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THE NEWS MAGAZINE FOR MEMBERS OF LOCALS 175 & 633 UFCW CANADA VOLUME XV NO. 2

APRIL 2006

Toronto-area stewards praise weekend seminar P

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President Wayne Hanley receives WHSC award

Eggs-pect the very best from members at Burnbrae Farms

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CONTENTS

President’s Message . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Secretary-Treasurer’s Message . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

LOCAL 175 President Wayne Hanley Secretary-Treasurer Jerry Clifford Recorder Betty Pardy Executive Assistants Shawn Haggerty, Jim Hastings, Teresa Magee

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PEOPLE Adult Education Profiles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Steward Profiles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Youth Profile . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Staff Announcements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Locals 175 & 633: Rebuilding Canada’s Trade Union tradition. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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LOCAL 633 President Dan Bondy Secretary-Treasurer Marylou Mallett Recorder Neil Hotchkiss

COMMUNITY

MEMBER DISCOUNTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 

PROVINCIAL OFFICE 2200 Argentia Road Mississauga L5N 2K7 905-821-8329 Toll free 1-800-565-8329 Fax 905-821-7144

CONFERENCES Toronto-area stewards praise weekend seminar . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Benefits Representatives Sherree Backus, Emmanuelle Lopez-Tambasco Benefits Intake Representative Diana Chaparro

WORKPLACE NEWS Eggs-pect the very best from members at Burnbrae Farms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Communications Representatives Cheryl Mumford, Jennifer Tunney

BENEFIT IMPROVEMENTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  NEGOTIATIONS 1,500 Ontario Zellers workers secure three-year contract . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Other Negotiations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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FUNDRAISING NEWS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 

Health & Safety Representative Janice Klenot Senior Legal Counsel Naveen Mehta, Georgina Watts Legal Counsel Michael Hancock, Rebecca Woodrow Legal Representative Fernando Reis Organizing Coordinator & Pay Equity Michael Duden Organizing Representatives Steve Robinson, Kevin Shimmin

SCHOLARSHIPS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 

COURSE SCHOLARSHIPS Members and Stewards Course Scholarships . . . . . . . . . . . .

HEALTH & SAFETY Hamilton Fortinos JHSC suggestions implemented chain-wide . . . . . . . . Local unions recognized for Health & Safety excellence . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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SOUTH CENTRAL REGION Director Sharon Gall Union Representatives Judith Burch, Sylvia Groom, Angela Mattioli, Brenda Simmons, Mario Tardelli

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TRAINING & EDUCATION The Local Union assists laid-off workers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

CENTRAL EAST REGION Director Luc Lacelle Union Representatives Jehan Ahamed, Mona Bailey, Tim Deelstra, John DiFalco, Anthony DiMaio, John DiNardo, Paul Jokhu, Rob Nicholas

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Graphic design by ARTiFACT

TRAINING & EDUCATION CENTRE (TEC) 2200 Argentia Road Mississauga L5N 2K7 905-821-8329 Toll free 1-800-565-8329 Fax 905-821-7144 cep Local 571

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Secretary-Treasurer’s Message

Education eases career transitions

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n our changing global economy, plant layoffs and closures are a sad but often inevitable result of government policies and market forces. The Union alone can’t stop business closures, but we can and do provide resources to assist members affected by closures.

JERRY CLIFFORD

In 2005, a number of our members were once again directly affected by plant and store closures. In addition to the opportunities for upgrading and high school credits, the local unions also provide a multi-faceted adjustment program. It includes accessing provincial and federal government programs as well as linking members with local community agencies. Assistance is provided in essential skills, such as job-hunting, resumé-writing and interviewing strategies. When there are sufficient numbers and demand, the Local will also establish an action centre or allocate a mobile computer lab to the affected area. Familiarity with technology is increasingly an essential job skill. Accordingly, the Locals’ computer course listing has continued to expand. In 1998, there was just one in-class computer course offered. In 2006, members can choose from any one of sixteen courses. These are offered at the Mississauga and Hamilton training centres, and through the two mobile computer labs, as well as online. I urge you to take advantage of the many educational opportunities offered through your Local Union. Losing a job, along with the pay cheque that goes with it, is always a traumatic experience. Knowing that you have already acquired some of the skills you will need to access new employment can provide some much-needed peace of mind during the transition.

THE UNION ALONE CAN’T STOP BUSINESS CLOSURES, BUT WE CAN AND DO PROVIDE RESOURCES TO ASSIST MEMBERS AFFECTED BY CLOSURES.

ADULT EDUCATION PROFILES Anna Nicholls works at Fortinos store #54 at Highway 10 & Bovaird Drive in Brampton. She has already taken a few computer classes and is enthusiastic about the opportunity to earn a high school diploma. “I was educated in Guyana,” she explains. “Now, I’m learning about Canadian history and geography, ANNA NICHOLLS and current mathematics too; I’m looking forward to being able to help my two boys, who are six and eight, with their homework.”

Robert Aryeetey works at Maple Leaf Poultry in Brampton. He’s taking the ESL course, which he says is useful for making him aware of small mistakes. “You can think you know the language,” he says. “But the course shows you that there can be areas that need improvement.” Robert says both the teacher and the union are doing a good job in helping members improve their English skills.

ROBERT ARYEETEY

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PEOPLE

STEWARD PROFILES Tim Barbour has worked in maintenance at Burnbrae Farms in Mississauga for the past nine years. He was voted onto TIM BARBOUR the negotiating committee three years ago, for the last set of negotiations, and subsequently was elected chief steward. Tim, who had prior union experience before joining Local 175, felt it was important to provide a voice for the workers, especially those who may hesitate to speak out on their own behalf. He likes representing them and being able to resolve grievances. David O’Brien, has been a driver for Burnbrae Farms for the past seven years and a steward for the last five. IniDAVID O’BRIEN tially he wasn’t too involved with the Union, but after being nominated, and becoming a steward, he became much more aware of the important role a steward plays. David says he finds the work both fulfilling and interesting. “It feels good to be able to help people when they need it,” he says. He also enjoyed being able to participate on last year’s negotiating committee. “Tim and David are exceptionally understanding stewards,” says Union Rep John DiFalco. “They’re both very involved, answering the members’ questions and addressing concerns promptly.”

