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Edmonton – March 22, 2014 – The rallying cry of “We Did It Together” recognized the thousands of Local 401 Superstore and Liquor Store retail members who successfully struck Loblaw-banner stores last fall in Alberta — and was the welcoming theme to stewards and Local 401 activists who gathered for a Local 401 training conference in Edmonton, March 14-16.
Last fall's worker action resulted in Loblaw-banner contracts with improvements to wages and benefits, plus unique language that increased workers’ rights such as "whistle blowing" (exposing wrongdoing by the employer with no threat of retaliation). Building on that successful solidarity, the Edmonton training session focused on empowering participants to "Walk the Walk" as activists and advocates for their union and fellow members.
UFCW 401 staff representatives delivered training that strengthened stewards’ knowledge of grievance investigations, as well as prepared them to provide ‘orientation sessions’ to every new hire. This training focused on skills to ensure Loblaw Management respects the new contract and UFCW’s intent to advance workers’ rights.
The weekend conference also featured a number of guest speakers including Deron Bilous the NDP MLA for Edmonton-Beverly-Clareview; and Brian Mason, NDP MLA for Edmonton-Highlands-Norwood.
UFCW 401 stewards and activists from across the province came away from the conference with invaluable strategies and contract enforcement techniques to make their workplace better than ever — and with knowledge and solutions to empower their fellow members to ‘walk the walk’ when it comes to asserting their rights on the job.