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LOCAL 1518

SUMMER 2011

UPDATE U N I T E D F O O D A N D CO M M E R C I A L W O R K E R S U N I O N LO C A L 1 5 1 8

International Solidarity Day rally Peace Arch Park, April 2

www.ufcw1518.com

Read more inside on: Roundtable meetings Living Wage campaign Local Union Elections

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inside News & Letters................................................. 3 Retail News........................................................18 Health Care....................................................... 22 Industrial............................................................ 27 Health & Safety................................................ 29 Education & Scholarships............................ 35


UPDATE UNITED FOOD AND COMMERCIAL WORKERS UNION LOCAL 1518

President Ivan Limpright Secretary-Treasurer Frank Pozzobon

Ivan Limpright, President, Abbotsford Frank Pozzobon, Secretary-Treasurer, New Westminster Nan Fredericks, (Recorder) Mackenzie Co-op, Mackenzie

Assistant to the President Kim Balmer

Vice-Presidents

Union Representatives: Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley, Squamish Darrell Causey Melinda Driedger Michelle Fedosoff Dawn Green Brian Nasu Dayna Nicoll Kim Novak Paul Sanghera Bruce Temple

Lorraine Ausman, Cranbrook Home Support, Cranbrook Susan Bayly, Safeway, Victoria Karen Belcourt, Save-On Foods, Surrey Ken Bellows, Colonial Farms, Armstrong Connie Buckner, Cowichan Home Support, Duncan Darrell Causey, Safeway, Surrey Wally Chan, Safeway, Vancouver Kassandra Cordero, IGA, Vancouver Dionne Crusher, Safeway, West Vancouver Dave Diamond, Save-On Foods, Kelowna Ravi Dhindsa, Sunrise Poultry, Surrey Sherry Earl, Overwaitea, Fernie Don Fordyce, Overwaitea, Penticton John Howarth, Coopers, Kamloops Michelle Metcalfe, Shoppers Drug Mart, Coquitlam Kari-Anne Neave, Overwaitea, Burns Lake Karen Palmer, Safeway, Surrey Lenore Peck, Save-On Foods, Port Coquitlam Larry Ransom, Safeway, Port Alberni Eleanor Smith, Penticton Home Support, Penticton Jennifer Vecchio, Nelson Home Support, Nelson Dave Wilson, WE Insurance, Vancouver

Kamloops Shari Jensen Kootenays Fred Scott Okanagan Dave Archibald Ed Cabral Northern British Columbia Jason Frank Carlene Keddie Vancouver Island Kerry Brewster Dionne Crusher Member Benefits John Autin Denise Gibson

LOCAL 1518 SERVICE DIRECTORY

Communications & Education Andy Neufeld Cara Johnson

ALL MEMBERSHIP SERVICES – UNION HEADQUARTERS 350 Columbia Street, New Westminster, B.C., V3L 1A6 Phone: 604-526-1518 | Fax: 604-540-1520 Toll Free 1-800-661-3708

Compensation Appeals Natalia Mikiciuk Gail Sahota

REGIONAL AREA OFFICES Victoria . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. .1 – 915 Esquimalt Rd., V9A 3M7 Kelowna . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . .185 Asher Rd., V1X 3H5 Cranbrook . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103-105 9th Ave. S., V1C 2M1 Prince George . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .721 Victoria St., V2L 2K5 Nanaimo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . 200 – 170 Wallace St., V9R 5B1 Kamloops . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100A – 1383 McGill Rd., V2C 6K7

Health and Safety Larry Stoffman Health Care Sector Teresa Cairns (Director, Vancouver Island) Penny Alyward (Okanagan)

HEALTH CARE MEMBERS 1-800-367-8111

Industrial Sector Tony Evangelista

DENTAL PLAN 1-888-818-3368

Member Services Brian McHaffie Monica Staff

EDUCATION 604-526-1518

Negotiations & Contracts James Raposo Donna Tremblay Organizing Larry Turner Patrick Johnson Hanane Benzidane

Your Local 1518 Executive Board Members:

ORGANIZING 604-250-3704 1-800-661-3708

design by talkingdog.ca

Publications Mail Agreement No. 40064629

PENSION 1-888-345-8329 WEBSITE www.ufcw1518.com

HEALTH AND WELFARE TRUST Safeway Members 1-888-310-1318 ext. 3381 Overwaitea Food Group Members 604-882-7828 1-877-643-7200


inside NEWS

Minimum wage improvements welcome; now, what about a Living Wage? Members meet with Ivan and Frank across B.C.

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Curious about QR Codes? It’s info at a click B.C.’s Labour Heritage Centre Who and What is a Labour Council?

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Notice of Nomination and Election of UFCW Local 1518 Officers

RETAIL

Union assists Super Valu members to recover $17,000 in lost wages Safeway pressing members for charity donations Info for Safeway Pharmacy Technicians Union wins Cooper’s member 6 hour payout Pricesmart negotiations update Sointula Coop members ratify new collective agreement

HEALTH CARE

Health Care Sector News

INDUSTRIAL

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HEALTH & SAFETY

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Education and Scholarships

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EDUCATION

© UPDATE is a publication of UFCW 1518

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Industrial Sector News

Health & Safety News

UFCW 1518

Ivan Limpright, President, UFCW Local 1518

Minimum wage improvements welcome; now, what about a Living Wage? Premier Clark’s move to increase the minimum wage starts to remove the embarrassment of B.C. having the lowest minimum wage in the country. However, this move is not enough to address the very real issue facing too many people who work every day to support themselves and their families: the inability to earn a “Living Wage” – to earn enough money to make ends meet. Going to work is supposed to lift you out of poverty, not keep you there, and too many people in B.C. are having to face impossible choices like buying food or paying the rent. While I’m pleased to see improvements to the minimum wage, we need to address the realities facing those who still cannot make ends meet, despite the fact they work hard for their employers every single day. Premier Clark could have made this announcement a real major announcement. Instead of a single move to improve the minimum wage, it’s time to take a serious look at a more-practical concept. What about working towards improvements that would result in workers earning a “Living Wage”? The minimum wage announcement signals good intentions, and I am committed to join and encourage all sides to create a long-term plan to ensure working families can reach a place in our community that provides them with dignity, respect, and a living wage. For more on the Living Wage please visit www.livingwagebc.ca.


LETTERS FROM YOU

UFCW 1518

DEAR IVAN & FRANK, I would like to thank you for all of your support and help over the last 30 years of working at Safeway #182 in Powell River. Without the support of UFCW 1518 we the employees would not have had the benefits or wages and pension that we have today without your help.

Lennie Peck, retired UFCW 1518 Executive Board Member and Overwaitea Food Group employee

Thank you for the watch as I am now retired, I am glad it does not have a alarm on it. It is a very nice gift, thanks again for everything and all the best in your future endeavors to keep improving the work place for the safety and benefits of all UFCW employees.

DEAR UFCW LOCAL 1518 MEMBERS:

Dorothy Kirk, Safeway #182

It is with mixed emotions that I am writing this letter to you.

TO ALL AT SAFEWAY #122,

I have retired from the Overwaitea Food Group after 33.9 years (but who’s counting?). That was the easy part. It seems OFG are always on the attack of our members and their benefits that we struggled so hard to achieve through negotiations. We have the best collective agreement in the country, and it is something that is worth fighting to keep.

Thank you to all staff @ #122. I enjoyed working with each and every one of you. The cake was delicious and the flowers are beautiful. A great last day! I will miss the excitement and drama at #122. Sorry to miss “shutting down” the store…and the new store that will be built. Take care… Xxoo Georgia Moynes, Safeway #122

The hard part for me is that I am no longer a UFCW 1518 member. I would like to take this opportunity to say good-bye and thank-you to all. Thank-you for your years of support, and for electing me to 3 terms as a member of your negotiating committee and your union’s Executive Board. Sincerely and in solidarity, Forever, Lennie Peck

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Congrats to Esquimalt City Council on passing Canada’s second Living Wage Bylaw! This past January, Esquimalt passed Canada’s second Living Wage Bylaw, and as advocates for a living wage, your union is delighted with this decision. A living wage means children won’t live in poverty, people are able to afford a healthy diet, an acceptable place to live, and basically have a decent life. Living wages are about building a better future – creating jobs that lift people out of poverty, rather than keeping them there. In BC, 60% of people are living paycheque to paycheque. BC has Canada’s lowest minimum wage and highest child poverty rate. So congratulations to Esquimalt! Your union is working to show more municipalities and employers who care about the communities they both serve and live in, that a living wage will result in economical sustainability for everyone.

www.LivingWageBC.com

Esquimalt cares about the living wage... do you?

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UNITED FOOD AND COMMERCIAL WORKERS UNION LOCAL 1518


MEMBERS MEET with Ivan & Frank across BC

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“We had a lot of good discussions and got all kinds of good information, ideas and proposed solutions to the problems members are facing every day in the work place,” says Ivan Limpright. “We hold a series of these meetings across the province every year or two, and it’s important to be able to meet face-to-face with members and get information directly about what the members are experiencing right now on the job.”

