education Fund. Negotiating Committee: Natalie Mahaffy, Margaret Michaels and Union Rep Mona Bailey.

APRIL 2010


WHAT MATTERS TO WORKERS Bill 168: Workplace Violence Workplace violence poses a real threat in some workplaces, particularly those in the service sector, where our Local has thousands of members working. On December 15, 2009, the Ontario government gave Royal Assent to Bill 168, the Occupational Health and Safety Amendment Act to include language on Violence and Harassment in the Workplace. Under this Bill, employers must create workplace violence and harassment policies, develop programming that would implement such policies, and participate in risk assessments that would measure the potential danger of workplace violence. The bill defines ‘workplace harassment’ and ‘workplace violence’ as follows: “Workplace harassment” means engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct against a worker in a workplace that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome.

means working in the Health Care sector. “Violence and harassment is commonplace in health care, and I deal with it on an ongoing basis as a worker and as a Steward. This is why I’ve taken the Bullying and Harassment course two years in a row at the Stewards Conference. I need to know how to deal with these issues and keep my co-workers safe.” The reality is that workplace harassment often leads to violence. You have the absolute right to work in a harassment and violence free environment and your Local Union is dedicated to ensuring this right. There needs to be a definite commitment on the employer’s behalf to develop these policies that will guarantee the safety of our members. It’s also the Union’s job to ensure that the employer policies are substantive, well publicized in the workplace, and are consistently implemented. Bill 168 will come into full effect June 15, 2010.

“Workplace violence” means: 1. the exercise of physical force by a person against a worker in a workplace that causes or could cause physical injury to the worker, 2. an attempt to exercise physical force against a worker in a workplace that could cause physical injury to the worker. Diane Ballantyne (left), Chief Steward at Caressent Care Nursing Home in Listowel, knows the importance of Bill 168 and what that 14

DAY OF MOURNING Wednesday, April 28, 2010 Toronto Location: Nathan Phillips Square 100 Queen St. West Time: 12:00 noon York Region Location: Woodbridge Memorial Arena 5020 Highway # 7 (at Islington) Time: 11:00 a.m. For more information contact the Toronto and York Region Labour Council at 416-441-3663 or Enzo Mancuso @ 416-522-2386. Visit for more events across the province

HEALTH & SAFETY What Makes Your Committee Work? A Joint Health and Safety Committee Profile JHSC of RCSS #2826 - Sarnia There is more to Health & Safety committee work than workplace inspections. Some committees, like Sarnia’s Real Canadian Super Store, go the extra mile as they know their first priority is always the health and safety of their co-workers. This particular committee is comprised of six full and part-time members from various departments, which enables them to have an overall understanding of each potential hazard in the workplace. To allow for equal member participation, duties are rotated amongst the committee. They are diligent with monthly inspections, as every reported hazard is tracked until the issue is resolved. The committee knows the importance of being proactive rather than reactive as they work very hard to solve an issue before it becomes a hazard. If an identified hazard cannot be dealt with at store level, the committee immediately sends a written recommendation to the head office, which is mandated to respond within 21 days. When a worker has an issue or concern, the committee immediately begins to investigate. This JHSC is certainly aware that communication with fellow co-workers is key, as committee members regularly talk to their co-workers about what

they know and don’t know about potential hazards or health and safety in general. Health and safety concerns have evolved over the years. To keep-up-to date on any changes that may affect their workplace, the JHSC works to inform themselves on various issues through educational presentations. Recently, the committee became familiar with the upcoming amendments to the Occupational Health & Safety Act that includes violence and harassment in the workplace by using resources from the Ontario Federation of Labour. The committee is also planning to invite guest speakers to their meetings to gain further knowledge on a variety of health and safety subjects. Committee members are also active outside of the workplace. June Maruschak, the co-chair of the committee, is affiliated with the Sarnia Labour Council. Any new or updated information brought forward by the Labour Council is reported back to the committee. June also sits on the UFCW & Loblaws executive committee where issues are brought forward and swiftly resolved. Members of the RCSS JHSC also attend UFCW 175 Health and Safety courses to keep current with health and safety issues. This hardworking JHSC was honoured with a Recognition Award at the South West Region Conference in 2009 for their service and dedication to their co-workers and their well-being.