YOUTH PROFILE LAURA MORTON

TIM RILEY & SUSAN HARDY

Tim Riley is a materials handler and the chief steward at Maple Lynn Foods in Strathroy. He likes ensuring that everything’s done fairly in the plant and knowing that he’s making the workplace better for members. He enjoys helping people and likes the appreciation they express. Tim says he’s learned “tons” in his seven years as a steward. “It’s not as easy as people think,” he says about the job. “It’s challenging but rewarding.” Susan Hardy is a machine operator at Maple Lynn Foods in Strathroy. She first volunteered to become a steward, about 20 years ago, after another steward told her it would be a “good thing to do.” She enjoys learning about the contract and workplace rights and helping her co-workers. Susan says she feels good when she’s able to assist members although she’s sometimes frustrated when workers choose not to file a grievance. “Whining and complaining won’t change anything,” she says, and notes that filing a grievance is often the only way to solve the problem. Union Rep Kevin Dowling says: “Susan and Tim are indispensable in achieving and maintaining a fair and equitable workplace. They are both extremely positive people; their experience and expertise is invaluable when it comes to negotiating and enforcing the collective agreement.”

Laura Morton became a part-time worker at A&P #196 in Georgetown, as a high school student, in 2002. The aspiring teacher became more attuned to worker rights after participating in the Locals’ Youth Leadership Development Program in the fall of 2005. She recently became a steward after realizing that many other students and part-time workers lack knowledge concerning their rights in the workplace. “Management doesn’t really take the time to inform young workers about their rights,” she says. “Often if I make mention of supper money, or other benefits related to the union contract, a new worker will say, ‘what contract?” Training Rep & Youth Arts Project Coordinator, Kelly Provost-Nicholas says: “Congratulations Laura on becoming a steward at such a young age; hopefully others will see you as an example that they may want to follow.”

STAFF ANNOUNCEMENTS Naveen Mehta has been appointed to the position of senior Legal Counsel.

NAVEEN METHA

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COMMUNITY

Locals 175 & 633:

Rebuilding Canada’s Trade Union tradition Canada has a proud union history and tradition, which has produced a high standard of living for working people. Union members earn good wages and benefits because they stand together, in solidarity, to fight for good contracts. Achieving these good contracts requires the commitment of all members in each workplace and all in each sector. It’s sometimes difficult, however, for newcomers to Canada to commit to the Union movement if they haven’t experienced it in their birthplaces, or if their workplace in Canada is non-union. That is why Locals 175 & 633 are reaching out to various community groups, to involve and educate them about their rights in the workplace and their place in the Canadian Union movement.

Locals 175 & 633 staff and members give time and money to support numerous community initiatives, events and organizations. For example, in the spring of 2005, the Local began assisting On Your Mark. It’s an early intervention program to develop reading and writing skills for immigrant children, which is offered through the Working Women’s Centre. “This group of young children is suffering due to cutbacks in English as a Second Language funding,” says Local 175 President Wayne Hanley. “So the local union is providing training for volunteer tutors and community outreach support.”

Locals 175 & 633 have proudly supported the Sri Lanka Democracy Forum since its inaugural meeting in Toronto in 2002. Organizing Representative Kevin Shimmin is one of the founding members. It’s a network of grassroots human rights activists in Canada and around the world, with members from the Sri Lankan Tamil, Sinhalese and Muslim communities, as well as non-Sri Lankans. The Forum works towards ending human rights violations committed by all warring parties in Sri Lanka and finding a peaceful resolution to the conflict. Through peace conferences, lobbying, petition campaigns and peace demonstrations around the world, the Forum is making a real difference.

Community Action Network

In the past few decades, the membership of Locals 175 & 633 has continued to grow in size. But the number of union members in North America, especially in the United States, has continued to decline. For this reason, it is critically important to involve new members in the movement.

“united through diversity”

This is why our Local Unions have established the Community Action Network “united through diversity.” Many Locals 175 & 633 members already belong to groups within their own communities. This new committee will more formally link our Local Unions with diverse groups across Ontario – many of whom do not have a trade union tradition.

E Continue reaching out to and building relationships with organizations and community groups that share Locals’ 175 and 633 values and commitment to our members’ participation in, and contributions to, their communities outside the workplace, for the betterment of all our members’ lives and our Local Unions.

The mission is to: E Strengthen our Local Unions and the level of service to the members within our Local Unions by building on the principles of commitment, respect, justice and equality for all our members, while representing and supporting the multiculturalism and diversity of our membership.

E Work jointly with community groups and organizations to educate members, stewards and staff about circumstances and issues that affect our diverse membership and help develop them as community leaders to improve the everyday lives of their coworkers and communities.

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MEMBER DISCOUNTS

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CONFERENCES

Toronto-area stewards praise weekend seminar Both new and more experienced stewards in all courses were enthusiastic about the quality and quantity of information presented by the very experienced union reps

President Wayne Hanley and Central East Regional Director Luc Lacelle addressed stewards during the plenary session.

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CONFERENCES

On Saturday and Sunday, February 4-5, 2006, approximately 180 stewards attended the annual seminar in Toronto. The stewards represented numerous workplaces in Locals 175 & 633 Central East and South Central regions. Almost 80 first-time stewards took the Steward Level 1 course. More experienced stewards participated in Steward Level 2, as well as various Health & Safety and other subjects. Two new courses were introduced, which were: Discipline Issues in Arbitration and Developing Health & Safety Tools. Discipline Issues in Arbitration was presented to familiarize stewards with the way in which arbitrators view discipline issues. Topics included contract language, typical situations, standard reactions and interpretations. Developing Health & Safety Tools included three modules – Principles of Control, Looking at the Workplace and Investigations & Reporting. Participants discussed the tools required to perform monthly inspections, accident investigations and hazard control. Both new and more experienced stewards in all courses were enthusiastic about the quality and quantity of information presented by the very experienced union reps. Over the weekend, stewards were able to interact with others working in various sectors and learn how to better handle the daily challenges they face in their workplaces. Those stewards who were unable to attend the weekend course can sign up for Steward Level 1 & 2, along with numerous other courses, online. Approximately $8,600 was raised through the prize draw, with $860 donated to Nellie’s in Toronto and the balance to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada (LLSC). The former is a non-profit women’s organization helping women and

Samantha Zuvic with dad Joe, of Port Colborne Poultry, was one of the “big” winners at the evening prize draw.

children in crisis locate safe, affordable housing, support services and a bridge to a better future. The Eastern region donated $830, of the money raised at its November 5-6 stewards seminar, to The Youth Services Bureau/Young Women’s Shelter in Ottawa, plus almost $7,500 to the LLSC. The Central West and South Central regions gave $19,000 from their November seminar to the LLSC and $1,000 to the Wesley Centre in Hamilton, which provides hot meals, emergency shelter and other services to those in need.

