June 21 was the first event of an event-packed weekend for UFCW Canada members involved in the fight for a cure for leukemia.
More than 800 people were in attendance at our annual LRFC gala evening in Toronto, to celebrate and be entertained – but most importantly, to present to the Leukemia Research Fund of Canada more than $580,000 raised by UFCW Canada members last year. That brings to more than $6.5-million raised by UFCW Canada members since we began our fundraising efforts in the mid-1980s.
The activities continued through the weekend, with our 7th annual celebrity golf classic the next day on Saturday at Angus Glen in Markham, Ont., which raised $30,000 towards this year’s total for the LRFC. On Sunday, more than 100 golfers came out to the UFCW Canada national golf tournament at Nottawasaga in Alliston, Ont., raising funds and awareness for this cause. Finally, on Monday, UFCW Canada Local 1000A officially opened its new office in Woodbridge, Ont., including a raffle for research in the process.
June 21-24 represented an extraordinary few days in our union’s annual cycle of raising money and awareness for the fight against leukemia. But at the same time it was representative of what we all do, all year long. Fundraising has become, for many locals, second nature.
It is always gratifying to see the commitment shown by UFCW Canada members who immediately think of fundraising for this cause at all of their local union events. When even more local unions adopt this attitude and let fundraising become second nature for them, too, we will truly be closer to a cure.
The spirit of solidarity remains high as the strike by 275 UFCW Canada Local 401 members against the Shaw Conference Centre in Edmonton begins its third month, with more confusion than action on the part of management.
“We have made it clear to the managment of the centre that the union’s bargaining committee is prepared to meet to negotiate at any time. We are available to meet 24 hours per day, and we are prepared to reschedule our upcoming activities to accommodate bargaining,” says Local 401 president Doug O’Halloran. Economic Development Edmonton, or EDE, which runs the new 5,000 seat convention centre, answers to the municipal government. The mayor and city council, however, have refused to get involved, claiming the matter is between union members and the EDE. Most recently, Edmonton mayor Bill Smith told the media, “My message to Doug is to pick up the phone and call (EDE president) Allan Scott,” apparently unaware Scott had gone on holidays in the midst of the strike.
Business is collapsing at the new centre, says UFCW Canada Local 401 representative Larry Zima, who has been producing a daily newsletter for strikers. “There have been more than 30 cancellations of events so far, and we believe that to be just the beginning,” he says. “A facility of this type needs unions on its side, because unions are major users of convention centres. To treat these workers with the contempt they have thus far is like changing the name to Economic Disaster Edmonton.”
In photo, Canadian Labour Congress president Ken Georgetti (second from left) and secretary-treasurer Hassan Yussuff (holding speaker) during a recent visit to the picket line.
More: Doug O’Halloran, Larry Zima, UFCW Canada Local 401
International supermarket giant Safeway has permanently closed its three stores in Thunder Bay, Ont. in early June, throwing more than 400 members of UFCW Canada Local 175 out of work. The workers had been on strike for more than eight months.
“Safeway has treated these members with total contempt,” says UFCW Canada director Michael Fraser. “We must continue to show solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Thunder Bay whose jobs were sacrificed to Safeway’s corporate greed.”
Local 175 president Wayne Hanley has announced the creation of an adjustment program, and the UFCW Canada national office has requested local unions across Canada to provide whatever financial assistance they can, especially since Safeway has refused to provide any severance or to participate in aiding the workers in any way.
Delegates to the UFCW Canadian Council convention, which was in session when the announcement came, voted to contribute $50,000, to be added to the $100,000 already committed by the local to begin the assistance program. For information regarding the program and donations, please contact Wayne Hanley directly at the local’s head office in Mississauga.
More: Wayne Hanley, Cheryl Mumford, UFCW Canada Local 175, www.ufcw175.com
UFCW Canada Local 247 assistant to the president Dan Goodman will be entering the gruelling Okanagan International Marathon in Kelowna, B.C. this October as part of the Leukemia Research Fund of Canada’s Team in Training fundraising program.
“Actually, at this point, I’m only planning to run the half-marathon, because there really isn’t the time to train from scratch for the full distance,” he says. The LRFC’s Team in Training program provides professional training so runners and walkers can participate in select events, collecting pledges for the LRFC for their efforts. Five events are involved this year, with runs in Vancouver and Ottawa having already taken place in the spring, and the Okanagan, Toronto, and Victoria, B.C. events in October.
“I’m hoping to encourage other UFCW Canada members to participate in these events, and also to encourage some of the very busy UFCW Canada local union officers across the country to sponsor my run for a cure,” Dan says. “I’ve only just started raising pledges, so there’s only a few hundred dollars so far. I’m sure our local union officers will be generous when they think of the great cause this run is dedicated to.”
Paul Meinema has been elected by the executive board of UFCW Canada Local 1400 in Saskatchewan to succeed Brian Stewart as president of the local. Brother Stewart resigned the presidency recently for health and personal reasons, although he remains on the staff of the local and will return to assigned duties on return from sick leave.
Brother Meinema, who was featured as one of the “top 10” labour leaders in the province in a recent issue of SaskBusiness magazine, began his union activism as a member of UFCW Canada Local 1118 at the Fletcher’s packinghouse in Red Deer, Alta. through the hard-fought disputes of the latter 1980s. He was part of the team that helped Cargill workers in High River, Alta. organize in 1990, and joined the national staff of UFCW Canada in 1991, where he worked in the Atlantic provinces before being assigned to Saskatchewan.