Throughout April and May, union members across B.C. had the opportunity to meet with President Ivan Limpright and Secretary-Treasurer Frank Pozzobon in day-long ‘Roundtable’ meetings. About 15-25 members attended each meeting, which were designed to give members the opportunity to share their thoughts and ideas with Ivan and Frank about what’s going on in their workplaces. “The last couple years have been really tough on our members, largely due to the massive cuts in hours that continue to take place at workplaces in every sector of the union,” says Ivan Limpright. “Whether it’s the retail food and retail stores, health care, or poultry and meat-processing, we heard from members first-hand about how devastating and difficult the employers’ hours cuts and scheduling issues have become.”

Top, (L-R) Ivan Limpright President Local 1518, and Frank Pozzobon SecretaryTreasurer Local 1518. Right page, UFCW 1518 Members at a Roundtable Meeting held at the New Westminster Office on March 29, 2011. Bottom right, UFCW 1518 Members at a Roundtable Meeting held at the New Westminster Office on March 29, 2011.

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UNITED FOOD AND COMMERCIAL WORKERS UNION LOCAL 1518

RETAIL FOOD SECTOR W H AT M E M B E R S A R E S AY I N G Union members in the retail food sector (Safeway, Overwaitea Food Group, IGA, independent stores) talked with Ivan and Frank about how since the economic crash in the autumn of 2008, employers have been slashing hours, creating scheduling problems, and are running stores in generally poor condition, among other issues. “It’s been brutal,” says Ivan Limpright, “and the employers’ behavior has led to the lowest morale and dissatisfaction with the employers the members have ever experienced. The employers’ hours cuts that have been taking place over the last three years have created real hardship and difficulties for the members.” “The members are seriously ticked off, and the employers need to wake up and be aware of what’s going on - these are issues that are going to be heavy on the members’ minds as we begin to prepare for the next set of contract negotiations in 2013, and at this stage the members are prepared to give the employers a very rude wake-up call if working conditions don’t improve.” “One of the things that is so irritating for our members is the way the employers short-staff the schedule when they know they are going to end up calling staff in,” says Frank Pozzobon. “The members see that kind of tactic for exactly what it is – it doesn’t need to be that way, and it’s fundamentally disrespectful to the members.” “There’s a real feeling that we need to ‘take back’ the stores,” says Ivan Limpright. “The members want to feel pride in their jobs and their work, to serve the customers and have a good workplace to go to each day. But the employers seem bent on doing things in such a way that

it’s like they want to make sure they continue to drive down morale.” “The members are very conscious of the fact that management does not recognize or appreciate just how good the members are when it comes to treating customers well and getting them to come back by giving good service to customers,” says Frank Pozzobon. “It’s not surprising that most members feel their stores run better and have better morale when the manager isn’t there!” Newer members talked about the importance of the 15 minute orientation they had about the role of the union with their Shop Steward when they were hired. “It makes all the difference in the world for people who don’t know what the union is about, or the role of the Shop Steward,” said a 1-year union member. “It’s a really good way to hear about what the union does, and also to learn about issues like salespeople and rackjobbers stocking product and taking away hours from us – and what we can do about it to stop it!” he said.


HEALTH CARE SECTOR W H AT M E M B E R S A R E S AY I N G Most UFCW 1518 Health Care sector members are Community Health Workers, while other Health Care sector members work in the Community Social Services field. These members were active participants at the roundtable meetings, and described the circumstances they are currently facing on the job.

our communities extends well beyond what they are required to do in their jobs.” “It’s disturbing to hear from so many members about the low staff morale in most Health Care agencies,” he says. “There has been such a negative environment created for the members at most agencies by management that it really detracts from the enjoyment they can have when working for and with their clients.”

“Community Health Workers provide care for the elderly and infirm in their homes, and Community Social Services members help the many people in our province going through a difficult life experience,” says Ivan Limpright. “They take great pride in their work and being able to provide dignity and respect for those they take care of.”

“Health Care sector members are getting ready for negotiations for a new contract,” says Limpright, “and in addition to needing increases to wages and benefits, are looking for increased training, improved scheduling practices, better mileage payments, and some kind of commitment from the agencies and health authorities they work for to make these better workplaces. Our members want to be sure their clients get the good service they deserve.”

“In fact,” he says, “these members are typically the glue that holds many of our communities together. The caring and compassionate service they provide in every corner of our communities is too often taken for granted, especially by our provincial government, who insist on viewing the work our members do as ‘costs’ that they want to roll back.”

“In every workplace where our members work, it’s a huge burden when you go to work every day and staff morale is already low, and sinking further,” he says. “Our members are no different than anyone else – they want to be treated with respect!”

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“They stick their head in the sand rather than recognize that Community Health Workers and Social Service workers are in fact tremendous assets that bring far more value to the community than just the work they do,” says Limpright. “They provide home support and care, hospice care, live-in care, and many types of counseling. They truly are the compassionate angels that assist those in need, and what they do for the well-being of

This page, Ivan Limpright President Local 1518. UFCW 1518 Members at a Roundtable Meeting held at the New Westminster Office on April 1, 2011. Next page, UFCW 1518 Members at a Roundtable Meeting held at the New Westminster Office on April 6, 2011. Bottom row, left, Malcolm McClaws of Extra Foods (West Vancouver). Middle, (L-R) Malonie Tanner, Wes Schellenberg, and Barb Wanamaker. Right, (L-R) Laura Farquharson, and Executive Board Member Kassandra Cordero.

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UNITED FOOD AND COMMERCIAL WORKERS UNION LOCAL 1518


UNITED FOOD AND COMMERCIAL WORKERS UNION LOCAL 1518

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INDUSTRIAL W H AT M E M B E R S A R E S AY I N G The members of UFCW 1518’s Industrial sector are mainly employed in meat and poultry processing plants. From the three Lilydale poultry operations to Sofina Foods (formerly Fletchers) to the Grand & Toy Warehouse, members in the Industrial sector are dealing with the effects of hours cuts and job loss in many locations. While some businesses like J&L Beef are growing, there are still many internal issues to deal with that stem from a sudden rise in the number of new staff. Members at Sofina Foods and Lilydale are concerned about what the future will bring, especially now that Sofina has purchased and is operating Lilydale Poultry’s three locations in BC.

RETAIL COMMERCIAL SECTOR W H AT M E M B E R S A R E S AY I N G

UFCW 1518 members working in retail stores like Shoppers Drug Mart and Zellers report similar issues to those faced by union members working in retail food stores: hours cuts, stores in poor condition, and no management training of new staff.

The members are frustrated, and with good reason, about how the employers continue to understaff the stores. The members are very concerned that the stores they work in are so understaffed and in such poor shape that customers are choosing to go elsewhere.

While the feedback from members is a vital part of the roundtable meetings, at the same time Ivan and Frank have been able to give the members information about challenges faced by the union as a whole in dealing with the employers. “The roundtables also give us an opportunity to talk in more detail about what some of the wins we’ve had on behalf of members, as well as the challenges the employers are throwing at us, and how we can deal with them,” says Ivan Limpright. “In addition, the members we are meeting with are, for the most part, Shop Stewards and union activists, so they can take the message back to their co-workers directly from the union’s leadership.”


Curious about QR Codes?

It’s info at a click

QR (“QUICK RESPONSE”) CODES ARE POPPING OUT OF OUR NEWSPAPERS, MAGAZINES AND OUTDOOR ADVERTISING. A trip to your grocery store last weekend, would have revealed QR Codes on the labels for pineapples and strawberries. The worldwide adoption of these cell-phone-friendly codes has generated tons of interest, and many are predicting you will soon see them everywhere in North America! During 2010, North American smart phone users increased the use of QR Codes by 1600% and, so far this year, this has grown over 40 times more! Last fall, UFCW 1518 was among those leading the QR charge in BC by incorporating these helpful codes into some of our publications (including business cards) and linking members to mobile-savvy websites. Much of the corporate world, not to mention the Canadian and BC governments, use QR, also known as 2d bar codes. We’re now starting to see local real estate agents & retail stores use them as well. UFCW 1518 is using QR Codes to make printed info easier to take with you and to share with others on your mobile devices.

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Your union is saving money and time with QR by quickly updating online information, while leaving the printed

QR Codes unchanged. QR codes are created for FREE on the internet; there is no cost to use them, because the company that patented them, a subsidiary of Toyota, has made QR publicly available, and they have now become a worldwide standard. Marketing industry 2010-2011 reports on QR Codes show that over half of us have seen, or used, these “bar codes”.

Never seen a QR Code?

They resemble a computer maze, and they can be as small as a postage stamp, or as large as a billboard sign. A QR Code is like a website link printed on paper. Scan any QR Code on your internet-equipped cell phone with a Code Reader App, and you’re taken to a website. Scan other QR Codes, and you might get a phone/text number, email address, or a message - it’s informative fun! UFCW Local 1518 expects to expand the use of QR Codes to improve communication to and from our members!

