CHECKOUT MAGA ZINE JUNE 2018 - VOL XXVII NO 3
Our Members at Work: Unilever Simcoe page 14
Coverage of the Health Care Conference, Steward Seminars and International Convention starting on page 18
UFCW LOCAL 175
UFCW LOCAL 633
President Shawn Haggerty
President May Chalmers
Secretary-Treasurer Kelly Tosato
Secretary-Treasurer Marylou Mallett
Recorder Karen Vaughan
Recorder Brian Koslowski
Executive Assistants Sylvia Groom Luc Lacelle Jim McLean HEALTH & SAFETY: Health & Safety Representative: Mary Shaw WORKERS’ COMPENSATION: Intake Representative: Georgina MacDonald; Workers’ Compensation Representatives: Joanne Ford, Phil Hames, Sarah Neath
7 Welcome New Members
Metro, Rexall Pharma Plus, & more...
LEGAL: Director: Fernando Reis; Counsel: Saranjit Singh Cheema, Matthew Jagodits, Jane Mulkewich ORGANIZING: Director: Rick Wauhkonen; Organizing Representatives: Joce Cote, Linval Dixon, Tim Hum, Jeffery Lu, Meemee Seto, Amy Tran TRAINING & EDUCATION: Director: Rob Armbruster; Coordinator: Kelly Nicholas; Engagement & Media Relations Strategist: Tim Deelstra COMMUNICATIONS: Communications Representative: Laurie Duncan; Senior Communications Representative: Jennifer Tunney REGION 1: Director: Kelly Tosato; Union Representatives: Colby Flank, Tracy Stubbs REGION 2: Director: John DiNardo; Union Representatives: Farman Ali, Orsola Augurusa, Rick Daudlin, John DiFalco, Anthony DiMaio, Casey Magee, Christina Mayberry, Tony Nigro, Mark Stockton
14 Members at Work Unilever Simcoe
18 Health Care Conference
REGION 3: Director: Daniel Mercier; Union Representatives: Shannon Epp, Paul Hardwick, Dean McLaren, Jacques Niquet, Joe Tenn; Servicing Representative: Sandra Proulx REGION 4: Director: Chris Fuller; Union Representatives: Dave Forbes, Ron McGuire; Servicing Representatives: Virginia Haggith, Jennifer Hanley, Tim Kelly, Sabrina Qadir, Arlene Robertson, Chris Watson REGION 5: Director: Angela Mattioli; Union Representatives: Jehan Ahamed, Ashleigh Garner, Brad Morrison; Servicing Representative: Rolando Cabral REGION 6: Director: Rob Nicholas; Union Representatives: Wendy Absolom, Sam Caetano, Matt Davenport, Jason Hanley, Lee Johnson-Koehn. Lionel MacEachern, Mike Mattioli, Melody Slattery, Mario Tardelli, Fred Teeple REGION 7: Director: Sharon Kempf; Union Representatives: Diane Sanvido, Steve Springall; Servicing Representatives: Dan Bondy, Todd Janes REGION 8: Director: Sandra Rogerson; Union Representatives: Jeff Barry, John Beaton, Matt Belanger, Jim Hames, Derek Jokhu
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22 International Convention
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LEAMINGTON OFFICE 261 ERIE STREET SOUTH LEAMINGTON, ON N8H 3C4 TEL: 519-326-6751 TOLL FREE: 1-888-558-5114 FAX: 519-326-0597
24 Workers’ Comp The Impact of the Unfunded Liability
OTTAWA OFFICE 20 HAMILTON AVENUE N. OTTAWA, ON K1Y 1B6 TEL: 613-725-2154 TOLL FREE: 1-800-267-5295 FAX: 613-725-2328
ISSN No. 1703-3926 CHECKOUT is an official publication of Locals 175 & 633 of the United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW)
26 Altered Lives Debbie’s Story
SUDBURY OFFICE 230 REGENT ROAD SUDBURY, ON P3C 4C5 TEL: 705-674-0769 TOLL FREE: 1-800-465-1722 FAX: 705-674-6815
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President’s Message Shawn Haggerty
The Labour Movement must mobilize The recent election marks an interesting direction for Ontario. We have Progressive Conservatives (PC) running Ontario for the first time in 15 years. The Checkout mailed before the election received both praise and criticism. I’m sure there were many reactions in between too. But, the most important thing we hoped to achieve with that mailing was to start a conversation and get people to vote. We can’t let division direct us and we can’t let a difference of opinion be the end of a conversation. We have to choose to keep talking to each other – whether we agree or disagree. We must continue to hear the concerns of our family, friends, and co-workers. And, we must continue to stand strong for the most marginalized people. Regardless of what colour your particular Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) wears, they still answer to you, the citizens in their own ridings. Trish Hennesy, Director of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) Ontario office, put it well: “Democracy isn’t just about casting a vote at election time; democracy happens in between elections, too.” We must build a stronger Union and
a stronger Labour Movement. We must all pick up and move forward.
