THE NEWS MAGAZINE FOR MEMBERS OF LOCALS 175 & 633 UFCW CANADA VOLUME XVII NO. 2 JUNE 2008
Local Unions’ Elections ................................Page 26
President’s Message............................................................................. 3 Secretary-Treasurer’s Message................................................................ 4 Health & Safety Rolf Numsen wins activist award ......................................................... 5 The Precautionary Principle..................................................................... 6 Benefits Department News
Workplace News Members at Karma know candy........................................................... 10
People Web contest winner announced....................... Card-check campaign continues...................... Staff changes announced................................ Horizon’s JHSC strives for safer workplace....... Community
Conferences Stewards raise $11,000 for leukemia research..................................... 19 “Excellent!” was the consensus on Local 175’s Sixth Annual Health Care Conference................................................................................. 20
Local Union Elections
Hockey Tournament raises $22,000
LOCAL 175 President Shawn Haggerty Secretary-Treasurer Teresa Magee Recorder Betty Pardy Executive Assistants Jim Hastings Harry Sutton UFCW Local 633 President Dan Bondy Secretary-Treasurer Marylou Mallett Recorder Neil Hotchkiss Provincial Office 2200 Argentia Road Mississauga L5N 2K7 905-821-8329 Toll free 1-800-565-8329 Fax 905-821-7144 Benefits Representatives Sherree Backus, Joanne Ford Benefits Intake Representative Orsola Augurusa Legal Counsel Victoria Shen Communications Representatives Cheryl Mumford, Jennifer Tunney Servicing Representative Lien Huynh Health & Safety Representative Janice Klenot Legal Counsel Marcia Barry, Michael Hancock, Rebecca Woodrow, Natalie Wiley Legal Representative Fernando Reis Organizing Representatives Rick Hogue, Steve Robinson CENTRAL EAST REGION Director Luc Lacelle Union Representatives Jehan Ahamed, Mona Bailey, John DiFalco, Anthony DiMaio, John DiNardo, Emmanuelle Lopez, Angela Mattioli, Rob Nicholas, Dave White SOUTH CENTRAL REGION Director Sylvia Groom Union Representative Judith Burch Servicing Representatives Brenda Simmons, Roy Etling, Mark Stockton, Mario Tardelli TRAINING & EDUCATION CENTRE Coordinator of Education Kelly Nicholas cep Local 571
CENTRAL WEST REGION 412 Rennie Street Hamilton L8H 3P5 905-545-8354 Toll free 1-800-567-2125 Fax 905-545-8355 Director Paul Jokhu Union Representatives Matt Davenport, Tim Deelstra, Joe DeMelo, Linval Dixon, Dan Serbin, Kelly Tosato Servicing Representative Sam Caetano 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 Servicing Representative 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 Representative Mike Duden NORTH WEST REGION Lakehead Labour Centre 21-929 Fort William Road Thunder Bay P7B 3A6 807-346-4227 Toll free 1-800-465-6932 Fax 807-346-4055 Director Harry Sutton Union Representatives Colby Flank, David Noonan Education Representatives Georgina Broeckel, Gail Carrozzino, Derek Jokhu, Ashleigh Vink
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: email@example.com
Your Local Union works to protect jobs Bargaining a good new collective agreement – and maintaining good-paying jobs for members – is always a challenge. It requires specialized skill and knowledge about the employer’s business operations and the role that workers fulfill. Fortunately, Local 175 has a large knowledgeable staff who are well-experienced in negotiating good collective agreements for the more than 50,000 members working in approximately 20 sectors of Ontario’s economy.
For the past several years Ontario’s manufacturing sector has been hit hard. Low-cost Asian imports, along with high energy prices and the slowing U.S. economy (some would say “recessionary”) have produced difficult market conditions. The problem is compounded by the rising Canadian dollar, which reached parity with the U.S. dollar in September 2007. This is a substantial increase from its low of 61.79 cents U.S., which occurred in January 2002. The fast rise in value has made it even more difficult for our manufacturing industries to compete and sell their products in the U.S. and around the world. As a result, sales of Canadian manufactured goods, for December 2007, dropped to the lowest level in three years. Many members in several Local 175 workplaces have already suffered because of these economic forces, and others will continue to be threatened. In Guelph, Cargill’s Better Beef laid off more than 200 of its workforce in early 2008. Another 80 members at Pharmaphil in Windsor, which was purchased last year by The Qualicaps Group, were laid off between April and June of this year. Despite ongoing attempts to find a buyer, Cangro Foods, a division of Kraft Foods in Exeter closed in May and the facility in St. Davids will close in late June, resulting in job loss for a total of 268 members. The Locals 175 & 633 Labour Adjustment Program will be in full force to assist these members in every way possible, just as it did in 2007 for 200 workers at Unilever in Belleville and 54 at Inovatech Egg Products in St. Marys. Corporations are continually assessing the feasibility and profit potential of relocating and/or consolidating their divisions. Members at A&M Cookies in Kitchener, owned by Parmalat, were aware of possible plant or product line relocations. Fortunately, this has been forestalled, for the present at least. Even some of our retail members have been affected negatively by the rising dollar. Sobeys in Niagara Falls saw its sales decline close to 20 per cent over the last several months and members have suffered reduced hours as a result. Of course, it’s not all bleak. There is intense pressure on both the Ontario and Federal government to implement initiatives to assist manufacturing. The recent federal budget offered some additional help, but not as much as is needed. Some manufacturers are . . . continues on page 5
On March 8, 2008, work part-time or take time away from work to care for women and men of the their families. Greater Toronto Area Union contracts ensure that women members have and beyond came “pay equity.” This means they receive equal pay for together for Interwork of equal value. Pay equity attempts to correct a national Women’s Day historical inequity where traditionally male-dominated (IWD). They gathered jobs, like a janitor or parking lot attendant, paid more to commemorate 150 TERESA MAGEE than traditionally female jobs like day care worker or years of women worklibrarian. This occurred even when female-dominated ers’ struggles at work, job categories had more responsibility and required at home, and in sociemore education and skills. As a result of pay equity ty. They met at the clauses in Locals 175 & 633 contracts, women memUniversity of Toronto, bers have been awarded thousands of dollars in pay inside the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education equity increases. (OISE) auditorium, above the rumbling sound of the subway train and surrounded by frigid temperatures and endless hills of snow. N ON -U NION WOMEN EARN , But, non-union female workers still lag far behind their unionized sisters in ON AVERAGE , ONLY ABOUT achieving fairness in the workplace. The International Women’s Day was initially 70 PER CENT OF WHAT MEN quest for equality and justice is not just inspired by women working in the garabout the past. For them, the spirit of ment and textile industry in New York EARN . U NIONIZED WOMEN , resistance must be kept alive in the daily city. They organized a demonstration on HOWEVER , EARN 93 PER struggles to achieve equality at work. March 8, 1857 and marched together CENT OF WHAT UNIONIZED There is so much more that needs to be in solidarity to seek an end to low . MEN EARN done for our non-unionized sisters, and wages, the twelve-hour workday, and of course the most important first step is heavy workloads. But the immediate to organize their workplaces. response to these courageous women was undeserved and severe police brutality. If you have female friends or family members who are struggling to make ends meet while working in a nonMore than 150 years later, working women still have Union workplace, help them to help themselves by lower wages than men. Today, in 2008, 70 per cent of telling them about the benefits of belonging to a good minimum-wage earners are women. More than half of Union, like Locals 175 or 633. these women are immigrants and members of visible minority communities. Two million Canadian workers earn less than $10 an hour, and two thirds of these are women. Non-union women earn, on average, only about 70 per cent of what men earn. Unionized women, however, earn 93 per cent of what unionized men earn. Locals 175 & 633 union contracts, which contain job classifications, advancement & educational opportunities and no-discrimination language, help to eliminate the inequities. Union women still don’t earn 100 per cent of what men earn, largely due to family responsibilities. Some unionized women have less seniority and lower wages than men because they have chosen to
Unions are a woman’s best friend
“I see pay equity in your future . . . but only if you organize with a Union.”