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http://QR.am/?Ivan.Limpright

UNITED FOOD AND COMMERCIAL WORKERS UNION LOCAL 1518


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QR Code Advantages... • • • •

SAVE MONEY: Scan a product tag for competitor pricing and availability BE A STEP AHEAD: Scan a tag for product video, then purchase on-line SAVE TIME: Scan concert posters... reserve the best seats - instantly! CONVENIENCE: Scan real estate sign...get virtual tour and price

How to Start Scanning...

1. Get a Data plan for your web-ready cell, or smart phone 2. Download and install a Code Reader App with your phone 3. Launch your Code Reader App 4. Scan any 2d (or Bar) code - fill the screen 80% or more 5. Click the button - some phones acquire codes automatically 6. Follow the link when the code is decoded

Scan the QR Code with Reader app. Your reader app decodes the QR Code.

Fun Experiment...make your OWN QR Code:

Then you can browse the mobile website!

1. With your computer, browse to: http://zxing.appspot.com/generator/ 2. Change the “contents” type (to choose a QR Code type) 3. Fill-in the blanks, then click GENERATE 4. Print, save, or scan, your code directly from the screen - it’s FREE

It’s that easy.

Where to get a QR code reader...

For those without a built-in code reader, you’ll need to download and install this software into your phone before you scan your first QR Code. FREE code readers are available at your App store, or directly from reader companies on the web. Here is where you can download them:

Mobile OSystem* Android Apple Blackberry Java

Example Program*

Zxing Barcode Reader Qrafter BeeTagg Java ME Reader

Other popular code readers Scanlife - http://getscanlife.com UpCode - http://www.upcode.fi

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UNITED FOOD AND COMMERCIAL WORKERS UNION LOCAL 1518

Internet Source

http://code.google.com/p/zxing/wiki/GetTheReader http://store.apple.com/us http://get.beetagg.com http://zxing.org/w/

Kaywa - http://reader.kaywa.com iNigma - http://www.i-nigma.mobi

*QR Code is a trademark of Denso Wave Incorporated - other trademarks are property of their respective owners


Welcome to AIL members!

American Income Life (AIL) votes YES to joining UFCW 1518

Shoppers Drug Mart Quesnel Negotiations Underway Negotiations for members employed with Shoppers Drug Mart in Quesnel began in February. To date, the Union Negotiating Committee and employer have presented and exchanged proposals for a new contract. The union and employer are working to confirm further dates for negotiations.

On January 21, Agents at American Income Life (AIL) came to a unanimous vote in favour of joining UFCW 1518. AIL members are Insurance Agents, Public Relations Staff, and Marketing Specialists. AIL is a 100% union company that promotes and sells supplemental life insurance.

The Union Negotiating Committee is Silena Hilborn and Veronica Rausse, assisted by Donna Tremblay (UFCW 1518 Staff Negotiator).

As UFCW 1518 union members, AIL agents now have an even stronger support team that will stand behind them in the work they do.

R.S. Associates join UFCW 1518 NEWS

“We’re delighted to welcome our newest members from R.S. in Kamloops.” - Ivan Limpright

Staff at R.S. Associates in Kamloops voted in favour of joining UFCW 1518 on March 29. R.S. Associates work as baggage handlers, de-icers, as well as performing other general duties at the Kamloops Airport. “We’re delighted to welcome our newest members from R.S. in Kamloops,” says Ivan Limpright, President of UFCW 1518. “R.S. Associates now have the support, strength and resources that Local 1518 is proud to provide all our members, and we look forward to working with you and for you!” 12

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Retail workers for Living Wages Campaign steps up The retail sector is BC’s biggest source of new jobs - yet many retail workers remain without a path to a living wage. Through the BC Retail Workers for Living Wages campaign, UFCW Local 1518 is working hard to organize more retail workers. During December 2010, while malls were packed with frenzied shoppers and even more stressed-out workers,

Local 1518 organizers went into stores and talked with employees about their working conditions.

When the wages of retail workers are raised - we bring more bargaining power to the table with employers.

In store after store, organizers heard stories of unpaid overtime, and how employees felt they were being mistreated by management. Organizers discovered that many retail employees who worked for the same company for over 5 years were still without a raise or benefits.

Over 500 retail workers across BC have already logged on and signed a petition for a living wage for retail workers. For more information please visit www.RaiseRetailWages.com.

B.C.’s Labour Heritage Centre – tell us your stories!

THE LABOUR HERITAGE CENTRE (LHC) WORKS TO INSPIRE UNION MEMBERS, YOUNG WORKERS, NEW CANADIANS, AND STUDENTS THROUGH A WIDE VARIETY OF PROJECTS THAT HIGHLIGHT THE HISTORY OF ORDINARY WORKING PEOPLE IN BC.

““The people at the Labour Heritage Centre want to hear your stories and those of your family, the stories of the everyday workers who built this province, and I’d encourage our members to check their website out,” says Ivan Limpright, President of UFCW 1518. “We’ve played an active role in the Labour Heritage Centre since its inception several years ago,” he says, “because it’s important that the contributions of everyday workers like us are recognized. Too often, history just doesn’t pay attention to the role ordinary people play in our world, and the work that the

LHC is doing really helps to throw some light on the accomplishments of working people.”

“For example, if you ever have the opportunity to get to the new convention centre in downtown Vancouver, have a look at the plaques that are installed around the seawall railing, and the inside of the convention centre,” says Limpright. “The LHC was able to convince the government that the stories of workers in BC deserved to be told, and these plaques tell those stories. They are just terrific in telling the stories of the ordinary and extraordinary workers who helped build our province, and the struggles and triumphs that workers like our members have had right across our province.” For more information, and to share YOUR stories, please visit www.labourheritagecentre.ca.

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Young workers of the world unite in South Africa By Kassandra Cordero

about the requirements of staff and officers of COSATU and how they are required to continue being active Shop Stewards in their workplaces even as they hold their positions of office. Workplace accountability has ensured a grassroots ethic and worker-driven agenda for COSATU. Shop Stewards attend union and federation meetings in South Africa by the thousands, and they are active in their communities.

LAST DECEMBER, 2010, I WAS FORTUNATE ENOUGH TO HAVE BEEN ONE OF 9 YOUNG PEOPLE FROM BC WHO WENT TO SOUTH AFRICA TO BE A PART OF THE 17TH WORLD FESTIVAL OF YOUTH AND STUDENTS. THE FESTIVAL TOOK PLACE IN TSHWANE, SOUTH AFRICA, JUST OUTSIDE OF JOHANNESBURG. There were over 15,000 delegates from 126 different countries in attendance, each with an inspiring story to tell about the struggles they’d faced within their own countries while fighting for the rights of workers. What struck me was while the struggles were different in each country, and the ways people organized themselves against their oppressors were also different, the nature of the struggles remained the same. In each case there were groups of people holding immense economic or political power over other groups of people who are struggling to obtain the rights they should already have. Many of the things I saw in South Africa inspired me; like the way a whole group of people would all burst into song at the same time, singing songs they all knew the words and actions to, not national anthems, but rather anthems of a movement they believe in. These people have not grown detached from their movement, which is the danger that many young activists fear for our movement in British Columbia.

There are many things I keep in mind since my return from South Africa. I remember the way the comrades in South Africa all sang together in the streets, how they all knew about each others’ struggles, and were eager to learn about ours (like UFCW 1518’s Living Wage campaign), and importantly how they all celebrated their unity as workers. My hope is to continue my activism in Canada as a member of UFCW 1518, and a concerned Canadian citizen on issues of social justice here and in other countries. I hope that we can continue to grow a movement of peace, solidarity and justice for all, in Canada and in the rest of the world. We can do this by continuing to engage our fellow members in day to day struggles, by mobilizing our friends, family and coworkers around the issues that are important to us as working people.

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Meeting Stephen Faulkner, the International Affairs Officer from COSATU, was an exciting highlight of the festival. COSATU is the largest Trade Union Confederation in South Africa, similar to the Canadian Labour Congress. Stephen Faulkner explained the inner workings of COSATU to us during the festival, and later took us on a tour of Johannesburg to see labour landmarks and other sites significant to the anti-apartheid movement. We learned

May we continue to educate those who are not yet involved in the struggle, may we continue to mentor our young people, and may we continue to build lasting alliances with other organizations that look to help all workers and their families live more sustainable, stable, and secure lives. (L-R) Georgianna Bates COPE 378, Erin Collins CUPW, Kassandra Cordero UFCW1518, Thomas Davies UA, Stephen Von Sychowski COPE 378

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Does the minimum wage increase affect you?

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The wage rates of most Local 1518 members were not directly affected by the May 1 increase to the minimum wage, but if you are currently paid less than $8.75 per hour, please check your paystubs to make sure the increase to your wages was implemented May 1. Members covered by certain UFCW Collective Agreements may have seen a wage increase on May 1 as a result of the implementation of the new provincial minimum wage of $8.75 per hour. In some cases this will be because current starting wage rates are less than the new minimum wage. Where such Collective Agreements contain a wage progression scale, the union will

be reviewing the effect of the changing start rate on the rest of the scale, and seek adjustments where appropriate. A few of Local 1518’s collective agreements also contain special, although uncommon, clauses to address the possibility of future increases to the minimum wage. Where these kinds of clauses exist, the union will be following up with employers to ensure compliance. Please check your Collective Agreement to see if you are affected, and again, if you are currently earning less than $8.75 per hour, please check your paystubs to make sure the increase to your wages was effective May 1.

