UFCW Canada – Our Voice is Strong
UFCW Canada is a progressive and inclusive organization that is dedicated to workers’ rights and a better future for members and their families. UFCW Canada stands for United Food and Commercial Workers Canada. We are one of Canada's most experienced and respected unions. Our roots go back to 1899 (see Our History).
We are a democratic union. Members vote for their local union leaders, the bylaws that govern their locals, and their collective agreements.
We are a Canadian union backed up by the strength of UFCW International — one of North America’s largest private-sector unions with over 1.3 million members.
Many people think of UFCW Canada as the food workers’ union because we represent members in every sector of the food industry from the field, to the processor, to the warehouse, to the store, to the dinner table. But we are more than that. Across Canada tens of thousands of UFCW Canada members also work in the in health care, manufacturing, hospitality and many other sectors.
With more than 250, 000 members, represented by 47 UFCW Canada Local Unions, UFCW is Canada’s largest private sector union and by far the largest union in the private sector retail and service industries.
Just some of the sectors we represent include:
Agriculture • Breweries, Distillers and Soft Drinks • Call Centres • Cereal and Flour Mills • Clothing Manufacturing • Credit Unions and Financial Services • Department Stores• Drug Stores• Food Processing • Health Care Services • Hotels • Nursing and Retirement Homes • Packinghouses • Pharmaceutical • Printing • Restaurants • Security Service • Supermarkets • Warehouse and Distribution
The UFCW Canada membership is diverse and vibrant and UFCW Canada members work in every province in Canada. Nearly half of all UFCW Canada members are under 30. The membership is made up almost equally between men and women, and whether you are employed part-time or full-time, every UFCW Canada member is entitled to the same level of service and work-related assistance.
All UFCW Canada members are treated equally, including thousands of members who are also Temporary Foreign Workers in Canada — on a path to permanent status because of their UFCW Canada collective agreements.
UFCW Canada - Democracy, Solidarity and Strength
The structure of UFCW Canada is built on the strength and participation of the membership. Members in each workplace are represented and serviced by one of 47 UFCW Canada Local unions across Canada. Each Local is part of the National union through membership in the UFCW Canada National Council. Some UFCW Canada Local unions are small, representing just a few dozen workers at a single workplace. Others have tens of thousands of members working at hundreds of workplaces in their area.
No matter their size, all UFCW Canada Local unions only exist because of the membership, who nominate and elect the President, Secretary-Treasurer, Recorder and three or more Vice Presidents of their local union. In some UFCW Canada Locals, rank-and-file members also serve as Vice Presidents. Presidents and other officers may be also be rank-and-file members; while at other Local unions the positions are full time.
Rank-and-file members also participate directly on Local Union advisory boards, and sometimes as one a Local Union’s representative to local labour councils or federations.
Most UFCW Canada Local unions have their own full-time union representatives, organizers and administrative staff. Some smaller Local unions are supported with training, bargaining, organizing and administrative services through the UFCW Canada National Office.
The UFCW Canada National Council
All UFCW Canada Local Unions presidents are represented at the UFCW Canada National Council. The National Council meets twice a year and is the union’s National Executive Board and leadership forum.
Wayne Hanley, the National President of UFCW Canada, is also the President of the National Council.
The National Council has four Advisory Committees which help create ongoing programs to help build the union and prepare it for the future: the Human Rights, Equity & Diversity (HRED) committee; the Women’s’ Advisory Committee; the Workplace Rights Committee; and the Education and Political Action Committee.
Members of the Committees are drawn from UFCW Canada Local Unions across Canada — acting as a voice for membership concerns and initiatives.