For working people, now is the time to organize. Clearly, Ontario wanted change. For the first time since 1987, the NDP will form the Official Opposition. This is an important step forward for working people. And even though the Labour Movement was happy to see the improvements to workers’ rights in Bill 148, it took the Liberals 15 years of being in power to get there. So, while we wait to see what Doug Ford will do with those recent improvements and other pro-worker laws, we cannot be complacent. The only thing that can really let the labour movement falter is our own apathy. Engage your local MPPs, regardless of their political party, and tell them what you expect of them when it comes to workers’ rights. We must continue to press for things that make a real difference in real people’s lives every day: • Gender and income equality; • Laws that protect people instead of corporations; • Better funded health care and educational systems, and; • Making every day necessities like
Hennessy, T. (2018, June 08). The Next Four Years: An Ontario election post-mortem. Retrieved June 08, 2018, from http://behindthenumbers.ca/2018/06/08/an-ontario-election-post-mortem/
child care, rent, and hydro more affordable for working people. We cannot forget that many years of hard work and dedication by Labour activists brought some of the most basic rights to our workplaces. We still have a long way to go. But, without the labour movement, there would be no maximum work week or minimum wage or maternity leave. There would be no mandatory vacation entitlement or pay. No worker would have Just Cause protection, and the health and safety of our workplaces would be dismal. And, it’s not all strikes or protests blocking the streets or shouting matches across a bargaining table. A lot of quiet work goes on day to day. It’s winning a precedent-setting grievance, like the one on page 13. So, how does the labour movement move forward? We keep fighting. We organize. We talk to each other and we listen. We hold our elected representatives accountable to serving our best interests. I continue to be proud to represent each and every one of the Members of this Local Union. I know that together, we can help build a stronger Labour movement and achieve great things for workers. In Solidarity, Shawn Haggerty email@example.com
Secretary-Treasurer’s Message Kelly Tosato
The impact of politics & getting involved Politics – whether we like it or not – affect most aspects of our day-to-day life. It’s easy to forget that, but it’s an important fact. Too often we realize its impact only when something bad happens to us or our loved ones. The reason we forget is because politics are messy and overwhelming. And, too often, it feels as though the decisions are out of our hands. I know it can be discouraging. When we feel like that though, it’s all the more reason to take a step toward getting involved. Getting involved means speaking up when your municipality wants to allow shopping on Statutory Holidays, or when your school board puts forth a bad budget. It means taking a stand when the provincial government freezes minimum wage. There are many ways to get involved in making positive change. • Find out who your local, provincial and federal representatives are and where they stand on issues that are important to you. Try picking one issue that affects you the most and focus on that. • Attend events or rallies and speak to people about why they’re fighting for a particular cause. • Attend city council or town hall meetings. Get to know the people 4
in your community who are acting on your behalf. This applies to school boards too. • Volunteer to help on political campaigns, register voters, or work at a polling location. • Help out with your Parent-Teacher association, a sports team, the local food bank or shelter. You’ll meet members of your community and learn first hand about the issues that affect them the most. • Read and watch the news critically, and speak to your family, friends, neighbours, and co-workers with an open mind. • Write letters to the editor of local or larger circulation papers and even online sources. • Take courses that help you get politically involved or prepare you to run for office. Many of these courses aim to help women enter politics specifically. Labour councils can provide resources too. UFCW Canada has an online course free to Members called Politics Matter, Women Matter that you might find helpful. Visit ufcw.ca for more information on this and other courses. I was happy to see many women taking part and running for office in this election. It’s important that women are a real part of the debate when it comes to every issue. In fact, 56% of the NDP’s candidates were women and half of the 40 seats won by the NDP this time around
will be filled by female candidates.
This election saw women win 49 seats out of 124 ridings. That’s 39.5%, or 4.5% more than the previous election and it’s a definite step in the right direction. Having more voices from all walks of life participating in our democracy will help shape a future for our country that better reflects us all. I encourage everyone to be involved in their communities on some level. In fact, municipal elections will take place on October 22, 2018 and it would be a great time to take that first step. Not only is it important to stay informed and active about local politics, but it can be a great stepping stone to provincial or federal office if you decide that being involved in politics is what you are passionate about. No matter how you choose to get involved, the important thing is that you show up, speak your mind, and stand your ground. In Solidarity, Kelly Tosato firstname.lastname@example.org
n March 2018, Mona Bailey retired after 16 years working for the Local Union.
Before she joined the Union’s staff, Mona worked at Pharma Plus for 10 years as a Certified Pharmacy Assistant. She was a Steward and the Union Chairperson for the Lindsay Pharma Plus stores. In 2000, Mona ran for the Executive Board and won a seat. “I loved everything that I got to do as a Steward and Chairperson to help my co-workers,” said Mona. “I’ve always loved helping people. I believed that if I could help them at the store level, then I could definitely do more for even more people by working for the Union,” she added. Once hired by the Union, Mona was part of the Organizing department for several years. There she got a chance to meet and assist non-Union workers who wanted to become members. Mona enjoyed standing up and being a voice for
ose De Melo retired in May 2018 after working as a Union Rep with Locals 175 & 633 for almost 20 years.
Joe worked at Quality Meat Packers in Toronto for 14 years. During his time there, he worked in several departments, including shipping, sanitation, the cutting room, and as a truck driver. Receiving encouragement from co-worker and Steward Sam Caetano, who is also now a Union Rep with Local 175, Joe became President of his Local Union, UFCW Local 743. He remained President for about three and a half years, until that Local Union merged into Local 175 in May 1999. Over the years, Joe was an integral part of many fundraising efforts to support the LLSC. He founded the Central West regional golf tournament, which later became the Local’s annual golf tournament. To date, that golf tournament
others who were sometimes afraid to stand up for themselves. “I loved being an Organizer. I’m not the kind of person who can sit back and watch my co-workers or other members be picked on by management.” Mona says she will definitely miss the Members and her co-workers. “Over the years, I built so many relationships. I loved everything about working for this wonderful Local and as much as I look forward to retirement, there will be a lot that I will miss.” “Mona always put the Members first through her time with the Local Union,” said President Haggerty. “I know she will be missed by many on her route and many staff as well. I wish her all the best in her retirement.” Mona looks forward to travelling to who knows where and for who-knows how long in their new 26-foot trailer. With two granddaughters too, Mona is excited to be able to spend much more time with them as well.
continues to raise more than $20,000 every year. About his retirement, Joe said: “I miss work. I miss getting up every day with a plan and going out to help the Members. Since I retired though, I’m starting to enjoy my time and fill in the gaps of having no daily schedule.” At a Local Union gathering, Joe encouraged all of the remaining staff to keep doing what they’re doing because it’s important work that makes a difference. “Joe was always one of the first to offer help during labour disputes and wherever the Local Union members needed him,” said President Haggerty. “His length of service with the UFCW is a testament to his commitment to the work and the Membership, and I wish him well in his retirement. Joe looks forward to enjoying his retirement. He plans to visit his son in the U.S., who won a scholarship to go to school there. He also plans to help take care of his grandkids a few days a week.
ave White was always an active Union member. At several workplaces, he served on committees and became Steward and Chief Steward. In 1979, Dave worked in Aircraft Assembly at De Havilland Aircraft and instructed for in-plant health and safety training and other courses. Dave assisted the Metro Labour Education Centre in developing courses and training the trainer for workers, employers, and the unemployed in the GTA. In addition, he developed and instructed courses for McMaster University, George Brown College, Georgian College and the Canada Labour Congress (CLC) in the 80s and 90s. He also holds certificates in Labour Studies and Adult Education. The Local Union hired Dave in 2001 in the Training & Education department. There, he developed and delivered many courses in the classroom and over the Internet. In 2007, Dave decided to become a Union Rep.
nn Johnston, the Local Union’s Accounting Controller, retired in March 2018.