HEALTH & SAFETY
Ro l f N u m s e n w i n s a c t i v i s t a w a r d Each year the Workers Health & Safety Centre (WHSC), in conjunction with district labour councils across Ontario, recognizes the contributions of health & safety activists during an awards dinner. Rolf Numsen, who works at ADM Milling in Port Colborne, was selected by the Port Colborne & District Labour Council to receive a 2007 Health & Safety Activist Award. He was nominated for the honour by Union Rep Kelly Tosato who says: “In the 20 years that Rolf has been a member of the JHSC he has achieved many significant changes at his workplace. He very much deserves to be recognized for his efforts and excellent results.” Union Organizing Representative Rick Hogue (left) presented the award to Rolf Numsen at an awards dinner on December 5, 2007. The photo is taken in front of the LifeQuilt, which Rolf has been a member of the H&S Comwas created to honour the memory of young workers who were killed on the job. Read mittee at ADM since 1985 and the Labour more at: www.youngworkerquilt.ca Co-Chair since 2004. He was instrumental in establishing accident investigation programs and guidelines for confined space entry.
He also helped implement Hot Work Permits Guidelines. These relate to the dangers of working in a flour mill when “hot work” is being performed, such as welding, given that flour dust can be very explosive. Rolf was successful in persuading the employer to agree to have the JHSC members rotate the monthly inspections so that everyone can be actively involved. As a Licensed Millwright, Rolf is continually moving around the plant and is ever vigilant for possible dangerous conditions. His co-workers have great respect for this dedication. As a result of Rolf’s efforts, everyone is aware of the importance of a safe workplace.
President’s message continued from page 3
taking advantage of the higher dollar and temporary tax write-off measures to purchase capital equipment. These purchases are expected to increase productivity, enhance competitiveness and hopefully lead to expansion and more good jobs down the road. Federal NDP leader Jack Layton is seeking tougher takeover rules to ensure that foreign investors deliver a net benefit to Canada instead of closing plants and laying off workers. He has also renewed his call for a national drug plan. Laid-off workers are losing their benefit plans he said and added: “They will have to say ‘no’ to prescriptions that their doctors say they’re supposed to have. In the end, they’ll end up in an emergency ward and there’s no economy there.” The Provincial government of Dalton McGuinty has challenged the federal government to do more for manufacturers and Ontario’s unemployed workers, who
receive $4,000 less in EI payments per year than those in other provinces. The McGuinty government said it would help manufacturers develop greener, more advanced products. But until these market conditions actually improve, I urge everyone in the hard-hit manufacturing sector to be very strategic when it comes to bargaining proposals and ratifications of new collective agreements. The goal of your negotiating committees is always to achieve the best contracts, while protecting the viability of the business and your future employment. Please participate in the bargaining process, from the initial proposal and committee election meetings through to the ratification vote. It is only by being involved in the process that you and your co-workers can make a truly informed decision that could very much affect your future.
HEALTH & SAFETY
Occupational Health & Safety and T HE
PRECAUTIONARY PRINCIPLE IS
ESSENCE OF THE
PRINCIPLE IS CAPTURED IN EVERY DAY SAYINGS SUCH AS :
OUNCE OF PREVENTION IS WORTH A POUND OF CURE ,”
“ BETTER SAFE THAN SORRY,” AND “ LOOK BEFORE YOU LEAP.” These were the thoughts of public health officials in the 1920s when the petrochemical and automobile corporations announced they were going to start putting lead into gasoline. Public health officials argued that this should be delayed until possible repercussions could be investigated. The corporations argued that, in the absence of convincing evidence of widespread harm, they had the right to proceed. In the end, the corporations won out and this set the standard for corporate behaviour for the next fifty-plus years. Industrial chemicals were given the equivalent of civil rights and they were treated as “innocent until proven guilty.” Historically, in the face of scientific uncertainty, corporations were allowed to proceed with dangerous activities until evidence was gathered requiring them to implement control measures. Millions of people and our environment have been harmed and suffered as a result. While the Precautionary Principle has primarily been used internationally around environmental health issues, other groups are adopting this philosophy to protect the health of workers. In 1996, the
American Public Health Association passed a resolution entitled, The Precautionary Principle and Chemical Exposure Standards for the Workplace. This resolution recognized the need for implementing the precautionary approach. It established strict, preventive chemical exposure limits, including shifting the burden of proof of potentially dangerous chemicals until the extent of toxicity is sufficiently known. Labour has argued for many of the key parts of the Precautionary Principle long before the term was coined. In November of 1999 delegates at the Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) Convention debated and passed a policy paper entitled Occupational Disease: Shifting the Burden. It contained a section on the Precautionary Principle and an Action Plan. The plan called on the OFL and its affiliates to lobby for legislative changes to ensure that the Precautionary Principle is applied to the introduction of new subThese are hazard symbols that fall under WHMIS regulations stances, processes or job designs into a workplace. The Precautionary Principle is essentially an approach to eliminating hazards before they cause harm. The philosophy behind the Precautionary Principle reads, “when an activity raises threats of harm to human health or the environment, precautionary measures should be
taken even if some cause and effect relationships are not fully established scientifically.” The principle of precautionary action has four parts, which are: • People have a duty to take action to prevent harm before it happens. If there is a reasonable suspicion that something bad may happen, then there is an obligation to try to prevent it. • The burden of proof of harmlessness of a new technology, process, activity, or chemical lies with those who wish to use or introduce it, not with the public or workers. • Before using a new technology, process, or chemical, or starting a new activity, people have an obligation to examine a full range of alternatives including the alternative of doing nothing. • Decisions applying the precautionary principle must be open, informed, and democratic and must also include affected parties. After the introduction and spread of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) which swept through Ontario during the spring of 2003, the Ontario Government established a SARS Commission to conduct an independent investigation. SARS killed 44 and resulted in approximately 330 cases of serious lung diseases. The title of the commission’s final report is “Spring of Fear.” The Commissioner was Justice Archie Campbell of the Superior Court of Justice and the commission recommended that: • The Precautionary Principle, which states that action to reduce risk need not await scientific certainty, be expressly adopted as a guiding principle throughout Ontario’s
health, public health and worker safety systems. This could occur by way of policy statement, by explicit reference in all relevant operational standards and directions, and by way of inclusion, through preamble, statement of principle, or otherwise, in the Occupational Health and Safety Act, the Health Protection and Promotion Act, and all relevant health statutes and regulations. • Reasonable efforts to reduce risk need not await scientific proof. Ontario needs to enshrine this principle and to enforce it throughout our entire health system. • We should not be driven by the scientific dogma of yesterday or even the scientific dogma of today. We should be driven by the Precautionary Principle that reasonable steps to reduce risk should not await scientific certainty. In trying to define the precautionary principle, Justice Campbell relied
on the report of another commission. The Krever Report was an inquiry on the Blood System in Canada. In that report Justice Krever said: “Where there is reasonable evidence of an impending threat to public health, it is inappropriate to require proof of causation beyond a reasonable doubt before taking steps to avert the threat.” Unions in all sectors should recognize the potential impact of the occupational health and safety recommendations for all workers in Ontario. The adoption of the Precautionary Principle into the Occupational Health & Safety Act would mean a dramatic improvement in workplace health & safety and public policy development. The long history of the fight for occupa-
tional health and safety in Ontario has demonstrated time and again that we will only get what we are strong enough to take. Labour has launched a struggle to see the Precautionary Principle enshrined in law. We also know that what we get from one government can be taken away by the next so we are also providing this material as a resource to negotiate the Precautionary Principle in our collective agreements. Language should be negotiated into all collective agreements that enshrines this Precautionary Principle and covers issues such as employer responsibility, hazardous substances, protective reassignment, Joint H&S committee, pandemic planning, ventilation and personal protective equipment.
