Checkout Summer 2022

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It’s A Healthcare Issue Celebrating Nurses, PSWs and all healthcare workers for their dedication and hard work! •

Meet UFCW Local 175 Healthcare members Fawzia Mohamed (RPN) and Sheila Ryall (PSW). Pages 10 and 12

Healthcare ranks 2nd highest for lost time injuries among all employment sectors in Ontario. Page 20

Coverage of the Healthcare Conference as Stewards return for first in-person conference since 2019. Page 22


In May, we celebrated Nurses’ Week and PSW Day in recognition of our dedicated healthcare workers. Thank you to all workers in the healthcare sector – from kitchens and dining rooms, to activities and janitorial services, Nurses, PSWs, and more. Your care and compassion means the world to your clients and residents, and their families and loved ones. On pages 10 through 13, meet two UFCW Local 175 members in the healthcare field who persevere through good times and bad to make sure their residents get the care they need and deserve.

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President Shawn Haggerty

President Marylou Mallett

Secretary-Treasurer Kelly Tosato

Secretary-Treasurer Brian Kozlowski

Recorder Karen Vaughan

Recorder Julie Hinsperger

Executive Assistants Chris Fuller Angela Mattioli Jim McLean

HOPE SECTOR Director, Long-Term Care & Retirement: Sandra Ashcroft; Union Representatives: Ayesha Jabbar, Derek Jokhu, Dean McLaren, Steve Springall

6 Staff Changes

Retirement notices & a welcome to new staff

8 Welcome New Members

Metro Val Est, Perimeter Aviation, Vishay Precision

9 Arbitration Update September 20th now a paid holiday for members at Rexall/Pharma Plus

Director, Community Care: Sandra Rogerson; Union Representatives: Nabeela Irfan, Casey Magee, Meemee Seto; Servicing Representative: Hodan Wais REGION 1 Director: Tracy Stubbs; Union Representative: Alex Stubbs REGION 2 Director: Lee Johnson-Koehn; Union Representatives: Rick Daudlin, Sacha Edey, Christina Mayberry, Tony Nigro, Sabrina Qadir REGION 3 Director: Paul Hardwick; Union Representatives: Sean Carroll, Shannon Epp, Kimberly Hunter, Joe Tenn; Servicing Representative: Sandra Proulx REGION 4 Director: John DiNardo; Union Representative: Tim Kelly; Servicing Representatives: Fatima Butt, Nunzio Cannistraci, Virginia Haggith, Jennifer Hanley, Amanda Nagy, Maxine Prince, Chris Watson REGION 5 Director: Jehan Ahamed; Union Representatives: Joce Cote, Mario Tardelli; Servicing Representatives: Rolando Cabral, Kelly Dick

10 Our Members at Work

Meet Fawzia (RPN) and Sheila (PSW)

14 Negotiation Updates

Workers’ Compensation



Canna Cabana, Horizon Plastics, OATC, & more.

20 Injury Risks in the Healthcare Sector

REGION 6 Director: Sam Caetano; Union Representatives: Dave Forbes, Jason Hanley, Mike Mattioli, Melody Slattery, Navidad Talbot, Fred Teeple REGION 7 Director: Jehan Ahamed; Union Representatives: Chris Bernardi, Todd Janes; Servicing Representatives: Arlene Robertson, Michael Windley REGION 8 Director: Derik McArthur; Union Representatives: Jeff Barry, John Beaton, Richard Eberhardt, Jim Hames HEALTH & SAFETY, WORKERS’ COMPENSATION, and PAY EQUITY: Workers’ Compensation Coordinator: Sarah Neath; Workers’ Compensation Intake Representative: Georgina MacDonald; Workers’ Compensation Representatives: Joanne Ford, Nelson Pereira, Courtney Salomons; Pay Equity Representatives: Orsola Augurusa, Matt Davenport; Health & Safety Representative: Mary Shaw LEGAL Director: Jane Mulkewich; Counsel: Shauna Fabrizi-Jomaa, Mary Hurley, Matthew Jagodits, Silvia Neagu, Kendall Yamagishi ORGANIZING Director: Rick Wauhkonen; Organizing Representatives: Ricardo Bocanegra, Tim Hum, Jeffery Lu, Lionel MacEachern, Amy Tran TRAINING & EDUCATION Coordinator: Kelly Nicholas; Servicing Representative: Teresa Wilson; COMMUNICATIONS Coordinator: Jennifer Tunney; Communications Representatives: Laurie Duncan, Ashleigh Vink PROJECT COORDINATOR Wei Chen

21 Health & Safety The limited Right to Refuse Unsafe Work in the Healthcare Sector

Healthcare Conference

Healthcare Stewards took part in a two-day conference in early May

Golf Tournament

1st tournament since 2019 raises funds for LLSC

UFCW LOCALS 175 & 633 MAILING ADDRESS & HEAD OFFICE 2200 Argentia Road, Mississauga ON L5N 2K7 Tel: 905-821-8329 Toll Free: 1-800-565-8329 Fax: 905-821-7144 Email: CAMBRIDGE | LEAMINGTON | OTTAWA | SUDBURY | THUNDER BAY

ISSN No. 1703-3926 CHECKOUT is an official publication of Locals 175 & 633 of the United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW)


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Watch a brief message from President Haggerty on


Healthcare struggles under a re-elected Ford government In May, Stewards attended our first Healthcare Conference since the pandemic began. Meeting and hearing from these members, reassured me that our loved ones in the healthcare system continue to be well cared for. But our healthcare workers have been, and continue to be, at the very front of the front line; fighting this pandemic and dealing firsthand with the consequences of an underfunded, understaffed, and under-prepared system. So, in this issue of Checkout, we’re focusing on our members in healthcare; including more on the Healthcare Conference on page 22; workers compensation, and health and safety issues on page 20, and; profiles of two of our dedicated healthcare members on pages 10-13 as well. The Local Union’s Hospital, Office and Professional Employees (HOPE) regions serve members in healthcare; from long-term care (LTC) and retirement homes, to community and group care facilities and addiction treatment. Since the creation of these HOPE regions, the Local Union has made precedent setting gains Page 4