More: Paul Meinema, UFCW Canada Local 1400, www.ufcw1400.ca
UFCW Canada members have once again topped the half-million dollar mark for fundraising for the Leukemia Research Fund of Canada (LRFC) in 2001, presenting cheques for more than $580,000 at the annual gala evening in Toronto on June 21.
“The spirit and involvement of members across Canada is truly inspiring,” says UFCW Canada Local 175 training director Walter Lumsden, who is also national president of the LRFC. “There is a renewed sense of people wanting to do good in their communities in the post-911 era. I think our fundraising efforts for the LRFC are going to grow because of it.”
The gala evening, attended by more than 800 members and guests, featured entertainment by singer Burton Cummings and comedian Russell Peters. The theme of the evening featured UFCW Canada’s newest venture in raising funds and awareness for leukemia research, our partnership with the Micks Motorsports racing team. Driver Kerry Micks and his CASCAR stock car racing crew entered the hall in uniform, complete with the actual race car, much to the delight of many race fans in attendance.
Kerry Micks praised the efforts of UFCW Canada members, and said his team was proud to be in partnership to raise money for leukemia research. “We have known from the very beginning of our venture with UFCW Canada just how important the cause of leukemia research is to members. The gala night showed how dedicated they are,” Kerry says. “My team and I were warmly welcomed. We are dedicated to increasing public awareness and major fundraising through CASCAR racing.”
He adds, “Words don’t come easily to describe my feelings when I think that some of these leukemia victims won’t have the chance that I did to participate in something I love to do because of poor health. I hug my daughter a little tighter now and thank God for our good health more often. The cure is out there!”
As part of the UFCW Canada Racing for a Cure program, Micks Motorsports together with APX Racing Gear has developed a full line of racewear being sold by mail order and online, with all royalties going to the LRFC. Most of the items being sold, from T-shirts to caps, to dress shirts, golf shirts, and jackets, are made by UFCW Canada members. As well, each appearance by the car at races and public events includes direct publicity for LRFC fundraising.
Photos show Kerry and crew with the #02 Ford Taurus; Kerry letting members get “hands on” with his race car; entertainers Russell Peters and Burton Cummings.
More: LRFC, Walter Lumsden, UFCW Local 175; motorsports program, Brian Noonan, UFCW Canada national office, www.micksmotorsports.com
UFCW Canada Local 1000A president Kevin Corporon welcomed members and visiting officers from other locals to an open house of the local’s new home in Woodbridge, Ont. on June 24.
Photo, from l-r, Local 1000A secretary-treasurer Brian Docherty, national executive assistant to the director Dan Gilbert, city councillor Bernie Di Vona, Kevin Corporon, national director Michael Fraser, and international executive assistant to the director of organizing Pat O’Neill.
UFCW Canada Local 509 brought together 84 stewards from across its membership to Ste-Foy, Qué. for a convention recently, enhancing the experience with workshops in areas such as steward training, workplace leadership, and health and safety.
Guest speakers at the convention included UFCW Canada director Michael Fraser, Québec assistant to the director Louis Bolduc, and Québec federation of labour (FTQ) president Henri Massé.
Brother Fraser underscored the importance of the role of stewards in the union. “You are our point of contact with members,” he said. “You are the voice of the union in the workplace, and you help to gain the respect of employers, which helps your co-workers.” Fraser also praised the leadership of the local for its foresight in providing new services in recent months, including the opening of a new office last year in Charlesbourg, as well as the launch of its magazine L’ACTUACLITÉ 509, as well as its new web site (Directions 2.07-8).
Seen in photo during the conference are (l-r): Louis Bolduc, UFCW Canada Local 509 president Pierre Bolduc, Michael Fraser, secretary-treasurer Daniel Nadeau, and Henri Massé.
More: Pierre Bolduc, UFCW Canada Local 509, www.tuac509.ca
The president of UFCW Canada Local 459 in Leamington, Ont., and contact for further information regarding the recent contract ratification at Omstead Foods in Wheatley, is Perry Sabelli. An incorrect spelling was provided in the last issue.
Sister Gossi became a UFCW Canada member with Local 175 in Toronto, where she worked in various capacities for A&P stores. She joined the servicing staff of the local in the early 1990s, and became a national representative in January 1995. Dorothy has been involved in numerous organizing programs, as well as assisting local unions across Canada.
A wide range of labour-oriented collectibles – from pinbacks and lapel pins, to convention badges, to antique ribbons, hats, booklets, and just about anything else you can imagine – is available on eBay.com, the online auction web site. Enough union items are available at any one time (about 350 at this writing) that eBay has given union items their own category.
You can search for something specific by typing in keywords (such as “UFCW”), or simply browse the selection of all union items. It’s free to look, and many of the items are priced very reasonably if you wish to try your luck at the auctions themselves. If you are not familiar with how eBay works, please be sure to read the site instructions as well as the individual auction details carefully before bidding.
To check it out, just use the URL above, or go to www.ebay.com, then follow the categories through Collectibles, Historical Memorabilia, Fraternal Groups, Trade Union. Tip: you can also access most of these same items through www.eBay.ca, but that site will limit your search to items listed as “available to Canada”, which will provide fewer results. Often, if you find something that the seller says will be sold in the U.S. only, they will reconsider if you email them. The “U.S. only” setting is a default setting that is sometimes overlooked by sellers.
Thanks to Dan Goodman (Local 247) and Don Keith (Local 832) for this site suggestion. Got a favourite labour-oriented web site you would like to share? Please email [email protected].