Volume XVIII No. 2 June 2009
THE NEWS MAGAZINE FOR MEMBERS OF LOCALS 175 & 633 UFCW CANADA
BYLAW & POLICY COVERAGE – PAGE 6
800 REXALL WORKERS NOW A PART OF LOCAL 175 – PAGE 3
CHECKOUT JUNE 2009
President’s Message: Growth is vital ...
Secretary-Treasurer’s Message: May Day ...
Midtown Meats engulfed in ﬂames ...
Letters from our Members ...
Bylaw & Policy Conference ...
Health Care Conference ...
Negotiations: First contract for Holiday Inn workers and more ...
Faces of our Union: Proﬁle of a Community Health Care worker ...
Youth: Stay Safe at Work ...
Hockey Tournament Results ...
LOCAL 175: LOCAL 633:
Shawn Haggerty, President; Teresa Magee, Secretary-Treasurer; Betty Pardy, Recorder; Ray Bromley, Jim Hastings, Harry Sutton – Executive Assistants Dan Bondy, President; Marylou Mallett, Secretary-Treasurer; Neil Hotchkiss, Recorder
BENEFITS Casey Magee, Intake Representative; Victoria Shen, Legal Counsel; Orsola Augurusa, Sherree Backus, Joanne Ford – Beneﬁts Representatives COMMUNICATIONS Emily Groom, Jennifer Tunney – Communications Representatives; Lien Huynh – Servicing Representative HEALTH & SAFETY Janice Klenot – Senior Health & Safety Representative LEGAL Fernando Reis – Co-ordinator; Marcia Barry, Michael Hancock, Rebecca Woodrow, Natalie Wiley – Legal Counsel ORGANIZING Steve Robinson, Rick Wauhkonen – Organizing Representatives TRAINING & EDUCATION Kelly Nicholas – Co-ordinator of Education; Georgina Broeckel, Laurie Duncan, Ashleigh Garner, Jason Hanley – Education Representatives CENTRAL EAST REGION Kelly Tosato – Director; Jehan Ahamed, Mona Bailey, John DiFalco, Anthony Di Maio, John DiNardo, Emmanuelle Lopez, Angela Mattioli, Dave White – Union Representatives SOUTH CENTRAL REGION Sylvia Groom – Director; Judith Burch – Union Representative; Lee Johnson-Koehn, Brenda Simmons, Mark Stockton, Mario Tardelli – Servicing Representatives CENTRAL WEST REGION Luc Lacelle – Director; Matt Davenport, Tim Deelstra, Joe DeMelo, Linval Dixon, Rick Hogue, Dan Serbin – Union Representatives; Sam Caetano – Servicing Representative EASTERN REGION Dan Lacroix – Director; Simon Baker, Chris Fuller, Paul Hardwick, Marilyn Lang, Daniel Mericer – Union Representatives; Jacques Niquet – Servicing Representative SOUTH WEST REGION Paul Jokhu – Director; Wendy Absolom, Kevin Dowling, Julie Johnston, Angus Locke, Rob Nicholas, Roy Reed – Union Representatives NORTH WEST REGION Dan Lacroix – Director; Colby Flank, Dean McLaren – Union Representatives
CHECKOUT is published six times yearly. ISSN No. 1703-3926 CHECKOUT is an ofﬁcial publication of Locals 175 & 633 of the United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) PROVINCIAL HEAD OFFICE 2200 ARGENTIA ROAD MISSISSAUGA, ON L5N 2K7 TEL: 905-821-8329 TOLL FREE: 1-800-565-8329 FAX: 905-821-7144
HAMILTON OFFICE 412 RENNIE STREET – HAMILTON, ON L8H 3P5 TEL: 905-545-8354 TOLL FREE: 1-800-567-2125 OTTAWA OFFICE 20 HAMILTON AVENUE N. – OTTAWA, ON K1Y 1B6 TEL: 613-725-2154 TOLL FREE: 1-800-267-5295 KITCHENER OFFICE 124 SYDNEY STREET S. – KITCHENER, ON N2G 3V2 TEL: 519-744-5231 TOLL FREE: 1-800-265-6345 THUNDER BAY OFFICE 21-929 FORT WILLIAM RD. – THUNDER BAY, ON P7B 3A6 TEL: 807-346-4227 TOLL FREE: 1-800-465-6932
President’s Message – Shawn Haggerty
Growth is vital to the survival of the labour movement On April 9, 2009, Statistics Canada released job loss numbers for March and estimated that employment declined by 61,000 – all in full-time jobs. People are losing hours, beneﬁts, pensions and jobs. Last year’s job growth was all in part-time work. People who no longer work a full-time job because of reduced hours, layoffs or closures, now have to take these part-time jobs – and often more than one. There are about 125,000 of these ‘involuntary parttimers’ across Canada. More part-time jobs means less beneﬁts – if any – paid by the employer. Recently, the Ontario Labour Relations Board declared that 800 Rexall Drug Store workers in Ontario are automatically members of Local 175. The decision stated that Pharmx Rexall Drug Stores and Pharma Plus are a related employer and gave bargaining rights to the Union. Local 175 already represents 2,100 workers at 156 Pharma Plus stores in Ontario and the current Pharmx Rexall contract will be effective immediately for these new members. Two years of arbitration and litigation was worth it. In the interim we won certiﬁcation votes at Rexall stores in Hamilton, Peterborough, Peel and Niagara regions. I would like to thank the negotiating committee sincerely for their hard work and dedication. The committee, shown on the cover with Secretary-Treasurer Teresa Magee and Central West Director Luc Lacelle, consisted of: Lorie Boily (#6923 - Welland), David Claros & Shelley Davies (#0203 Hamilton), Gloria Molina (#0980 - Brampton), Servicing Rep Sam Caetano, Union Rep Emmanuelle Lopez and Executive Assistant Harry Sutton. We are expanding our organizing efforts by adding Apprentice Organizers and targeting our core sectors: Retail, Manufacturing, Hospitality and Health Care. We currently have over 44,000 members in those four sectors and as we build density, we can continue to achieve the best collective agreements and protect our jobs through these economic times. Retail makes up 11.9% of the Canadian employment market and retail workers are one of the largest employment groups in the country. Cashiers speciﬁcally increased by 43,300 between 2001 and 2006. We already represent 34,000 members in retail, but it’s an expanding industry and we must grow. And in order to do that, we must organize the growing number of non-union employers such as Sobeys, WalMart, Zellers and Price Chopper as well. Ontario’s Health Care sector employs 559,200 and we represent 2,900 of those workers. The sector itself is growing and the government claims to be
spending more but our nurses, personal support workers and other health care providers are suffering due to understafﬁng. At our recent Health Care conference, which you can read more about on page 16, workers expressed their frustrations over this and other issues. We represent 1,700 workers in the Hospitality sector too. As of March, Ontario had 392,900 in this industry – an increase of 1.7% over last year. A growing industry perhaps: but a part-time one. And one that often pays little more than minimum wage. These workers need representation to attain fair compensation, beneﬁts and other fundamental rights. The manufacturing industry, as we are all aware, is hemorrhaging jobs. We currently have 6,300 members in this sector. In the past several years, members at several facilities lost their jobs and others experienced signiﬁcant layoffs. Nation-wide, the average weekly hours worked in this sector decreased to 37.4 from the previously steady rate of 38.1 hours. These lost wages add up. Secretary-Treasurer Magee’s column takes a more in depth look at the plight of the manufacturing industry on page 4. Our responsibility is to protect our members’ rights and help unorganized workers achieve Union representation. UFCW International constitution mandates that by 2010 we must spend 10% of our post per-capita revenue on growth – we’re already past that mark. By 2012 that number is 15% and by 2014 we must use 20% of our revenue toward the growth of the Local Union. This is achievable and necessary. Growth is so important that we made it the theme of our recent biennial Bylaw & Policy conference. You can read the highlights of the conference starting on page 6. Solidarity and a growing membership are vital to maintain and improve workers’ rights. We all are the very means by which these companies make a proﬁt – through both our labour and our role as consumers. We have to demand more of employers in this economic crisis – not less. And we must do more to help those who do not have a Union, become organized. Each one of our almost 50,000 members can reach out to a friend or family member who could beneﬁt from having a Union in their workplace. Bring these leads to our Organizing Team. All of us, sisters and brothers, are organizers. Statistical Source: Statistics Canada
Secretary-Treasurer’s Message – Teresa Magee
May Day: Workers’ struggles continue In the late 1800’s, the working class struggled to gain an 8-hour day instead of the 10 to 16 hours a day they were forced to work. Workers were not only ﬁghting for a normal working day, but also for safer working conditions and respect on the job. On May 1, 1886 over 300,000 workers across the United States walked off the job and staged a general strike in favour of the 8-hour work day. This began the history that is International Workers Day, or May Day. In Chicago, workers at McCormick Harvesting Machine Company held a peaceful strike for two days, until police began brutalizing the picketers, killing two workers and injuring many others. Workers in Chicago denounced the violence and called for a
company is asking for more concessions from its 660 workers (down from 2,400 workers in 2006). Local 175 members at Dresden Industrial in Ridgetown and Stratford manufacture car parts. But the unstable future of the automotive industry in Canada means they face an uncertain future as well, with more than 400 laid off already from those two workplaces. Our Local Union currently has 6,300 members in the manufacturing sector in 73 workplaces across Ontario. That’s 6,300 families that rely on manufacturing stability, good wages and good beneﬁts. Seven hundred ﬁfty-four of our members have been displaced due to closures outside of the manufacturing sector. Retail grocery is certainly not excluded from this recession as we have seen a number of closures including Goldstein Food Market, Loeb Levesque, Ridley Square IGA, Hearst Supermarket and Rathburn Price Chopper. In addition, we have experienced layoffs in excess of 1,000 members at Cadbury, Cargill and Olymel. The manufacturing sector affects us all. The government should take measures to hold these foreignowned companies like U.S. Steel, accountable to the people of this province rather than allowing them to pack up and leave hardworking people to fend for themselves. Over 700 workers turned out for the May Day march in Hamilton this year to protest the massive job losses that are affecting the city and the rest of the county. Workers marched past the closed steel giant Stelco and also paused at National Steel Car’s picket
public rally at the Haymarket Square the following day. People gathered in the square, to discuss the violence and unfair treatment of workers, until a bomb went off when police began to disperse the crowd. Police responded with wild gunﬁre, leaving approximately eight people dead and one hundred or more wounded. The Haymarket tragedy has deﬁnite inﬂuence on the May Day marches and events that are still taking place today. It also represents the struggles of all working people for safe working conditions, a livable wage, social programs, and a better way of life. With the ﬁnancial crisis deepening, we are constantly seeing layoffs by the thousands in the manufacturing sector. Not only are jobs being cut, but plants are completely shutting down. In Hamilton, this situation is all too evident as the recent shut down of Stelco (U.S Steel) has seen a layoff of over 1,500 workers. With no steel production in Canada, manufacturing workers all across the country could be affected. National Steel Car has been on strike since April as the
line to stand in solidarity with the striking workers. The labour movement is inherently political. From the Haymarket Tragedy, to UFCW’s ﬁght to protect the labour and human rights of migrant workers, to bargaining our members’ wages at Metro – it’s all political. I call on all members of UFCW Locals 175 & 633 to become more politically active and ﬁght to ensure that good manufacturing jobs stay in Ontario. I call on our members to ﬁght for our sisters and brothers who have been laid off all across this province. When we stand as an organized force, we have the power to achieve great change. After all, that’s how we came to enjoy an 8-hour work day. Statistical Source: Statistics Canada
Midtown Meats destroyed in ﬁre One hundred forty-ﬁve members from Midtown Meats in Wellington have been forced out of work by a ﬁre that damaged almost the entire facility on April 26, 2009. The ﬁre began accidentally in the afternoon and spread quickly to the rest of the building. “Thankfully no one was hurt,” said Union Rep Paul Hardwick. “This is already a small town with limited employment. So it’s going to be tough on the workers and their families. But we’re helping out in every way we can until the plant can be rebuilt.” The Union provided laptop computers and support for a meeting held a few days after the ﬁre to help members ﬁll out EI forms with the help of EI Staff. “So far EI has been very co-operative in getting beneﬁts out to these families quickly,” said Paul. “We’re also looking at bringing some free computer classes and First Aid training to the community for any of the members or their family who want to participate.” The company’s owner announced that Midtown will be rebuilt with the location and time frame unknown right now. He also indicated that the current collective agreement will be recognized upon reopening. In the meantime, the company may provide limited temporary work in the undamaged portion of the building if engineers deem it safe. Workers received their last pay at the beginning of May including any vacation or other pay owed to them. “We are very happy with the company’s response so far to this tragedy,” says President Shawn Haggerty. “They’ve indicated they want to rebuild and rehire these workers and that’s very important to the workers, their families and that community – especially in these economic times.” For up to date information on what’s happening at Midtown, visit www.ufcw175.com/Midtown or join the Facebook Group (search for Midtown Meats).