UFCW 1518 Women’s Committee in action!

UFCW 1518’S WOMEN’S COMMITTEE WAS ESTABLISHED IN 1989 AND FOCUSES ON BETTERING THE LIVES OF ALL WORKING PEOPLE, SPECIFICALLY WOMEN.

There are also members on the Committee who help write resumes and provide suitable clothing for women to wear when they go to a job interview.

Each year, International Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8. This day is dedicated to the celebration of the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future. UFCW 1518’s Women’s Committee will be planning a program for next year’s event, and if you have suggestions or would like to take part, please contact the union at webcontact@ufcw1518.com.

The Committee is politically aware of government cuts to social programs that affect the most vulnerable people in our society - women, children, the elderly, and disabled. As a society it is especially important to provide publically funded education, and health care for those who truly need it.

UFCW 1518’s Women’s Committee also supports women’s shelters, and provides essential items such as toiletries, pajama’s, socks, baby items, and other necessities for women.

The Women’s Committee is not just about women - it’s about the well-being of all people, and our future. The Women’s Committee needs the support of our Brothers to be stronger, and to ultimately improve the lives of all working people. Please join us at our next event, and stay tuned for further information early in 2012!

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UNITED FOOD AND COMMERCIAL WORKERS UNION LOCAL 1518


WORKING PEOPLE -- WORKING TOGETHER TO BUILD A BETTER COMMUNITY

Who and what is a Labour Council? involvement in municipal politics, including supporting candidates during elections. Labour Councils organize the local unions in their jurisdiction to carry out the national policies of the CLC; to participate in national action campaigns; to assist unions on strike; to organize political action; to develop international solidarity, and to work for social justice in the community.

Your local Labour Council is made up of everyday working people just like you from a variety of unions in your community. Labour Councils serve as the local organization of the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) at the city and regional level, and they provide a means of bringing together local unions in a community that enable working people and their unions to play a role in that community.

Local unions are allocated delegates based on the number of members in their union. These delegates typically meet monthly to discuss and debate issues of concern to their members. Local unions may introduce resolutions that if adopted become the policies of the Labour Council.

The CLC represents millions of unionized workers across Canada, and no matter where you live in B.C., there will be a local Labour Council to represent the interests of workers in your region. Union members work in every kind of occupation, and Labour Councils are a vehicle for them to come together and use their skills and wisdom to build communities that work, and a society that cares about social justice and dignity for all people.

UFCW 1518 members are among the many workers on their local Labour Council, and it’s a terrific way to meet people and get involved in your community at the same time.

Decisions made by local governments help shape the kind of cities, town, and rural areas we live in. For example, local governments are responsible for a wide variety of services and programs - from public transit to social services to the water we drink. Our School Boards educate hundreds of thousands of children. All of these services are crucial to the standard of living of working families, and Labour Councils have a long tradition of

For more on becoming a part of your local Labour Council, please talk with your Union Representative or call the union office at 604-526-1518 or toll-free 1-800-661-3708. You can also go to www.canadianlabour.ca/pacific-region/ labour-council-directory for info on the Labour Council in your area.

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NOTICE of NOMINATION and ELECTION: UFCW Local 1518 Officers By Glenn Toombs, UFCW Local 1518 Election Chairperson The UFCW International Constitution and Local Union Bylaws, Article XII Section A. require that Officers of the Local Union be elected every four years. The current term of office expires on December 31, 2011. Nominations for President, Secretary-Treasurer, Recorder and 25 Vice-Presidents for the term of office commencing January 1, 2012, and ending December 31, 2015, will be conducted in the coming weeks. Pursuant to the Local Union By-laws, the President, Secretary Treasurer, Recorder and Vice Presidents will be nominated by signature petition. Article XII. To be eligible to run for Office, one must be an active member of Local 1518 who has either continuous active membership in Local 1518 since June 2010, or continuous active membership in the UFCW International Union since June 2009. Article XII, Section D.

Nomination for Position of President or Secretary Treasurer:

Nominations for position of President and Secretary Treasurer will be established by signature petition. To be eligible for election, the required number of nominating signatures from active members is 360 (three hundred and sixty) Article XII Section E.

Nomination for Position of Recorder and Vice Presidents:

Nominations for position of Recorder and Vice Presidents will be established by signature petition. To be eligible for election, the required number of nominating signatures from active members is 25 (twenty-five). Article XII, Section E.

How to Acquire Candidate Election Material:

A nomination package, including official nomination petition forms, will be available to any active member running for an elected position by contacting the Election Chairperson, Glenn Toombs, at 604-526-1518 or 1-800-6613708 on or after Friday, July 15, 2011, to Sunday, July 31, 2011.

Election Office Hours:

Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., and on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Saturday, July 30, 2011, and Sunday, July 31, 2011, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon.

Nomination Petition Forms:

Nominations will only be accepted when completed on the original petition forms issued by the Election Chairperson. To be eligible, all petition nomination signatures must be made by an active member of the Local Union. Each petition shall be completed in full, orderly and legible, and also contain the following information from each active member signing the petition: full name (printed), Employer name and location, S.I.N. number (not mandatory), and signature of member. Article XII Section E. 2. Properly completed nomination forms must be received at the UFCW 1518 head office to the attention of the Election Chairperson by the close of nominations at 12:00 noon on Sunday, July 31, 2011. Forms will be deemed void if not the original forms issued, if submitted by copy or facsimile, computer or other form of electronic transmission. Article XII Section E. 3. 4.

Election Procedure:

If an active member, running for an elected position is challenged by another active member for the same position, a mail referendum election will take place to have the membership decide who the successful candidate will be. Article XII Section I. 1. Should a mail referendum take place, a ballot containing the names of candidates and elected position(s) being challenged will be sent to all members on August 9, 2011. The ballot will be provided along with a secret ballot envelope and a postage paid self addressed return envelope. The ballot must be placed into the secret ballot envelope and then placed into the postage paid self addressed envelope and returned by August 31, 2011, for Post Office pick-up at 12:00 noon. The ballots will then be transported by the Election Committee to the UFCW Local 1518 Head Office where they will be counted. Article XII Section I. 2. A. B. C. (Please note: in the event of a significant disruption to mail service as a result of a Canada Post labour dispute, the dates noted for the election (mailing of ballots) may have to be moved to a later date. Members will be advised should this become necessary.)

NEWS

UNITED FOOD AND COMMERCIAL WORKERS UNION LOCAL 1518


R E TA I L

UFCW 1518

Union assists Super Valu members to recover $17,000 in lost wages Remember to check your paystubs! •

Almost a dozen UFCW 1518 members working at a Super Valu store were paid $17,000 in lost wages after it was discovered their employer was making improper deductions from their pay cheques. The deductions were related to medical benefits that were to be paid by the employer, and on closer inspection it became clear the employer was incorrectly deducting the amount from the impacted members.

• • •

“This is a big win for Local 1518 members, and an important reminder for everyone to check your paystubs,” says Ivan Limpright, President of UFCW 1518. “If something does not seem right or you have any questions at all about the deductions taken from your pay cheques, remember this is your hard-earned money, and you deserve to know where it’s going.” says Limpright.

It is recommended that you keep your paystubs for an entire year in case you need to refer back to them. Please keep your paystubs at home, and in a safe place. If you have any questions or concerns about certain deductions being taken off your pay, please contact your employer for an explanation; if the matter remains unresolved please contact your Union Representative immediately.

Here are a few good reasons why you should ALWAYS check your paystubs: R E TA I L

If there is ever a dispute over your hours worked, or income paid, your pay stub will be the single most important information needed to settle the dispute; Your pay stub keeps track of all your deductions – the amounts paid towards your MSP, CPP, EI, and taxes; Your pay stub is the only way to ensure the correct amounts are being deducted from your pay; When you have your pay stubs on hand, it makes any mistakes quicker to correct, and any questions easier to answer.

Your pay stub is your only record of the hours you spend working, and the rate at which you are paid;

Safeway Grid B hearing update As this issue of Update is finalized, the union continues to press for hearing dates to deal with the Safeway Grid B implementation issues.

This issue impacts those Safeway Grid B members who had 4,000 or more hours worked on or after August 24, 2008 (the Sunday after ratification of the current contract).

When a new hearing date has been confirmed, this information will be posted on the union website.

Please visit www.ufcw1518.com to see a letter from the union’s lawyer to Safeway’s legal counsel on this issue. 18

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R E TA I L

UNITED FOOD AND COMMERCIAL WORKERS UNION LOCAL 1518

IGA 15 negotiations update Negotiations for a new collective agreement at IGA 15 (downtown Vancouver) continued with the assistance of a mediator at the Labour Relations Board in May. Negotiations reached an impasse. The Union Negotiating Committee will be consulting with members for further direction. The Negotiating Committee is Kassandra Cordero, and Sal Valente, assisted by Staff Negotiator Donna Tremblay.