Ann began her working career at a Mining/Consulting firm in downtown Toronto. It was at that job that she became interested in the field of Accounting. Ann pursued this educational interest through the Certified General Accountants Association (CGA). She went to work for a Chartered Accountant in Streetsville, then moved on to a manufacturing company. In 1992, the Local Union hired Ann as Controller. As the Controller, Ann was responsible for the Union’s annual financial statements, payroll, accounts payable, budgets, tax compliance and more. She spent 26 years with her Union family before starting her well-earned retirement. “I’m going to miss my inter6
Dave founded the annual UFCW Ride for a Cure motorcycle ride, which has raised thousands of dollars for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLSC) of Canada. “Every grievance, contract negotiation, and answer I could give a Member was truly rewarding,” said Dave. “I always enjoyed meeting Members over a cup of coffee (and a butter tart or two) while discussing their concerns. Working with like-minded people at the Union has been a privilege,” he added. “And thank you to my spouse Lorilei and my family for being understanding and supportive of all the demands of the job.” “Congratulations to Dave on his retirement,” said President Haggerty. “His commitment to the Members and education made a lasting mark on many, and he will be missed.” Dave began his retirement on March 31, 2018. He looks forward to travelling through Canada and enjoying hot sunny days on his motorcycle on the open road. Dave plans to volunteer in his community and keep working on the ever-growing honey-do list at home.
actions with staff and getting to meet the Members,” said Ann. “I learned so much about Unions over the years,” she added. “I’ve made a lot of friends here and I’m very proud of how everyone here is committed to helping our Members. I feel like a part of a huge family and it’s rewarding to see how much the Local Union has accomplished in my time here.” During her time with the Union, Ann attended many events and fundraisers, and was always eager to offer a helping hand. “Ann has been an integral part of this Union for many years,” said President Haggerty. “I know she has made many close friendships here and she will always be a part of our Union family. I wish her all the best.” In her retirement, Ann hopes to do some travelling in Canada and the United States. She also hopes to get a chance to go to France and Italy too, where she has dreamed of visiting for a long time.
Welcome to Your Union
A Strong Show of Solidarity by employees at Direct Coil A difficult three-month campaign for workers at Direct Coil Inc ended with a victory for the newest members of UFCW Local 175. Approximately 100 full-time employees work at the plant located in the small, close-knit community of Millhaven. The Keys at the workplace were particularly solid. They took great pride in their efforts to bring the benefits of belonging to a Union to their co-workers. Even when the employer fired one of the Keys, it didn’t stop him from continuing to help with the campaign. In fact, co-workers took up a collection out of their own pockets to help that worker when he was fired.
Another 30 CLS Catering employees vote to join These new Union members can unite with 170 CLS Catering workers who already enjoy the benefits of belonging to UFCW. “These employees felt overworked and underpaid,” said Organizer Amy Tran. “Plus, they saw that their Unionized co-workers paid far less for their health benefits as well. They wanted to secure the same kinds of rights and improvements the others had found with our Union.” Jobs for the full-time employees include flight coordinators, checkers, and account managers for CLS Catering at Pearson Airport.
Despite a number of challenges and a lot of misinformation that circulated during the campaign, the employees stood strong and won. “This group of workers is a real community that looks out for each other,” said Local 175 Organizer Ricardo Bocanegra. “Most importantly, they stayed united throughout the campaign and really demonstrated what solidarity looks like in action. It took everyone working together to achieve this victory, so I’m very proud of their achievements.” Employees listed a number of concerns that drove them to seek Union membership. The workers want to achieve fairer wages, better job security, respect and dignity at work, benefits, and improved workplace health, plus put an end to favourtism and harassment. The vote to join the Union took place on April 18.
Congratulations to Ranjit Sandhu from CLS Catering! At the Toronto Steward’s Seminar, Ranjit Sandhu from CLS Catering received a $375 honorarium for helping to organize an additional 30 workers at CLS. “Ranjit speaks so passionately about the importance of solidarity and the benefits of belonging to a Union because he’s witnessed it first hand,” said Organizer Amy Tran. Ranjit was also instrumental in organizing the first CLS Catering group in December 2011. Since then, Ranjit has trained to become a Steward and also took part on the Negotiating Committee as well.
East Metro Youth Services
PSWs find a home with Local 175
Recently, several employees at East Metro Youth Services decided to approach our Union out of frustration over a number of workplace concerns.
Recently, 50 Personal Support Workers (PSWs) with the Victorian Order of Nurses for Canada became members of UFCW Local 175.
This diverse group of 120 workers wanted a more equitable experience at work and the ability to hold their employer more accountable. The employees at the facility provide youth mental health and other care services to their clients. Their existing work environment made it difficult for employees to enjoy and manage their important work out in the Toronto community.
The 38 full-time and 12 part-time PSWs work in community health and supportive housing throughout Elgin County in Southwest Ontario.
Job security, discrimination and favouritism, health and safety, plus wages, benefits, and pension all made the list of concerns brought to the Union by these workers. “This campaign was a great example that the power of the people is greater than the people in power,” said Organizer Ricardo Bocanegra. “The workers at East Metro decided to seize that power and become part of our Union. It was a great honour to work with such a devoted group of individuals. I’m proud to see them join our Union family.” There are 77 full-time and 43 part-time staff at East Metro Youth Services who form the bargaining unit. The members will now start working toward a first collective agreement. In addition, they will benefit from Local 175’s strong presence in the industry. They join several thousand health and community care workers in the Local 175 Health, Office, and Professional Employee (HOPE) sector. Jobs include: • • • • • •
Family and Individual Therapists, Youth Outreach Workers, Child Youth Workers, Clerical and Administrative staff, Intake and Data Management positions, as well as; Psychologists.