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through the Hospital Labour Disputes Arbitration Act (HLDAA) and also in regular bargaining. In April, the Ontario Science Table published critical recommendations for LTC, the first of which was to “Enhance the entry and retention of LTC home staff through the creation of more full-time positions, adequate staffing levels, and improvement of working conditions.”1 During his election campaign, Ford promised an additional $10 billion to build hospitals and add 3,000 beds. But what about the workers? To meet the needs of the promised increase in longterm care beds and higher care levels over the next few years, Ontario needs upwards of 59,000 healthcare workers including RNs, RPNs, and PSWs.2 How can Ontario attract and retain skilled healthcare workers when the government ignores the needs of the workers? When existing workers are exhausted by working short because of chronic underfunding? When many of them have their wage increases capped under legislation that

interferes with their collective bargaining rights? Ford’s re-election means that the struggle to gain and retain basic rights for workers continues. We won’t see Bill 124, or the more recent Bill 106, repealed. Both Bills override bargaining rights, and Bill 106 gives the government broader powers to determine public sector compensation including who gets regulated by how much and for how long. Your Union continues to fight anti-worker legislation and raise the minimum standards for workers at every opportunity. Because no matter the industry or sector, the skilled members of UFCW Locals 175 & 633 have a hand in producing vital goods and services across the province. The real-world everyday value of those goods and services for our communities is undeniable. Please enjoy a happy and safe summer. In Solidarity, Shawn Haggerty

1 Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table. (2022, April 28). Science Briefs: The COVID-19 Pandemic’s Impact on Long-Term Care Homes: Five Lessons Learned. COVID-19 Science Table. Retrieved June 3, 2022, from 2SEIU Healthcare. (2021, December 7). Ford government plans will result in devastating healthcare worker shortage. SEIU Healthcare Union. Retrieved June 3, 2022, from


Watch a brief message from Secretary-Treasurer Tosato on


June marks both Indigenous History and Pride month in Canada The labour movement, and many other forms of activism, have often included barriers to inclusivity and equality, and sometimes outright exclusion. Your Union works alongside many labour and community organizations to ensure that the Union and the labour movement create safe inclusive spaces within the movement, inside our workplaces, and in the community at large. June is National Indigenous History Month, and earlier this year, the Union received a great arbitration decision regarding Rexall/ Pharma Plus and the company’s refusal to acknowledge September 30, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, as a statutory holiday.

Pharma Plus, it also marks an important win for the advancement of Reconciliation in this country. Read more about the arbitration decision on page 9. June is also Pride month, and as we celebrate our healthcare workers in this issue of Checkout, it’s important to recognize that working in healthcare often results in having personal connections with residents. When it comes to caring for residents and clients with memory or cognitive impairment, ensuring their identities are respected is an important step to having a truly safe and inclusive space for everyone.

In May, groups across Canada held vigils, walks, and ceremonies to commemorate the sombre anniversary of the discovery of unmarked graves at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School. The number of unmarked graves now sits at more than 10,000 nation-wide, with more to follow no doubt.

To address this, the Union offered a pre-conference course to healthcare stewards in 2019. The workshop, facilitated by EGALE Canada, included information on language use, identities, and real-life scenarios healthcare workers may encounter. While this course focused on resident care, empowering our members with this type of knowledge helps build compassion and respect for workers as well.

While this arbitration victory is certainly an important one for the 3,200 members at Rexall/

In May, Executive Board VicePresident Shirley Hepditch and Executive Assistants to the Pres-

ident Angela Mattioli and Sylvia Groom, attended an in-person UFCW OUTreach event in Washington, D.C. Attendees took part in a Pride flag raising ceremony at the UFCW International office, and with Sylvia’s retirement (see page 6), Angela took the oath of office to become part of the OUTreach Executive Board. I know Angela, myself, and the Local Union staff and members are excited to get back to celebrating Pride in person this year as event organizers across the province and beyond get back to parades, marches, picnics, and more. We hope to see you there! Through negotiating progressive collective agreements, advocating at different levels of government, working with activist groups, and through training provided to members and staff, your Union strives to contribute to the progress of achieving equality for all people. Take care, and stay well. In Solidarity, Kelly Tosato Page 5

STAFF RETIREMENTS Union and Labour advocacy usually starts in the home, and that is especially true for Rob Armbruster. Rob grew up in a home which was often a centre of Union activity. His father was a proud, active member of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW). Rob Armbruster From making strike signs in their basement to having strike headquarters in the family trailer, Rob was introduced to the Labour movement at a young age. In 1974, Rob became a part-time meat clerk at Zehrs in Kitchener where he learned meat cutting skills while attending high school and university. Following school, Rob accepted a full-time meat cutter position and became assistant meat manager at a store in Ancaster. There, Rob helped bring in UFCW Local 1977, which was already established in some locations, to represent the employees at the store. He was elected Steward, joined the Health & Safety Committee, became a member of the Executive Board, and participated on the Union negotiating committee. In 1993, Local 1977 hired Rob as a Union Representative. He led successful organizing campaigns at workplaces such as Dutch Boy supermarkets, Double Z Garments, Cobblestone Gardens, and Office Depot, many of which remain in the Union’s membership today. Rob’s responsibilities included servicing members, Local Union communications, Collective Bargaining, OLRB hearings, EI appeals, arbitrations and staff development. During this busy time, Rob married his lovely wife Robyn, and by 1998 they had two boys, Liam and Evan, of whom they are extremely proud. By 2004, Rob had become Executive Assistant to the President and Training Centre Administrator at Local 1977. In 2011, Local 1977 merged with Local 175 and Rob joined the executive. “I am fortunate to have learned from some of the most passionate and talented labour activists from many Locals across North America,” said Rob. “I will continue to foster the next generation of activists even in retirement.”

“Rob is always there to help when needed. We know we can count on him,” said President Haggerty. “We have been very fortunate to work alongside Rob since the merger and wish him the best of luck in his retirement.” Rob looks forward to retirement, spending more time with his family and pursuing his interests in gardening, travel and fishing. Congratulations Rob. Enjoy a lengthy and happy retirement.