Closure agreement ratified at Overwaitea Gas Bars Shortly after negotiations for the expired Overwaitea Gas Bar contract began, the company announced they were closing the majority of the gas bars at their stores. In addition, the employer advised that at least four of the gas bars will potentially be sold to an independent company. The end result is that by the end of June, Overwaitea Food Group will cease to operate gas bars in BC. As a result, negotiations for a new collective agreement quickly turned to negotiations to protect the job security of the union’s gas bar members. An agreement was reached with Overwaitea on Easter Monday that the Union Negotiating Committee felt was acceptable, and this agreement was ratified by the members in early May.

Under the terms of the agreement: • • •

All gas bar employees will receive severance pay; All gas bar employees will also be given the option of moving into the adjacent OFG grocery store and working under that contract as new employees; All employees attended an orientation in the store some weeks ago to establish seniority dates, and a hiring freeze was put into place at the stores to better accommodate gas bar members who would be transferring their employment into the stores. Gas bar members will continue to be able to work between the store and the gas bar until such time as the gas bars are closed in June.

Members with any questions or concerns are encouraged to contact their Union Representative.

Safeway pressing members for charity donations An extra dollar or two at the till isn’t too much to ask for when it’s going to a good cause, right? Donating to any charity is a compassionate and selfless act, and that’s why many people do it - but people stop making donations when they feel they are being harassed, solicited, or when they are constantly being asked to make a donation by the same people, every day. The union is aware that a number of Safeway members are feeling tremendous pressure from management and assistant managers to ask customers for charity donations. Management has been aggressively encouraging members to ask every single person that passes through their checkstand if they would like to make a donation, even if these people are repeat customers. If you are experiencing this overzealous behaviour from management, or if you feel you are being intimidated into asking for donations, please contact your Union Representative immediately to discuss this matter in confidence, or call the union office at 604-526-1518, or tollfree at 1-800-661-3708 and ask to speak to the Officer of the Day.


UPDATE

Safeway Gas Bar

Negotiations have been underway this spring for UFCW 1518 members employed at Safeway Gas Bars. Progress was made and a number of non-monetary items were agreed to. Once all non-monetary proposals are addressed the Committees will work through the monetary items. The Union Negotiating Committee is Randy Cairns from Mission, and Michelle Craig from Courtney, assisted by Staff Negotiator Donna Tremblay.

Info for Safeway Pharmacy Technicians An agreement has been reached with Safeway on the terms and conditions for the new classification of Licensed (Registered) Pharmacy Technicians. (Please go to www.ufcw1518.com to see the agreement.)

Pharmacy Technician classification. (Registered Pharmacy Technicians will be covered under the same corporate liability policy as the Pharmacists employed at Safeway.)

The union has since inquired about licensing fees and liability insurance, and Safeway has indicated they will cover licensing fees and liability insurance to those members in the new Registered

Safeway has indicated their decision to cover both the licensing fee and liability insurance may change in the future.

NPF Comox members vote in favour of a new agreement

Union members from NPF Comox voted in favour of accepting terms for a new Collective Agreement in March.

Highlights of the new agreement include: - - - -

wage increases improvements to contract language new “Family Responsibility Leave” provision improvements to Leave of Absence language

The Union Negotiating Committee is Doug Robinson and Justin Lafortune, assisted by Staff Negotiator Donna Tremblay.

R E TA I L

Union wins Cooper’s member 6 hour payout AFTER THE UNION INTERVENED, A MEMBER FROM COOPERS WAS AWARDED 6 HOURS OF PAY BECAUSE THEIR HOURS WERE NOT BEING MAXIMIZED. After attending a servicing meeting, this member approached their Union Representative with scheduling concerns that their hours were not being maximized (see

contract language below). Once this conversation was finished the Union Representative reviewed the schedules for this store, and concluded that this member was not receiving the hours that were rightfully theirs. Any members with concerns over scheduling or any other issue are urged to contact their Shop Steward 20

and/or Union Representative for assistance. Cooper’s contract: Section 12 Seniority 12.01 Seniority Hours: On a weekly basis the employer will schedule the required number of hours per classification and employees will be assigned shifts on a seniority basis with the most senior employees receiving the most hours.

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R E TA I L

UNITED FOOD AND COMMERCIAL WORKERS UNION LOCAL 1518

Pricesmart negotiations update Negotiations between the Union Negotiating Committee and Pricesmart Foods (PSF) have been taking place in recent months. The Union Negotiating Committee reports that minimal progress has been made, and negotiations were to continue again on June 17. The Union Negotiating Committee is (L-R): Wes Schellenberg (#2208 Clearbrook); Frank Pozzobon (SecretaryTreasurer UFCW 1518); Chris McDonald (#2215 Surrey); Sandy Aasen (#2207 Surrey); Monica Staff (Director UFCW 1518); Don French (#2242 Langley); Arun Chatterjee (#2235 White Rock).

Sointula Coop members ratify new collective agreement A new Collective Agreement is now in place for UFCW 1518 members employed with Sointula Coop. Members at the store voted in favour of accepting the terms for the new contract on January 27.

The Union Negotiating Committee had recommended acceptance of the deal, and the new agreement is for a two-year term retroactive to June 1, 2010.

Highlights of the new contract include:

Sointula Coop members have belonged to the union since 1918, and Sointula Coop is the oldest operating Coop in British Columbia.

• • • • •

wage increases new contract language on the issue of harassment; duty to accommodate; and compassionate care leave; improvements to the job posting language, grievance procedure, and funeral & bereavement leave provisions; renewals of a number of letters of understanding; the employer has agreed to reimburse employees 100% for the cost of required medical reports with no limit to the amount.

The Union Negotiating Committee is Debbie Ouimet and Monty Hals, assisted by Staff Negotiator Donna Tremblay.


H E A LT H C A R E

UFCW 1518

Community Social Service:

Members who make a difference Community Social Services are an essential part of every healthy community. Many Community Social Service workers are members of UFCW 1518, and their occupations include youth and family counselors, employment counselors, and live in care-givers. These workers help people in their times of need, and first and foremost, these people work for you and your community because they care. They spend every day making a positive impact in their communities, yet for over a year, they have been working without a Collective Agreement.

service for people who need help with house and yard maintenance. Thompson says he enjoys working in the ‘helping profession’ because of the people he works with and the people he works for. “I feel very grateful and happy to work with great people,” he says.

Bob Thompson has been a part of UFCW 1518 for 16 years, and has spent most of his career in McBride, B.C. Thompson is an Employment Services Coordinator in McBride, and describes the work of he and his colleagues best when he says, “…we are in the helping profession.”

Beverley McInnis

Like Thompson, union member Beverley McInnis also works as a Community Social Services worker.

Bob Thompson

H E A LT H CARE

McInnis works out of Fort St. James, Vanderhoof, and Fraser Lake offering services as a Care Parent support worker that focuses on support for foster parents. She also works as a Family Support worker, as well as a Child and Youth Counselor. McInnis is heavily involved with families in these communities, offering foster parents parenting strategies, behavioral advice, and acting as the middle-person between families and Social Workers.

Thompson offers employment counseling for those who are looking for work, or to further their career. He notes that the economic landscape of McBride has changed drastically over the last five years and that the traditional ways people earn a living in rural communities is changing because of the economic downturn.

As a Family Support worker, McInnis works to preserve families and improve parent strategies and other tactics that help strengthen families. McInnis also works as a Child and Youth Counselor helping young people understand the impacts of domestic disputes. She works with young people in the community to help them understand the impacts of violence and domestic violence, and to know the difference between healthy and unhealthy relationships.

“Things change, things get difficult, and people have to find other ways to make money,” he says. “This means moving, but many people are reluctant to move because their family roots have been in the community for generations.” The services offered by Thompson are among many offered from the Robson Valley Support Centre. They offer a fully licensed daycare open to 26 children daily, a toy lending library where children can pick a toy to take home for 6 months, and they also administer a series of safe shelters, as well as operate a handyman

McInnis has been a UFCW 1518 member since 1993, “with new people coming in to the workplace there are inequalities and internal things that happen that a union helps with,” she says.