The employees’ concerns included pension issues and job security. In addition, most of the Victorian Order of Nurses’ other employee classifications already belong to Unions. A number of the PSWs had previous experience working in a unionized environment as well, so they knew the benefits that belonging to a Union can bring. Other concerns included benefits, health and safety, and favouritism. “It was a long journey and the workers faced many challenges. It was especially difficult to identify all of the employees since there is no centralized work location. But, our main supporters did a great job. They showed that with enough determination, change is possible,” said Local 175 Organizer Ricardo Bocanegra. The PSWs join the many nurses, PSWs, and other health care providers of the Health, Office and Professional Employees (HOPE) sector at Local 175.
Help Raise the Standard
FOR ALL WORKERS
Together we will make a difference. If UFCW Locals 175 & 633 organizes and certifies a group of workers because of a lead you provide to the Organizing Department, you will be eligible for one of the following honorariums:
More than 30 but fewer than 50 workers. More than 50 but fewer than 75 workers. More than 75 but fewer than 100 workers. More than 100 workers. Core Sector Bonus *Call the Organizing Department for details on the Core Sector Bonus!
$300 $500 $800 $1,000 25%
1-800-565-8329 www.myunion.ca Disclaimer – Only members of UFCW Locals 175 & 633 are eligible to receive the Honorarium. The Honorarium will not be paid to an employee of UFCW Local 175, immediate families of such employees, and persons with whom such employees are domiciled. For the purpose of the Honorarium, “immediate family” is defined as parent, sibling, child or any person residing in the same household or domiciled with any such employees. Members of UFCW Locals 175 & 633 who are also employed in a non-unionized location may contact the Union to provide a lead, however, an individual member who is employed at the same location will not be eligible for the Honorarium. In all cases, the Local President will make the final decision as to who will receive the Honorarium. All decisions of the Local are final and binding. While all leads are welcome and will be investigated, the campaigns that the Local Union chooses to pursue from those leads remains at the discretion of the Local Union. June 2018 9
6,500 Members at Metro achieve new agreement
ollowing meetings across Ontario on May 24, Members at 54 Metro stores in Ontario have ratified a new collective agreement. This difficult round of bargaining included the assistance of a Conciliation Officer, a 97% strike mandate from the Members, and a strike deadline of May 12 at 12:01 a.m. “The negotiating committee and the Members were solid throughout this process,” said President Haggerty.
“This was a tough set of bargaining. But the Members’ resolve & strong strike mandate allowed the committee to push forward & achieve this contract.” The Equal Pay for Equal Work legislation passed by the provincial government introduced a number of hurdles into these negotiations. While the laws are positive for workers, the Union and employer disagree with the interpretation of how they apply to the Members based on employment status. Despite expert guidance and legal advice sought by both parties, no agreement could be made. 10
Since the law is so new, there is currently no applicable jurisprudence or regulations to help resolve the issue. The Union Negotiating Committee wanted to proceed with an otherwise agreed-upon contract settlement. So, they elected to have the Equal Pay for Equal Work matter referred to mediation/arbitration to achieve a resolution for the Membership. The Union now has a clear path to advance the concerns of the Members before an arbitrator to get the right answers on the application of this new legislation. The ratified contract will see Members through to November 2021. For more details on what the new agreement, visit
ufcw175.com/metro2018 Metro Members should contact their Union Representative if they have any questions. Union Negotiating Committee: Cindy Carruthers, Rick Alagierski, Colleen Cox, Ronald Harrison, Dale Stuart, Tim Brennan, Doris Arpe, Tony Morello, and Penny Lorenz; Servicing Rep Tim Kelly, and Region 4 Director Chris Fuller; Executive Assistant Sylvia Groom; Local 633 Secretary-Treasurer Marylou Mallett, and Local 633 President May Chalmers; Local 175 Secretary-Treasurer Kelly Tosato, and Local 175 President Shawn Haggerty.
You can find more negotiations online at myunion.ca.
10 days after Members ratify, Rexall Pharma Plus announces 40 stores in Canada will close
n Friday, April 27, Rexall Pharma Plus announced it would be closing 40 stores in Canada. Fifteen of the 40 locations fall under the UFCW Local 175 collective agreement. The company notified the Union of the decision to close these locations only immediately before they sent out notices to the stores. The Union is disappointed and concerned by the announcement, and Union representatives will continue discussions with the employer about the impact this decision will have on the affected Members. The news came as a shock and left many Members concerned about what this means going forward. Only 10 days earlier, 2,800 Members at Rexall Pharma Plus had ratified a new three-year agreement. The collective agreement does have provisions for bumping by seniority as well as enhanced severance language. There will be options available for affected Members. The new agreement established minimum employment guidelines, which created approximately 80 new full-time positions. The employer will also fill at least 101 new fulltime Keyholder positions by the end of the first year of the agreement. This position will have a rate of $18.25 per hour, which will increase to $19.25 per hour effective January 1, 2019.
All job classifications receive significant wage increases to the top rates over the life of the contract. This includes language to ensure rates stay ahead of the minimum wage. The three-year contract covers employees at 220 stores under the Rexall Pharma Plus banners. The parties met over eight days before requesting the assistance of a Ministry of Labour Conciliation Officer for the last five days of bargaining. “I’m proud of what the Union’s negotiating committee accomplished for the Members,” said President Haggerty. “But the company’s decision to close stores so soon after their employees ratified a new deal is a backhanded way to do business and does a lot of harm to employee morale.” The Union will keep Members informed as more information becomes available regarding the store closures. Any Members who have questions about the new collective agreement or store closures should speak directly to their Union Representative. Union Negotiating Committee: Cathy Amyotte, Vanessa Boodie, Janet Luff, Janet McMillan, Alison O’Brien, Cibelle Paquete, Irene Pauls, Susan Reddom-Ryckman, Rhonda Tilley, Sophia Verrydt, Union Rep Casey Magee, and Region 4 Director Chris Fuller. June 2018
Redpath members avoid strike In April, members at Redpath in Belleville ratified a new five-year agreement just hours before their strike deadline. In March, the membership turned down a final offer from the company and voted 90% in favour of taking strike action. Members wanted an end to, or a significant reduction of, the two-tier wage grid and benefit contribution level gaps. Wage improvements include $.34 per hour retroactive to December 10, 2017, plus a total of $1.40 per hour over the remaining term. Employees hired after November 28, 2010 get an extra $.50 per hour retroactive to December 10, 2017 and $.50 on December 10, 2018. Afternoon and Midnight Shift premiums increase by $.15 per hour on April 23, 2018 and $.15 per hour December 10, 2019. The altered two-tier benefit contribution level will see the 34 most senior employees have their premiums 100% paid by the employer. Employees below the top 34 will co-pay 20%. As employees in the top 34 leave through attrition, those who co-pay will transition to 100% employer-paid. Other improvements include: • Vision care coverage of $275, up from $225, every 24 months. • New language to restrict the use of temporary employees from June 1 to September 1. • Limited employer ability to mandate overtime on long weekends and during an employees’ vacation. • Mandatory overtime language is now equalized so that the same employees are not required to work all of the mandated time. • A boot allowance increase to $200, up from $175, and then to $225 effective December 10, 2021. • The number of Stewards increases by two and paid Union orientation language has been added for the benefit of new members.