In 1973, Sylvia Groom took a job at a small deli in Dundas, Ontario, and shortly after, she started a job as a part-time cashier at the new A&P store in town. Little did she know, that job would be the start of her career as a labour advocate. Sylvia Groom

By 1987, Sylvia worked fulltime at the store and became involved in the UFCW National Layoff & Closure program in the early/mid90s. Locals 175 & 633 hired Sylvia as a Special Projects Union Representative (SPUR) in 1995, and she became a permanent part of the Union staff in 1997. She worked as an Organizer until moving to the South Central Region as a Union Representative, servicing members in mostly retail units, such as A&P. In that role, Sylvia took on many challenges including collective bargaining, supporting members on the picket line, handling grievances and arbitration, and day-today dealings with difficult cases and management. In late 2007, Sylvia became Director of Region 4. “I loved working with and training new advocates and seeing them grow, develop, and move upward,” said Sylvia. She became an Executive Assistant to the President in 2014, and remained in that role until her retirement. Sylvia will not forget the outstanding achievements of the Union and the labour movement over the last 25 years. “I am grateful for the opportunities I’ve had and I am proud to have accomplished so much,” she said. “The Union members and staff have been

supportive and helpful over my career and I know it’s not a feeling that will be easy to replicate.” “The greatest accomplishment is when the members are happy with the work we do and that our work makes a difference in their lives. I’ve always strived to achieve the best possible outcome by putting the best interests of working people first. I will miss being a voice for workers.” In retirement, Sylvia looks forward to spending more time with her grandchildren, travelling, and taking some self-interest courses. She says she will miss the

co-workers and friends in Canada and the U.S. she has made along the way, and will never forget being a part of the labour movement and the UFCW International OUTreach Committee. “Sylvia has been an incredible voice for our members,” said President Haggerty. “Her devotion to working people and her efforts to build equality through her role on the OUTreach Committee have brought about real change. Her dedication will be missed.” Congratulations on your retirement, Sylvia.

WELCOME NEW STAFF For Maxine Prince, Labour advocacy is a passion. Maxine has a long history of working with the Union as both a plan Administrator in the Health & Welfare Department with PBAS, and as a long-serving Union Steward. And on May 5, 2022, Maxine joined Locals 175 & 633 as a Servicing Rep- Maxine Prince resentative in Region 4.

Since she was young, Fatima Butt was surrounded by solidarity and strength. She developed a passion for advocacy through watching her father’s involvement with his union at his workplace. “Our father always made sure we knew that we had a voice, and to speak up for ourselves and our rights in Fatima Butt the workplace,” she said.

“Having UFCW Locals 175 & 633 on my side has been empowering and essential during my 20 plus years as Steward,” said Maxine. “I was inspired to become an advocate on a larger scale. My new role will provide me with the opportunities to continue assisting members in a different capacity.”

Fatima pursued a bachelors degree in Human Resource Management and subsequently gained experience as a project management professional and community outreach coordinator. “I’ve had the opportunity to work with the South-Asian community and those in an underprivileged situation,” explained Fatima. “I was able to provide support to those who did not have the guidance to propel themselves forward. It is gratifying to hear the concerns of others and truly be able to aid them to better their own lives.”

Maxine says she looks forward to meeting new people, hearing their stories, and helping them through the challenges they face in their workplaces and being a voice for those who may not feel comfortable speaking up for themselves. “My goals with the members I represent are to give a voice to those workers and ensure their collective agreements are being enforced. I believe sharing the value of unionization to all workers is also a vital part of my new role,” said Maxine.

Fatima is excited to start a new chapter in her career as a Servicing Representative in Region 4, and looks forward to helping members. “I have the passion and commitment to make a positive impact in the labour movement,” said Fatima. “I’ve enjoyed connecting with the members and I want nothing more than to provide people with a voice to be heard.”

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Airline Customer Service Agents vote Union Yes!

Employees at Metro Val Est join the Union

In April, customer service agents working for Perimeter Aviation (operating as Bearskin Airlines) at the North Bay airport joined the ranks of UFCW Local 175.

On April 5 and 6, 2022, the 91 workers at Metro Val Est in Val Caron voted electronically to join thousands of other Metro workers at stores across the province as members of Locals 175 & 633.

The Union already represents Bearskin Airlines workers at other locations as well. Through card-check certification, these six new Bearskin employees will enjoy the same representation.

The Metro Val Est store went corporate a couple of years ago and the employees were looking to secure regular wage increases, a pension plan, and benefits for all employees.

The new members were mainly interested in workplace improvements such as competitive wages and job security, and wanted their concerns taken more seriously by management.

The store currently employs approximately 18 fulltime and 73 part-time employees working as clerks, hot meal replacement and deli staff, bakery clerks, meat cutters and wrappers, and scanning co-ordinators.

“These workers made it known that they wanted to be a part of Local 175 and our organizing team did a great job in supporting them through this campaign,” said president Shawn Haggerty. These new members eagerly await negotiations in hopes of achieving some of the gains already enjoyed by their unionized counterparts at Bearskin. Page 8

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The members took part in their first proposal meeting on May 1, 2022, and are eager to begin bargaining for their first collective agreement. “We welcome these new members to our Union and look forward to working with them through the collective bargaining process to achieve gains that other Metro workers currently enjoy,” said Local 175 President Shawn Haggerty.

UPDATE National Day for Truth and Reconciliation now a paid holiday for Rexall/Pharma Plus members In 2021, the Union filed a grievance against Rexall/ Pharma Plus for a breach of collective agreement language when the company chose not to recognize the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation as a paid holiday for Members. Unable to resolve the issue through the grievance procedure, the parties met at an arbitration hearing on February 18, 2022. On March 31, 2022, Arbitrator Randazzo issued a decision: that the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation should be treated as a paid holiday in keeping with existing language in Articles 7.01 and 6.01 in Appendix A of the collective agreement.

Vishay Precision Group workers organize for wage transparency and equity On April 27 and 28, workers at the Vishay Precision Group (KELK) voted in favour of joining the Union. With one location in Toronto, the skilled employees at Vishay Precision Group design and manufacture electronic measuring and control equipment which can endure harsh conditions. The products these workers make are used across many industries. Our newest members at Vishay Precision Group are employed as quality assurance inspectors, electronic technicians and Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machinists, among other positions. Employees voted Union YES! to ensure they could enjoy better working conditions, fair, transparent and equitable wages, and health and safety improvements, as well as a harassment and favouritism-free workplace. The new bargaining unit is comprised of approximately 40 fulltime employees. “We applaud these workers for their courage and resolve in standing up for themselves and their best interests, and voting in favour of joining Canada’s largest Local Union,” said President Shawn Haggerty.