H EALTH & S AFETY B ROCHURES AND P OSTERS ARE AVAILABLE DOWNLOADS , OR BY CONTACTING YOUR REGIONAL OFFICE .
Your E-Board H&S Committee strives for safer workplaces The Locals 175 & 633 Executive Board Health & Safety Committee is a resource that meets regularly to exchange information and initiate changes for safer workplaces. Individual committee members bring forth issues of concern from their workplaces and the committee works together to resolve these concerns. Discussions and action plans have focused on issues such as WHMIS, safe needlesticks and safety equipment. Many of the committee members are trained to deliver H&S courses and do so at various events and locations throughout the province.
Your committee members are: front row, from left:, Karen Vaughan, Chris Watson, Bryan Braitwaite, Bruce Dosman and Gary Kelly. Back row: Carolyn Levesque, Virginia Haggith, Toni Pettitt, Pat Tweedie, Betty Pardy and Locals 175 & 633 H&S Representative, Janice Klenot. Absent from photo: Jeff Aldworth and Brian Ogilvie.
HEALTH & SAFETY
t h e Pr e c a u t i o n a r y Pr i n c i p l e
Hurt versus Harm – and the T HE CURRENT PRACTICE OF THE WSIB – IN PARTICULAR CLAIMS ADJUDICATORS – IS TO REQUIRE INJURED WORKERS TO RETURN TO WORK BEFORE THEIR INJURIES ARE FULLY HEALED . A worker’s complaints and reporting of pain are often minimized or ignored. The WSIB theory is that an Early and Safe Return to Work (ESRTW) promotes a faster recovery and integrates the worker more quickly back into the workforce, reducing the amount of lost time. To assist injured workers in their return to work, the WSIB wants employers to “accommodate” workers with job modifications and light duties that are within their capabilities as injured workers.
The WSIB states that ESRTW is rehabilitative. It contends ESRTW may reduce the chance of the injury becoming chronic and permanently impacting on the worker’s ability to work. As employers increasingly profess that they cannot accommodate permanent restrictions, the goal is to reduce the risk of Labour Market Re-entry (LMR) and retraining. It also reduces compensation costs. This approach to managing claims has caused a great deal of anxiety and tension for our members who have sustained a work-related injury. Pain is very subjective. The pain threshold and ability to cope varies from individual to individual. Being forced to return to work during the acute phase of an injury can be difficult, especially if a worker is still receiving medical treatments, such as physiotherapy.
The treating physician may have authorized the worker to be off work, but then be told by the WSIB that the modified duties offered are suitable. Workers are faced with the difficult decision of whether to listen to their medical professional or potentially face a reduction or termination of their benefits if they do not return to work. How many of our injured members have been told: “Returning to light duties won’t cause any harm, so just deal with it?” A significant portion of the appeals handled by the Benefits Department consist of issues surrounding ESRTW and the denial of loss of earnings. This ESRTW concept has not assisted in the favourable resolution of appeals, especially for Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSIs), which are common in the retail sector. In fact, 37 per cent – or 141 – of all the Benefits Department’s current files relate to the retail sector. Of these files, 44 per cent – or 62 file claims – are for RSI. A new study from the Institute for Work & Health Canada argues that “an effect of the discourse about ‘hurt versus harm’ is a systemic lack of recognition of both hurts and harms incurred by workers.” Specifically it suggests that the relative invisibility of some types of hurt affects the handling of workers’ compensation claims in a way that
hinders their ability to return to sustainable work. Rest is no longer considered to be an acceptable form of treatment for soft tissue injuries. The study states: “Evidence is accumulating that pain severity plays a more important role in disability than previously assumed . . . an important finding draws attention to the reality that activity in a workplace cannot be compared with activity in general because, when at work, individuals do not have the same liberty to determine their physical and social circumstances. Actual return-to-work arrangements are affected by the employer’s willingness to fully oblige the injured worker.” Their conclusions suggest the need for a broadened concept of ‘hurts’ and ‘harms.’ The study also states: “This discourse clouds over hurtful processes and situations that don’t fit with the dominant model. When harms relevant to costly, long-term workers’ compensation claims are not recognized, this affects the handling of claims in a way that hinders workers’ ability to return to sustainable work.” The findings of this study support what the Benefits Department has been saying for a long time: ESRTW policies do not work for all injured workers. Harm is created when a worker is conflicted about following doctor’s instructions or losing financially by not returning to work as directed by the WSIB. The stress is compounded by unsuitable job duties and pressure from management, or even co-workers, to perform at an unrealistic level. A reduced income increases the stress and severity of the symptoms an
Impact on WSIB Appeals injured worker experiences. The WSIB policies must be reviewed. Employers have manipulated ESTRW policies to lower compensation costs, with little or no regard for workers. Employers may offer modified work until their New Experimental Experience Rating (NEER) window has passed. But then
they often consign the injured worker to an LMR, causing them to lose income, benefits, seniority, contact with co-workers and a familiar work environment. WSIB must adapt its policies to remain true to its original mandate, which is to assist workers in accessing sustainable work and ensuring fair compensation that provides justice and dignity for all injured workers.
Locals 175 & 633: Working for safer workplaces L OCAL 175
STAFF ARE CONTINUALLY UPGRADING
THEIR KNOWLEDGE TO BUILD SAFER WORKPLACES . On February 21, 2008, they convened with other injured-worker advocates to listen to the WSIB Chief Prevention Officer, Tom Beegan explain the strategy for eliminating workplace injuries.
“Change is necessary because the status quo is unacceptable,” he said. In Ontario, based on WSIB 2006 statistics, on average, two people die each week from a workplace incident, another five succumb to occupational disease and a further 1,600 worker-injuries result in lost time away from work. The strategy outlined to eliminate injuries is summarized in the acronym HABIT, which stands for: H: Having a commitment – from the highest levels, of both employers and government. A: Accountability – it is the responsibility of employers to ensure that the working environment is safe and workers must stand up for their rights. B: Being a role model – everybody should “walk the talk;” education needs to start at a young age; government agencies should only give contracts to those employers who are in compliance with these values. I: Insisting on improvement – working together, levelling the playing field between employers and workers. T: Tracking trends and taking action where needed.
Later in the month, on International Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) Day, several Local 175 staff attended conferences, meetings and rallies across the province to review and plan ways to reduce these injuries. Although the Ontario government introduced guidelines in 2006, this crippling disorder still represents the largest category of claims at the WSIB. And unlike workers in British Columbia, Saskatchewan and those under federal jurisdiction, Ontario workers have no legislative protections to enforce safe work practices. “This needs to change,” says Local 175 Benefits Representative Sherree Backus. “Workers need to be on a level playing field with employers in discussions about the way work is being performed. Worker input is vital. Little or no thought has been given to the impact of repetitious work and the increasing pace of production. Legislation would compel workplaces to assess risk factors and decrease or eliminate the risk factors that continue to injure our members.”
Other suggestions included increasing accident awareness and follow-up by having the Health and Safety certified members’ names appear on the Form 7 – Employers’ Report of Injury; mandatory training of supervisors and establishing a standardized approach to this training as well as that of certified members, with refresher courses also required.