LETTERS Hi Georgina: Just to let you know that I received your messages. Thank you very much for all the information that we have received through your training courses. I have learned so much in this short time. This has opened up my mind in being more alert to my job surroundings. I will take back this valuable information and share it with other members. We spend a high percentage of our lives in the workforce, but forget to protect ourselves against the downfalls we face everyday at work. We sometimes expect if we ignore things, they will ﬁx themselves or go away. Realizing, that there is a solution to situations, but they need to be recognized and dealt with to make a change. I thank you for giving me this opportunity to understand that we do not stand alone and we can all make a difference if we take part in the change. Again, thank you. Brenda Douglas Food Basics – 659 (Sault Ste. Marie)
Hi Teresa, I really liked being on the cover of your Checkout magazine [April 2009], it was a nice touch. So I wanted to thank you and all concerned for the nice article and photos of our workers at Hunter Douglas. Each and every one appreciates what you guys have done, so thank you very much. Joan King & All the Production Workers of Hunter Douglas
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2009 BYLAW & POLICY CONFERENCE
SHAWN HAGGERTY PRESIDENT – LOCAL 175
On April 25, 2009, Stewards attended the 2009 Bylaw & Policy Conference. The 333 delegates heard from guest speakers and Executive Ofﬁcers of the Local Union over the course of the day. President Shawn Haggerty spoke to the group about the state of Locals 175 & 633, growth and his continued focus on providing the best workplace representation for our members. “Our top priority remains strong servicing and negotiating good Collective Agreements for our members. We need to expand the language in our contracts to better address health and safety, workplace harassment and violence, and protection for our pensions. We set the bar high when it comes to efﬁcient problem resolution. There is no measure to how many complaints our dedicated stewards handle on a daily basis. I know that the number of grievances ﬁled does that number no justice.” President Haggerty also addressed the issues faced at the bargaining table. “Employers are demanding concessions and threatening closure. We are plagued by foreign competition and shareholder demands, both of which put pressure on the companies – and in turn, on the workers – to perform better, cheaper. Companies are demanding cost reduction – no matter the cost to the workers. But we know that not all companies are in trouble. Our governments do nothing to help workers. Bailing out companies with taxpayers’ money is their solution. We must be politically active and hold our government accountable to us – the workers, the backbone of our economy – with a strategy that stops the bleed of manufacturing jobs to foreign markets.
We cannot be consumers without being a manufacturer as neither one can survive long term without a healthy relationship between the two,” explained President Haggerty. “We need a government that will protect Canadians in this global recession. President Haggerty was critical of the government’s reaction to the current economic crisis. “Prime Minister Harper used to say Canada will not feel the recession – but the jobs are being lost. He used to say we have the strongest banking system in the world – and yet we gave them 25 billion dollars.” Many investments have lost 40% or more of their value. Our pension plans, although invested to protect the members’ assets, have been battered by the markets and have seen drops of 40% and in some cases more. Returns on safe investments are about 2%. With these returns and the lost value in the plans, it will take a long time to make up those lost dollars. Neither the provincial nor federal governments recognize the magnitude and the severity of this. Our provincial government alone does not have enough money set aside to even guarantee the pension for General Motors, never mind the rest of the other pension plans in peril. Through political action Locals 175 & 633 will continue to demand from both houses of government that they recognize this pension ﬁasco and act in a responsible, fair and equable manner. We will all have to share in both the pain and share in the solution.” President Haggerty wound up the day by asking one thing of the delegates. “I think it’s important that you, the Stewards, go back to your units and share with your members what you’ve heard here today. Let them know that their Union is growing, strong and actively working toward improving their work lives.”
QUICK FACTS The Union has 393 collective agreements representing 898 workplaces.
Members ratiﬁed 56 renewal contracts in the last two years, affecting 7,773 members.
In 2007, one work stoppage occurred at Dollar Thrifty affecting 54 members who lost 46 days of work.
The Local Union ﬁled 7,566 grievances in 2007 and 7,567 grievances in 2008.
Of grievances ﬁled last year, only 1,780 (23.5%) – were outstanding as of January 1, 2009.
385 grievances went to arbitration in 2007 and 319 in 2008. Most grievances resolved just prior to the arbitration date.
SECRETARY-TREASURER Secretary-Treasurer Teresa Magee presented the Local Unions’ ﬁnancial statements to the group including a breakdown of expenditures and income. Teresa noted that legal fees and the costs of maintaining our vehicle ﬂeet have both decreased due to use of in-house legal staff and lower fuel and car costs, respectively. Costs of maintaining electronic communication with the ofﬁce increased due to an increased number of Reps using BlackBerries. Teresa assured the members that the ﬁnancial position of the Local Union is sound. “However, we must be cautious as we move forward. With a lower membership count, pressure on our manufacturing sector and very low returns on investments; we must ensure we’re prepared to meet the challenges of the future.”
South Central Director Sylvia Groom spoke brieﬂy following a moving video about why the UFCW donates to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS), which included footage of several Local Union members affected by these diseases. “In the last 50 years, we’ve come along way in the ﬁght against these terrible diseases,” said Sylvia. “I am happy to report that Locals 175 & 633 members are a generous group and are doing more than their part to help ﬁnd a cure. Last year, the Local Union raised $350,000.” Sylvia discussed the many ways in which members raise money including barbecues, walk-a-thons, head shaves, sport tournaments and many other events. Every event - from small to large - is vitally important. You never know which dollar is going to be the one that saves tens of thousands of lives. That’s why we believe this fundraising is so important.”
LEUKEMIA FACTS This year, 4,500 Canadians will be diagnosed with leukemia, and 2,400 will die.
Approximately one in every 59 men and 83 women will develop leukemia in their lifetime.
Leukemia is the most common and deadly of all childhood cancers. It causes 25% of all childhood cancers and causes 20% of deaths due to childhood cancer.
More advances have been made in the treatment of leukemia than in any other cancer, but it continues to be the cause of death for more children than any other disease. Source: Canadian Cancer Society (2008)
SOUTH CENTRAL REGIONAL DIRECTOR
CO-ORDINATOR OF TRAINING & EDUCATION Training & Education Co-ordinator Kelly Nicholas spoke about the department’s achievements over the last two years. “We are leaders in labour education. The Locals’ trained 14,612 members and their families in the last two years.” “It is so important to have your high school diploma or GED,” explained Kelly. “You can take our GED prep courses or high school credits online, whatever is best for you. English as a Second Language is another program we offer for which Stewards have identiﬁed a need. If there is interest in ESL at your workplace, contact the Training Centre.” Two new in-class courses introduced are Handling Databases and Working with Digital Photos. In addition, the Mobile Lab is always on the road bringing computer courses to workers across the province – especially to those facing layoff or workplace closure. “We also focus on providing stewards with the tools necessary to defend the rights of their co-workers. Stewards Levels 1 and 2 have both been updated and new
courses have been developed including Workplace Bullying and Harassment.” When it comes to the $1,000 scholarships offered by the Local Union, “we’ve had over 2,300 applications in the last two years. That proves that college and university education is important to our members and we’re pleased to be able to assist.” In online training: “We are breaking barriers and others are following in our footsteps. With our help, UFCW Canada launched its online program earlier this year.” There are almost 100 courses available online currently, accessible any time and they can be completed at your own pace. “Online learning is the way of the future and it’s an area where we will deﬁnitely continue to grow.” “When I made a presentation to Local 21 in Washington, their jaws dropped at what our Training Centre does. But our programs are only successful if those who use them see their value. Judging from the numbers, our courses and programs do have value to you, the members, and that’s what it’s all about.”