The decision covers UFCW Locals 175 & 633 members who were actively employed by Rexall/Pharma Plus on September 30, 2021. Approximately 3,200 members will benefit from this win, as will many more going forward. For the calendar year 2022 and thereafter, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation will be added as a paid public holiday in the collective agreement for Rexall/Pharma Plus employees. Members employed on September 30, 2021, will receive float time in lieu of retroactive payment. Fulltime employees receive one float day, valued at 12 hours of straight time at the employee’s regular hourly rate. Part-time employees receive a float day valued at four hours of straight time at the employee’s regular rate. These float days must be: •

Taken within one year of the decision date (March 31, 2022);

Requested at least three weeks in advance;

Taken at one time (employees may not break up the hours), and;

Cannot be unreasonably denied by the employer.

Members with questions or concerns should contact their Union Representative. Page 9

OUR MEMBERS AT WORK Fawzia Mohamed puts in full days as a Registered Practical Nurse (RPN) and Chief Steward at the Waterford Retirement Residence in Ottawa. The healthcare workers at Waterford Retirement first joined the Union in February 2019, and Fawzia was a big part of that. “The Waterford is my first experience working in a retirement home but I was surprised that it wasn’t unionized,” she said. “I wanted to ensure we had a workplace where staff were treated well and equally. I did my research for a couple of months and decided to reach out to UFCW.” Following their successful vote to join UFCW Local 175, Fawzia’s co-workers nominated her to be a part of the negotiation committee. The members at the Waterford Retirement Residence ratified their first collective agreement in December 2019. In 2021, Fawzia received an incentive prize from the Union for giving a lead to the Organizing Team which led to the employees at the Waterford Grand Retirement Community in Barrhaven joining the Union as well. After 15 years in the healthcare field, Fawzia knows the benefits of having a good collective agreement and enjoys her role as a Steward. “Our entire collective agreement is important,” said Fawzia. “I love advocating for my co-workers, informing them of their rights, and fighting for those rights when needed.”

“Our collective agreement was the first step in the right direction for the members. I am proud of the grievances we’ve filed that have ended up benefiting our members and improving working conditions, like creating lines for the nursing department. And we continue to advocate to get good fulltime positions for more members, too.”

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Providing care to her grandmother when she was young led Fawzia to become passionate about helping others and she believed then that one day she would become a nurse. Fawzia has been at the retirement home now for about four years. She works 40 hours a week in the Memory Care unit, where she provides compassionate care to residents who have Alzheimer’s and Dementia. As an RPN, Fawzia’s responsibilities include managing the memory care units, and supervising and delegating tasks to the Personal Support Workers (PSWs) and Health Care Aides (HCAs) on shift. Fawzia assesses and plans for resident care needs, provides skilled procedures, administers medications, completes new resident admissions, maintains documentation, and collaborates with doctors, physical therapists, pharmacists, and life enrichment staff to provide truly holistic care to her residents. With an early start of 7 a.m., Fawzia makes sure to arrive at the home 10-15 minutes early so she can review the report from the night before. After ensuring that staff are assigned to their units, Fawzia’s morning continues with preparing medication and checking charts for any new orders. She passes medications on both memory care units and assists the staff by providing support wherever it’s needed throughout the day. She makes sure residents have received their meals and jumps in to pour juice, coffee, tea, and whatever else she can do to help her co-workers. “I spend time encouraging residents to eat or drink, and ensuring their care needs are met,” explained Fawzia. “Over the course of my workday, I deal with family and follow up assessments as required, administer anywhere from 1400 – 1500 medications, delegate tasks as needed, attend to administrative documents whenever I can, and give an end of shift report. I never leave on time.” While Fawzia has found working during the pandemic particularly frustrating in terms of workload, working short, and experiencing high rates of burnout, the team spirit among her co-workers and seeing residents smile brings her joy.

Fawzia Mohamed Registered Practical Nurse Waterford Retirement

Given such a high stress job that often keeps her at work after her shift has ended, Fawzia says what keeps her going is “knowing that I am making a difference in my residents’ lives every day. I get satisfaction from providing individualized care and compassionate service to my residents and their families.”

Fawzia, thank you for your incredible care and commitment to the residents at Waterford, and for your leadership in the workplace. You are an important part of your Union and community. Page 11

Sheila Ryall

Personal Support Worker Sara Vista Nursing Centre Every day that Sheila Ryall reports to work, she has to do a nasal swab and wait for COVID-19 test results before starting her shift as a Personal Support Worker (PSW) at Sara Vista Nursing Home in Elmvale. Page 12

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With 30 years of care and hard work at Sara Vista, and 41 years total working in healthcare, Sheila is a well-loved, long-time employee and Union member. Sheila describes herself as a people person who went into healthcare because she loves to help others. As a full-time employee, Sheila works days from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. which amounts to 75 hours every two

OUR MEMBERS AT WORK weeks. On her weekends to work, Sheila usually ends up with a 14-hour day due to staffing shortages over the last several years as a result of COVID-19. PSWs carry out a wide variety of tasks in long-term care homes like Sara Vista. Sheila is responsible for receiving the evening and night shift reports at the start of her workday and signing off on a safety check for all the mechanical lifts in the home as well as checking water temperatures in the tub rooms and resident rooms. Only after that administrative work is out of the way can Sheila get to resident care. Sheila is responsible for all Activities of Daily Living (ADL) including supporting her residents’ mental well-being. ADL includes washing, bathing, dressing, feeding, and toileting residents, as well as serving meals and drinks. In addition, Sheila exchanges laundry and linen carts, restocks care supplies as needed, cleans wheelchairs, and maintains and tidies resident rooms. With the assistance of another PSW, Sheila is responsible for waking 13 residents and getting them up and ready for breakfast. They porter those residents to the dining room at 8:30 a.m., to serve them food prepared in the kitchen by dietary aides, and assist residents with eating as well. Sheila assists residents with using the toilet several times a day, serves snacks at 10 a.m. and lunch at noon, and helps residents get back into bed for an afternoon nap. That downtime is used for completing charts and restocking all the carts before her shift wraps up at 2 p.m. Sheila’s desire to help and protect others also led her to become a Health & Safety Rep for her co-workers. “Nobody else wanted the job,” she explained, “but I discovered that I loved it and then I just naturally progressed to wanting to be a Union Steward as well. I enjoy supporting the members through issues, and making sure all opinions are respected.” Over her years at Sara Vista, Sheila has been part of many rounds of bargaining. She believes that the entire collective agreement benefits all of the members depending on what point they’re at in their career.