• Additionally, the parties agreed bereavement leave will not impact an employee’s two paid personal emergency leave days under the Employment Standards Act. Union Negotiating Committee: Neil Asselstine, Pat Holmes, Alex Mac Quarrie, Jason Snell and Union Representative Paul Hardwick. First Agreement at Leuschen The 196 Members at Leuschen Transportation in Timmins secured their first collective agreement in April. The contract includes important representation language and provisions to prevent the employer from contracting out bargaining unit work. Other language establishes hours of work, succession, just cause, seniority, and a 60-day probationary period. The committee achieved language for the rotation of charter work, route bidding, job postings, and grievance and arbitration procedures. A new payment structure ensures drivers get paid from start to finish of their route. Previously, drivers were paid only from first pick-up to last drop-off. The minimum guaranteed shift/pay is 3.25 hours per day for Drivers and Monitors. In most cases, this is an increase of between $12 - $15 per day for those employees. Mechanics receive a 1.7% increase per year to their end rates. The previous two-tier pay structure for this classification has been eliminated, which means an 18% increase for affected employees. End rates increase
by 3% in each year for Drivers and Monitors, which is the equivalent of a total $1.50 increase by September 2019. The start rate for Monitors will be $15 per hour as of September 1, 2018, and the B Driver rate has been eliminated. All employees receive a $300 signing bonus as well. Life Insurance and AD&D coverage is set at $10,000 for all Drivers and Monitors. The employer will pay for requested medical notes, and recognize any additional statutory holidays announced by the government going forward as well. Plus, the employer will pay snow days at 100%. The agreement covers part-time school bus drivers, mechanics, and monitors in the Timmins area. Union Negotiating Committee: Tom Kelly, Linda Lefebvre, Paulette Moreau, and Union Reps John Beaton and Matt Belanger. Rexdale Community Health On March 27, a three-year agreement was ratified by members at Rexdale Community Health Centre. Wage improvements include: • A 2% base wage increase effective April 1, 2018 for non-LHIN funded positions. • A 3.5% base wage increase effective April 1, 2017 for LHIN funded positions. • Registered Dietitians and Health Promoter Positions received wage adjustments effective April 1, 2016 and April 1, 2017.
Leuschen Transportation members at their ratification meeting.
Employees receive a retention and recruitment allowance/lump sum after ratification: $1600 for Full Time and $800 for Part Time. Plus, Pathways to Education Funded and Non LHIN funded positions receive $250 for Full Time and $150 for Part Time on January 1, 2019 and May 1, 2019. Other monetary increases apply to Professional Development language. The optical allowance increases to $300 per 24 months and $80 for eye exams. Caps on psychologist visits will be removed and coverage amounts will increase to $500 per year. Physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and speech language pathology coverage is now $500 per year. Employees will be offered the opportunity to join the HOOP pension plan or continue in an RRSP. New employees hired after ratification will be entered into the HOOP plan. This agreement also includes new, improved anti-violence and harassment in the workplace language. Negotiating Committee: Salomeh
Ahmadi, Deanna Berry-Alexander, Mohamed Hassan and Union Rep John Di Falco. Staff added to Sudbury Radisson bargaining unit Hospitality workers at the Radisson Hotel in Sudbury secured a new agreement in April. After a number of previous attempts, the Union Negotiating Committee was able to have 35 Banquet staff included in the bargaining unit with this contract. Employees receive raises of 2% in each year of the contract. The first increase is retroactive for hours worked since August 19, 2017. Premiums for the night shift improve to $1 per hour, up from 50 cents. If/when minimum wage goes to $15 per hour, members will receive a 2% increase on that $15 effective August 2019. Workers now have 48-hour notice of any shift cancellations. Full-time employees with at least one year of service receive one additional sick
day per year, which brings their total to four. Vacation entitlement improves to provide four weeks after 10 years of service instead of the previous 11 years required. Bereavement language now includes step-children, stepparents, common law spouses, and same-sex partners. The boot allowance goes to $200, up from $150, in August 2019. Members receive a new non-slip shoe allowance of $50, effective August 2019. ÂThe employer agreed to an increased contribution toward the UFCW Local 175 Training & Education Fund of 7 cents per hour per employee, up from 5 cents. In addition, the employer will now pay 50%, up to $300, of the cost to print agreements, plus 50% of negotiating committee wages. The agreement covers 14 full-time and 35 part-time employees at the hotel, plus the 35 new Banquet staff. Union Negotiating Committee: Hailey Aubertin, Elaine Hyland, Randy Scott, Union Rep Derek Jokhu, and Region 8 Director Sandra Rogerson.
Precedent-setting win for Members at Rose of Sharon Employees at the Rose of Sharon Korean Long Term Care Home joined the Union about six and a half years ago. Right after the workersâ€™ victory, the employer went into court-appointed receivership. The court assigned Deloitte & Touche as the receiver. Despite receiving a Notice to Bargain from the Union, Deloitte and Touche refused to acknowledge any obligation to negotiate a collective agreement with the employees. As a result, UFCW Local 175 took up legal action against Deloitte and Touche at the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB).
and Insolvency Act protected the firm against being deemed a successor employer. Therefore, they argued, they were not obligated to negotiate an agreement even though they ran the Rose of Sharon for the last six and a half years. The Union argued that under the Ontario Labour Relations Act (OLRA) Deloitte was responsible for negotiating a contract, especially considering they had been operating the Home business as usual.
