Toronto – December 22, 2016 – As one year ends and another one approaches, we renew our commitment to making good things happen for our families and our communities. As the President of Canada's leading and most progressive union, I am proud and inspired by the tremendous positive impact that UFCW Canada members and their Local Unions made in 2016, at workplaces and in neighbourhoods across Canada.
Our unity as a workers' organization and as a force for social justice made a major difference in 2016. Thousands of workers were supported in their efforts to bring a union to their workplace, and we welcomed their success and the strength that they brought as new UFCW Canada members. Our voices were strong throughout the year in advancing the issues that are so important to workers and their families, like improving the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), fighting the job-killing Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and, most recently, winning reforms to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP).
The united goodness and compassion of UFCW Canada also shone through in 2016, as UFCW members and their Local Unions raised over $2.4 million for the life-saving efforts of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada (LLSC). In addition, the spirit of community resolve was echoed in the voices and actions of thousands of UFCW Canada members calling for workplace fairness – not just for themselves, but for all workers whose hopes, goals, and rights have been ignored by too many governments. Those voices have helped ignite a conversation that is building momentum to return fairness as the foundation of a Canada that works for everyone.
We should be optimistic, for we know that when good people join together, great things happen. That is our history as a labour union and as a champion of fairness and equality. That is our commitment to the year ahead – to stand united in our diversity as an inclusive union and a force of social justice in the workplace, in the community, and across this great country.
To you and your family, I extend my best wishes for the season, and for the New Year ahead.
Paul R. Meinema