She’s particularly proud of achieving three float days for the members as well as making positive changes to the years of service required to reach certain vacation entitlements. There are good days and bad days working as a PSW in a long-term care facility. Dealing with the families and loved ones of residents can sometimes be a challenge.

But for Sheila, the best part about her job is seeing the residents smile, and knowing that she’s made their day. Through the pandemic, donning and doffing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including gloves, gowns, masks and shields for every resident’s room has been exhausting. But Sheila says that she and her co-workers have also come away with a better sense of how important it is to communicate with each other. “We have to have a routine,” said Sheila. “We work together and communicate, communicate, communicate. There is no emergency in a pandemic; PPE comes first and only then do we react.” To cope with stress, particularly over the last several years, Sheila uses her time outside of work to change her outlook by taking walks in the fresh air, and bird watching. “My residents deserve the best care. These people could be my parents,” said Sheila. She also hopes to instill good practices in younger staff. “I want to make sure I’m equipping newer workers with all the tools in the toolbox they’ll need to do the job well. Plus, I’m not getting younger and will need care someday too.” Something we all need to consider as we age.

Thank you, Sheila, for being a valued member of your Union. Your compassionate care for your residents and excellent stewardship of the members at Sara Vista is admirable. Page 13

NEGOTIATION UPDATES Horizon Plastics members avert strike: ratify increased wages and significant language improvements At votes held on April 5 and 6, 2022, the members at Horizon Plastics in Cobourg averted strike action and ratified a new four-year agreement. Among a number of improvements, wages will increase as follows: •

Operators – An initial increase of $1.50 per hour retroactive for hours worked since Nov 2, 2021, plus subsequent increases of 3% in each years two, three, and four. A new grid for Operators increases the start rate and has a faster progression to top rate for new employees. All other Classifications – An initial increase of $1.55 per hour paid retroactive to Nov 2, 2021, and 45 cents per hour effective date of ratification, plus subsequent increases of 3% in each years two, three, and four. Maintenance – An initial increase of $3 per hour retroactive to Nov 2, 2021 and subsequent increases of 3% in each years two, three, and four.

Members benefit from an improved shift premium, which increases by 20 cents per hour, and employer contributions to the RRSP increase by 0.75% to now be “up to 4.75%”. Benefit improvements will see the $20 maximum on Chiropractor visits removed, and the prescription cap increased to $10,000 up from $7,500. Physiotherapy and Massage coverage increase to $700 per calendar

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year, and dental increases to $2,000 per year per covered person up from $1,500. Other monetary improvements include an increase to the boot allowance to $250 per year, up from $190, and a new high vision clothing allowance of $100 per year. Those employees on the continental schedule now receive an additional 10 minutes of paid break time per shift. The collective agreement now includes step-parents under the paid bereavement provisions as well as the ability to save a day for delayed ceremony. There is also increased paid bereavement time for the continental schedule. The agreement contains a new Sunset clause and improved recall language, and the employer will contribute $1,500 per year, up from $1,200, toward the UFCW Local 175 Training & Education Fund. The grandfathering clause for the sixth week of vacation will be removed from the collective agreement. Now, all members with the required years of service will be entitled to six weeks of vacation. That means, over the term of the new agreement, approximately 53 members will receive a sixth week of vacation going forward, and many more in the years to follow. Union Negotiating Committee: Tom Bell, Jamie Hickman, Don Kent and Dan Petruk. Union Representative: Sean Carroll; and Regional Director: Paul Hardwick.

Members at Cargill London ratify new deal, avoid imminent strike The more than 800 members at Cargill in London secured a new four-year agreement at a vote held on March 30, 2022. Members ratified the contract on the eve of their strike deadline. Increases for all active employees will include a $500 lump sum payment and $1.50 per hour as of the date of ratification, paid retroactive for all hours worked since June 4, 2021. Maintenance will see an increase of $2 per hour as of ratification, plus 50 cents per hour in year two, 50 cents per hour in year three, and another 50 cents per hour in year four.

Other improvements include language for timelines on receiving discipline and temporary job postings. All employees will now be eligible for the boot allowance of $160 per year, and bereavement leave improves from four to five days.

Lead hand and machine operator premiums will go up by 50 cents per hour. The material handler premium also increases by 50 cents per hour, and the maintenance afternoon premium goes up by $1 per hour.

Union Negotiating Committee: Faraj Atta, Micheal Briand, Aaron Broughton, Al Couture, Les Fletcher, Kevin Grant, Bill Pinnell and Mike Piper. Union Representative: Fred Teeple.

Ontario Addiction Treatment Centres (OATC) members across the province ratify Nearly 200 members working at OATC clinics in Ontario achieved a new three-year agreement on March 31, 2022. Wages will increase across the board, including for red-circled members, by 3% in year one, 2% in year two, and another 2% in year three. A one-time wage adjustment will increase the rates for support staff, including red-circled members, by 35 cents per hour effective the date of expiration of the previous agreement. Members will benefit from a new weekend premium of 50 cents per hour as well. Health and Welfare improvements will see full-time members provided with a health spending account of up to $1,500 per calendar year, up from $750, and part-time with up to $1,000 per calendar year, up from $500.

The employer will match RRSP contributions at 1% after one year of service. New language will provide for a 0.5% increase to reach a contribution rate of 1.5% after three years, and a 1% increase to reach a rate of 2% after five years. Part-time workers who are moving to full-time will be credited with 100% of their service instead of the previous 50% credit. There will be two additional bereavement days added to the agreement, and members are eligible for $350, up from $150, per year for professional development. Gender neutrality will be reflected throughout the agreement. Union Negotiating Committee: Holly Bell, Jen Pomber, Leanne Purdy-Hawley and Debbie Tauvette. HOPE Community Sector Director Sandra Rogerson and Union Representative Nabeela Irfan.

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NEGOTIATION UPDATES Compass Group members at Kingston General Hospital secure sought after job classification

Members at Farquhar Dairy achieve better vacation entitlement and more in new agreement

Members at Compass Group Canada (Morrison) Ltd. at the Kingston General Hospital ratified a three-year agreement on April 12, 2022.