The Union charged the firm with a failure to begin contract negotiations. Recently, the Union received a landmark first-of-its-kind decision on the case.
The OLRB decided in favour of the Union and determined Deloitte as a successor employer. That means, they have to negotiate a collective agreement with the UFCW members employed at the Home. This case sets precedent for the Rose of Sharon employees and UFCW.
Deloitte argued that the Bankruptcy
Local 175 Member EK was an
Member EK (right) with Union Rep Mona Bailey at the 2018 Health Care Conference.
interpreter and a liaison for the employees. She provided important details on the day-to-day operations of the Home to Mona and Director John Di Nardo. Her commitment to her co-workers and community, and persistence were invaluable. The Union looks forward to finally being able to provide justice to these members and helping them negotiate their first collective agreement. June 2018
ummertime means warm weather and frozen sweet treats. But let’s face it, there’s never really a bad time to have ice cream. Did you know you can enjoy many of your favourite ice cream products and support Unionized workers at the same time? Several hundred members of UFCW Local 175 work at Unilever Simcoe, formerly Good Humor-Breyers. Every day, they churn out familiar family favourites like Popsicles, Klondike bars, and ice cream brands like Breyers and Ben & Jerry’s. Originally used as a cold storage facility founded in 1888, the plant became an ice cream plant in 1922. Unilever purchased that family business in 1962, and later acquired the Beatrice ice cream business on Norfolk Street, a few kilometres away. The current facility on Union Street was expanded between 1995 and 1997.
Our Members at
Chief Steward Paul Sheppard has 27 years of service with the employer and 22 years as a Union Steward. The members are well looked after by Paul, along with Jackie Baskett, who is the Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC) Co-Chair, and a team of 11 Stewards and JHSC Members. The group works hard to ensure their co-workers have the best work experience possible day in and day out. There are five shifts, and jobs throughout the plant include: light labour, machine operators, general labour, mix makers and operators, palletizers, receivers, shippers, sani-
tation, maintenance and refrigeration. “This is a great group of Members to work with,” said Union Rep Matt Davenport. “Paul and Jackie provide support to all of their co-workers. These employees all look out for each other and are a part of a strong and proud community.” Products Union-made proudly by the Members at Unilever Simcoe include: • • • •
Magnum luxury ice cream bars. Fruttare frozen fruit and milk bars. Klondike ice cream sandwiches, bars, and cones. Popsicle treats like the Creamsicle, the Supersicle Firecracker, and the Fudgsicle. • Breyers Ben & Jerry’s, Creamery Style, Gelato, and Classic. • Other ice cream products under the Breyers and co-branded names such as Reese and Oh Henry! Klondike bars, and Breyers Skor and Creamsicle. • Breyers Non-Dairy and Breyers Delights. These products are widely available at many major grocers and smaller retailers in the province and across Canada. So, show your support! When you’re out shopping for icy treats, no matter what time of year, shop Union and buy some made at Unilever Simcoe. Paul Sheppard, Chief Steward Jacqueline Baskett, JHSC Co-Chair Donavan Burke, Steward Lee Campbell, JHSC/Steward Margaret Crockett, JHSC Mary Matthews, JHSC/Steward Charles Mitchell, JHSC
Brenda Peirce, JHSC/Steward Rita Pereira, Steward Christine Savory, Steward Wendy Schlosser, JHSC Erica Taylor, Steward Bob VanGoethem, Steward
his yearâ€™s Health Care Conference had the most Stewards in attendance that this annual event has ever seen. One hundred and five participants from long-term care homes, retirement facilities, community care, and home care took part in the two-day educational opportunity. Local 175 Recorder, and Registered Nurse, Karen Vaughan emceed the conference. Karen is a great resource for the Members as she has years of experience working in longterm care homes. She knows first-hand the challenges that Nurses, Personal Support Workers (PSWs), and all health care workers face trying to provide the best patient care under difficult circumstances. President Haggerty welcomed all the Stewards and thanked them for taking the time to attend. He stressed the importance of voting in the provincial election and how vital it is to be activists for the causes that matter to working people and families.
Natalie Mehra, from the Ontario Health Coalition, spoke about the current campaigns the coalition has under way. She spoke about how Ontario falls behind every other province when it comes to health care funding. This results in a lack of beds, under staffing, long wait times, and many more problems facing patients, and our health care providers. Natalie stressed that we need to make health care facilities safe and dignified for staff and patients. And the only way to achieve that is through proper funding. â€œWe need action, and we can win if we work together,â€? she said. Tim Deelstra, Engagement & Media Relations Strategist for Local 175, gave an overview of the Fair Workplaces and Better Jobs Act that became law recently. He took time to answer questions from the Stewards about how those laws affect their workplaces as well. Over the remainder of the conference, Dr. Leeno Karumanchery led the Stewards through a thought-provoking session about diversity in our society. Through his course,
he provides a deeper understanding about our ability to identify, assess, and manage our own unconscious bias, emotions and behaviours as they relate to diversity and inclusion. Health care workers deal with patients from every walk of life. Understanding what motivates people and how to mediate your own interests when dealing with others is a powerful skill set to bring to the workplace and to every day life. “We were happy to welcome Dr. Karumanchery back to the Health Care Conference,” said President Haggerty. “His course helps build tolerance and acceptance, and really provides practical information that our Members can use every day.” Dr. Karumanchery has also provided similar training to Local Union staff over the last several years as well. Through donations collected during the conference, Stewards raised $650 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada (LLSC).
ore than 700 Union Stewards attended this year’s six educational conferences. UFCW Locals 175 & 633 is proud to offer skills training to our Stewards. The role of a Steward often means handling grievances and concerns raised in the workplace. But, more than that, each of the Stewards at our Local Union is a leader in their workplace. They stand up for their co-workers, they solve problems, and they build solidarity every day.
Strong Stewards make a strong Union. “Union Stewards are the backbone of any Union and we’re particularly lucky to have such a dedicated group serving the membership,” said President Haggerty.
