Fort McMurray Wildfires Resource Page

UFCW Local 401 has been working hard to assist our members since the mandatory evacuation of Fort McMurray was called. Initially we had assigned a point person from the union, but now that people have returned and the emergency has passed, we ask that you please call your Senior Labour Relations Officer (Union Rep) if you are in need of assistance. Clayton Herriot or Abdi Guled can be reached at the Fort McMurray union office: 1-800-252-7975 or ufcw@ufcw401.ab.ca.

UFCW Local 401 also made a $5,600 in-kind donation of diapers, baby wipes, pillows, toiletries, and other requested items to the Edmonton Emergency Relief Services Society on May 6, 2016.

And on May 9, 2016, UFCW Local 401 announced the creation of the UFCW Fire Relief Fund, a joint fundraising effort between UFCW Locals 401 and 1118 (both of whom have members in Fort McMurray and the Wood Buffalo Region). Our goal is to raise more than $1 million with donations from other UFCW locals in Canada and the United States to assist our members who have been affected by the Fort McMurray wildfires.

Criteria are being set up to distribute the funds once access to Fort McMurray has been re-established. Additionally, once re-opened our Fort McMurray office will function as a resource centre where Fort McMurray members can go to receive immediate recovery assistance.

Please note that we need everyone who wishes to receive assistance to register in advance so that we can compare how many people we are looking to help and the nature of their circumstances against the resources that we have available.

We encourage all members from Fort McMurray who have been affected by the wildfires to register for the UFCW Fire Relief Fund.

You will also be able to register for the Fund at our Fort McMurray office once it is re-opened.

Please note that we need everyone who wishes to receive assistance to register in advance so that we can compare how many people we are looking to help and the nature of their circumstances against the resources that we have available.

The exact criteria for the distribution of funds from the UFCW Fire Relief Fund are still being determined. We will announce the criteria once it has been finalized.

However, if you are a member of UFCW Local 401 or UFCW Local 1118 who has been directly affected by the Fort McMurray wildfires, we encourage you to register for assistance in advance.

100% of the funds raised for the UFCW Fire Relief Fund will go directly to members of UFCW Locals 401 and 1118 affected by the fires. Any administrative costs associated with collecting, managing, and distributing the funds will be covered by UFCW.

Access to Fort McMurray is currently prohibited due to safety concerns. Access has only been granted to front line workers and elected officials who are working directly on containing the wildfires and the transition plan for re-entry of Fort McMurray residents to the town.

President O’Halloran has been working daily to receive the clearance he needs in order to travel to Fort McMurray and has committed to continue that work until the necessary clearance is provided.

Read President O’Halloran’s most recent message to Fort McMurray members here:

https://gounion.ca/news/a-message-to-our-members-in-fort-mcmurray/

The best place to go for updates on the situation is the Emergency Update page of the Alberta Emergency Management Agency:

http://www.alberta.ca/emergency.cfm

The Alberta Emergency Management Agency (AEMA) is monitoring the situation in Fort McMurray and working to determine when residents will be able to return. Residents of Fort McMurray will be allowed back into the town only once the following conditions are met:

  • Wildfire is no longer an imminent threat to the community
  • Critical infrastructure is repaired to provide basic service
  • Essential services, such as fire, EMS, police and healthcare are restored to a basic level
  • Hazardous areas are secure. There are 100 truckloads of fencing being sent to Fort McMurray.
  • Local government is re-established

The current schedule for return to the city is June 1, 2016 – though that schedule may change depending on conditions.

For more information and updates on the situation, you can visit the AEMA Emergency Update page at http://www.alberta.ca/emergency.cfm or call 310-4455.

For questions about your workplace, the best resource is your employer’s website/call-in numbers. They will be posting the most up-to-date information about return to work and working conditions in Fort McMurray.

Additionally, your union is in regular contact with all of our members’ employers in Fort McMurray. So if you are not able to get the information you are looking for from your employer’s website/call-in line, please feel free to contact your rep at 1-800-252-7975 or ufcw@ufcw401.ab.ca

Employer Websites/Call-In Lines/Contact

Crown and BMC Members:
http://civeo.com/fort-mcmurray-fire-civeo-employees/

Safeway Members:
https://www.safeway.ca/careers/fort-mcmurray

Return to work update for Safeway members:

https://gounion.ca/news/attention-fort-mcmurray-safeway-members-return-to-work-update/

Superstore Members:
Call 1-844-257-0902 for up-to-date information.

Save On Foods Members:

Greig_Cannard@owfg.com

Make sure you gather all of the relevant information and then contact our Edmonton office at 1-800-252-7975 or ufcw@ufcw401.ab.ca. You should ask to speak to your Senior Labour Relations Officer (Union Rep).

To get your Record of Employment (ROE) you will need to contact your employers’ Human Resources department.

Civeo: civeohr@civeo.com

Safeway: safeway.employeeservices@sobeys.com (1-800-295-3348)

Superstore: Rhonda.Jolicoeur@loblaw.ca (1-844-899-5187)

Save On Foods: Greig_Cannard@owfg.com

If you need further assistance with getting your ROE, please contact our Edmonton office at 1-800-252-7975 or ufcw@ufcw401.ab.ca.  You should ask to speak to your Senior Labour Relations Officer (Union Rep).

ROE update for Safeway members:

https://gounion.ca/news/attention-fort-mcmurray-safeway-members-return-to-work-update/

Yes, you can be recalled to do another job as long as you were laid off prior to the mandatory evacuation being called.

The Red Cross has been contracted by the Government of Alberta to handle all evacuee support and logistics.

One of the biggest tasks in effectively managing the situation is ensuring that all residents of Fort McMurray got out of the town safely and that they have access to the resources they need in order to manage their affairs during the evacuation. Registering will also ensure you are given the most up-to-date information as it becomes available.

To register with the Red Cross, call 1-888-350-6070 or register online at:

http://www.redcross.ca/how-we-help/emergencies-and-disasters-in-canada/how-we-help-canadians/red-cross-services/northern-alberta-wildfires-registration#

The Red Cross is providing immediate financial support of $50 million to evacuees from Fort McMurray, as well as supporting shelters that are housing evacuees in Lac La Biche, Edmonton, and Calgary, providing family reunification services for family members separated during the evacuation, and comfort and care to those suffering from emotional trauma as a result of the evacuation.

For a full listing of the assistance available through the Red Cross, please visit:

http://www.redcross.ca/how-we-help/emergencies-and-disasters-in-canada/how-we-help-canadians/alberta-fires

You can also read the Red Cross’ frequently asked questions for evacuees at:

http://www.redcross.ca/how-we-help/emergencies-and-disasters-in-canada/how-we-help-canadians/alberta-fires/faqs-alberta-fires-evacuees

Yes. In addition to the support being offered by the Red Cross, the Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) is also available to assist workers and their families impacted by the wildfires.

Visit https://www.workhealthlife.com for a listing of the support services available through EFAP, including: a Fort McMurray crisis line (1-844-751-2133), online counselling, and mobile counselling.

You can also check in with your employer about support services they may be offering. See the question about Return to Work above for the relevant contact information.