On May 3, 2022, the 15 full-time members at Farquhar Dairy in Espanola ratified a new three-year collective agreement.

In the first year, the 12-month rates will increase by 40 cents per hour, retroactive from October 3, 2021. There will be a special wage increase at the date of ratification of 20 cents per hour to the general help 12-month rate, and 15 cents per hour to the baker 12-month rate. The general help 12-month hourly rate will increase by another 15 cents in year two, and 20 cents in year three. The baker 12-month hourly rate increases by 25 cents in year two, and another 25 cents in year three.

The Union Negotiating Committee successfully achieved more vacation time with shorter intervals between the years of service required to reach certain levels of entitlement. In addition, a new sixth week of paid vacation has been added for those members with 28 years of service.

A new cook job classification, something the members have fought to achieve in the past, will now be part of the collective agreement and posted within seven days of ratification. The new cook classification 12-month hourly rate will improve by 25 cents per hour in year two, and another 25 cents per hour in year three. Employees with six years of service or more receive a one-time lump sum of $100 following ratification. A new letter of understanding provides full and parttime employees with seven or more years of service with one floater day in 2023 and one in 2024.

Members will benefit from significant wage improvements of 3% in year one, 3.5% in year two, and 4% in year three. The RRSP-matching plan will see the employer’s contributions increase to 4.5% per year. Further monetary improvements means that the uniform allowance now provides $500 per year, and the work boot allowance will increase to $250 per year, up from $165. Vision care coverage improves to $300, up from $200, and eye exams will now be covered up to $150 instead of $100. The new collective agreement for the members at Farquhar Dairy also includes the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation as a paid statutory holiday.

When the death of a family member occurs while an employee is on shift and the employee is notified while at work, that employee can, at their choosing, use a portion of their entitlement to cover the loss of earnings for the remainder of their shift. The agreement also includes improved representation language when discipline is involved. Union Negotiating Committee: Dan Spensley and Tina Turcotte. Region 3 Director: Paul Hardwick, Union Representatives: Sean Carroll and Sandra Proulx. Page 16

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Union Negotiating Committee: Andrew Main and Robert McCutcheon (pictured above). Union Representatives: Jeff Barry and Richard Eberhardt.

Direct Coil members ratify deal with significant wage increases and more On May 17, 2022, the bargaining unit at Direct Coil secured a three-year collective agreement with significant wage increases and other improvements.

ployees with 10 years of service or more receive an annual RRSP Bonus Contribution payment from the employer of $1,000.

Through conciliation, the Committee achieved a three-year agreement term instead of four, and a cap on how often the employer can assign mandatory overtime on weekends to bargaining unit members. The language now states that employees can only be assigned mandatory overtime up to 12 times per year, at a maximum of twice per month, and those assignments cannot be on consecutive weekends.

Members will also benefit from an improved per-kilometre payment of 50 cents per km, up from 40 cents, when they use their personal vehicle for company purposes.

A new Attendance Bonus program will pay employees an additional $1 per hour, and $1.50 per hour for overtime, if they meet the attendance threshold requirements. The program will be broken down into three-month periods during the calendar year and the requirements reset at the end of each period.

Further improvements will see overtime paid after 32 hours per week in a week containing a statutory holiday, and a job posting procedure with more reliance on seniority. Union Negotiating Committee: Matt Alkenbrack, Grant Connell, and Trevor MacGregor. Union Representative: Joe Tenn.

Wage increases for employees on the grid range from $1 per hour to $4.55 per hour in the first year, depending on classification. Years two and three of the agreement term bring across-the-board increases of 3% in each year. Employees above the wage grid will see increases of 3% in each year. Employer-matching contributions to the group RRSP improve to a rate of 65 cents per hour, up from 50 cents. The maximum contribution also improves to $1,250 per year, up from $1,000. In addition, em-

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NEGOTIATION UPDATES Canna Cabana ratifies significant wage and language improvements Members at Canna Cabana in Hamilton ratified a new three-year agreement on April 27, 2022, with significant improvements to the wage scale.

New Health and Safety language addresses the employer’s duty to provide additional PPE and supplies as requested by the members.

Increases, which are retroactive to April 13, 2022, include $1 per hour for Probationary Employees, and 50 cents per hour for members classified at less than one year of service, having more than one year of service, and having more than two years of service.

Language improvements allow for one member from each of the three locations covered by this agreement to take part in future negotiating committees. The grace period for shift commencement improves to four minutes, up from three.

Members will see increases after three, four and five years of service, which will amount to as much as $1.25 per hour for long-standing members. In each year of the agreement, members will receive increases of 50 cents per hour. The employer will pay a onetime signing bonus of $500 for full-time and $300 for part-time workers, including on-call delivery drivers. Members also benefit from a reduction of hours required to receive overtime pay; from 42 hours to 40.

The agreement includes the addition of replacement rest period language should a rest period be interrupted, and a Letter of Agreement to allow members to contribute to the UFCW Charity Fund. Plus, Remembrance Day and the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation have been added as paid statutory holidays.

The Union Negotiation Committee achieved significant improvements to the number of paid sick days members receive based on their years of service. Vision care language improves to provide an additional $50 cover per entitlement period.

New shift cancellation language means that members receive three hours pay if their shift is cancelled with less than 24 hours notice. Union Negotiating Committee: Cody Caruso and Jesse Peria. Union Representative: Chris Bernardi.

Members at ValuMart in Cochrane ratify a new deal Members at Dionne’s ValuMart in Cochrane ratified a new agreement on April 26, 2022, with increases and language improvements. Full-time workers as of the date of ratification receive an increase of 30 cents per hour, retroactive for hours worked since August 24, 2021, and a signing bonus of $400. Subsequent increases to the hourly rate include 30 cents in August 2022, 30 cents in August 2023, 35 cents in August 2024 and again in August 2025, and 40 cents as of August 2026. Part-time workers as of ratification receive a lump sum signing bonus of $100, plus an end rate increase of 25 cents per hour, which is retroactive for hours worked since August 24, 2021. Part-time also benefit Page 18

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from a Minimum Wage plus end rate in their grid. Employees will switch to an employer-sponsored RRSP matching program. Language regarding either the federal or provincial government declaring a new statutory holiday has been maintained and it will be acknowledged. Members benefit from an improved Boot Allowance of $80, up from $60 previous, and bereavement language will provide the ability to carry one bereavement day for a Celebration of Life at a later date. The collective agreement at Dionne’s ValuMart covers approximately 51 full and part-time employees. Union Negotiating Committee: Colleen DeLaurier and Joy Searles. Union Representative: John Beaton.