Stewards later attended classroom sessions.

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WORKPLACE NEWS

Eggs-pect the very best from members at Burnbrae Farms Carlo McPherson stacks the baskets to ready them for shipping.

Local 175 members, at Burnbrae Farms egg-grading operations in Ontario, work hard – two shifts a day, five days a week – to receive, wash, inspect, grade, ship and deliver thousands of eggs. They’re busy all year but the facility gets even busier in the few weeks leading up to the Easter holidays. But even when the plants are really humming – and the pace is the most hectic – workers never have to worry that the employer will tell them to “get cracking.” In fact, these members are so skilled and so careful that virtually all of the millions of eggs pass through the grading operations without any cracking or breaking. You could say these workers are “shell egg” specialists.

Ut Trieu is one of many in Mississauga who packages eggs for the stores.

Approximately 140 Local 175 members work at the two Ontario plants, which are Burnbrae Farms, Division of Maple Lynn Foods Ltd. in Mississauga and Burnbrae Farms/Maple Lynn Foods Ltd. in Strathroy. They sort and package the various brands of “shell eggs” produced by both the company and by

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WORKPLACE NEWS

. . . and you could certainly say: “there’s a whole lota crackin’ going on” at the other Ontario plants. Line tech/lead hand Lam Le helped organize the plant and has served many years as a steward and chief steward, only stepping aside so that “others can become more involved.”

Pathmini Kanapathipillai inspects each egg and removes any that are less than perfect.

These members in Strathroy are packaging eggs . . .

local independent egg farmers. These include traditional brands like Super Bon-ee and Prestige as well as newer, “nutrition-enhanced” brands such as Omega 3, Omega Pro, Free Run and Nature’s Best. Chickens that produce eggs for the latter categories are fed nutrient-rich diets so they can lay even healthier eggs. The company owns other facilities throughout Canada where eggs are processed into homogenized liquid egg products such as Simply Egg Whites, Break Free, Break Free Omega 3 and new Egg Creations . . . and you could certainly say: “there’s a whole lota crackin’ going on” at these plants. On the cover: Darren McCabe delivers a “truckload” of about 500,000 eggs to the Mississauga plant.

Parminder Singh prepares the baskets.

. . . while Margaret Silva, with Susan Hardy in background, prepares cartons for packaging.

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BENEFIT IMPROVEMENTS

Significant new improvements for dental plan

The UFCW Locals 175 & 633 Ontario Dental Benefit Trust Fund has been improved – again! Effective for all claims incurred on or after March 1, 2006, expenses for eligible plan members and eligible dependents will be reimbursed as follows: • Based on the 2006 Ontario General Practitioners Fee Guide, improved from the 2005 Guide. • The percentage payable for Basic Dental services, such as examinations and fillings will increase to 100 per cent, from 90

per cent, for both full-time and part-time workers. • The annual calendar year maximum will increase to $2,000 for full-time employees and $1,500 for part-time. The annual maximum was formely $1,500 for full-time and $1,250 for parttime. Members should contact the plan administrator – Benefit Plan Administrators Limited – if they have questions regarding their personal claims situation or their current eligibility status.

Do you know someone who needs a good Union? Local 175 of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) is a Union serving the needs of workers.

wages, benefits, and working conditions. We can help you build a safer and healthier working environment.

If you want help to improve your working conditions, or you know other workers who need assistance, contact us now.

By calling 1-800-565-8329 (UFCW) or logging on to www.ufcw175.com you can learn how to enforce the laws that protect you in your workplace. Ask for the Organizing Department.

We can show you how to improve your

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LOCALS 175 & 633 have negotiated improvements to Health & Welfare Benefits, as outlined below, for both full-time and part-time members. Claims incurred on or after February 1, 2006, will be reimbursed according to the new benefit schedule. An updated Member Booklet that describes all benefits in detail is currently being prepared and will be distributed to all active plan members

FULL-TIME

PART-TIME

Life Insurance and Accidental Death & Dismemberment Benefits The Life Insurance benefit amount payable for eligible, active Full-Time employees under the age of 65 is increased from $30,000 to $50,000. The Accidental Death & Dismemberment benefit is also increased to $50,000.

Life Insurance and Accidental Death & Dismemberment Benefits The Life Insurance benefit amount payable for eligible, active Part-Time employees under the age of 65 is increased from $5,000 to $10,000. The Accidental Death & Dismemberment benefit is also increased to $10,000.

Long-Term Disability Benefits For injuries/disabilities occurring on or after February 1, 2006, the monthly LTD benefit payable under the plan increases to 70% of your monthly salary with a maximum benefit of $3,000 per month. Previously the benefit was 65% of the first $1,700 of monthly salary and 40% of the balance, to a maximum monthly benefit of $2,500 per month.

Orthotics As of February 1, 2006, the plan will cover one pair of Orthotics to a maximum of $300, once every three years, provided the Orthotics are custom made for the insured member, not required for sports or recreational purposes, and recommended by a licensed Doctor (M.D.), Chiropodist, or Podiatrist. This benefit is for the member only and does not apply to dependents.