FULL DETAILS ON ALL REPORTS FROM THE BYLAW & POLICY CONFERENCE AVAILABLE AT
Locals 175 & 633 (McKay,Thompson, Hoebink, Gibson) Scholarship - $1,000 APPLICATION DEADLINE: AUGUST 1, 2009 UFCW Canada National Council (Beggs, Dowling, Mathieu) Scholarship - $1,000 APPLICATION DEADLINE: SEPTEMBER 30, 2009 ESL & GED Classes start in Mississauga on SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2009 Contact the Training Centre at 905-821-8329 x 2311
ORGANIZING Ray Bromley, Executive Assistant, also addressed the delegation regarding organizing in the Local Union. While the organizing department has certainly made progress in the last two years, it is difﬁcult to achieve success amidst governments that do not recognize the plight of workers today. In the past two years, Locals 175 & 633 organizers helped 1,705 workers gain Union representation. “These courageous new members are a source of inspiration to everyone in this room and every non-union worker across the province,” said Ray. “They fought to make one of the most important changes in their life – to gain the right to bargain collectively, have security and dignity at work and to be represented by the largest and most progressive Union in Canada.” “It’s incomprehensible that in 2009, workers seeking to organize still experience fear in their pursuit of decency, fairness and justice at work,” EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT said Ray. He criticized the 90s government of Mike Harris that struck down automatic certiﬁcation and the current governments for not reinstating card check certiﬁcation.
“Organizing has been and is the lifeblood of the labour movement. It is more important than ever as Ontario – once the proud industrial pulse of the nation – has been inundated with non-union employers and jobs lost to outsourced labour. This reality translates into the difﬁculties we as Union negotiators face at the bargaining table as employers tell their tales of ﬁnancial woe.” “President Haggerty has restructured the Local Union’s organizing department and its strategy to meet this struggle head on. But you, as Trade Unionists, must become actively involved.” Ray thanked the Stewards for their hard work saying “We depend on your advocacy and continued assistance to meet the objectives set forth by Presidents Hansen, Hanley and Haggerty. The very survival of our Local Union and the labour movement rests in your hands. The torch has been passed from our grandparents and parents to us and we must continue their hard-fought struggle to better our working lives, that of our families and that of future generations.”
MORE THAN 1,700 WORKERS ORGANIZED IN THE LAST TWO YEARS 21 Morgan Scott 22 Windemere Retirement 16 Fin Aire 41 Holiday Inn Trenton Compass Group Brampton & Lakeside 25 10 Compass Group Mississauga 27 Rexdale Community Health Care 88 Toronto Community Health Care WHL Management (Wing’s Foods – 165 two locations) 10 Holiday Inn Milton 19 Avon Sportswear 250 A&P Whitby 85 Rexall Pharma Plus Hamilton 27 Rexall Pharma Plus Niagara Region 25 Rexall Pharma Plus Peel Region
E&E Seegmiller Liberté Natural Foods PXL Crosslinked Foam Cadillac Fairview Dove Cleaners Holiday Inn Mississauga Compass Group Peel Region Canada Catering Dollar Thrifty ALC Manufacturing Benlan Amco Storage Food Basics Guelph A&P Georgetown Pharma Plus Kingston
5 20 23 25 170 54 56 5 16 54 221 16 75 100 24
Total = 1705
FREEDOM OF THE PRESS Executive Assistant Harry Sutton addressed the delegates about bias in the media. “As a union activist,” explained Harry, “I have witnessed a very unfortunate side to the news.” In 1984, a reporter interviewed Harry for over an hour about his run for city council but printed only a small two-column story – and misquoted him. That same reporter later came before the local Labour Council for help during their strike. “I spoke to him about the earlier incident,” said Harry, “and he said that the Right Wing ran the paper and he printed what they told him. His bosses didn’t like my ties to Labour or the NDP.” A 1993 presentation by University of Windsor Professor James Winter analyzed media coverage of Bill C-40. The Bill, put forth by the NDP, banned the use of replacement workers during a strike and made it easier to unionize. Winter showed that despite a fairly balanced, if not positive, public opinion, the media reports were almost entirely negative toward the Bill. Editorial content
was 100% unfavourable – yet letters to the editor were 67% favourable. The media portrays politicians in the worst light. This is particularly true of NDP politicians. Cartoons of former Premier Bob Rae, for example, were common. Harry wrote a letter to the editors of many Ontario newspapers about the bias he saw in the media. Only one paper printed the majority of the letter. Other papers changed or condensed the letter to the point the meaning was lost. Workers at Maple Leaf Pork in Burlington donated their $20,000 social fund to local charities, including Childhood Leukemia. The Union sent out a media release commending this act. No one reported it. The local paper gave several excuses for not running the story. “I told the paper who we represented,” said Harry, “and that they should forget about contacting us in the future. About one month later Maple Leaf announced the Burlington facility was for sale. Guess who called? I told them I wouldn’t give them any information until I saw fairness in the media.” The next week, the paper ran a front page story with Maple Leaf management at a local food drive – no mention of the union. Similar situations occur frequently. When a reporter contacted Union Rep Matt Davenport about closures at Amity Goodwill in Hamilton, Matt told him that the closure was due to mismanagement of the company and the Union would do everything including training to help the affected workers.’ The paper ran the story with NO mention of the Union.” Every year, the Local Union’s hockey tournament raises more than $20,000 – and it’s never reported in the papers. “Once, I almost had Hamilton’s CHCH TV give us some publicity on the tournament but we were bumped by a school shooting. We live in a society shaped by the media where good deeds are trumped by crime. Everyone knows the names of famous murderers and philanderers. Yet I ask, has anyone ever read anything good about the union?” Harry closed by asking everyone to demand more of their news. “Listen to what is being reported. Notice the images and words they use. Talk to your friends and family and speak up. Maybe things can change.”