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What McInnis likes most about her job is the variety it offers. “There’s a lot of choice here,” she says. “There’s lots of opportunity for all types of training, even informal on-the-job training. Offering children, youth, and families tools that will help them make positive changes in their lives is so rewarding.” For Joan MacGillivray, a Counselor for the “Children Who Witness Abuse” program, supporting her community means offering services to children and youth from ages 3-18 years old that have been exposed to domestic violence, or exposed to any warning signs of domestic violence. MacGillivray has spent the last decade working in Fort St. James and Vanderhoof counseling community members about domestic violence, and providing a safe place for those affected to express their feelings in a healthy way. She works with children and young people to increase their confidence in order to break the cycle of violence,

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to understand what a healthy relationship is, and how to keep themselves safe if they find themselves or loved ones in harmful situations. “I love that I can help shift opinions about domestic violence, that I can help answer questions about it, and get people help when they are in need,” says MacGillivray. “It’s so rewarding when you see children making good healthy choices, and you know they feel better about themselves because they know they have choices. It’s amazing how a little knowledge helps children grow and change.” There are ninety “Children Who Witness Abuse” programs across BC. Courses can be accessed through The BC Society of Transition Homes at 1-800-661-1040. “People like Bob Thompson, Beverley McInnis, and Joan MacGillivray help our communities become better, more sustainable places to live,” says Ivan Limpright, President of UFCW 1518. “Just as these members advocate for the people in their communities, the union advocates for them. Community Social Services are fundamentally necessary for every community, and it is just not right that these members have gone so long without a Collective Agreement.”

Community social service workers vote 85% in favour to strike Frontline community social service workers across British Columbia have given their bargaining committee a strike mandate of 85% in Community Living and 77% in General Services. The vote followed more than 18 months of protracted contract talks that broke down on March 30. At issue are increased layoffs, job security, and a chronic recruitment and retention problem that seriously impacts the quality of care and support provided to some of our most vulnerable citizens.

The Community Social Services Bargaining Association (CSSBA) says it is time for the provincial government and its employers to step up and provide the respect and resources needed to stabilize services and improve working conditions. Members can easily send a “fair deal or no deal” message directly to B.C. Premier Christy Clark at http://www.cssfairdeal.ca/

H E A LT H C A R E

UNITED FOOD AND COMMERCIAL WORKERS UNION LOCAL 1518


Hours investigation by union results in $658.60 pay for member A UFCW 1518 Community Health Worker from Kelowna was awarded $658.60 as a result of an hours investigation by the union. This amount represents payment for hours that belonged to the member in the first place.

If you get a response from your employer you aren’t comfortable with, you should contact your Shop Steward or Union Representative, who will then investigate all schedules for workers junior to you on the day(s) in question. If a worker with less seniority has been scheduled hours when you were available to work, then you should be paid for those hours. This of course is providing there were no refusals or ‘valid’ reasons why the employer did not schedule you correctly.

Wins like this are an important reminder for all Health Care Workers that if you think something is wrong with your work schedule, then there probably is. This is how an hours investigation works – if you are a Health Care member and do not feel you are being scheduled properly, you need to fill out an ‘hours investigation form’. After filling out a form it’s best to make two copies, one for personal reference, and the other to hand in to your employer.

Please remember your Shop Steward can help you fill out these forms, and help answer any questions or concerns.

LRB rejects BCNU raid application to represent LPNs UFCW 1518 welcomed a March 11 ruling by the Labour Relations Board (LRB) that Licensed Practical Nurses who are members of UFCW 1518 will remain members of UFCW 1518, despite efforts by the BC Nurses Union (BCNU) to raid them. The BCNU had applied to represent LPNs from three different Interior Health Authority agencies, but their application was soundly rejected by the LRB in its ruling. The BCNU had also been attempting to raid LPNs who already belonged to a number of other health care unions.

H E A LT H C A R E

“We hope this puts an end to the BCNU’s attempts to raid LPNs from not only our union, but other health care unions as well,” says Ivan Limpright, President of UFCW 1518. “I’m hopeful that in the future, BCNU will recognize we are colleagues and that our members and theirs have a common interest as health care workers.”

LPN’s, have you received a wage increase?! It was brought to the union’s attention that a number of LPN’s (HEABC) did not receive the April 1, 2011, wage increase. Your union negotiated this increase during 2010 bargaining, and it is important your employers correct any mistakes that may have been made, and that you receive what is rightfully yours! Please check your paystub, and advise your Union Rep, or call 1-800-367-8111 if you have not received this wage increase. 24

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H E A LT H C A R E

A fond farewell from a Community Health Worker


TAKING ACTION on community care

Dear Honourable Michael de Jong, Minister of Health: I am writing to urge that you adopt the recommendations of the BC Medical Association, and to respectfully insist action be taken on expansion of the Home and Community Care system in British Columbia. The jobs performed by workers in Community Health allow the elderly and infirm to live independently in their homes and communities. This is an important and cost-effective asset to our health care system that, if expanded, can be the source of tremendous cost savings for B.C.’s health care delivery system. Basic home support services for the elderly and infirm keeps them out of expensive hospital beds and long-term care facilities, and costs the government a fraction of the cost of institutional care. Expanding the Community Care system saves the overall health delivery system a substantial amount of money, and arguably just as important, having properly trained and qualified workers providing care to clients in their homes leads to shorter recovery times, and of course allows these clients to maintain the dignity of staying in their homes.

The following letter to Health Minister Michael de Jong has been submitted to the Minister by hundreds of UFCW 1518 members.

H E A LT H C A R E

Expansion of the Home and Community Care system is a win-win for all concerned. As you will be only too aware, the funding pressure upon governments in an era of rapidly rising health care costs are intense. Not only is providing health care to people in their homes efficient, effective, and empowering, it saves the health care delivery system money, both in direct costs and in long-term savings. I respectfully ask that you please do the right thing in 2011 and expand funding to the Community Care system in BC. I have also sent this letter to my local MLA so they are aware of the views of their constituents, and have opportunity to represent my concerns. Sincerely, (Member’s name) 26

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UFCW 1518

Migrant Workers file $10 million lawsuit against Denny’s

INDUSTRIAL

More than 40 people gathered outside a Vancouver Denny’s restaurant March 26 to protest the treatment of migrant workers.

The workers allege the company did not live up to the employment contract the workers signed before they arrived from the Philippines.

The suit was filed in the B.C. Supreme Court on January 7, on behalf of the Filipino migrant workers employed at Denny’s from 2006 until the present. One of the lawyers representing the workers, Charles Gordon, says that “the workers came to Canada, mainly as cooks and servers, to take jobs at Denny’s Restaurants in B.C. but were required to pay approximately $6,000 each to an agency that was recruiting employees for the Defendants, and the workers have not received the hours of work, overtime pay, air travel and other conditions they were promised.” “These workers were encouraged to come to Canada with a set of promises that have never been met – they have done their part but Denny’s has not lived up to their end of the deal,” says Christopher Foy, another member of the legal team. “The federal government’s Temporary Foreign Workers program continues to be a shameful treadmill that lures workers to Canada, and then leaves them defenseless and vulnerable,” says UFCW Canada National President Wayne Hanley. “The fact that the Denny’s workers have been forced to go to court is yet another blatant example of how the exploitive TFW program turns a blind eye to what happens to migrant workers once they arrive in Canada.”

Negotiations continue at Sunwest Foods Negotiations for the renewal of the Collective Agreement with Sunwest Foods were to resume June 14 and 16. After meeting for several days in February, March and April the majority of non-monetary issues have been resolved. The focus of the talks have now shifted to monetary issues and the two days scheduled in June were to provide the

parties with a good opportunity to address the items that remain outstanding. The negotiations affect approximately 160 members at the employer’s facility in Abbotsford. The Union Negotiating Committee is Aron Miles, Glenn Cox, and Brett Franklin, assisted by James Raposo, Director of Negotiations for UFCW Local 1518.

INDUSTRIAL

The rally was organized by immigrants-rights group “Migrante-B.C.” and the United Food and Commercial Workers Union after more than 50 Filipino migrant workers recruited to Canada under the Temporary Foreign Workers (TFW) program filed a $10 million class action suit against Denny’s restaurants in British Columbia.


Migrant Farm Workers report published Report finds federal government complicit in Canada’s abuse of migrant farm workers. violations — and those programs are expanding with the assistance of the Harper Conservative government.

INDUSTRIAL

The 2010-2011 Status of Migrant Farm Workers in Canada report confirms that abuse and exploitation of migrant farm workers are rampant in Canada’s agriculture industry. The report is published by UFCW Canada and the Agriculture Workers Alliance (AWA). For more than two decades UFCW Canada has been a leading advocate for farm workers’ rights, and in association with the AWA operates 10 agriculture worker support centres across Canada.

In 2010, more than 40,000 migrant workers toiled in the Canadian agriculture industry. If they raise any workplace, safety or housing concerns, migrant workers are typically repatriated and blacklisted from ever working in Canada again. “The denial of human rights should not be the foundation for Canada’s food supply system,” says UFCW Canada and AWA president Wayne Hanley. “But as the report details, that’s exactly what’s happening to migrant farm workers. Even worse, it’s happening with the blessing of the federal government which turns a blind eye to the dangers and abuse migrants are forced to accept if they want to keep their jobs.” The 2010-2011 report is based on interviews, surveys and other frontline information from migrant workers, gathered through the ten agriculture worker support centres operated across Canada by the AWA. Last year alone, the centres handled over 35,000 requests for AWA assistance and advocacy. To read this report please visit www.ufcw.ca.