Health Benefits Effective for all claims incurred on or after February 1, 2006: • All annual deductibles are removed and the Lifetime Maximum allowed per person for Health benefits, excluding drugs, is increased from $50,000 to $250,000. • Semi-Private hospital will be reimbursed at 80% for a maximum of 120 days, with no other deductibles. • A Hearing Aid benefit is added which allows up to $500 once every 5 years. • The limits for Physiotherapy are increased to allow up to $50 per visit, to a calendar year maximum of $500. This is an improvement from $12.50 per visit to a calendar year maximum of $250. • Massage Therapy is added in combination with the Chiropractor benefit. The plan will allow up to $50 per visit to either a Registered Massage Therapist or a Chiropractor, up to a combined calendar year maximum of $500. Previously, the Chiropractor coverage allowed $10 per visit to a calendar year maximum of $250.

Drug Benefits for Dependent Children Effective February 1, 2006, dependent children under the age of 18 will be covered for drugs on the same basis as the working member. Please note spouses will not be covered.

Dental Benefits Effective for all claims incurred on or after February 1, 2006, expenses for eligible Full-Time members and their eligible dependents will be reimbursed as follows: • Based on the 2006 Ontario General Practitioners Fee Guide, improved from the 2005 Guide. • The percentage payable for Basic Dental services such as examinations and fillings will increase to 100%, from 90%. • The annual calendar year maximum will increase to $2,000 from $1,500. • There will no longer be a $50 deductible applied to the first Orthodontic claim. Members should contact the plan administrator if they have any questions regarding their personal claims situation, or their current eligibility status.

BENEFIT IMPROVEMENTS

Benefit improvements for members at A&P effective February 1, 2006

Vision Care Benefits Effective February 1, 2006, dependent children under the age of 18 will have vision care coverage, provided the working member qualifies for vision care coverage and has worked at least 600 hours in the previous calendar year. Dental Benefits Effective for all claims incurred on or after February 1, 2006, expenses for eligible Part-Time members and their eligible dependent children will be reimbursed as follows: • Based on the 2006 Ontario General Practitioners Fee Guide, improved from the 2005 Guide. • The percentage payable for Basic Dental services such as examinations and fillings will increase to 100%, from 90%. • The annual calendar year maximum will increase to $1,500 from $1,250. Members should contact the plan administrator if they have any questions regarding their personal claims situation, or their current eligibility status, at the address below.

BENEFIT PLAN ADMINISTRATORS LIMITED P.O. Box 6020, Station B Toronto, Ontario M9W 7A3 Tel: 416-745-6466 Toll Free: 1-800-867-5615 Fax: 416-745-5163

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NEGOTIATIONS

For all the most recent UFCW news, including negotiations, visit our

1,500 Ontario Zellers workers secure three-year contract

More than 1,500 members at Zellers stores across the province have ratified a new three-year collective agreement. Retroactive to February 1, 2006, the start rate and six-month rate increase by 2 per cent and will increase subsequently by 2 per cent in each of the following two years. All other workers receive an increase of between 1.5 per cent and 3 per cent in each year of the contract term. The workers’ health and safety committee will now include an additional two bargaining unit members to help carry out the responsibilities of this important committee. The company agrees to review the Violence in the Workplace policy with all employees twice a year. Language improvements better protect the privacy of members relating to their medical information. In

Negotiating committee members Naphisa Ramdial, store # 1250 and Joe Petcoff, store #1223, with Union Rep Linval Dixon (centre) outline the proposed contract at the February 12th ratification meeting in Toronto.

addition, bereavement entitlement language improves to include nieces and nephews in the list of family members and an associate will no longer have to attend the funeral to receive pay for the time off. The Sunset Clause now states that any discipline older than 24 months cannot be used against a worker. Members work in Zellers stores including: six in the GTA, one in each of Cornwall, Brantford, Niagara Falls, Midland and Barrie, and two in Windsor. Union Negotiating Committee: Jeanette Calleja, Diane Deschamps,

Jody Dunn, Lorie Hovinga, Kim Kelley, LauraLee Manuel, Angela McDonnell, Eduarda Moniz, Joe Petcoff, Margaret Rae, Naphisa Ramdial, Carolyn, Renaud, Davie Toolaram, Pat Tweedie and Pat Wright. Union Representatives on the committee were: Mona Bailey, Matt Davenport, John DiNardo, Joe DeMelo, Linval Dixon, Julie Johnston, Daniel Mercier, Rob Nicholas, Kelly Tosato, Central East Regional Director Luc Lacelle and Eastern Regional Director Dan Lacroix.

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Web site: www.ufcw175.com.

New contract for Richelieu Hosiery workers On December 1, 2005, members at Richelieu Hosiery in Cornwall voted in favour of a new collective agreement with a four-year term and the following highlights: • Wage increases of 40 cents per hour in the first year, 25 cents in both the second and third year and 30 cents in the final year of the agreement. • Improved vacation and safety boot allowance. • Important new ‘No Discrimination’ and ‘No Harassment’ language ensure the health and safety of members in the workplace.

NEGOTIATIONS

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Union Negotiating Committee: Elizabeth Deschamps, Patricia Rivers and Union Rep Daniel Mercier.

Cargill workers win bonus pay On November 19, 2005, members at Cargill Canada, formerly Klunski Transport, in Guelph voted in favour of a three-year contract, which includes: • A signing bonus of $1,800 plus a seniority bonus of $1,000 per year back to a cut-off date of 1975. • Highway Drivers receive ½¢ per mile increase as of Date of Ratification and 1¢ per mile increase as of 2009. • Mechanics receive increases of 25 cents per hour in 2006, 25 cents per hour in 2007 and another 25 cents per hour in 2008. • Straight Truck Driver increases include 25 cents per hour in each of the three years covered by the agreement. • Tractor, Shunt and Local Drivers, Truck Washers and Yard Service workers also receive wage increases totalling 75 cents per hour over the course of the agreement. • Pension contributions increase by $1 per hour in the second year and $2 per hour in the third year to reach $24 per month by the end of the contract. • Contributions to the Training & Education fund continue at $200 on January 2006 and on the ratification anniversary in 2007 and 2008. • Four new members from Steven’s Drivers joined the bargaining unit as of the date of ratification. • Benefits continue to age 65, under a 50/50 cost-sharing arrangement, for workers retiring after 15 years of service and age 60. Union Negotiating Committee: Jackson Rawn, Scott Spears, Pete Thompson and Union Rep Angus Locke.