JUNE 2009 11
UFCW International President Joe Hansen was the ﬁrst of three guest speakers at this year’s conference. President Hansen explained that the unity agenda – all of UFCW working together strategically – will create the building blocks for the future through strategic companywide and industry-wide bargaining among Local Unions to build stronger collective agreements. “We need more workers on our side of the bargaining table. We have the Union on one side and the company on the other. But,” he explained “also on the company’s side is the non-union competition. We’re also up against the lower standards of those non-union employers like Wal-Mart.” “Stewards and activist members are integral parts of our growth plan and you will be part of our success. Union stewards always have been and always will be the heart and soul of our Union. Stewards should take pride in the fact that their efforts and commitment are what allows your Union to grow and succeed for all members.” President Hansen, who has been a union activist for 40 years, stated that the American government of the last eight years was the “absolute enemy of working famiPRESIDENT, UFCW INTERNATIONAL lies and the Labour movement.” UFCW International was one of the ﬁrst Unions to back Barack Obama in his presidential campaign and mobilized many Union members to support him at rallies throughout the U.S. President Hansen emphasized that Union members must be active politically. “We can have the best organizing, the best growth plan, the most dedicated people and the best bargaining – but when you have a government led by someone like George Bush, they can decimate everything we worked decades to achieve. In my view,” continued President Hansen, “Prime Minister Harper is completely out of touch with working families. But UFCW Canada and the Local Unions are ﬁghting back – but our most powerful weapon is the strength of UFCW members.”
To the delegates he said: “It’s the acts of courage that each of you perform every day for your members. When you put them all together it makes the UFCW a powerful voice in our workplaces, in our communities and across the country.” “Sisters and brothers, I urge you to stay involved. Stay strong and be engaged. Keep ﬁghting for working families. Together there is nothing that the men and women of the UFCW cannot do.”
New Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath discussed the global economic crisis we face and the effect it has on Ontario workers and their families. Noting that the unemployment rate in Ontario is over 8%, its highest rate since the 90s, she also mentioned that harder hit areas such as Windsor have a rate of 12% unemployment – and that number is rising. “For the ﬁrst 140 years of Confederation Ontario was the powerhouse of this country. It had good-paying unionized jobs that helped ﬁnance education, health care and a broad VISIT range of services that Ontarians have come to expect and need. Good-paying unionized jobs are the foundation of a just society,” WWW.ANDREAHORWATH.CA OR HTTP://ONTARIONDP.COM she explained. “They not only create a high standard of living but they protect the rights of workers by providing a fair and more equitable relationship between employees and employers.” Andrea wants to see the government invest responsibly in infrastructure such as transit. “We want to see 50% of the value of transit vehicles purchased in Ontario be made in Ontario. We can be global leaders,” she said. “But the streetcars and subways should be made in Thunder Bay. The buses should be manufactured in Mississauga. The steel used in our roads, bridges and sewers should come from Hamilton and Sault Ste. Marie.” Andrea was very critical of Premier McGuinty’s latest budget saying it lacked real investment in working people and accountability for businesses – especially those receiving government dollars.
National President Wayne Hanley spoke to the delegates about UFCW initiatives and the challenges ahead. Recently, UFCW Canada initiated a nation-wide leafleting campaign at Wal-Mart. “We had representatives, over a two-day period, in over 85% of WalMart stores across Canada,” explained President Hanley. “We handed out cards for www.walmartworkerscanada.ca so that we can better inform WalMart workers on what their employer is really like.” Last year, UFCW Canada launched the Agricultural Workers Alliance (AWA), which has nine ofﬁces where migrant workers can unify and ﬁnd help on many issues. “We had 3,000 workers join last year and we hope to double that number this year. Our staff handled 10,000 complaints last year so the need for a Union is clear – and we need to change the laws. In Ontario, we gained the right to organize farm workers under an NDP government,” said Hanley. “But we lost that right under the Mike Harris government.” And despite the Supreme Court PRESIDENT, UFCW CANADA and its Court of Appeals agreeing with UFCW, we continue to ﬁght this battle with the government. Part of the outreach work across the country is done through groups like the Community Action Network (CAN). “Other Local Unions now have their own strategic community growth programs modeled after the work that Local 175 is doing,” said Hanley.
Lastly, President Hanley addressed pension plans. Workers that belong to private pensions are at the mercy of how the company spend its last dollars. “But CCWIPP members are protected. It’s a multi-employer plan. It’s jointly trusteed with equal input from the Union and the employers. But the economic crisis has affected us for the long-term. We must continue to negotiate employer contributions into our contracts. In order to fund the plan without increasing liabilities, the trustees developed the Stabilization Fund to which more and more employers are starting to contribute.” He reassured the delegates that the trustees are working to ﬁx the problems. “It requires a change in thinking for all us and we must give it the time needed to recover.” “While other unions are losing members by the thousands,” said Hanley, “UFCW Canada is holding its own and still has over 240,000 members. We are alive, we are well. We’re one union out there with one voice brothers and sisters, and that voice is strong.”
VISIT HTTP://AWA-ATA.CA & WWW.UFCW.CA
“In Ontario today, a lifetime of toil and dedication and commitment poured into a company by its employees should count for something – but it doesn’t. McGuinty’s budget could have ensured that every last penny of back wages, vacation pay, severance pay and pensions would be paid out when a company went under or pulled up stakes and left – but he didn’t do that.” “I believe there is lots of opportunity in Ontario for jobs that pay a living wage. That every job guarantees vacation pay, beneﬁts and security and that every worker is treated like a human being with human rights. That every worker knows that they can leave after a hard day’s work and go back to their family whole and safe. That every workplace respects women and their families so that not one more woman is ﬁred for having a child.” “Nothing can stop a group of workers who have decided that their destiny is in their own hands.”
ONTARIO NDP LEADER
JUNE 2009 13
JUNE 2009 15
7TH ANNUAL HEALTH CARE CONFERENCE
On April 27, 2009, Local 175 held its 7th Annual Health Care Conference. The Local welcomed 85 participants from nursing homes, retirement homes and community health centres across the province. Union Representative Marilyn Lang, a former health care professional, emceed the two-day conference that dealt with the daily challenges members face in the health care sector. President Shawn Haggerty (right) welcomed the stewards with a message that resonates with all health care workers and he emphasized the need for health care workers to take up the ﬁght to guarantee good wages and safe working conditions in order to provide the best care to those in need. President Haggerty pointed out that Community Health Centres (CHCs) are politically active and it’s time that all facets of the health care sector become involved and take up the ﬁght. “We have to be out there lobbying, not just community health care workers but long-term care staff as well. Because hospitals are closing all across small town Ontario. Cuts are being made in the name of restructuring. That means your hours, your jobs. We must be active, we must be out there, ﬁghting them every step of the way to ensure a health care system that works for workers and their families.” Local 175 Legal Co-ordinator Fernando Reis (left) introduced discussion on Community Health Centres. Fernando sat on the Board of Directors for Access Alliance while he worked at a community centre before he joined UFCW. And his knowledge and experience with CHCs certainly was helpful when he began organizing health centres with Local 175.
Fernando talked about the unique work that CHCs do and the challenges the Union faces in securing good collective agreements for these members. Members at CHCs have speciﬁc needs that can be very different from those of a worker at a retirement or nursing home. Fernando introduced guest speaker, member Judy Tsao, an Outreach Counsellor out of Queen West Community Health Centre (QWCHC).