Members at Karma know candy Julia Martinez, Foil Wrapper
Earlier this year, members at Karma Candy were very busy cooking, decorating, packaging and shipping thousands of chocolate Easter eggs and bunnies. They make a range of chocolate products all year round, from bite size to 1lb, with fillings such as nuts, crisps, caramel, peanut butter and truffle. Members also produce numerous hard candies, such as lollipops and candy canes in various colours, striping and flavours. Karma Candy is now the largest sugar confectionery and seasonal chocolate products manufacturer in Canada. It has produced these products for some of the worldâ€™s top confectionery brands, such
Maria D. Ferreira, Packer and Rosa Chieffo, Packer
Luzimara Bozzo, Monitor
Maria Swiderska, Monitor and Chief Steward Mario Milazzo, Relief Monitor
Antoinietta Tassone, Lead Hand
as Cadbury, Hershey, Laura Secord and Nestle.
Maria Ferreira, Foil Wrapper
For almost 77 years the company, which was formerly known as Allan Candy, has operated in the Hamilton area. Approximately 200 Local 175 members now work at the large facility on Emerald Street in Hamilton in a plant that covers almost 300,000 square feet. Members there, who average 19 years of expertise in making candy, celebrated achieving a first Union contract in July 2007.
Norbina Manazzone, Packer
Sauline De Braga, Packer
Miroslaw Grzybowski, Packer
Ruben Pineda, Packer
Locals 175 & 633 encourage C ANADA ’ S
LABOUR MOVEMENT HAS
UNDERGONE DRAMATIC TRANSFOR MATION DURING THE PAST SEVERAL DECADES , THE RESULT OF CHANGES IN LABOUR LAWS , ECONOMIC STRUCTURE AND THE NATION ’ S WORKFORCE DEMOGRAPHICS , ONE OF THOSE BEING YOUTH . Young members in our Locals are now costantly demanding more from their employers, why you ask? It is because our young members are the best educated, most successful and most involved of any young workers. This is because of Unions.
Why should YOUth get involved in their Union? All workers have good reasons to form and join unions. For young workers, the reasons are even more compelling. As young workers enter the labour market they demand a job where they will be treated with respect, have good communication with co-workers, experience a feeling of accomplishment, have an opportunity to develop their skills and abilities and most importantly, have their voice heard. Your voice is the tool that you will use to better educate and help yourself and your co-workers. S TEPS TO GETTING INVOLVED : 1. Talk to your co-workers – mainly your workplace steward. 2. Speak with your Union representative about activities and initiatives in which you can become involved. 3. Visit your Local Unions’ Web site: www.ufcw175.com to see how Youth are getting involved. 4. Call your Locals 175 & 633 Youth Committee or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
5. Talk to other young members about things they are involved with within the Union. Locals 175 & 633 have now and will continue to strive for increased youth activism. They will ensure that the voice of youth is heard AND taken into account in all Union issues. As more young members get involved in our workplaces, it will make all of us and our Union stronger. LOCALS 175 & 633 YOUTH STATISTICS: • More than 6,000 young members under the age of 30. • Most young members work in the grocery/retail industries. • Only 15 are stewards.
Y OUTH S TEWARD S POTLIGHT: M IKE M ATTIOLI Mike Mattioli began working for Fortinos at the age of fourteen. He started at the Fortinos store on Upper Ottawa in Hamilton. When it closed he transferred to Fortinos #68 in Stoney Creek. Mike maintained his position with the company while attending Brock University to study Physical Education & Kinesiology. During that time, he transferred one more time to the Real Canadian Superstore in Grimsby where he is currently employed as a full-time night shift assistant manager and active Union steward. Mike says: “As a young worker, I
often found that management would try to use age as a tool to manipulate the rules in our collective agreement to its own advantage. Having been raised in a household that believed strongly in Unions, I was aware that this was not acceptable and therefore, I began to educate myself by reading my collective agreement. Once I became more knowledgeable about our collective agreement, I became more outspoken on the benefits of becoming an active member. I eventually became a steward because I had several individuals approaching me on a regular basis with issues concerning their rights as employees. If required, I file grievances but always try to resolve issues at store level before it resorts to that. I find that one of the best methods of resolving issues in the store is to have the members become more educated about the process by reading their Union contract.” Mike began attending his annual stewards’ conference in Niagara Falls to further educate himself on different Union issues and gain the knowledge that he needs to better help his fellow members. From there, he began applying for the Stewards Scholarship week-long educational programs. He was chosen for the annual Youth Leadership Development Program. Mike says it was during one of these programs that he became more aware of the activities and programs that were available to young members. He says: “The program taught me more about Union education and labour issues and also helped broaden my views and knowledge about Unions continues on page 13 . . .
continued from page 12 . . .
on both a community and global level.” During the Youth Leadership Program (YLDP) Mike volunteered to join the Youth Committee. Very shortly after, he took part in a Train the Trainer program in which youth learned to facilitate Popular Theatre Workshops for the annual stewards conferences. Mike says: ”I cannot stress enough the importance of becoming involved and volunteering your time for different Union activities. It will only increase your knowledge and beliefs in the brother/sisterhood to which we all belong. I am a firm believer that my workplace would be in no way, shape or form where it is today without the aid of our great Union. It may sound like a cliché, but truly: ‘knowledge is power’, especially in the workplace. Be sure to stop and look at the Union boards that are displayed around your different workplaces and take full advantage of the opportunities that Locals 175 & 633 make available to you. I encourage all members, not just the youth, to continue to take an active part in their Union whether it be reading over your collective agreement, discussing issues with your stewards or reps, or even just a co-worker during a lunch or break. Be aware of your rights and don’t hesitate to ask questions.
SPECIAL MESSAGE TO OUR YOUNG WORKERS Your numbers in the workforce are increasing every year and you are the future of organized labour. It is you who will influence what will happen, so make sure your voices and opinions are heard.”
We b C o n t e s t w i n n e r announced For the second year in a row, Locals 175 & 633 ran a contest encouraging members to visit our Web site and learn more about their Local Unions. The grand prize winner is Eric Switzer of Pharma Plus Promenade in Thornhill. He wins a trip for two to the Caribbean. Eric’s lucky entry was drawn from more than 6,100 that were submitted in the contest.
Card-check campaign continues at community events On February 2, 2008, UFCW Local 175 Servicing Representative Lien Huynh and Organizer Keith Murdoch attended the Chinese New Year Festival at Exhibition Place in Toronto. They did so to publicize the need for card-check legislation in Ontario. Workers at the festival, like our own unionized brothers and sisters, work in private industry and in factories. More often than not, these workers have to endure substandard working conditions because they don’t have a Union to represent them. Without card-check certification legislation in place, it is very difficult for them to form a Union in their workplaces. Does Premier Dalton McGuinty, who is elected by workers in this community across the province, really care about what happens when these workers attempt to form a Union to improve their working conditions? All workers in Ontario deserve fairer treatment, and the time is now!
Keith and Lien explained the need for card-check certification legislation from the UFCW booth in the Automotive Building at Exhibition Place.
PEOPLE & EVENTS
Yo u t h I n v o l v e m e n t
PEOPLE & EVENTS
Staff changes announced After 10 years with the Locals 175 & 633 Training & Education Centre, most recently as Director, Victor Carrozzino has moved to the UFCW Canada National Office. He is now Executive Assistant to National President Wayne Hanley. Victor will work closely with President Hanley, assisting him with the many responsibilities involved in leading the 230,000member strong national Union. Local 175 Senior Legal Counsel Naveen Mehta has also moved to the National Office as Director of Human Rights, Equity, and Diversity. He will continue much of the work he started with Local 175’s Community Action Network Committee, as well as other initiatives and programs, expanding them across the country.
633 Provincial Office as Executive Assistant to President Shawn Haggerty. “Brother Sutton has done an outstanding job as Central West Regional Director,” says President Shawn Haggerty. “We are very much looking forward to his assistance in the Mississauga office.” Harry became a member of Local 175 in 1973 after he began working the night shift at the Miracle Food Mart store in Brampton. He continued to work the night shift until 1983 when a grievance award enabled him to transfer to the day shift at the Georgetown location. During his time at Miracle Food Mart, Harry saw the value of having a good Union. He assisted co-workers by serving as a Union steward for 12 of the 14 years that he worked for the company.