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NEGOTIATIONS

For all the most recent UFCW news, including negotiations, visit our W

Members at National Car Motel front-desk staff ratify first agreement achieve significant new Members at the Super 8 in Guelph inked • The vision care plan covers $100 per their first collective agreement on December two-year period for glasses or contact contract 22, 2005. In addition to general contract lens, plus $50 for eye exams. On December 5, 2005, members from National Car Rental (Canada), at the Pearson International Airport location in Mississauga, ratified a new three-year agreement. It contains many improvements, including: • Hourly wage increases from $2.20 per hour to $3.00 per hour over three years, plus new overnight shift premiums of 25 cents per hour. • 10 paid sick days per year for full-time employees, with the unused portion accumulated as sick pay, calculated at 150 per cent. • 2 sick days per year may be carried over for sickness or personal business. • The optical benefit is now $200 for prescription lens, with annual eye exams also reimbursed. • The annual shoe allowance increases to $80 for full-time workers and $40 for part-time. • Strong new health & safety language requires compliance with the Occupational Health & Safety Act, WHMIS training for all employees and annual certification training availability for all members of the Health & Safety Committee. It also requires management to treat employees with respect and address safety concerns as urgent priorities. • Numerous letters of understanding detail procedures related to contentious issues. Union negotiating committee: Ari Poobala, Abdirashid Ugas and Union Representative Jehan Ahamed.

language, the three-year deal includes: • Individual wage increases total between 5 and 17 per cent immediately. • Additional increases include: - 2.5 per cent across-the-board on all progressions in the second year. - 2.75 per cent across-the-board on all progressions in the third year. • Language provides for a grievance procedure, steward representation and anti-discrimination policy. • Dental benefits cover 80 per cent, up to $750 per year, and enhanced dental covers 50 per cent of the cost up to $500 per year, plus accidental dental coverage to $2,000 maximum. • Orthodontic coverage is 60 per cent with a lifetime maximum of $1,000. • The company pays 80 per cent of the cost of prescription drugs up to $10,000 per year including a semiprivate hospital room, ambulance and paramedic services. • Workers receive hearing aid coverage of up to $400 per 60-month period.

Hotel workers ratify Members at the Oshawa Holiday Inn voted in favour of a new three-year contract on November 30, 2005, which includes: • Across-the-board wage increases of 2 per cent in December 2005 and 2006, 1 per cent in June 2007, 2 per cent in December 2007, and another 1 per cent in June 2008. • Improved language covers overtime, banquet setup, schedule posting and benefit coverage. Union Negotiating Committee: Lisa Crawford, Noreen Corcoran, Dolores Mason, Walter Mercer, Stevie Powers, Caroline Schlaht and Union Rep Dan Serbin.

• Annual amounts up to $400 for physiotherapy, $150 for custom-made orthotics and $150 for orthopedic shoes. • 2 weeks vacation at 4 per cent pay after one year’s service, increasing to 3 weeks at 6 per cent after five year’s service and then four weeks at 8 per cent after 10 years. • A guaranteed minimum 40-hour workweek for the two workers with the most seniority. • Other language establishes break times, overtime pay, call-in minimums, leaves of absence, bereavement leave, time limits, a sunset clause of 12 months and layoff and recall provisions. Union Negotiating Committee: David Marchbank and Union Rep Richard Wauhkonen.

International Vac Pac workers win wages & pension improvements Workers at International Vac Pac in Port Hope, ratified a new three-year agreement on December 4, 2005. Highlights include: • Hourly wage increases totalling 65 cents, plus pension contribution increases of 20 cents per hour. • Workers on the afternoon shift will not be required to work a nine-hour shift. • New language provides workers with an itemized pay statement and a guarantee that if/when a public, statutory or paid holiday falls on a Friday, the company will date and deliver pay cheques on that Wednesday. Union Negotiating Committee: Cindy Downey, Beverly Hodgson and Union Rep Chris Fuller.

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FUNDRAISING

Fundraising News In 2006, in Ontario, numerous PharmaPlus members have pledged to contribute more than $6,000 to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada, to help fund a cure for blood-related cancers. These members, who signed up to donate through payroll deduction, are helping the thousands of families who are affected by this disease. Additionally, as a result of their donations, the PharmaPlus members became eligible for a prize draw. Some of the winners are shown on this page.

Paula King #1461 receives a DVD player from Union Rep Angus Locke.

Union Rep Angus Locke presents AnnaMarie Chapman of PharmaPlus #2477 in Kitchener with a $100 gift certificate.

Sue Shouten of PharmaPlus #1750 in Paris, with Union Rep John DiNardo. Sue won a 19” TV/VCR Combination Unit.

Adele Kloet, Director of Resource Development for the Wesley Centre, with Central West Regional Director, Harry Sutton and South Central Regional Director Sharon Gall, accepts a $1,000 donation. It was part of the money raised at the February Stewards Seminar in Toronto.

Karen Hefferman of PharmaPlus #2261 in Picton was another prizewinner.

Samantha Skinner of PharmaPlus #1651 in Fort Erie won a Philips “Real Flat” TV.

Union rep Jacques Niquet gives Maureen Bindner, who is a steward at Pharma Plus #654 in Deep River, a $50 gift certificate for her participation.

Maria Zumpano of PharmaPlus #1800 in Niagara Falls receives a $50 gift certificate from Union Rep Kelly Tosato.

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SCHOLARSHIPS

Scholarships Winners of the $1,000 Mckay, Thompson, Hoebink and Gibson scholarships in 2005, whose photos arrived too late for the February listing in Checkout are:

Melissa Galo, daughter of Joao Galo of Quality Meat Packers.

Qu Yi Quan, whose father, Xiao Ping Qu works at Maple Leaf Pork, in Burlington.

Jessalyn Paterson, whose mother, Judith Tamblyn-Paterson works at PharmaPlus #2113 in Lindsay, with Union Rep Jacques Niquet.