The latest report is the seventh released since 2003. The 25-page report exposes federally operated migrant farm worker programs as rife with human and labour rights

Sofina Foods mediation update

Snowcrest Foods members vote in favour of new agreement

After six days of negotiations with little progress, contract talks for Sofina Foods continued in May, when the parties met with the assistance of a mediator from the Labour Relations Board.

Union members from Snowcrest Foods in Abbotsford voted in favour of accepting terms for a new Collective Agreement at a union meeting held April 20, 2011. The new Collective Agreement, which includes wage increases and a signing bonus, expires in March of 2014.

The negotiations cover approximately 140 members at the company’s processing facility in Vancouver. The Union Negotiating Committee is Dan McCullough, Al Stewart, and Andy Wolmer, assisted by Local 1518 Bargaining Director James Raposo.

The Union Negotiating Committee is Chris Maan and Surinder Virk, assisted by Director of Negotiations James Raposo. 28

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H E A LT H & S A F E T Y

Olympic Flame lit for Day of Mourning on April 28 …remembering lives lost or injured in the workplace

“The sad reality,” says Ivan Limpright, President of UFCW 1518, “is that workplace deaths, injuries, and illness continue at too high a pace, and this is an issue we need to stay on top of. Pressuring workers with hours cuts and adding to their workload has become an increasingly serious issue for our union’s members, and leads directly to higher rates of injury and illness. Government cutbacks to workplace inspection and safety

The Olympic Flame was lit in the memory of those who died or were injured as a result of their job.

enforcement budgets are another factor that impacts the health and safety of workers everywhere in BC.” “Too many workers die or are injured or made sick simply from going to work, and that’s just wrong,” he said. “We intend to keep the pressure on employers and governments to take more and better action to prevent these unnecessary injuries and deaths.” The National Day of Mourning, held annually on April 28, was launched by the Canadian Labour Congress and its affiliates in 1984 as a day of remembrance for those Canadians killed and injured on the job.

Canadian Labour Congress President Ken Georgetti with BC Federation of Labour President Jim Sinclair (R)

HEALTH & SAFETY

ON THURSDAY, APRIL 28, CEREMONIES TOOK PLACE ACROSS BC AND CANADA TO REMEMBER THOSE WHO DIED OR WERE INJURED SIMPLY BECAUSE THEY WENT TO WORK.


Drastic hours cuts lead to unsafe working conditions; protect yourself and your right to work safely! UFCW 1518 MEMBERS AT THEIR WORKPLACES RIGHT ACROSS THE PROVINCE HAVE BEEN FORCED TO COPE WITH MASSIVE HOURS CUTS.

HEALTH & SAFETY

The hundreds of hours slashed off work schedules are devastating for union members who now have a much tougher time making ends meet. If that wasn’t bad enough, the union is now receiving regular reports of management and supervisors putting inappropriate pressure on members to work even harder.

Here are a few steps all members should take to deal with pushy management: •

DO the normal requirements of your job. If your hours have been cut and customers are lined up six-deep at every checkstand, or you’re given less time to assist your client with their home health care needs, or industrial processing lines are sped up or understaffed, it’s management’s problem, not yours.

DO NOT run around or speed up your job beyond the normal requirements of your job. Work speedups are one of the most common causes of injury at work, and “overexertion” is the single highest cause of disabling injury among retail, health care, and production workers according to Worksafe BC – again, it’s management that’s created the problem by cutting hours drastically, and it’s not up to you to fix their mess – especially when they are the ones getting the bonus.

Workers Compensation Board (WCB) upholds orders on Safeway

It is illegal under the BC Workers Compensation Act to force workers to carry out unsafe work. All workers are obliged under the Act to protect themselves from injury!

Safeway unsuccessfully appealed a number of WCB orders to correct unsafe working conditions in one of its interior locations. UFCW Local 1518 and Local 247 are actively supporting the WCB orders.

REMEMBER, there are enough UFCW 1518 members already forced to wear tensor bandages and braces, or permanently disabled and needing special accommodation to stay employed…the faster you go, the more repetitive strain injuries you will get, until you cannot work anymore…refuse unsafe work and work speedups. Protect yourself, your health, and your family! Any members with questions or comments are encouraged to contact the union designate on their workplace Health & Safety Committee, Shop Steward, or their Union Representative.

The following WCB orders were upheld: • Violation of OHSR 4.39 due to water on the compressor room floor. • Violation of OHSR 19.12 due to blocked and open electrical panels in the compressor room. • Violation of PHSR 4.1 for failure to repair the disconnect on the baler. All Safeway Health & Safety Committees should ensure the baler disconnect switches are operational, and that no one enters the compressor rooms except authorized outside contractors. 30

UNITED FOOD AND COMMERCIAL WORKERS UNION LOCAL 1518


UNITED FOOD AND COMMERCIAL WORKERS UNION LOCAL 1518

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Review of Worksafe Inspection Reports: Safeway under scrutiny

Safeway # 103

The employer was ordered to update the Asbestos Inventory for the location. In addition, asbestos containing tiles and insulation were found in poor repair and an exposure control plan ordered on the company. Health & Safety Committees should ensure that all asbestos containing materials are identified, and if not removed, properly encapsulated.

Safeway #45

Due to a failure of a fitting on the refrigerant system, refrigerant leaked into the storeroom area. While exposure levels did not become dangerous, the alarm system for refrigerant leaks was not working properly. All committees should make sure these alarm systems are tested and operational.

Safeway #121

A bakery worker fell in an oven and suffered serious burns; he was unconscious when he was found. Worksafe determined that no first aid record was available. The inspection report notes that the worker was designated as a “floater� and had not received site specific training.

Health & Safety Committees must ensure that all workers receive adequate site specific training, that first aid records are properly kept, and full incident investigations are done immediately after any incident.

Safeway #1

A biological exposure control plan must be implemented and documented at all locations. The inspection report addressed the potential exposure to biohazards and needles due to washroom sanitation duties. All workers and supervisors must receive this training if they are potentially exposed. Safeway informed the WCB that no workers are to handle or clean up blood spills or needles.

Safeway #47

A worker was injured using a powered pallet mover and the worker had not received adequate instruction in the safe use of this equipment. The WCB could not confirm that retraining had taken place even after the incident investigation recommended it. Health & Safety Committees should ensure all workers are adequately trained for the tasks they are assigned.

Safeway #159 and Safeway #7

The use of milk crates and unsafe stepstools were addressed by the Health & Safety Committee. It was recommended that workers use two - three step platforms for stocking high shelves. It is important that all Safeway Health & Safety Committees are aware of these potential hazards, and look for similar problems in their stores.

HEALTH & SAFETY

SAFEWAY HOUR CUTS HAVE PUSHED UFCW 1518 MEMBERS TO THEIR LIMITS AND THESE REPORTS SHOW EVIDENCE, THAT IN THESE UNITS, BASIC SAFETY PRECAUTIONS ARE FALLING BY THE WAYSIDE. SEVEN DIFFERENT SAFEWAY LOCATIONS UNDERWENT WCB INSPECTIONS OVER THE PAST FOUR MONTHS AND HERE ARE SOME OF THE HAZARDS THAT WERE ENCOUNTERED:


Union helps protect members and public from exposure to toxic chemical Reports that the toxic chemical bisphenol A (BPA) was found in Safeway till receipts in the USA prompted your union to take action last fall to protect its members and the public from needless exposure.

Dear _______: As you know, Bisphenol A (BPA) has been analyzed on thermal paper used by food retailers and other retail operations in the United States.

HEALTH & SAFETY

UFCW 1518 contacted retailers throughout BC and asked them to make sure the thermal papers they use do not contain this toxic substance, and if they do, to replace it with alternative BPA free supplies. (See letter below from Ivan Limpright, President of UFCW 1518).

Health Canada has recently listed BPA on its toxic substance list. BPA is an estrogenic mimicking endocrine disrupting chemical, and our Cashiers are properly concerned. Any needless exposure to this potential carcinogen and developmental toxin should be eliminated.

The union has received responses from Safeway, Stongs, Overwaitea Food Group, The Bay, and several IGA locations. We can confirm that Stongs, the Bay and several IGA’s had already switched to BPA free paper, and that both Canada Safeway and Overwaitea Food Group have agreed to switch to BPA free paper too. This is an important accomplishment for you and your union.

As the attached report indicates, several retailers in the USA have found thermal papers that do not contain this toxic chemical. The practice in Japan is also to see BPA eliminated from thermal papers.

What is BPA?

We will shortly be providing further information to our members regarding this serious issue. It would be helpful, prior to doing so, if «Company_ Name» would inform us regarding the BPA content of its thermal receipt papers.

BPA is a concern for UFCW 1518 members working in retail because many members handle hundreds of receipts every day.

If your receipts are BPA free, that would be an enormous relief for our Cashiers, and your customers. If not, alternative paper sources need to be found.

BPA is a controversial industrial chemical that has been found in infant formula, beverages, linings in metal food and beverage cans, dental sealants, cash receipts, and up until early this year, baby bottles.

There is widespread exposure to this chemical due to its use as a liner in canned foods and we all have traces of it in our blood. However retail workers tested in the USA have shown slightly higher levels, and this prompted your union to take action.

