More than a dozen union stewards from six workplaces in the Windsor, Ont., area received newly-updated training from the UFCW Canada National Office recently. National representative Brian Noonan presented the two-day program to the activists from UFCW Canada Local 278W, with a session on worker compensation delivered by local union representative Dan Owen (pictured), who is also the local’s secretary-treasurer.
“The stewards were very happy with the presentation,” Owen says. “One of the participants said he learned more in one day of this course than all the others he had taken. These activists now have the knowledge and confidence to address the members’ needs.”
There were 14 stewards (including local union President Doug Mulder) participating in the class, eight of them new to the role. The group represented six different workplaces with six different collective agreements: Agris Co-op, Archer Daniels Midland (ADM Milling), Coca-Cola Bottling, Dainty Foods, Heinz Security, and Pepsi Bottling. In addition to Mulder, participants included Nicole Coulter, Fred Damphousse, Paul Gossmann, John Haggerty, Mike Kohler, Louis Melo, Eric Olsen, Rick Rosseel, Jamie Ruggaber, Steve Seguin, Alex Shaw, Tim Vandenriessche, and Pete Zuiderveen.
Noonan says a popular segment of the training involved each member preparing a grievance based on a scenario that might occur in their own workplace. Each then made a presentation to the group which evaluated the circumstances to determine whether a valid grievance was involved or if it was simply a complaint about work. “The participants liked this exercise very much,” he says. “They could really relate what they were learning to what they would be encountering in their own workplaces.”
DIRECTIONS • Vol. 10 No.10 • March 15, 2010