Every year the UFCW Canada National Council awards 15 Beggs, Dowling, Mathieu Scholarships. They are valued at $500 each. In 2005, all six Ontario winners were from Locals 175 & 633. They are:

Jason Coleman, Sobeys IGA #16600 in Fort Erie, with Central West Regional Director, Harry Sutton. Kevin Patrick Jasmin, formerly of A&P #404 North Front, in Belleville.

Chantal Claudette Pollard, daughter of Gregory Pollard, Super C in Cornwall;

Lauren Ramgattie, Loblaws #1051 Ogilvie in Ottawa;

Philip Portz, Fortinos #53, Plains Road in Burlington (right), with Union Rep Mario Tardelli.

Renee Roy, with mother Barbara D. Roy, A&P #424, in Thunder Bay.

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COURSE SCHOLARSHIPS

Members and Stewards Course Scholarships These one-week programs are held at the Locals 175 & 633 Training & Education Centre in Mississauga. The course costs, materials and instruction plus lost wages, per diems, transportation and accommodation are covered as part of the program. Member Scholarships is an introductory course for new computer users and ran from November 27 – December 2, 2005. It included an introduction to union history and structure, including the role and basics of stewardship. For the first time, there were two fall Steward Scholarship programs. They ran from October 23 – 28, 2005 and again from November 20 – 25, 2005. The course content includes union history and activities, arbitrations and current issues in the Labour Movement, as well as new technology. If you’d like to apply for the next courses, which will be repeated again in the spring, contact the Training Centre for information about applications and deadlines.

Participants in the 2005 December Members Scholarship program were, front row, from left: Javier Prior, Better Beef; Kimberley Brazeau, Loeb #37720; Donna Hulagrocki, Extra Foods; Jason Kramer, Firestone Textiles; Leroy Nimal, Sobeys; Georgina Broeckel, Local 175 Instructor. Back row: Darren Slade, Horizon Plastics; Peggy Anderson, A&P #124; Christina Hamilton, Central Park Lodge; Susan Schouten, Pharma Plus #1750; Jane Darko, Briton House; Dawn Reid, Weetabix; Paul Camilleri, Better Beef.

Participants in the 2005 November Stewards Scholarship program were, front row, from left: Gale O’Malley, A&P # 141; Kelly Provost-Nicholas - Instructor Middle Row (sitting): Sheila Barter, Dominion # 114; Doolari Sheorattan, Ray Plastics; Leonor Sena, Maple Lodge Farms; Ron Bautista, Pintys Food. Back Row: Henry De Graaf, Dresden Industrial; Tiia Liigvald, Canada Safeway; Albert Hill, ADM Milling; Jean Patenaude, Ridgewood Industries; Ray Lamb, Kraft Canada; Larry Fisher – Instructor, Rob Drake, Horizon Plastics; Brenda Peterson, Excel Coach Lines.

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HEALTH & SAFETY

Hamilton Fortinos JHSC suggestions implemented chain-wide The five union members of the Joint Health & Safety Committee at Fortinos store #44 on Dundurn Street in Hamilton are working together to build a safer workplace. They meet with management representatives and do store inspections monthly. Maria is the labour co-chair and Tom is certified by the Workers Health & Safety Centre. Susan has attended Local 175’s 30-hour health & safety training. The committee has vastly improved the comfort level of workers in the hot food and bakery sections of the store. Their suggestion, to change winter tops for year-round lighter summer tops, has now been implemented in their store and also chain-wide.

Fortinos store #44 JHSC committee members are, from left: Tom Johnstone, Maria Clough, Debbie Roselli, Photo lab manager, Laura Degraass, Terry Burns and Susan O’Connor. Tom and Susan also serve as union stewards.

Participants in the 2005 October Stewards Scholarship program were, front row, from left: Penny Crawford, Kraft Canada; Lolita Alcala, Maple Leaf Pork; Carolyn Renaud, Zellers #1339; Jennifer Holness, Budget Car Rental; Sandra Tremblay, Loeb Hearst; Catherine Prevost, Friendly Manor. Back Row: Pat De Marco,Cargill; David Rebelo, Food Basics #627; Frank Menezes, Quality Meats; Robert Guertin, Busch’s Auto; Nathan Monson, Food Basics # 895; Devon Stapley, A&P #161; Glen Bates, Loeb #37515; Larry Fisher, Instructor; Bruce Pritchard, Price Chopper #573; Kelly Provost-Nicholas, Local 175 Instructor.

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HEALTH & SAFETY

Local unions recognized for H&S excellence At the Toronto Stewards seminar, on Saturday, February 4, 2006, Local 175 President Wayne Hanley accepted an award from the Workers Health & Safety Centre (WHSC). The award recognizes our Union’s pioneering achievements and dedication to H&S training. It was President Hanley who established the Locals 175 & 633 Health & Safety Department. Because of his strong commitment to member safety, numerous educational and information initiatives are ongoing. For instance, the Locals 175 & 633 Training & Education Centre (TEC) trained more Health & Safety Instructors in 2005 than most local unions train in a whole decade! More than 2,000 Locals 175 & 633 members took H&S courses in 2005. Also because of President Hanley’s commitment, Health & Safety Representative Janice Klenot is able to provide numerous committee members with the skills they need to teach their co-workers about ensuring safer workplaces. More skilled instructors, knowledgeable committee members and well-informed members mean better awareness . . . and fewer accidents, injuries and illnesses. In addition to Janice’s educational work with various workplaces, many, many stewards receive instructor’s training at the five stewards seminars, which are held annually throughout the province. At the recent Toronto seminar 26 stewards completed H&S courses. Additional H&S training, which is free to all members and their fami-

WHSC Director of Training Services, Tom Parkin (left) presented President Hanley with an award, and also received one from Locals 175 & 633, in recognition of the centre’s many excellent training initiatives. lies, is available online. Go to http:// www.ufcw175.com/Education/Schedule/index.shtml to view the current schedule. The online program, which is the most innovative and easily accessible, offers Level 1 H&S, as well as dozens of hazard-specific courses. Local 175 is also an innovator in the health care sector, offering H&S information that’s both current and comprehensive. The online course, Reducing Injuries, is the only online course for health care workers in Canada. All of these courses are accredited through Mohawk College, which means they can be used to accumulate continuing education credits in various programs, as well as with the Workers Health & Safety Centre.