Disclosure of information regarding potential exposure to controlled products such as BPA is, of course, required under both our WHMIS federal legislation, and our BC Occupational Health & Safety Regulation, Part 5.

In the next column is the letter written by Ivan Limpright that was sent to all head offices of companies employing UFCW 1518 members in the retail industry.

We look forward to your reply. Regards, Ivan Limpright President

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UNITED FOOD AND COMMERCIAL WORKERS UNION LOCAL 1518


UNITED FOOD AND COMMERCIAL WORKERS UNION LOCAL 1518

33

Safeway restroom maintenance: please protect yourself!

The training and control measures Safeway uses fall short of that which is recommended to ensure the health and safety of workers. We understand that a few minutes of instruction may be received, and that workers may then be directed to view a self-directed computer module with additional information. There is no mechanism for ensuring the material is fully grasped and implemented, no oversight or audit of its effectiveness by the joint health and safety committee and little time devoted to fully understanding the hazards associated with contaminated sharps, or body fluids, or confrontation with drug addicts or prostitutes which have been known to frequent Safeway public washrooms.

Additional concerns include: •

• •

Sanitization procedures for goggles, aprons, and hand protection. Need for site specific risk assessment as some locations present greater risk than others and have had different historical experience of violent incidents. Inadequate WHMIS training for handling and mixing controlled products and other hazardous materials.

All workers have a duty to refuse to carry out any tasks or sign off on any training until they are confident that they are adequately trained and fully protected. The Duty to Refuse Unsafe Work requires the following: 1. Notify supervisor immediately 2. Review with a steward or Union H&S Committee member present 3. State clearly that you remain onsite to carry out safe work 4. Immediately call WorkSafe and inform them you are implementing an unsafe work refusal: 1 888 621-SAFE (7233) 5. Call your Union Representative

WorkSafe backs Coopers member over dangerous bread slicer practice We all know the importance of customer service, but when a customer asks you to do something you feel is unsafe, you have the right to refuse their request. A Coopers bakery worker was asked by a customer to put a baguette through the automated bread slicer. The bread slicer is not able to slice baguettes without the worker manually pulling the baguette through the slicer blades with their fingers. Knowing this, the worker politely said they weren’t able to slice the baguette. The customer became upset with the member and went to complain to the store manager. Later the store manager confronted the worker and told her that in the future she is to always slice baguettes for customers if they request it. Ordering workers to perform unsafe work is a violation of the Workers Compensation Act. The member then phoned her Union Representative to speak with him about the situation. The union acted quickly, and asked WorkSafe to go to the store to inspect the bread slicer and determine whether it was safe practice for members to use it to slice baguettes. Worksafe determined it is not safe practice to slice baguettes through the slicer because the workers fingers are put in close proximity to the slicer blades. WorkSafe then wrote a report stating the procedure of slicing baguettes is unsafe, and members are not required to do this. The manager has since directed staff not to slice baguettes using the automated bread slicer. A sign with this management direction to workers is now posted at the bread slicer machine for public viewing in case there are any customers who are upset with this. It is both your duty and your right to refuse unsafe work, even if your manager tells you otherwise.

HEALTH & SAFETY

Safeway has initiated restroom cleaning procedures for General Clerks. Your union remains concerned about the implementation of this program. There are a number of potential hazards members may confront when taking on this new task. These include: • Exposure to potentially bio hazardous materials such as blood, body fluid and feces. • Potential exposure to used hypodermic needles. • Confrontation with potentially violent members of the public using these premises for illegal activities. • Exposure to chemical solutions that may be improperly mixed, diluted, or labeled.


BC employers take note:

Quebec employer convicted of criminal negligence in worker’s death EACH YEAR, WORKERS IN BC AND ACROSS CANADA ARE KILLED AND INJURED ON THE JOB, AND ALL TOO OFTEN THESE DEATHS AND MAIMINGS OF WORKERS ARE DISMISSED AS MERE “ACCIDENTS”.

are irrelevant. In the matter of criminal negligence, the criminal wrongdoing involves the failure to envisage a risk that a reasonable person would have recognized.” Employers and supervisors of workers everywhere, including right here in BC, need to heed the lessons of this decision.

HEALTH & SAFETY

Occasionally (but not nearly often enough) our legal system takes strong measures against employers who dance around safety regulations.

Too many times workers are injured due to poor maintenance of equipment or exposure to hazardous substances or improper training. When workplace Health & Safety Committees identify hazards and recommend they be eliminated, an employer not acting on this information may be criminally responsible under the Canadian Criminal Code if a serious injury occurs as a result.

One such case occurred recently in Quebec, where a judge has convicted an employer of criminal negligence causing death. The judge convicted the employer as a result of the death of a landscaping worker killed when a backhoe vehicle that had not been properly maintained for 30 years failed to brake, and pinned him against a wall.

A caution to all workers…come home to your families and loved ones healthy and safe!

The Quebec provincial court ruling was based on the long-standing provisions of the Canadian Criminal Code regarding criminal negligence causing death and did not rely on the new occupational health and safety provisions that were added to the Code in 2004 by the Liberal government of Prime Minister Jean Chrétien.

REFUSE ALL UNSAFE WORK!! FOR INFORMATION ON YOUR DUTY TO REFUSE UNSAFE WORK, PLEASE CONTACT YOUR UNION HEALTH & SAFETY DEPARTMENT OR YOUR UNION REPRESENTATIVE.

Quebec’s Justice Lavergne found, rather, that “the employer’s intentions, what he knew or did not know,

Health & Safety Committees: Worker Co-Chairs and Worker Representatives: ensure your rights are respected When employers cut hours and demand work speedups, one of the first things they attack are your rights to a safe and healthy workplace. Often it is our union members who serve as representatives on the Health and Safety committees who are improperly restricted from carrying out their duties as Health and Safety Co-Chairs or Reps.

and Safety committee as a whole. Union members who serve as worker co-chairs have a special role to play in determining these issues, and in carrying out the work. If union members serving as Health and Safety reps are restricted from carrying out their rights and responsibilities under the Act, they must inform the union so that appropriate action can be taken. We will take the matter up with the company, and the provincial health & safety committee. If the committee cannot come to an agreement, the matter will go to third party review.

Health and Safety committee representatives have a right and duty to participate in all Health and Safety activities, as specified in the Workers Compensation Act. Decisions about time spent on Health and Safety related issues, and who from the committee will carry out specific duties are to be determined by the Health 34

UNITED FOOD AND COMMERCIAL WORKERS UNION LOCAL 1518


UFCW 1518

EDUCATION & SCHOLARSHIPS

Helping with your future.

16 scholarships of $1,000 each will be awarded to students attending post-secondary colleges in B.C. Ten scholarships will go to students entering college from grade 12, and six will go to those continuing their studies. To obtain an application for UFCW Local 1518 scholarships, contact your nearest high school, college, or university, or e-mail awards.inquiry@ ubc.ca. Deadline for application is May 31.

UFCW INTERNATIONAL SCHOLARSHIPS

Each year, the UFCW International awards 2 scholarships worth $8,000 (4 years X $2,000) to two UFCW Canada members, or their dependents. Please visit www.ufcw1518.com/education/ scholarships for application and eligibility information, or e-mail scholarship@ufcw.org with any questions you may have. Deadline for application is June 3.

UFCW 1518-OFG DIVERSITY SCHOLARSHIPS

6 scholarships worth $2500 each will be awarded each year to UFCW 1518 members with at least one year of service (or their dependents) employed by the Overwaitea Food Group. Applicants will be able to demonstrate their participation in school, community, and/or store activities through an application process and personal letter. Deadline for application is May 31.

UFCW CANADA BEGGS, DOWLING, AND MATHIEU SCHOLARSHIPS

scholarships

UFCW 1518 SCHOLARSHIPS

5 scholarships of $1,000 are awarded each year by UFCW Canada to active members in Western Canada and their family members for those attending full-time studies at a Canadian university, college, or other recognized postsecondary institution. To apply, simply go to www. ufcw.ca , click on the “UFCW Canada scholarships” link, and complete the online application. Deadline for application is September 30.

COLUMBIA FOUNDATION SCHOLARSHIPS

The Columbia Institute is committed to lifelong learning that benefits all segments of society, and has two scholarships for which UFCW 1518 members can apply. 14 “Lifelong Learning” scholarships of $1,000 are available each year, and the “Dennis McGann Bursary” of $1,000 is available to students studying Communications. For more information, please go to: www.columbiainstitute. ca/scholarships

CCOHS DICK MARTIN SCHOLARSHIPS

This $3000 scholarship is offered each year by the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, and is available to post-secondary students who are enrolled in an Occupational Health and Safety related course or program at any Canadian college or university, leading to an occupational health and safety certificate, diploma or degree. For more information and to apply, please go to: www.ccohs.ca/scholarship/entries/ . Deadline for the Dick Martin Scholarship Award is January 31.


Publications Mail Agreement No. 40064629


Latest Local 1518 Update - Summer 2011