At this year’s conferences, a new course called Changing Workplace Laws: The Politics of Bill 148, was available and it was very popular. Through the course, Stewards examined the unprecedented changes to the Employment
Standards Act (ESA) that took effect in January 2018. The course addressed similar changes to the Ontario Labour Relations Act (OLRA) as well as the Occupational Health & Safety Act (OHSA). Stewards were asked to bring a copy of their own collective agreement to find out how these new laws affect their own workplace too. At some conferences, Stewards took advantage of free daycare services provided by Improv Care. Kids between the ages of two and 12 could take part. â€œWe wanted to ensure that where it was feasible, we could provide daycare so more Stewards could take part,â€? said Rob Armbruster, Director of Training & Education for the Local Union. At each conference, Stewards donated generously to the LLSC. Over the three weekends, Stewards raised more than $26,000. All of this money goes to support life-saving research and treatments for those with blood cancers.
For more photos visit ufcw175.com/tag/union-steward
Solidarity at the UFCW International Convention
nited. Family. Community. Worth.
Those are the four pillars around which UFCW International built the 8th Regular Convention in Las Vegas. From April 23 to 26, 2018, more than 1,200 delegates, plus about 1,000 alternate delegates and guests, took part in the democratic process of this Union. The entire Members’ Slate of candidates nominated for Officer and International Vice-President roles won by acclamation. This includes International President Marc Perrone, Secretary-Treasurer Esther Lopez, as well as Local 175 President Shawn Haggerty who continues in his role as an International VP representing Canada. It was a busy week that included inspiring guest speakers, reports on organizing, collective bargaining, and global labour issues, plus debate and voting on changes to the UFCW International constitution. Attendees also took advantage of a lively gathering space in Unity Hall where they could listen to music and check out informational booths from a variety of UFCW groups such as OUTreach, UFCW Canada, and more. Delegates had the opportunity to take part in workshops 22
focusing on various topics like the impact of technological change, and strategies for engaging a new generation of workers. A number of guest speakers from the Labour movement took to the stage over the week including Robert Martinez Jr., International President of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW), Fred Redmond, International VP United Steelworkers, D. Taylor, President of UNITE HERE, and Philip Jennings, General Secretary UNI Global In addition to addresses from Marc Perrone and Esther Lopez, UFCW International VPs presented on their various departments and the state of our Union. Day two of the convention was all about Canada. The audience heard from Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, UFCW Canada National Council President Paul Meneima, and astronaut Colonel Chris Hadfield. “What the UFCW does, the way it takes care of people all across Canada and the U.S.; The example that it sets; The way that it contributes to the quality of human life and the respect and dignity. It’s only the result of a dogged, pur-
For more photos visit ufcw
poseful lifetime of work,” said Col. Hadfield. The day also included a powerful speech from Reverend Dr. William J. Barber, who is a community leader and works on behalf of the revived Poor People’s Campaign in the U.S. Day three included a discussion between Secretary-Treasurer Esther Lopez and Billie Jean King, who is an activist and sports legend. King has been a long-time advocate for women’s equality in sports. She broke barriers when she pushed for equal prize money for women tennis players and continues her work to this day as a champion for equal rights. On the last day of convention, Captain “Sully” Sullenberger spoke to the crowd about his harrowing experience piloting a damaged commercial airliner to a safe landing on the Hudson River in 2009. He inspired the crowd with his spirit and focus in the face of possible disaster and left with the message that you can achieve great things if you focus all aspects of your life in the right direction. The next regular UFCW International Convention will take place in 2023.
The Impact of WSIB’s Unfunded Liability on Injured Workers could also have ramifications down the road. In addition, injured workers must access these services on their own. This adds to the paperwork and long delays they already face in the WSIB process. None of this actually puts the burden back on to the employer. In fact, the WSIB reduced employer premiums by 9.3% since 2016.
Wait-times for WSIB claims and appeals, and later for WSIAT appeals, can be extensive. It can take years following the date of your injury to resolve an appeal. So, many workers go without regular – or any – income while they wait to learn the fate of their WSIB claim. If your injury results in loss of earnings or out-of-pocket health care expenses, there are resources to help replace some of that money while you pursue a WSIB claim or appeal.
he WSIB claims to be working hard to eliminate its unfunded liability. But, over the last few years, injured workers and advocates have witnessed exactly what that means for those Ontarians who are dependent on benefits. Many injured workers’ experiences reveal that the WSIB is saving money by providing fewer benefits to injured workers.
Keep in mind: If you pursue your appeal at WSIB, most outside benefit providers will require you to sign an Assignment of Benefits. This means that if you win your WSIB appeal, any money you received previously through those providers will be repaid by WSIB before the money is dispersed to you. This repayment is done dollar for dollar.
The 2018 Sunshine List showed that WSIB top execs make nearly half a million a year: Chief Investment Officer John Denham takes home $460,641 and CEO Thomas Teahen gets $452,259. But, while the WSIB rebuilds its own financial security, and continues to pay its Executives large salaries, its tactics push thousands of people into poverty each year.
So, for example, if ODSP paid $1,000 and the WSIB decision pays $1,500, the WSIB will repay ODSP $1,000 out of the $1,500. In this example, the injured worker would receive $500 from WSIB.
In fact, a 2015 study found that 46% of injured workers with a permanent disability were at or near the poverty line. The poverty line for Ontario is just over $20,000 per year. Of those, 9% lived in deep poverty. Additionally, 38% were unable to return to employment since their workplace injury, yet the WSIB still cut their benefits1. Allowing any injured worker to live in poverty is beyond reprehensible.
Until we can fix WSIB, here’s where to start... 1. Some workers may have extended benefits like short-term disability (STD) or Weekly Indemnity (WI) through their employer/collective agreement. These benefits provide temporary income for injured or ill workers. Long-term disability (LTD) provides more permanent income replacement for an illness or recovery of a longer duration. 2. For workers without extended benefit coverage, Employment Insurance is the next step. EI is another temporary form of income replacement. You can receive up to a maximum of 15 weeks of EI Sickness Benefits. 3. For workers whose injury/illness prevents them from returning to any type of meaningful and consistent employment, the following three options are also available.