Despite the many changes and challenges affecting health care, Local 175 members are well-equipped to cope. A full report on the annual Health Care Conference for stewards will be published in the June issue of Checkout. In addition to all the courses and online training, your local unions also conduct an ongoing program of H&S mailings. Newsletters, pamphlets and posters on important H&S topics are regularly sent to workplaces for distribution and display. Contact our Locals’ H&S department to obtain printed materials on topics such as Your Right to Refuse Unsafe Work, Lock Out, Repetitive Strain Injury, Fire Safety, H&S Inspections and others. If you prefer, you can download from: http://www.ufcw175. com/Downloads/PDF/index.shtml.

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What members have said: “I am now successfully employed due to the Action Centre’s kindness and their constant work in regard to helping people find jobs. It is because of the centre’s undying work and excellence that I am now able to work everyday.”

Once upon a time . . not too long ago, in a not too distant place, working people were easily able to find jobs. When they found a job that they liked, they stayed there for years and years – most until they retired. Yes, until recently, these almost fabled conditions were a reality for Canadian workers. Not that the world was perfect, far from it. But as working people we had a lot more options and the workplaces were more stable than what they are today. Many experts debate when the change started, some say the mid-seventies, others say in 1989 or 1990. No matter what date we use, the fact remains that today’s working life is a lot more precarious and unstable. All kinds of factors result in the loss of jobs and workplaces closing their doors. These include globalization, international trade deals, new technologies, Wal-Mart’s purchasing policies and the “China price,” plus work re-organization and restructuring. These and many other factors result in the almost constant drain of Canadian jobs. Last year alone more than 1,000 of our Locals 175 & 633 sisters and brothers lost their jobs. Some of the affected workplaces were: Gildan Textiles, Richelieu Hosiery, St. Lawrence Corp., Ball Packaging, and Conagra Foods/Chef Boyardee. Confronted with this situation and starting from the principle that “once a member of 175 & 633 … always a member” our Locals have developed systems and tools to assist those members who suddenly find themselves in this precarious situation. We

negotiate with the federal and provincial governments to provide services above and beyond what is offered to the average person facing the same circumstances. Across the province, we work with boards of education and community agencies to support laid-off workers. And through Locals 175 & 633 training, we provide extra programs and courses for the affected members. This enables them to acquire extra credentials that have added value on their resumes . . . and helps them to secure new jobs.

TRAINING & EDUCATION

The Local Union assists laid-off workers

For every large workplace closure we set up an Adjustment Committee with various levels of government. It always includes members from the affected workplace, and sometimes company representatives as well. These committees are trained in how to facilitate the adjustment program, which normally lasts about one year. They create an Action Centre where members come and access programs. What’s equally important – they continue to work with, and provide mutual support to, former co-workers – the same people who worked along side them for a few months, years or decades. At the Action Centre, members can access the Internet, read the newspaper, check out the job board, update and print their resumes and use the phone to follow up on job leads. Think of the Action Centre as a “miniemployment” office, with the main difference being that workers can also come in for a coffee and meet their former co-workers to maintain the network they have built at work.

continued on page 24

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The Local Union assists laid-off workers continued from page 23 In addition to being a place to carry out a job search, the Action Centre is also a place to find out about retraining and various government programs. It’s also a referral agency for counselling services, which can include personal counselling or financial planning to start a small business or planning for a return to school or retirement. Whatever the need, the Action Centre is the starting point. For smaller groups we normally do not set up a Locals 175 & 633 Adjustment Committee or Action Centre. Instead, we explore existing organizations within the community of the closure

or layoff. Then we make contact with these organizations, explain our situation and establish a relationship to refer members for services and assistance. The services are similar to the services provided by the Action Centre; however, they are shared with other people in the community. Our Locals are the only ones in Canada that actively contribute to the assistance of affected members. Through the Training Centre programs we regularly provide CPR-First Aid courses, Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS), computer classes – ABCs of Computing, Word and Excel – and High School Diploma programs. In addition, mem-

bers have access on a continuing basis to the extensive online courses that will provide them with many other marketable skills. All of these are supported by the Locals, both financially and organizationally. When members find themselves in such difficult times it’s heart-warming to see the achievements that we can reach by working together. Solidarity is a word that carries a lot of meaning in our Locals and members are not abandoned because an employer closes its doors. “Once a member of Locals 175 & 633, always a member,” is much more than just a slogan.

Even during difficult moments we are able to achieve successes and personal victories. The above group of members worked at the Brown Shoe plant in Perth, which closed two years ago. They participated in the High School Diploma program set up by the Local with the support of T. R. Leger Adult Learning Centre. President Hanley was there to jointly celebrate their personal successes.

Return postage will be paid by: UNITED FOOD AND COMMERCIAL WORKERS Locals 175 & 633 2200 Argentia Road Mississauga, Ontario L5N 2K7

Canada Post Corporation Publication Agreement No. 40064671

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President’s Message

Published six times yearly. ISSN no. 1703-3926 CHECKOUT is an official publication of Locals 175 & 633 of the United Food & Commercial Workers. Web site: www.ufcw175.com E-mail: membership@ufcw175.com CENTRAL WEST REGION 412 Rennie Street Hamilton L8H 3P5 905-545-8354 Toll free: 1-800-567-2125 Fax: 905-545-8355 Director Harry Sutton Union Representatives Sam Caetano, Matt Davenport, Joe DeMelo, Linval Dixon, Rick Hogue, Fernando Reis, Dan Serbin, Kelly Tosato EASTERN REGION 20 Hamilton Avenue North Ottawa K1Y 1B6 613-725-2154 Toll free 1-800-267-5295 Fax 613-725-2328 Director Dan Lacroix Union Representatives Simon Baker, Chris Fuller, Paul Hardwick, Marilyn Lang, Daniel Mercier, Jacques Niquet SOUTH WEST REGION 124 Sydney Street South Kitchener N2G 3V2 519-744-5231 Toll free 1-800-265-6345 Fax 519-744-8357 Director Ray Bromley Union Representatives Wendy Absolom, Kevin Dowling, Julie Johnston, Angus Locke, Roy Reed, Rick Wauhkonen NORTH WEST REGION Room 21, Lakehead Labour Centre 929 Fort William Road Thunder Bay P7B 3A6 807-346-4227 Toll free 1-800-465-6932 Fax 807-346-4055 Director Shawn Haggerty Union Representatives Colby Flank, David Noonan TRAINING & EDUCATION CENTRE (TEC) Director of Education Victor Carrozzino Education Representatives Georgina Broeckel, Gail Carrozzino, Kelly Provost-Nicholas, Ashleigh Vink, Dave White

More free high school courses offered in 2006

E

ducational credentials are increasingly important to obtain a new job or promotion. Accordingly, Locals 175 & 633 is continuing its strong commitment to member training. Your Union now provides even more opportunities for members to earn a High School Diploma. You can study online or in classrooms, through your local unions’ partnerships with various Ontario school boards.