Judy shared information about her experience as a frontline worker in community health and the numerous programs offered by QWCHC. Judy passed out harm reduction materials to participants while she discussed needle exchange programs and safe use tools for substance users. For more information on Judy and CHCs see page 22. Guest speaker France Gélinas (right), NDP MPP from the Nickel Belt, gave a detailed update on the current state of Ontario’s health care system. France is no stranger to health care as she is a trained and licensed physiotherapist and spent 11 years as Executive Director of the CHC in Sudbury. France believes that health care institutions need to be publicly owned, publicly funded and publicly accountable to Ontarians. With the increasing number of private medical clinics and a home care system that is subject to competitive bidding, health care workers and those who need care are losing. For these reasons and many others, France entered politics. “I ran because I wanted to see change in health care, I wanted to shift the focus from illness to one of prevention and health promotion. The necessity to shift from sick care to keeping people healthy is evident. This requires a complete attitude adjustment. And I would say that UFCW members and the labour movement have been at the forefront of justice and speaking out. We cannot understand the work of maintaining or bettering health without understanding and dedicating ourselves to alleviating inequity which leads to chronic diseases and illness in the ﬁrst place.” France discussed issues facing Personal Support Workers (PSWs) and health care providers alike. “More and more work that is supposed to be paid out through the accommodation envelope (for cleaning linens, dietary aid work, etc) is now being shifted to support staff. PSWs are taking on tasks that were never part of their job description ﬁve years ago.” France pointed out that these duties inevitably take time away from providing care to the residents. She fully supports the NDP’s minimum standard of care (Bill 140), which would see a minimum of 3.5 hours of care per day for each resident of a nursing home or retirement home. Private owners all across Ontario are vehemently speaking out against this bill. France ended by expressing her gratitude to our members for all of their hard work in caring for Ontario families. “You are the people who are the backbone of our health care system. You do the important work in longterm care facilities, senior housing and community health centres. It is UFCW members like you who work tirelessly day in and day out on the front line, providing the best quality health care to Ontario residents, clients, patients and families.” Executive Board member Karen Vaughan (left) addressed the necessity for safe working conditions as April 28 marked the National Day of Mourning. Karen made it clear that the deaths of 488 Ontario workers last year is simply unacceptable. As a Registered Nurse at Maplewood, Karen shared a personal encounter involving a resident that seriously endangered her life. She emphasized that no work place is exempt from hazards. Local 175 Beneﬁts Representative Sherree Backus (shown at far right with Union Rep and Emcee Marilyn Lang) provided delegates with information on WSIB return to work issues. Many health care institutions work short-staffed, which often causes injured workers to go beyond their functional abilities. “Health care workers are compassionate. They want to help those that are in their care, short-staffed, injured or not.” Sherree stressed the importance of discussing work limitations with employers to create safe working environments so a health care worker does not end up being a statistic on the Day of Mourning.
JUNE 2009 17
Local 175 Executive Assistant Ray Bromley (right) addressed the importance of organizing the unorganized health care workers in Ontario. “In a unionized health care workplace, it’s not just about money. It’s about respect. The right to meet our employers in collective bargaining, the right to a safe, healthy, and harassment free workplace, the right to voice our concerns and the right to just cause and a full grievance procedure,” he said. Brother Bromley asked the delegates to speak to others in the health care sector about the beneﬁts of organizing. The more health care workers organize, the stronger their voice becomes, the more rights they will have and in turn, they can provide better care. The Training and Education Centre worked hard on this year’s conference, using methods that improved the experience. The workshops offered the tools needed to deal with issues faced by health care providers today such as working short, time management, discipline issues and violence in the workplace. “The stewards seemed to appreciate the smaller workshops as it gave them the opportunity to share experiences and ideas for problem solving,” said Kelly Nicholas, Co-ordinator of Training and Education. “The Town Hall forum was a great workshop that allowed stewards to discuss issues with a variety of experienced Local Union staff including legal counsel, union reps, beneﬁts reps and organizers.”
WHAT STEWARDS SAID ABOUT THIS YEAR’S CONFERENCE “This is one of the best conferences on health care that I’ve been to. Over the years I’ve met others in the health care sector that I’ve seen here and we’re able to catch up and discuss our workplace issues and learn from each other.” Diane Ballantyne Caressent Care Nursing Home, Listowel “I really liked the violence in the workplace workshop because I’m very excited about Bill 168 (Violence & Harassment Legislation). It’s in every workplace, and I’m looking forward to taking this information back to our members.” Brenda Dimma Legion Village, Cobourg “I’m happy to see that we’re discussing topics that are of concern to all health care providers, particularly violence in the workplace. It seems to be escalating, and any tips that I can bring back to the members is deﬁnitely helpful.” Jane Busby Vera M. Davis Community Care Centre, Bolton “We were able to have better discussion on issues because we broke out into smaller groups. The topics were interesting and relevant and I look forward to sharing the information with my colleagues.” Nadine Corcoran Caressent Care Nursing Home, Listowel “This is my ﬁrst Health Care Conference, and it’s been great. I’m happy to be taking in all of the information I can!” Debbie Young Legion Village, Cobourg
JUNE 2009 19
READ MORE CONTRACT
HOLIDAY INN WORKERS IN TRENTON RATIFY FIRST COLLECTIVE AGREEMENT
AIRLINE WORKERS IN SIOUX LOOKOUT RATIFY
Forty new members at the Holiday Inn, Trenton, secured their ﬁrst contract after a ratiﬁcation meeting for the one-year deal was held March 11, 2009. Workers beneﬁt from wage increases of between 25 cents and 80 cents per hour depending on classiﬁcation and all workers receive four paid sick days per year.
Bearskin Airlines members in Sioux Lookout secured a new three-year contract on March 24, 2009.
New language provides for a grievance procedure and a sunset clause on discipline, and the employer will supply uniforms for most classiﬁcations. Overtime will be paid for hours worked over 40 hours per week and hours of work will be scheduled by seniority. Union Negotiating Committee: Adam Chapman, Laura Gunning, Union Reps Chris Fuller and Marilyn Lang and Eastern Regional Director Dan Lacroix.
Wages increase by 31 cents per hour in year one, 32 cents per hour in year two and another 32 cents per hour in the third year of the contract term. Workers assigned as Training Agents receive a shift premium of 50 cents per hour for all hours so worked. Extra hours of work will be offered to full-time employees in order of seniority. In addition, full-time may bank up to 64 hours of overtime per year and part-time may bank up to 32 hours. In addition, improved language ensures no members of the bargaining unit will suffer a reduction in hours because of the hiring of co-op students. New language establishes provisions for part-time to accrue seniority following probation, job ﬁlling and qualifying tests, and shift trades. Workers may bank up to six statutory holidays, up from the previous ﬁve, that can be used until the following April. Full-time workers may bank up to four sick days, up from three, and part-time sick bank increases to two days. The company will match employee contributions of up to an improved 4 per cent for those with 10 years of service. Union Negotiating Committee: Cindy Davies and Union Rep Dean McLaren.