“These individuals have made significant contributions to the Local Union on a daily basis,” says President Shawn Haggerty. “I know UFCW Canada will also benefit from their expertise and dedication.”
In 1987, Harry joined the Local 175 Organizing Department. He worked on the Super Carnaval campaign. The stores were sold to National Grocers during the certification process so the resulting first-contract formed the basis of the collective agreement for all the Fortinos stores. Subsequently he became a Union Representative servicing workers in all sectors, from day care to funeral services . . . and everything else in between.
Harry Sutton, who has served as Central West Regional Director for the past seven years, has moved to the Locals 175 &
After a bitter 10-month strike at Pizza Pizza in 1991, Harry achieved a historic contract, believed to be the first in the world to cover employees work-
ing from home. It also provided job guarantees and an enhanced severance package that would allow members to leave the job with dignity and on a voluntary basis. In 1999, Harry became the Regional Co-ordinator for the North West Region, working out of Thunder Bay. In 2001 he was again promoted to Regional Director for the Central West Region. He says: “As a Director, I was proud to help develop new staff, teaching them how to become effective advocates for the members and great representatives for the Union. As an Executive Assistant, I look forward to working with Shawn, Teresa and Jim to continue to be the best Local Union in Ontario.” Paul Jokhu, who has been a representative in the Central East Region for the past six years, has been appointed Central West Regional Director. “Brother Jokhu is a man, upon whom you can always rely to get the job done,” says Central East Regional Director Luc Lacelle. “He’s extremely efficient and working with him is always a pleasure.” Before joining the staff of Local 175, Paul was President of the UFCW Toronto Industrial Council and also served 10 years as President of the UFCW Local 529P in-plant Union at the Cadbury plant in Toronto. The members of Local 529P voted overwhelmingly to merge with Local 175 at a meeting held January 27, 2002. Kelly Nicholas, a senior representative with the Locals 175 & 633 Training & Education Centre (TEC), has been
appointed to the position of TEC Co-ordinator. Prior to joining the TEC staff in August 2002, Kelly was a Union steward and full-time machine operator at Horizon Plastics in Cobourg. She is a graduate of the Labour Relations program at McMaster University and has been a Local 175 member since 1998 when she started working at Horizon as a student.
ative in the Central West Region. Executive Assistant Jim Hastings, who has responsibility for the Legal Department says: “Brother Reis’ assistance has been invaluable to the work of the department. I am very pleased that he’s now joined us on a full-time basis.”
“Kelly has extensive experience in all aspects of the TEC,” says President Shawn Haggerty. “I know it will be a smooth transition and the Locals 175 & 633 Training & Education Centre will continue its excellent work.”
Angela Mattioli, who was formerly a servicing representative in the South Central Region, is now a Union Representative in the Central East Region. Prior to coming on staff in 2005, Angela spent 17 years as a member and steward in various Fortinos stores.
Fernando Reis now works with the Legal Department on a full-time basis. Formerly he performed a dual role, also serving as a Union Represent-
South Central Regional Director Sylvia Groom says: “Angela is a
knowledgeable and dedicated worker advocate who is always ready to speak up on behalf of members.” Roy Etling has been reassigned as a Local 175 Servicing Representative in the South Central Region. He was previously a representative in the Benefits Department. Roy originally became a UFCW member in 1979. He was working at Archer Daniel Midland Flour Milling (ADM) (formerly Maple Leaf Mills) in Port Colborne.
Horizon’s JHSC strives for safer workplace Don Carman is the plant chair at Horizon Plastics. He is also on the Joint Health & Safety Committee (JHSC) and is strongly committed to making his workplace safer.
The environment at Horizon is extremely challenging. Like so many Ontario manufacturers, whose primary market is in the United States, the company’s sales suffer when the U.S. economy weakens. “Consumers are less likely to buy a child’s slide for the Although Don has only worked at Horizon for four backyard when they’re having trouble paying their years, he has been a Union member since 1982 and mortgage or putting food on the table,” Don says. In has experience in numerous workplaces. His first Horizon’s case, an estimated 85 per cent of producUnion involvement with UFCW came in 2006 when tion goes to the U.S. Increasing oil prices and the co-workers urged him to join the Negotiating high Canadian dollar make it more difficult for the Committee because he is articulate and managecompany to compete for sales. ment listens to him. “Negotiations are a good opportunity to reinforce the H&S message,” he When revenues decline, the company becomes relucsays. “You can make a good business case with the tant to increase H&S spending, even when it’s an people in charge of running the company to say investment. Nevertheless, the JHSC at Horizon is that H&S spending is a good investment – not just working hard to improve workplace safety. They a cost expense.” meet and do plant inspections every month. All
worker members of the committee are certified. Don and other members in the plant also do training in Lock-out, WHMIS and forklift operation. Don says the training that he and is co-workers received from Local 175 was excellent and really opened people’s eyes about important issues such as unilateral and bilateral work stoppages and designated substances. Their longer-term goals include improvements in ergonomic issues, air quality and noise abatement.
PEOPLE & EVENTS
Staff changes continued
PEOPLE & EVENTS CONFERENCES
It pays to plan ahead
Ms. Guertin won’t need to apply for a $1,000 Locals 175 & 633 scholarship for a few years yet, but her young age isn’t stopping her from thinking ahead. She is the daughter of Bob Guertin who works at Busch’s Auto in Fort Francis. Anyone wishing to apply for one of the 56 scholarships offered in 2008 needs to submit an application by the August deadline date. Information and applications for these and other scholarships are available from your Union rep, regional office or at www.ufcw175.com.
Union Steward Michele Ellis presents a Locals 175 & 633 $1,000 scholarship cheque to Brendan Curry. Both work at Havelock Foodland.
2008 Fundraising Events Every year, Locals 175 & 633 members raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for leukemia research to help find a cure for this horrendous disease. Members raise funds through walk-a-thons, ride-a-thons, golf, baseball, hockey and other tour-
naments, as well as BBQs, merchandise sales, payroll deduction programs and many other events. To find out about events scheduled for your area, visit www.ufcw175.com or contact your regional office.
Alexandra Leigh Boyd, whose mother (right) Sandra Demey works at Pharma Plus store #1628 in Sault Ste. Marie, won a UFCW Canada $500 Beggs-DowlingMathieu Scholarship.
Fishers raise $1,225 for leukemia research On Sunday, February 24, several members enjoyed a beautiful winter day together and experienced the sport of ice fishing at the Locals’ second annual derby at Peninsula Resort on Lake Simcoe. The conditions were excellent. The ice thickness was 16 inches while the temperature hovered around a near-balmy zero. The new venue enabled everyone to fish from the comfort of a heated hut. Approximately 20 members participated in the event. The sale of prize draw
tickets, as well as $25 from each entry fee, enabled a donation of more than $1,200 to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada (LLSC). The winner of the derby was 9-year-old Barrett Haggerty, who caught a 20-inch whitefish. “He made the rest of us look bad,” says tournament organizer Steve Robinson. “Fortunately just about everyone was successful in catching lots of smaller perch.” Barrett very generously donated his $100 prize money back to the LLSC.
