National Council meets to strengthen growth, political action and member engagement


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Toronto – May 13, 2015 – UFCW Canada national and local union leaders recently gathered at the biannual UFCW National Council meeting held in Toronto, Ontario. The meeting primarily focused on strengthening the union's growth efforts and finding new and innovative ways to help more workers join the union, at a time when workers in Canada face unprecedented assaults on their rights from corporations and governments at all levels.   

The National Council members also explored various strategies for improving UFCW Canada's education and training programs for members and allies, as well as expanding the union's youth initiatives. As Canada’s most progressive union, the leadership further discussed how members, staff, and officers can work to make UFCW Canada the most diverse, tolerant, and inclusive union in the country.

The National Council also welcomed UFCW International President Marc Perrone to discuss key findings from the recent UFCW International Retail Conference held in Chicago, as well as the battles that UFCW is fighting against Work For Less laws and other anti-worker legislation in the United States. Brother Perrone was elected International President in December 2014 and was visiting Canada for the second time since his election last winter.

Finally, the local and national union leaders examined UFCW Canada's current and future political action work, including our union's involvement in the Alberta and Prince Edward Island elections, the labour movement's campaign to stop the dangerous Bill C-377, and UFCW strategies for the upcoming federal election in October 2015.

"In the face of intense attacks from greedy corporations and Ultra-Conservative politicians like Stephen Harper, it is important for us to show Canadians that working together for fairness achieves positive results for all workers," said Paul Meinema, UFCW Canada's National President. "And that is what our organizing, political action, and member engagement initiatives will continue to focus on moving forward," Meinema added.

As the union's national executive board, the UFCW Canada National Council meets twice a year to assess the state of the union, decide on national strategies for strengthening the membership's bargaining power with employers, and develop plans for helping more workers join the union.