WAYNE HANLEY

If you don’t have a high school diploma, this is a wonderful, free opportunity to upgrade your education. If you completed high school some time ago, it’s an easy way to upgrade your skills. There is a wide selection of high school credit courses offered in Cornwall, Hanover, Kitchener-Waterloo and Perth – with the probability of other locations being added in future. More than 200 members have already received their high school diploma with the help of the local union. Two new online courses started March 1, 2006. They are Grade 10 Civics and Grade 11 Media Studies. I am proud to say that Locals 175 & 633 are the only organizations in Ontario providing online courses enabling adults to earn high school diplomas. These courses will allow you to complete high school from the convenience of your home computer, at no cost to you. We anticipate that a number of additional courses will be available over the next few months. Perhaps you have the knowledge but not the diploma? If so, you may want to take courses to prepare for the General Educational Development (GED ) High School Equivalency Diploma Test. Your Union offers refresher courses in Enhanced Mathematics, Enhanced Reading & Writing Skills as well as Developing Useful Study and Test Writing Skills. English As A Second Language (ESL) courses are also offered, at the Mississauga Training & Education Centre (TEC) and at other locations when there is sufficient interest. Please remember that these courses and many others are offered, without charge, to members and their families. Nearly 8,000 members took advantage of this opportunity in 2005. To check course content and schedule, visit our website, or call the TEC for current listings.

IF YOU DON’T HAVE A HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA, THIS IS A WONDERFUL, FREE OPPORTUNITY TO UPGRADE YOUR EDUCATION. APRIL 2006 

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NEGOTIATIONS

r Web site: www.ufcw175.com.

Members at Maple Lynn Foods win improved contract Ratified contract for Cornwall Fruit Supply - Prescription sunglasses coverage; After rejecting the company’s initial offer in December, members at Maple Lynn Foods in Strathroy secured a new three-year collective agreement at a second ratification meeting on January 14, 2006. Contract highlights include: • Across-the-board annual wage increases of 3 per cent, plus increased rates for workers classed as Packer/Handler, Senior Shipper and Senior Utility. • Workers benefit from an improved grievance procedure, pay equity language and increased bereavement leave of five days. • Health and welfare improvements include: - Company paid A-Z examinations; - Company paid doctor’s notes; - Increased Life Insurance to $25,000.

Retirement care workers receive lump sum & wage increases On February 1, 2006, members at the Erin Mills Retirement Lodge ratified a new threeyear contract, which includes the following highlights: • Full-time workers receive a onetime lump sum bonus of $500 upon ratification and part-time receive $250. • Wages increase by 2 per cent July 1, 2006. Workers receive subsequent increases of 1 per cent, on both January 1 and July 1 of 2007 and 2008. • Contributions to the workers dental plan increase to 29 cents per hour. • Pension contributions increase to 51 cents per hour by the final year of the contract term. • New language improves scheduling with reference to Christmas and New Year’s. Union Negotiating Committee: Elaine Bennett, Teresa Maric, Danielle Robidoux and Union Rep Dan Serbin.

- $50 toward the cost of eye examinations; and - Increased dental coverage to $2,000. • The long-service recognition award has been renewed. • Drivers receive a $20 per diem for carrying cell phones. Union Negotiating Committee: John Aszalos, Dave Buis, Tim Riley and Union Rep Kevin Dowling.

Members at Cornwall Fruit Supply ratified a new two-year collective agreement on December 21, 2005. Highlights include: • Wage increases totalling 30 cents per hour. • Improved bereavement and floater-day language. Union Negotiating Committee: Dwayne Hughes and Union Rep Daniel Mercier.

Grocery workers secure new three-year agreement Full and part-time workers at Byng Price Chopper in Oshawa voted in favour of a new contract on January 15, 2006, which includes: • Hourly wage increases totalling 50 cents for full-time workers at the top rate. • A lump sum payment of $300 in the first year of the contract and across-theboard wage increases of 25 cents per hour in both the second and third year for active, full-time workers above the wage grid. • Hourly wage increases of 15 cents in each year for part-time staff at the top rate of the grid. • A $200 lump sum in the first year and

subsequent across-the-board increases of 25 cents per hour in both the second and third year for active, part-time workers above the wage grid. • Workers now receive $20 if they are called back to check refrigeration or heating after the store is closed. • Improvements to dental benefits, office duties premium and bereavement leave language. • Full-time workers volunteering to work Sunday will receive two consecutive scheduled days off during that week. Union Negotiating Committee: Donald Bryant, John Dillon and Union Reps Mona Bailey and Rob Nicholas.

Packaging workers secure first contract On December 9, 2005, new Local 175 members at Norcard Packaging, formely MG Packaging in London ratified a first collective agreement. In addition to important contract language, the three-year contract includes: • Wage increases totalling 4 per cent for those workers not already above the top rate. • Two weeks vacation at 4 per cent pay after one year of service and three weeks at 6 per cent pay after five years of service. • Language covers grievance procedure, steward representation, layoff & recall provisions, job posting procedures, bereavement leave entitlement, leaves of absence, call-in minimums, break times, overtime pay, statutory holidays and anti-discrimination policy, plus recognition of service & seniority from previous employer. Union Negotiating Committee: Kim Maier and Union Rep Kevin Dowling.

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Checkout April 2006