O NE I MMIGRANT ’ S
C ANADA :
A P LACE L IKE C ANADA Give me a place where in Summer The sun shines warm and bold Where the trees are green, the sky is blue, A place where that which I have, I can hold. Give me a place where in Autumn Leaves of orange, gold, russet and brown, a place Where the finger of God had touched them, Just before they fall to the ground. Give me a place where the wind blows cold And its chill gets me to the bone. Where I can breathe and pay no heed, Where my thoughts can be mine, mine alone. Oh give me a place where I can see A world so soft and white. Where the snow can fall so whispery sweet, When days can look quite like night. Give me a place where I can be free, Where with those I love I can share A vision of hope and the chance is remote, For sorrow, hate, greed and despair. Just give me a place where I can walk With God and peace in my breast. Where I can be proud when I move with the crowd Where at night there is sleep when I rest. These and other poems by Ephigenia Gonsalves are in the book: Then There was Nonpareil from Morning Star Press, One Massey Square, Suite 1910, Toronto, Ontario, M4C 5L4 ISBN # 0-9694081-2-9 • August 2001 Reprinted with the permission of Ephigenia Gonsalves. Copies of the book are available from: David Gouveia Nonpareil Natural Health Retreat RR#3, 658 Wellmans Road Sterling, Ontario, K0K 3E0 www.nonpareilholistic.com
Outstanding Member Achievement Awards for 2008 Locals 175 & 633 offer four annual awards of $500 (one award per criterion) to members who: • Demonstrate outstanding contributions to the community; • Manifest leadership and advancement of the UFCW; • Dedicate themselves to fundraising for leukemia research, or; • Enhance and achieve improvements in health and safety for their workplace, including WSIB. Members can nominate co-workers, who they feel deserve recognition for outstanding achievement, in one of the above categories. Nomination forms are available on the Web site: www.ufcw175.com/Awards or by contacting your regional office. Winners will be chosen based on merit. The deadline is August 31. This is not an academic bursary. These awards are made available through partnership with American Income Life (AIL) Canada.
UFCW Local 175 sponsors Canada Day Cricket Event Once again this year, Local 175 will sponsor the annual Canada Day Weekend Sri Lankan Schools Cricket Festival. The matches, which will run from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, July 1, 2008, will provide opportunities to play, be entertained, eat, drink and socialize with family and friends. It takes place at the Maple Cricket Grounds in King City. If you have questions about this event, contact Union Rep Jehan Ahamed. People of all ages attended the 2007 Canada Day Cricket Event.
JUNE 2008 171
Let ’s all celebrate Canada’s b i r t h d a y, o n C a n a d a D a y, Tu e s d a y, J u l y 1
Members celebrate Lunar New Year Approximately 270 members and their families attended Local 175’s second annual Lunar New Year Celebration on January 26, 2008. It was hosted by the Community Action Network (CAN) Committee at the Mississauga Provincial Office. Guests enjoyed a sumptuous lunch, which included barbeque piglet and duck, traditional vegetarian dishes, rice and noodles mixed with vegetable or meat, tangerines and traditional sweets such as dried coconut and dried lotus seed. Activities for children included free picture painting and a draw for stuffed animals. The early celebration ensured that most members who wanted to participate could do so and still be free to mark the occasion with family and friends on the actual Lunar New Year. “This was an extremely successful and well-attended event,” says Local 175 President Shawn Haggerty. In the Chinese calendar, 2007 – known as the year of the Golden Pig – ended on February 6, 2008 with the Year of the Rat starting on February 7. There are twelve animals in the Chinese Zodiac and the rat is the first animal in the sequence which recurs every twelve years. Hence, the Year of the Rat signifies the beginning or renewal of all things. In Chinese culture, children who were born in the Year of the Rat are respected and considered as courageous and enterprising individuals.
The annual Central East Stewards Conference, held February 16th and 17th, saw more than 200 stewards attend a variety of courses over the weekend. Members participated in training that covered general steward skills and collective bargaining as well as specific education in WSIB, Early & Safe Return to Work, Health & Safety, Analyzing the Workplace, Arbitration, Organizing and Youth in the Union. President Shawn Haggerty addressed the crowd on the importance of organizing. Central East Regional Director Luc Lacelle reinforced the importance of solidarity when he spoke about the 11-week strike that Dollar Thrifty members stayed true to in the fall. Staff sold raffle tickets all day for the prize draws held at lunch and after dinner. There were many big prize winners over the course of the evening, with several big screen televisions and other items won through raffle draws. “Everyone here really showed their generosity,” says Luc. “I was very happy to report we reached $11,000 in just one day’s worth of fundraising.” In addition, the winner of the Locals 175 & 633 Web contest grand prize was on hand to collect his prize. Eric Switzer of Pharma Plus in Thornhill won an all-inclusive trip for two to the Caribbean. While many members entered the contest every week – and won weekly prizes for doing so, Eric entered only a very lucky one time. Look for details on the next contest this coming September. The next conference for this region will be held on October 18th and 19th of this year to coincide with the other region’s seminars, which traditionally take place in the fall.
Stewards raise $11,000 for Leukemia research over educational weekend
“EXCELLENT!” was the consensus on Local 175’s Sixth Annual Health Care Conference On Monday, April 7, 2008, Local 175 President Shawn Haggerty welcomed more than 100 participants to the Local 175 Sixth Annual Health Care Conference. President Haggerty commended the members for their hard work, caring and advocacy on behalf of the vulnerable people whom they serve. In retirement centres, nursing homes and community clinics, Local 175 members provide both a voice and support to those who are in need of care and assistance. Brother Haggerty recalled seeing his mother, who was a Registered Practical Nurse in the geriatric ward at Port Colborne Hospital, returning home from many, many difficult shifts. He remembers that she often returned from work with an aching back and sometimes other injuries that had been inflicted by the mentally ill patients for whom she was caring. President Haggerty commented that: “Should the day come when my own parents require more care than either my wife or I can provide, I am relieved to know that there are caring, dedicated people like my mother and all of you to watch over our elders.” South West Regional Director Ray Bromley both opened and closed the conference with very emotional and inspiring words for the stewards to take back to the workplace. Having serviced health care units for many years, Brother Bromley commended our Health Care Stewards for their dedication. He praised them for the care they provide to the residents in their facilities. Equally admirable, he said, is the manner in which they defend the rights of their co-workers. Despite all their efforts to provide the best possible care for their residents, they are often kicked, bitten and verbally abused by the very people they work so hard to assist. Brother Bromley said this Union is very proud to represent health care workers and will continue to advocate for safer work environments inside our homes. “Don’t think for a minute we don’t know what you encounter on a daily basis in your
workplace,” he said. “Use your Union and your representatives to force your employer to listen to your concerns. Working short and encountering abuse is not an acceptable hazard in your job.” Eastern Regional Representative and former Health Care worker Marilyn Lang cohosted the conference with Director Bromley. Sister Lang also urged the delegates to always report working short and ensure that patient transfers are being done safely. She stressed the importance of always using a two-person lift for the safety of both residents and workers. She reminded delegates that deviating from the required protocol can lead to discipline issues as well as injuries. “If this means that work is left undone at the end of the shift, then be sure to document it,” she said. “This is the only way we can build a case at the bargaining table to address the ever-increasing issue of working short, which is way too prevalent in the health care field.” Guest speaker Alex Farquhar, the Managing Director for the Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW) said health care is in crisis today. He said workers are facing extremely serious issues, such as concerns about ergonomics, violence, avian influenza and other forms of infectious disease as well as the necessity of being prepared for a pandemic. He urged Union members to work with OHCOW, either directly with the Union or through their Joint Health & Safety Committees to eliminate workplace hazards and prevent problems in the future. Local 175 Health & Safety Representative Janice Klenot provided delegates with statistics concerning: “Why we need a Day of Mourning.” She said the WSIB reported 378 work-related deaths in 2007 and 333,938 total claims. Janice stressed the importance of using JHSCs to assess and eliminate workplace risks. The Toronto Star released several articles recently, which expose the WSIB’s shocking practice of giving employers million-dollar rebates supposedly for “safe” work environments. But at the same time, these employers were assessed only miniscule fines for the deaths of workers in those very same workplaces. Ruth Collins, who is an RN with the Peel District Health Unit and has international certification in infection control, provided an informative update on various types of infectious disease. She discussed precautions and prevention strategies. “Hand hygiene is the cornerstone of infection prevention and control,” she said. “It’s essential in stopping the spread of disease.”