Left: Tracey Dixon; June Maruschak (certified); Maurice Lagasse; Dan Bell; Rob Hamilton (certified). Front: Roger LeLievre To profile your JHSC, send us an email at APRIL 2010


OUT & ABOUT International Women’s Day Every year, March 8th marks International Women’s Day. Your Local Union was proud to particpate in Toronto’s IWD march and rally. Hundreds of community groups, unions and others gathered together to raise awareness about the continuing struggles facing women today. “Fighting for Us All” was the theme of this years march, which focused on defending public services, good jobs, pensions and the end of violence and exploitation. In 1908, immigrant garment workers organized a march through New York City which was 15,000 women strong. They demanded higher pay, shorter work hours, voting rights and the end to child labour. During this period, women had little rights. The necessity to create change forged an ongoing protest against the lack of gender equity across the globe. Finally, in 1977, the United Nations declared March 8th as International Women’s Day. This day celebrates women - their struggles, their achievements and the absolute need to continue the fight for justice and equality for all.

LOCAL 175 & 633 ANNUAL HOCKEY TOURNAMENT May 7-8, 2010 Mohawk 4 Ice Centre 710 Mountain Brow Blvd. Hamilton, ON Entry fee is $800 per team. Entries must be received by April 15, 2010. Contact Matt Davenport at 800.567.2125 for more information and registration. 16

Members at Olymel held their annual Holiday lunch celebration last December. Kamaljit Gill, Donna Ralph and Thi Thu Thuy cooked up a storm for everyone at the plant. This lunch is an opportunity for all members to come together and celebrate diversity.

Left to right: Victoria Shen (Legal Counsel: Benefits Department); Donna Ralph, Mona Bailey (Central East Union Rep); Thi Thu Thuy; Kamaljit Gill

Last December, members working at Avis, Budget, Thrifty, Hertz and National Car Rental at Pearson Airport celebrated the holidays with a community get-together at the Mississauga Union office. Over 150 people enjoyed food from around the world and each other’s company. The kids had a party of their own with a clown, face painting and games like musical chairs. Raptors tickets and a free weekend car rental from Avis were among some of the prizes raffled off and every family took home a ‘loot’ bag.

APRIL 2010


COMMUNITY ACTION NETWORK Lunar New Year Celebration Three hundred members, staff and their families came out to celebrate this year’s annual Lunar New Year party held at the Locals 175 & 633 head office in Mississauga. Everyone enjoyed great food and prizes and a spectacular lion dance, led by Sammy Cheung, a unionized worker at Thistle Printing. The Lion Dance is said to keep away all bad and evil things. Members from a number of workplaces in the GTA attended including Cargill, Burnbrae Farms, Maple Lodge Farms, Extendicare, Holiday Inn, Avon Sportswear, Wings, Grand River Foods, Erin Mills Lodge, Mobile Climate Control, Quality Knitting and Coleman Care Centre. President Shawn Haggerty, Secretary-Treasurer Teresa Magee, Executive Assistants Ray Bromley and Harry Sutton and many more staff also attended the event. February 14, 2010 was the official start to the Lunar New Year, which is the year of the Tiger.


FUNDRAISING 4th Annual Ice Fishing Derby The 4th Annual Ice Fishing Derby was yet again a great success. The event was well attended by members and Local Union staff despite the cold and very windy weather. In total the derby raised $1,200 for Leukemia research. “This year’s derby was biting cold, but so were the fish!” says President Shawn Haggerty. “We had a fantastic time raising money for research, and I’m happy to see we have the support of our members to do just that.” Aside from the money raised through entry fees and raffle items, personal and group donations were made by several Local 175 staff and friends. The winner of the biggest fish and a prize of $100.00 was Robert Gibson. He graciously donated half of his winnings to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada.

APRIL 2010



knowledge is power

Under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms as well as the Ontario Labour Relations Act, workers are legally entitled to join a trade union of their own choosing without any fear of intimidation, coercion, undue influence or fear of any form of retribution by any employer. Your Union will see to it that the following laws are respected and adhered to. The Law In Ontario, workers are protected under the Ontario Labour Relations Act when they are in the process of forming a union. The law states: • Employees are free to join a union of their own choice. • Signed union cards are secret by law. • If more than forty per cent (40%) of the bargaining unit signs cards, then the union can apply for a certification vote. • The Ontario Labour Relations Board shall conduct a vote in the workplace seven (7) days after the union applies for certification. • If more than fifty per cent (50%) of the employees in the bargaining unit vote in favour of the union, then the workplace wins the vote and becomes unionized. • The present wages, benefits and working conditions are protected by law once the union applies. • By law, employers are not allowed to interfere in the formation of a union. Employers are not allowed to use intimidation, coercion or undue influence to convince employees to not support a union.

Turn to page 10 for details on a NEW Organizing Initiative...

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Checkout April 2010  

Read the April 2010 issue of Checkout magazine!

Checkout April 2010  

Read the April 2010 issue of Checkout magazine!