Briton House Retirement members ratify wage increases and more

ADM Milling members in Mississauga achieve new deal

Members working at the Briton House Retirement Residence in Toronto ratified a two-year deal on March 23, 2022.

On April 2, 2022 the members at ADM Milling in Mississauga ratified a four-year collective agreement.

In their new agreement, members will benefit from a general wage increase of 4% in the first year, which is retroactive for hours worked since the expiry of the previous agreement. The second year brings another general increase of 3% for all classifications. In addition, there is a new weekend premium of 10 cents per hour. All of the temporary workers hired as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak will be moved into the bargaining unit as of April 15, 2022. Contributions to the members’ pension will increase by 1 cent in year one. In year two, the co-insurance coverage will improve to 100%, up from 90%. In addition, the dispensing fee was previously capped at $3, but will now be changed to a reasonable and customary fee. Other improvements include an increase to the vision care allowance to $250, up from $150, every two years. The uniform allowance also improves by $10 per year for both full and part-time employees. Union Negotiating Committee: Maria Desumala, Eulalia Ferrer, Christine Pascal, Valbert Spencer. HOPE Sector Director: Sandra Ashcroft.

Wage improvements include an adjustment of $1 per hour for maintenance and relief miller, an initial 2.25% increase retroactive to the date of expiry of the previous agreement, and 2% in each remaining year of the agreement. There will also be a five cent increase to the hourly afternoon and night shift premiums. Other language improvements include vacation and boot allowance improvements, and bereavement leave will increase from three to four days. Union Negotiating Committee: Anthony Brown and Fernando Pintental. Union Representative: Melody Slattery.

New agreement ratified by members at Garson Foodland Members at Garson Foodland ratified a deal on March 30, 2022. Full-time Department Managers receive an increase of $1.10 per hour retroactive to June 2021, plus 20 cents per hour in June 2022, and another 20 cents per hour in June 2023. The end rate will reach $20 per hour in 2023. Minimum Wage Plus language applies to part-time end rates. End rates increase by 80 cents per hour paid retroactively to January, plus 15 cents per hour in June 2022, and five cents per hour in June 2023. Part-Time also receive a lump sum of $100 as of ratification. Eye exams will now be covered for reasonable and customary charges. Part-time, when moved to fulltime, will now retain their vacation entitlement. The Union and the company will split the cost of meeting rooms for negotiations and printing of the CBA. Union Negotiating Committee: Alex Guindon and Lorne Romanko. Union Representative: John Beaton. Page 19

WORKERS’ COMPENSATION Healthcare workers experience a mixture of risks based on the nature of their duties and tasks. Some risks seem routine and part of the job, while others are a result of unpredictable emergencies and/or poorly managed preparedness plans. Healthcare ranks the second highest for lost time injuries among all employment sectors in Ontario. Some of the most common injuries are: Musculoskeletal injuries •

Top lost time injury at work reported by the WSIB.

Caused by client handling activities: lifting, moving, transferring, repositioning, and even laundry.

These injuries can be painful and debilitating and are often underreported.

Physical and verbal violence from clients •

Increased risk of violence when working alone and in the community, and by providing direct care to individuals with cognitive impairments.

Examples include being struck by a person with or without an object, bites, scratches, grabs, hair pulls, verbal violence and threats.

Respiratory Hazards and Needle Sticks •

Increased exposure to infection, viruses and bacteria, needle sticks, bodily fluids, soiled linens, chemicals and medications.

Slips and Falls •

Increased risk of slips and falls from wet floors from personal care/housekeeping, poor snow removal, and clients leaving things in walkways.

Chronic Mental Stress/Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder/Traumatic Mental Stress •

Exposure to one-time or repeated violence and harassment, lack of safe spaces (physical and psychological), overwork, exhaustion and more.

Understaffing is a leading risk factor to the development and exposure to workplace injuries for healthcare workers. Understaffing leads to longer hours and higher patient demand, which make workers more susceptible to injuries. The situation has been exacerPage 20

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bated by COVID-19, but understaffing is a longstanding issue resulting mostly from funding cuts made by the government. The nature of healthcare means employers often guilt employees into working longer hours and managing heavier workloads so that ‘clients don’t suffer.’ This exploitation only adds to worker stress and burnout. It is far too common for healthcare workers to not bother filing claims, whether because of WSIB hassles, or because they believe their injury is part of the job, that the incident wasn’t painful or significant at the time, or that they can shake it off. None of these reasons should stop a worker from filing a WSIB claim. Healthcare workers may experience injuries over and over, making it worse over time, or realize months down the road that the injury has lingered but the WSIB may use the delay in reporting as a reason to deny the claim. With any workplace injury, it’s vital to REPORT YOUR INJURY OR ILLNESS to your employer and Union Rep, and file a Form 6 with the WSIB right away to start your claim. Some healthcare facilities have additional insurance coverage, and workplaces under federal jurisdiction may provide their own benefit coverage. In either case, ensure you report your injury or illness to all appropriate agencies. Questions? Reach out to the UFCW Locals 175 & 633 Workers’ Compensation Department at or 1-800-565-8329.