Workshops were held to discuss two other common areas of particular importance in our health care units. The first workshop discussed collective bargaining in health care, which differs from other sectors. Instead of striking or being locked out, health care bargaining impasses are sent to a board of arbitration under the Hospital Labour Disputes Arbitration Act (HLDAA) for a final agreement imposed by an arbitrator. Workshop presenter Fernando Reis said: “Please remember this type of ‘interest arbitration’ is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you’re going to get. A Health Care negotiating committee’s number one consideration should always be: ‘Will we do better at HLDAA arbitration than what we have achieved during the course of collective bargaining?’” The other workshop discussed the practices and pitfalls of the WSIB’s Early and Safe Return to Work Program and how The Duty to Accommodate differs between the WSIB and Human Rights legislation. Ontario Federation of Labour Vice-President Terry Downey stressed the importance of legislation to increase the comfort and safety of both residents and workers in the health care field. She said Ontario needs mandatory minimum hours of care standards, as are common in other jurisdictions. Terry noted that: Three point five hours of care per long-term-care resident, per day, would help ensure the assistance that’s needed. “A minimum care standard would also reduce worker stress by relieving some of the temptation to do too much in too little time,” she said. In the final session, Brother Bromley once again emphasized that no health care worker should ever be subjected to verbal or physical abuse on the job. “Dementia is not an excuse,” Ray said. “If the employer is not prepared to take steps to ensure the safety of workers, then members must contact the Union to intervene on their behalf.”
What the participants said about the conference “It was a fantastic conference. I thoroughly enjoyed learning so much, especially the vital information on infectious diseases and antibiotic-resistant organisms. The videos were excellent as well. I don’t think I’d ever been told the proper way to put on and remove infection-control protective gear.” Sherri Adair, Coleman Care Centre. “This was my first conference and it was really cool. The information on infectious disease was very useful and I’m sure we’ll be taking more precautions in the workplace now that we’ve learned so much.” Jadie Schattino, Queen Street West Community Health Centre. “This was my second conference. The infection control information is very useful for me, as a Personal Service Worker . . . and important for my co-workers too.” Marcia Wilson, Erin Mills Nursing Home. “I always find the conferences so informative. Even when you attend every year, it’s wonderful to get a refresher and also learn about changes and all the latest information. It’s a great opportunity to share information too; you learn a lot by talking to the other people.” Diane Ballantyne, Caressent Care Nursing Home, Listowel. “This is my first conference and I’m really enjoying it. I learned so much . . . from collective bargaining and global labour issues to the Duty to Accommodate and infection control specifics.” Judy Tsao, Queen Street West Community Health Centre. “It’s my first conference and it’s been very good. We learned a lot about accommodation in the workplace and gained more knowledge to deal with the challenges we face.” Palmy Seibold, Erin Mills Nursing Home.
JUNE 2008 23
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Members working at PXL Cross Linked Foam in Cobourg have a first collective agreement
Bunge workers ratify On December 4, 2007, the 70-member bargaining unit in Hamilton voted in favour of a new threeyear contract. Highlights include: • Annual wage increases of 3 percent for all. • The sick pay benefit increases by 3 per cent in each year of the contract. • Supplementary health coverage increases to $10,000 and the annual dental cap rises to $1,500, paid according to the most current Ontario Dental Association fee schedule. • The employer’s contribution to the pension plan increases by $1 per hour annually. • Coverage for life insurance increases to $60,000, vision care to $195, hearing aids to $600 and chiropractic care to $250. • The orthopedic shoe benefit increases to $400 in any calendar year. • The annual tool allowance increases to $240 for maintenance and up to $95 for others. • Permanent vacancies are now posted on all bulletin boards for 10 calendar days. • The number of bargaining unit employees on the H&S committee increases to four. • The rate of pay for maintenance workers, carrying a pager on the call-in system, increases to $13 per day from Monday to Friday and $22 per day on Saturday and Sunday. Union Negotiating Committee: Dennis Packham, Chuck Smith, Ray Williams and Union Representative Kelly Tosato.
A majority of the 25-member bargaining unit voted in favour of the new two-year Union contract at ratification meetings held on January 30, 2008. Members achieved: • Wage increases ranging between $1.50 and $2 per hour, for all job classifications, over the term of the collective agreement. • Two additional paid holidays plus an improvement in the way vacation pay is calculated. • Agreement from the employer to maintain the employee’s health & welfare coverage for a period of six months when a worker is on layoff or leave of absence. • Significant new language in the contract, such as increased overtime payments. • Assurance of the protection of steward representation at disciplinary meetings and the right to review their personnel record. • A formal grievance procedure to resolve member complaints, disagreements or differences of opinion with the employer. • Job posting provisions and restrictions on the use of non-bargaining unit members performing bargaining unit work. • Important language clauses stipulating that the workplace is free of harassment and discrimination. The company manufactures foam products, which are used in the automotive, air conditioning, packaging and construction industries. Union Negotiating Committee: Tim Conway, Matt Slade and Union Reps Chris Fuller and Marilyn Lang.
Delft Blue and Grober members vote in favour of final offer Following a mediation session with the company on December 14, 2007, members working at Delft Blue and Grober voted on a final offer from the company at a meeting held December 16, 2007. The more than 100 workers at the two facilities in Cambridge ratified the contract, which included the following: • Wages increase across-the-board by 30 cents per hour retroactive to July 1, 2007 with subsequent increases totalling $1.30 per hour over the duration of the contract. • All full-time employees receive a signing bonus of $500. • Vision care coverage improves to $200, up from $170. • Both Life Insurance and AD&D coverage each increase to $35,000, up from $32,500. • Company contributions toward the pension plan increase by a total of 15 cents per hour. • The meal allowance increases to $9, up from $8.50, and the laundry allowance is now $6.50, up from $6. • The employer will contribute $350 per year toward the Local 175 Training & Education Fund. • Improved language addresses a number of issues including: hours of work, job postings, statutory holidays, call-ins, contracting out and recall rights improve to 21 months, from 18 months. • Bereavement language improves to include step-parents. • New language addresses pay equity, provides for a sunset clause of one year, and the Chief Steward will now be a part of the negotiating committee. Union Negotiating Committee: Jason Herd, Rob Rodriguez, Paul Sihota, Union Reps Mike Duden and Rick Wauhkonen and South West Regional Director Ray Bromley.
Imperial Parking members ratify “cleaner air ” contract The 116 members working at Imperial Parking in Ottawa ratified a new collective agreement on November 11, 2007. The negotiating committee achieved the following improvements in the new three-year contract: • Language changes and additions address Union representation, layoff and job postings as well as health and safety including frequent mandatory air quality testing. • Wages increase by up to 19 per cent for Cashiers and up to 22 per cent for Shuttle Bus Drivers. In addition, workers benefit from an increased night-shift premium. • Major benefit enhancements with a new Trusteed Benefit Plan, which will be offered to full-time workers at a very low cost. • Vacation pay is now included in the calculation for vacation pay. Union Negotiating Committee: Jama Dahir Abdi, Ali Ali Mohamed, Dennis Wood and Union Rep Simon Baker.
Three-year contract for Firestone workers The 180-member bargaining unit at the Firestone Textiles Company in Woodstock achieved a three-year collective agreement at a meeting held December 19, 2007. Contract highlights include: • Wage increases totalling $1.30 per hour including retroactive pay to December 15, 2007. • Improved language addresses the UFCW Leukemia Charity Fund, vacation, seniority, discipline, layoff and recall, and the establishment of a new classification called “Direct Cabler Operator.” Union Negotiating Committee: Jason Kramer, Bob Maclean, Ian Paterson, Garth Sutherland, Andrew Raymond and Union Rep Angus Locke.