Additionally, when the WSIB cuts benefits, the costs of the workers’ injuries get shifted to our public systems. The WSIB is funded exclusively through employer-paid premiums and its own investments. But massive cuts to worker benefits force injured workers to seek assistance from public sources. Every year, thousands of injured workers have no choice but to access tax-payer funded services like Employment Insurance (EI), Ontario Works (OW), the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP), and Canada Pension Plan (CPP) Disability. This has an impact on other systems too. Insurance – private or group – now picks up the tab for health care measures which in turn can affect premium prices for all participants. Other costs might get shifted to OHIP which 1
Ballantyne, Peri et al. “Poverty status of worker compensation claimants with permanent impairments.” Critical Public Health, 2015; p15.
Day of Mourning
Ontario Works (OW) OW is the quickest and easiest way to subsidize your income. It provides indefinite coverage but ends at the age of 65. Eligible applicants can get payments fairly quickly. You must live in Ontario, be in financial need, and be willing to make reasonable efforts to find, prepare for, and keep a job. A case worker will review your situation and meet with you regularly regarding participation and finances. Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) Disabled Ontarians can access financial assistance, benefits, and employment help through ODSP. You must be at least 18 years old and an Ontario resident, be in financial need, and meet the programâ€™s definition of a person with a disability, or be a member of a Prescribed Class (already qualified at CPPD). Amounts paid depend on a number of factors such as whether you have children, a spouse, or dependents, where you live and how much you pay to live there; and more. You will meet with ODSP staff and must pursue other sources of income as well. Visit mcss.gov.on.ca/en/mcss/programs/social for full details, eligibility requirements, and applications for OW and ODSP. Canada Pension Plan Disability (CPPD) Benefit CPPD provides benefits to people who have made enough contributions to the CPP and who are disabled and cannot work at any job on a regular basis. The definition of disability is strict under CPPD: To qualify the disability must be both severe and prolonged. Severe means you have a mental or physical disability that regularly stops you from doing any type of substantially gainful work. Prolonged is a long-term disability of indefinite duration or is likely to result in death. You must also be under the age of 65 and meet the CPP contribution requirements. You must apply as soon as you develop a severe and prolonged or terminal medical condition that prevents you from working. Visit bit.ly/CPPDisability for full details on CPPD. In all cases, always report any financial changes, keep your receipts and pay stubs, and keep up your end of the agreement.
Debbie’s Story Debbie is a worker who wanted to make a difference in her workplace. Through her employment at a meat processing plant in the GTA, she got involved in health and safety and on Union committees. Debbie enjoyed her work and the relationships she built with her co-workers. She dedicated herself to improving working conditions and to be a voice for others. She enjoyed her work and had no plans to stop. At home, Debbie led an active life. She enjoyed spending time with her grandchildren and often went camping and fishing. Other hobbies for Debbie included crochet, baking, and bowling night with her husband. While Debbie worked in several different departments at her workplace, her job in the sanitation department began to take its toll on her health. A lack of proper lifting equipment led to a slip and fall on a wet icy floor which pulled Debbie’s tendon in her knee. Another fall, which led to multiple injuries, resulted from an uneven floor. “These incidents were all preventable,” said Debbie. “But the company wasn’t listening.” Despite her injuries, Debbie wanted to keep working and be productive. She tried to return to work on modified duties working in different areas but she couldn’t continue. She went through several surgeries to repair her knee and hand, and she had regular cortisone shots for her shoulder. She went to physical therapy often as well. All of this took place while Debbie waded through many WSIB appeals. All of this took a toll on Debbie’s emotions and finances. Her life had changed forever. She couldn’t enjoy the things that were important to her active lifestyle. She became just a spectator at her regular bowling night. This left Debbie quite depressed. “If it hadn’t been for the support of my husband, family, and friends, I would’ve been lost,” said Debbie. “My quality of life sucks since my surgeries.” But Debbie tries to concentrate on that strong support 26
system. She thanks her family for doing the simple things she took for granted, like cleaning the house or baking. She credits her good friend Sandy for being her driver and getting her to all her appointments and WSIB meetings. “If I didn’t have the Union’s support through the battle with WSIB, I wouldn’t have received the positive result on my claim after 10 long years,” Debbie added. “I’m so grateful to the Workers’ Compensation department at Local 175 for their dedication and hard work.” Debbie knows her golden years will be much different than what she’d always planned. She will be dealing with the effects of all her injuries for the rest of her life. “I’m grateful though that I can now put the battle for my benefits behind me,” she said. “I want to move forward the best I know how to.” Debbie’s advice to other workers is to keep telling your employers when hazards needs to be addressed. “What bothers me the most is that my employer didn’t listen and didn’t correct things. I don’t want anyone else to go through what I did. They could have prevented my injury and others.”
The Workers’ Compensation department supports Members who are injured/made ill on the job through their WSIB appeals. Contact them at email@example.com or at 1-800-267-1977.
hrough the Spring, Locals 175 & 633 Members took part in several fundraisers to support the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada (LLSC). On May 12, the 8th Annual Arts for Leukemia in Ottawa brought in $2,450. The night featured donated artwork and music from local artists plus a craft and bake table too. This successful event is organized in large part by Union Steward Franca Johnston and her supporters. The Local Unionâ€™s annual Golf for a Cure tournament took place on May 12 as well. This year, through sponsors, donations, and entry fees, the tournament scored $23,323. The annual city-wide Peterborough Cares event took place on the May long weekend. Our Local Union Members and staff raised money for the LLSC at Morelloâ€™s YIG through donations, a BBQ, Krispy Kreme sales, and a silent auction. This year, volunteers collected $6,175 in donations from the community. To learn more about the amazing work done by the LLSC, visit llscanada.org.
LABOUR DAY Monday, September 3 Celebrate Labour Day
CAN BBQ in Ottawa this year!
Look for posters in your workplace over the summer and check back often at
Register you and your family for the 2018 Community Action Network BBQ in Ottawa
www.ufcw175.com for a list of parades, BBQs, and other events taking place in communities across Ontario.
Westboro Beach, Ottawa Labour Day, September 3, 2018 10 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. Visit ufcw175.com/can2018 for updates.
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