MAPLE LEAF WORKERS AT TWO FACILITIE Following last year’s Listeria outbreak in the Maple Leaf facility on Bartor Road, the company and Union met to negotiate a new collective agreement that sees the workers through the next two years. The February 28th ratiﬁcation brings the 300 members of the bargaining unit some ﬁnancial and beneﬁt improvements in the short-term. The short duration of the deal should allow Maple Leaf time to stabilize its operations at the plant and leave the membership with the ability to renegotiate in the very near future with a more ﬁnancially stable company. Improvements include full-time wage increases of 20 cents per hour for all production workers and $1 per hour for all maintenance workers as of January 15, 2009. A subsequent increase next year improves the production workers’ rates by 35 cents per hour and maintenance rates by $1 per hour. The part-time rate increases by $1.50 per hour effective ratiﬁcation. In addition, all employees receive a $300 lump sum payment following ratiﬁcation. The employer will contribute 10 cents per hour to the CCWIPP Stabilization Fund. This amount increases to 30 cents per hour effective December 31, 2009. Company contributions to the dental plan increase to 32 cents per hour as of ratiﬁcation and again to 33 cents per hour on January 15, 2010. A newly enhanced severance package provides a greater beneﬁt than the Employment Standards Act (ESA) provides for, in the event of a plant closure. Union Negotiating Committee: Vince Antonacci, Jack Meral, Leslie Parsons, Chief Steward Steve Patrick, Bob Rozak and Union Rep John DiNardo.
T RATIFICATIONS AND OTHER UNION NEWS ONLINE AT WWW.UFCW175.COM NEW CONTRACT RATIFIED FOR MORE THAN 800 CARGILL WORKERS
COLONIAL COOKIES WORKERS VOTE IN FAVOUR OF THREE-YEAR DEAL
On Monday, May 11, 2009, members working at Cargill (formerly Sun Valley Foods) in London, voted overwhelmingly in favour of a new four-year collective agreement. The more than 800 workers covered by the contract will beneﬁt from increased pension contributions and a number of other improvements.
The 350 members at the A&M Cookie Company – Colonial Cookies – in Kitchener achieved a new three-year collective agreement on March 15, 2009. The settlement comes following the announcement last year that Colonial Cookies parent company ﬁled for bankruptcy protection.
The company will contribute 35 cents per hour toward the CCWIPP Stabilization Fund in each year of the contract term, effective June 2, 2009.
Wages increase by 1 per cent as of February 28, 2010 and by 2 per cent in 2011. Contributions to the workers’ dental plan increase by 5 cents per hour effective March 19, 2009, and another 5 cents per hour in 2010. Language establishes that should the employer change its name, they will recognize Local 175 as the sole bargaining agent.
Full-time workers receive a signing bonus of $500 and wage increases of 35 cents per hour in the second year, 35 cents per hour in the third year and 45 cents per hour in the ﬁnal year of the contract. Workers classiﬁed as Group 7 or 8 receive an additional adjustment of 50 cents per hour in year two and 25 cents per hour in year three. Flex time workers receive a signing bonus of $250 with new pay rates effective June 2, 2010. In addition, a new premium provides 75 cents per hour for workers assigned to certify trainees.
Union Negotiating Committee: Joanne Brenton, Ken Boshart, Brandy Shiel, Sharon Thibodeau, Union Reps Michael Duden and Angus Locke and South West Regional Director Paul Jokhu.
In the event of plant closure, the company will provide enhanced severance of 1.5 weeks pay for each year of service to a maximum of 26 years. Workers also beneﬁt from improvements to life insurance, dental coverage, eye exams and bereavement leave. Union Negotiating Committee: Danny Amaral, Mark Ennett, Les Fletcher, Vicki Kelly, Brent Meyer, Leslie Rose, Eleanor Steffen, Ron Sweetman, Robert Vanderaa, Local 175 Recorder Betty Pardy, Union Rep Kevin Dowling and South West Regional Director Paul Jokhu.
ES RATIFY NEW COLLECTIVE AGREEMENTS Members working at Maple Leaf Consumer Foods in Brantford gained a new collective agreement as well at a ratiﬁcation meeting on April 26, 2009. The new deal brings full time members wage increases of 35 cents per hour in April 2010, 40 cents per hour in 2011, and 45 cents per hour in 2012. Also, effective date of ratiﬁcation, full time workers receive a lump sum payment of $500, then $250 on November 30, 2009. The workers’ tool allowance increases to $600, up from $500. Vision care improves to $200 every 24 months. Chiropractic care increases to $150 per year and new language includes $150 per year for massage therapy. The employer’s pension plan contribution increases to $15 effective January 2010, retroactive for all eligible years in the plan. Workers beneﬁt from improvements in Health and Safety language and members of the JHSC are to be paid all applicable wages when conducting H&S investigations. Improved bereavement language now includes spouse, common law spouse and child. Paid bereavement leave increases to ﬁve days, up from three. Negotiating Committee: Glenn Ball, Randy Mallais, Donna Rhodes, Patti Sherwood, Union Rep Matt Davenport and Regional Director Luc Lacelle.
JUNE 2009 21
FACES OF OUR UNION – JUDY TSAO Judy Tsao is a member of Local 175 with Central Toronto Community Health Centres (CTCHC), which has two sites – Queen West Community Health Centre (QWCHC) and SHOUT clinic. Judy works as the Outreach Counsellor at the QWCHC, which provides primary health and dental care, a naturopathic clinic, a perinatal program, harm reduction services to substance users, a foot care clinic, counselling services and anonymous HIV testing. Judy was born in Taipei, Taiwan and as a child she immigrated to Toronto with her family. She received her Masters of Social Work from the University of Toronto. Her volunteerism includes working with adults with developmental disabilities in Scotland and teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) in China. For the past few years she has been active with the Chinese Canadian National Council and she travelled to Palestine and Israel to do volunteer work with Christian Peacemaker Teams this spring. She has been a social services provider for over 15 years and for the past eight years has worked at QWCHC. Judy is a member of the harm reduction team, which aides those who are homeless, use substances, have mental health issues or brain injuries, and those who have been marginalized by poverty, colonialism, racism, sexism, and homophobia. Staff provide “safer crack-use” and syringe kits to people who use drugs to reduce the harm for drug users and prevent the transmission of infectious diseases. Judy provides case management support to those who are homeless or under-housed, co-ordinating client care with many different medical specialists. In Judy’s work, it is important that she not only connect with co-workers but also with external service providers. This “circle of care” ensures that all providers work toward the same goals with the client, provide appropriate support and prevent duplication of services. The services Judy provides include case coordination, individual advocacy, crisis intervention, referrals, accompaniment and counselling. This can include: clients who have been charged with a criminal offence; clients facing the termination of welfare beneﬁts; looking for clients on the street to take them to medical appointments; contacting housing providers to have bugs and rodents eradicated in a client’s home; and supporting clients facing possible deportation. “I believe that how we care for one another at home and in our communities reﬂects our individual humanity,” explains Judy, “and should be the driving force behind our public policy aspirations. Government policies such as affordable housing, health care, education and social welfare should be sacred and should not be relegated to charitable or for-proﬁt organizations. It is essential to redeﬁne and review democracy in our political and social structure to gain a greater level of civil participation.”