Grand River Poultry members vote “ Yes” Members at Grand River Poultry in Beamsville, formerly known as L&V Poultry, ratified a new collective agreement on December 2, 2007. The 71-member bargaining unit achieved numerous improvements, including: • Hourly wage increases, for all classifications, of 75 cents effective December 1, 2007, plus an additional 40 cents on December 1, 2008, another 40 cents on December 1, 2009 and a further 60 cents on December 1, 2010. • The standard workweek is now Monday to Friday inclusive and no longer includes Saturday. • Work in excess of 8 hours per day or 40 hours per week is paid at the rate of time and one half the employee’s regular straight time rate of pay. Saturday work is now also paid at time and a half, with Sunday paid at double time. • The maximum workday, including mandatory overtime to complete daily production, has been reduced from 12 hours to 11. Additional overtime is voluntary and reduces the maximum work day for voluntary overtime from 12 hours to 9 ½ until December 1, 2008 and 9 hours after that. • Company contributions to the Canadian Commercial Workers Industry Pension Plan (CCWIPP) increase, reaching $1.00 per hour effective December 1, 2010. • Company contributions to the dental plan increase to 32 cents per hour. • Members benefit from a new Long Term Disability plan which provides the lesser of 50 per cent of the employee’s basic monthly earnings (non-indexed) or $2,500 maximum. • New coverage provides an annual benefit for employees of $1,000 for massage therapy and chiropractic treatments (combined) and for the first time, life insurance of $25,000 each for the worker’s spouse and children. • Additional language improvements include time spent at meetings now paid as time worked and the sunset clause relating to discipline is reduced to 18 months, from 24 previously. Negotiating Committee: Lucy Barbosa, Brian Wilson, and Union Representative Kelly Tosato.
Office staff at Katoen Natie Canada ratify On December 20, 2007, members working as office staff at the Katoen Natie facility in Mississauga achieved a new three-year contract. Highlights include: • A $500 lump sum signing bonus effective January 1, 2008 plus another $500 lump sum payment in both the second and third year. • In the second year, the end rates increase between 25 cents and 50 cents per hour in addition to a recent Pay Equity adjustment that added an additional $1.15 per hour to the wage scales. • Members can earn up to an additional $500 per year from the new attendance bonus point system. • A shift premium of 55 cents per hour applies to work done during the Afternoon shift, and $1.05 per hour for those scheduled to work the Night shift. • Workers benefit from the addition of a floater day and Family Day is now a recognized paid holiday. • Contract language establishes that the current level of health and welfare coverage will be maintained throughout the term of the contract. • New Vision care coverage includes $250 per 24-month period and the employer will cover the cost of the eye exam. • Improved language covers steward representation and new language provides a seven-minute grace period with respect to recording time worked. Union Negotiating Committee: Danuta Zeitouni and Union Rep John DiNardo.
detailed information on negotiations, visit our Web site: w w w. u f c w 1 7 5 . c o m
NOTICE OF NOMINATIONS The International Constitution and Local Union Bylaws require Officers of the Local Unions (175 & 633) to be elected every four years. The current term of office expires on December 31, 2008.
Officers for the following positions must be elected:
LOCAL 175 President Secretary-Treasurer Recorder Vice-Presidents (VP) as listed below: CENTRAL REGION
SOUTH WEST REGION
VP VP VP VP VP VP VP VP VP VP VP VP VP VP VP
VP VP VP VP VP VP VP VP
#1 HOPE Sector #2 HOPE Sector #6 Industrial Sector #7 Industrial Sector #8 Industrial Sector #9 Industrial Sector #10 Industrial Sector #11 Industrial Sector #18 Retail & Service Sector #19 Retail & Service Sector #20 Retail & Service Sector #21 Retail & Service Sector #22 Retail & Service Sector #23 Retail & Service Sector #30 VP at Large
#5 HOPE Sector #15 Industrial Sector #16 Industrial Sector #17 Industrial Sector #27 Retail & Service Sector #28 Retail & Service Sector #29 Retail & Service Sector #33 VP at Large
NORTH WEST REGION
VP VP VP VP
VP VP VP VP VP VP
#4 HOPE Sector #14 Industrial Sector #26 Retail & Service Sector #32 VP at Large
#3 HOPE Sector #12 Industrial Sector #13 Industrial Sector #24 Retail & Service Sector #25 Retail & Service Sector #31 VP at Large
LOCAL 633 President Secretary-Treasurer Recorder Vice-President #1 Vice-President #2 Vice-President #3 Notice of Nominations continued on page 27 . . .
Nominations for all positions will be conducted in accordance with Local Union Bylaws and the International Constitution in the form of petitions. The required number of nominating signatures are:
LOCAL 175 President Secretary-Treasurer Recorder
900 900 900
CENTRAL, SOUTH WEST, EASTERN REGIONS Vice-President Vice-President Vice-President Vice-President
Retail & Service Sector Industrial, Meat & Poultry Sector HOPE Sector at Large
50 25 10 100
For election purposes only, Vice-President positions are numerically designated and nominations will be conducted by the designated number (see listing on page 26).
NORTH WEST REGION Vice-President Retail & Service Sector Vice-President Industrial, Meat & Poultry Sector Vice-President, HOPE Sector Vice-President at Large
25 2 2 25
LOCAL 633 President Secretary-Treasurer Recorder Vice-President A nomination package including “official nomination petition forms” will be available to any candidate for an elected position by contacting the Election Chairperson, John Hurley at the Provincial Office of Local 175 (1-800-565-8329 or locally 905-821-8329) on or after July 14th, 2008, between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Nominations will only be accepted on an “official nomination petition form” which shall be prepared and provided by the Election Chairperson. All petition nomination signatures must be made by a member of that Local Union and such nominator must be from the designated region and sector (if relevant). To be eligible for election, a candidate must be nominated by the required number of eligible nominators.
25 25 25 10 Properly completed official nomination forms must be returned to the Election Chairperson no later than 5 p.m. on July 25th, 2008 for review and verification. Nominations post-marked no later than 5 p.m. on July 25th, 2008 by Priority Post or received (and receipted) at the Provincial office of the Local Union by the same deadline will be deemed properly received by the Election Chairperson. All official nomination petition forms submitted for review must be original documents and will not be valid if submitted by copy or facsimile. The results of the nomination process, acclamations, disqualifications, and nominees to specific positions will be posted in units after the close of nominations in accordance with the Local Union Bylaws.
President Shawn Haggerty and Central West Regional Director, Paul Jokhu, present “Best Goalie” award to Patrick DiPronio from Bunzl.
Bunzl played off against Sobeys to win the trophy in the final game.
HOCKEY TOURNAMENT R A I S E S $22,000 On April 11 & 12, 2008, members participated in the 11th annual Locals 175 & 633 Skate For A Cure in Oakville, which raised $22,000 to benefit childhood leukemia research. The money was collected thanks to the involvement of numerous sponsors and volunteers as well as the approximately 300 players who played for the 16 teams participating in the weekend event.
The “Most Goals” trophy went to Mike Sikora of Sobeys Milton Retail Support Centre (RSC).
Plans for next year’s tournament are already underway. It will be held in April 2009 at the same location. For more information please contact Harry Sutton, Executive Assistant to the President, at the Mississauga Office.
The winning team was Bunzl.
Return postage will be paid by: United Food and Commercial Workers Locals 175 and 633 2200 Argentia Road Mississauga ON L5N 2K7
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John Carbone, who coached the Bunzl team, accepts the winner’s trophy.
The second place team was Sobeys Milton RSC.