Steps for a Work Refusal Stage One

Limits to a Healthcare Worker’s Right to Refuse Unsafe Work The Right to Refuse Unsafe Work is part of the Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA). Having the Right to Refuse Unsafe Work means that workers can refuse to perform duties of their job if they believe the work is likely to endanger themselves or someone else. That includes workers who believe they are endangered by workplace violence. But, there is a specific procedure to work refusals, and workers in certain sectors have limitations on their right to refuse unsafe work. A limited Right to Refuse applies in settings where some level of hazard is an inherent part of the job, or when a work refusal could endanger the life of another person. This includes, but is not limited to, policing, fire, correctional institutions and healthcare. Under OHSA Section 43, workers with a limited Right to Refuse are subject to the following limitations: (a) When a circumstance… is inherent in the worker’s work or is a normal condition of the worker’s employment. (b) When the worker’s refusal to work would directly endanger the life, health or safety of another person. The best way to protect workers and prevent exposure, injury, and illnesses in the workplace is to identify hazards and find solutions before a situation becomes dangerous. When a danger is not immediate, a worker should first report the health and safety concern to their supervisor, JHSC, Steward or Union Representative. Workers are expected to take these steps, if possible, before considering a work refusal. No matter the industry or sector, employers are always responsible for providing a safe setting and taking every precaution reasonable in the circumstances to protect workers. Under OHSA Section 50(1), any employee who obeyed the law or sought enforcement of their Right to Refuse is protected from reprisals. The employer is not allowed to penalize, dismiss, discipline, suspend or threaten to do any of these things to, or impose any penalty on or intimidate workers who use the Right to Refuse Unsafe Work process in good faith. Have you been disciplined or threatened by your employer after exercising your Right to Refuse? Contact your Union Representative.

For info on the Right to Refuse and limitations that may apply to your work, please contact the Union’s Health & Safety Department at or 1-800-565-8329.

Worker considers work unsafe.

Worker reports refusal to supervisor or employer, and may advise the worker safety rep, management rep, and/or Union Rep. Worker stays in safe place.

Employer or supervisor investigates in the presence of the worker and worker safety rep. Either:

Resolved. Worker goes back to work.

Not resolved. Proceed to stage two

Stage Two With reasonable grounds to believe work is still unsafe, worker continues to refuse and remains in safe place. Worker, employer, or someone representing either calls MOL. •

MOL Inspector investigates in presence of worker, safety rep and supervisor or management rep.*

Inspector gives decision to worker, management rep/supervisor and safety rep in writing.

Changes are made if required or ordered. Worker returns to work.

* Pending the MOL investigation: The refusing worker may be offered other work if it doesn’t conflict with a collective agreement. The refused work may be offered to another worker, but management must inform the new worker that the offered work is the subject of a work refusal. This must be done in the presence of: •

A member of the joint health and safety committee who represents workers; or

A health and safety representative, or

A worker who because of their knowledge, experience and training is selected by the trade union that represents the worker or, if there is no trade union, by the workers to represent them.

Source: Guide to the Occupational Health & Safety Act. https:// Accessed May 27, 2022.

HEALTHCARE CONFERENCE The 2022 Healthcare Stewards Conference took place on May 12 and 13. The conference marks the first in-person conference for the Union in more than two years. About 60 Stewards took part in person with another 60 Healthcare Stewards on Zoom. UFCW Local 175 Recorder Karen Vaughan, who is a Registered Nurse at Maplewood Long-term Care Home, welcomed the delegates. President Haggerty spoke to the group about the pandemic, politics, and the crisis facing our healthcare workers and the system as a whole. HOPE Sector (LTC/Retirement) Director Sandra Ashcroft, who also acted as MC throughout the conference, greeted the members and spoke briefly about the creation of the two dedicated HOPE regions within the Local Union. The morning included Sherry Sima who is an Occupational Health and Safety Inspector at the Ministry of Labour. Sherry spoke to the Stewards about Workplace Violence and Harassment policies and the Right to Refuse Unsafe Work. Sherry noted the importance of workers knowing their basic health and safety rights under Ontario law: the right to know, the right to participate, and the right to refuse. These rights give workers the power to help protect their own safety and health at work, and she encouraged delegates to ensure there is a copy of the Occupational Health & Safety Act and Regulations in their workplaces. Presentations from the Canadian Mental Health Association tackled the topics of Occupational Stress and Creating Space for Mental Health in the Workplace. One of the key take-away messages was that

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it’s okay to put yourself first; and that there is no health without mental health. Presenters discussed approaches for creating space for mental health at work, and ways to have difficult conversations with others while recognizing that being a shoulder to lean on does not mean you are expected to diagnose or fix anything for that person. On the second day, a town hall forum saw attendees asking questions of a panel, which included staff from the in-house legal team, Union Reps, WSIB Specialists, and a Health & Safety Rep as well. The session went well with a lot of great questions and conversations taking place. To close the conference, motivational speaker Jam Gamble left delegates with an inspiring message of strength and self-care. Jam reminded Stewards to acknowledge who they are every day and be grateful, and that self-care and planning are important ways to invest in their own mental well-being. “Being back in person with healthcare members to discuss the state of healthcare in Ontario after these last couple of years couldn’t be more appropriate,” said President Haggerty. “I want to thank all of our Stewards – whether you were there in person or with us remotely – for making our first conference since the beginning of the pandemic so successful.”

Solidarity Scholarships 88 scholarships available of $1,000 each Whether you’re going into your first year or heading back after some time in the workforce, if you’re going to college or university full-time this fall, apply today! APPLY ONLINE APRIL 1 – AUGUST 1 @ UFCW175.COM/SCHOLARSHIPS or call 1-800-565-8329

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GOLF TOURNAMENT RETURNS AFTER TWO YEARS TO RAISE FUNDS FOR THE LLSC The skies were blue and the sun was out for the UFCW Locals 175 & 633 Golf Tournament on Saturday, May 28, 2022. One hundred forty-four golfers took to the tee blocks for the long-awaited return of the annual golf tournament at Lionhead Golf Club & Conference Centre in Brampton. After a two-year hiatus, golfers were excited to hit the links for 18 holes on the Masters course. The fairways were dry and the greens were fast, but golfers scrambled their way to the finish to support the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada (LLSC). “The golfers were enthusiastic and ready to play a great game. We had a beautiful day for some golf and it’s always a good day to raise money for blood cancer research at the LLSC,” said President Haggerty. While the total raised is still being calculated, the proceeds from this year’s donations and sponsorship from businesses and workplaces, will be donated to the LLSC in hopes of ending childhood blood cancers. Visit for more information. “On behalf of Locals 175 & 633 and the LLSC, thank you to all the golfers and tournament sponsors for supporting this worthy cause,” said President Haggerty.


Return postage will be paid by: United Food and Commercial Workers Locals 175 & 633 2200 Argentia Road Mississauga ON L5N 2K7

Canada Post Corporation Publication Agreement No. 40064671

Make sure you notify the Union Office at or call 1-800-565-8329 ?