By: Lien Huynh & Judy Tsao
When Judy ﬁrst joined QWCHC in December 2000, CTCHC workers did not have a union. Like many nonunionized workplaces, they faced health and safety issues, favoritism, inconsistent hiring practices and arbitrary lay-offs. Employees wanted job security, equality, and antidiscrimination language. Management ignored their concerns. In 2001, workers explored the idea of unionization. After meeting with organizing representatives, the workers chose Local 175 to represent them. Judy recalls that our Local Union was chosen because of our experience defending workers’ rights in other community health centres. Needless to say, many improvements came from joining the UFCW including the creation of labour management, health and safety and anti-discrimination committees on which the UFCW is represented. Employees who work directly with clients now have a crisis policy to protect clients and staff and an “incident ladder” was created to guide staff in dealing with different stages of an incident. Crisis training was offered and staff practiced de-escalation skills. Judy notes that the present management team is very supportive. Judy loves her profession. “I sincerely believe it is both the community and the government’s responsibility to ensure that all members of society have access to a universal standard of living that includes decent and affordable housing, health care, education and adequate income supports,” she says. Judy particularly enjoys working with clients who are homeless and her amazing colleagues. “The protection of a unionized workplace ensures a fair and safe working environment where staff feel respected and valued.” In this supportive environment, Judy and her colleagues ﬁnd it easier to deliver the crucial services that are desperately needed in the community.
REMINDERS 3RD ANNUAL CAN CULTURAL DAY & BBQ Saturday, July 25, 2009 Noon - 4 p.m Boyd Conservation Area, Vaughan OUTSTANDING MEMBER ACHIEVEMENT AWARD NOMINATIONS DEADLINE: AUG 31 Visit www.ufcw175.com/Awards
WORK SMART – STAY ALIVE School is out and many young workers across Ontario are working summer jobs. When starting any new job it is very important to make sure you know your rights. Young workers have the highest injury and workplace death rate of all groups. You must insist that you get the proper training so that none of our young workers become just another statistic. Young workers don’t always know all their rights and sometimes are afraid to ask. Maybe some of you do know your rights or are more likely to speak up – but speak up for your young coworkers too who might be a little more easily intimidated. Maybe you or someone you know works in a bakery and the supervisor tells him/her to clean the dough mixer. Do they ask if it is dangerous? Would they make sure the machine is off or locked-out? Do they know what ‘lock out’ means? Did they receive training before they started this task? Sometimes tasks seem straightforward but these questions are extremely important. In fact, a young worker was killed in this exact situation. He was 18 and it was his second day on the job. Young workers tend to take more risks – often without even knowing it – because they are vulnerable to intimidation from their employer, supervisor and even their co-workers. Far too often we see young workers injured or killed on the job as a result. Statistics tell us that 42 young workers
are injured, made ill or killed on the job everyday. That’s almost 2 injuries every hour.
As an employee, you have rights that protect you against health and safety hazards on the job. You have the RIGHT TO KNOW about what hazards are in your workplace and to know what to do to prevent injuries from them. You have the RIGHT TO PARTICIPATE in workplace health and safety issues without the fear of being disciplined by your supervisor or employer. And you have the RIGHT TO REFUSE work that you believe is dangerous to yourself or your co-workers. Your employer and your supervisor must make sure that you have the information, training and equipment required to let you work effectively and keep you safe from injury and illness. Any time you start a new job or are assigned a new task, your employer and supervisor have a duty to give you information about the hazards in that job and make sure you have all safety training required by law, necessary to perform the work safely.
Training is meant to be given BEFORE you start the job or begin a new task.
Don’t start on a new job or machine without receiving training.
Don’t let your employer promise you training at the end of the week. Training, information and instruction come FIRST, performing the work with good supervision comes SECOND.
LOCALS 175 & 633
WHAT SHOULD I DO ABOUT HAZARDS? As a young worker, your role in controlling hazards lies in reporting them to your supervisor and if necessary, refusing to work until the hazard is investigated and resolved. Tell your Union Steward or Joint Health & Safety Committee (JHSC) member about the hazards you notice as you come across one. Your supervisor and employer MUST take action to control hazards by doing things like installing guards, changing procedures or providing safety training. You can make suggestions but should never take it upon yourself to make these types of changes. You may be injured or get in trouble for doing work that you weren’t asked to do. Remember, it’s your employer’s job to protect you. Hazards should be eliminated if at all possible. For example, if a hazardous chemical can be replaced with a non-hazardous product, then it should be. These are the types of things your JHSC and employer can change. If a hazard can’t be eliminated, then it has to be controlled to reduce the risk of injury or illness. Young workers must be aware of the hazards that are present in their workplaces. Would you cross the street without looking both ways? No? Then why not ask about the chemical that you can see ﬂoating in the air in your workplace. Protect yourself and your co-workers, know your rights and responsibilities!
JUNE 2009 23
ANNUAL TOURNAMENT RAISES MORE THAN $25,000
On April 17 and 18, 2009, the Local Union held its annual hockey tournament to raise money for Leukemia research. “Every one of these players is doing their part to raise money,” said event organizers Executive Assistant Harry Sutton and Union Rep Matt Davenport. “And they’re getting a lot of exercise while doing it.” This year, 16 teams participated in the two-day event that ended with a great game between the teams from Maple Leaf Pork and Watson Foods. First place went to the team from Maple Leaf Pork. Rafﬂe draws and entrance fees combined to raise more than $25,000 over just the two days. “This event is always a great time,” says President Shawn Haggerty. “We always have a great turnout and raise a lot of money. I always look forward to watching a few games and meeting the players that put two days of their time toward this great cause.” For a list of all fundraising events coming up visit www.ufcw175.com/Events.
Tournament Champions from Maple Leaf Pork. Union Rep Matt Davenport (left) presents player Al Reston from the Maple Leaf Pork team with the trophy for Most Goals.
Second place went to the team from Watson Foods. President Shawn Haggerty (right) presents Scott Anderson from the Maple Leaf Pork team with the Best Goalie Award.
Return postage will be paid by: United Food and Commercial Workers Locals 175 and 633 2200 Argentia Road Mississauga ON L5N 2K7
Canada Post Corporation Publication Agreement No. 40064671
Published on Jun 30, 2009