Your Voice e-newsletter v14.109

UFCW Local 401 Sponsors Fairy Tales Film Festival

Fairy Tales Film Festival logo

For the second year in a row, UFCW Local 401 is sponsoring the Fairy Tales Film Festival in Calgary. Starting out more than 15 years ago as a two-day event; the Festival has blossomed into an eight-day international affair that highlights the best in queer filmmaking and feature three community events.

This year is the Festival’s “Sweet Sixteen”, marking 16 years of presenting groundbreaking cinema aimed at telling the varied and compelling stories of queer people from all walks of life.

“UFCW Local 401 is proud to be a silver sponsor of such an important and successful event,” noted Union President Doug O’Halloran. “Our union staunchly believes that queer rights are human rights and need not only to be protected and defended, but celebrated both inside our workplaces and within our society.”

The Fairy Tales Film Festival will be taking place at a number of venues throughout Calgary from May 23-25 and May 28-31, 2014. For more information, to see the Festival schedule, and to watch a video trailer for this year’s Festival, visit the Festival’s website.

Fairy Tales Film Festival website

- Ricardo de Menezes

UFCW Local 401's Annual Fundraising Golf Tournament

aradise Canyon Golf Course

On June 21, 2014, UFCW Local 401 will be hosting its annual golf tournament to raise funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada. Each year, the union organizes a tournament and invites members and allies to come play an exciting game of golf for a good cause. The proceeds go directly to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada, with last year’s tournament raising nearly $15,000.

This year’s Tournament will take place at the Paradise Canyon Golf Course in Lethbridge, AB. Paradise Canyon is Southern Alberta’s most picturesque and best-groomed golf course. The Course is complete with clubhouse and driving range and Paradise Canyon promises that, “golfers of all levels will be both thrilled and challenged.”

Paradise Canyon website

UFCW Local 401 encourages as many members as possible to participate in the Tournament. If you would like to register, simply call the union’s Calgary office at 403-291-1047. Registration costs $125 and includes 18 holes of golf with a cart, lunch, a prime rib dinner with all the fixings, and some great prizes. Tournament start is 1:30pm (shotgun).

We look forward to seeing everyone and know that this year’s Tournament will be the most successful one yet!

- Loren Keister

JBS Negotiations Slow and Difficult, Strike Vote Possible


We have now met with your employer for two sets of bargaining.

Their favourite words thus far are “no” followed by “not interested”.

They are so far, unwilling to negotiate any contract language that will help improve your rights in your collective agreement.

Your Union believes that we need to have a full time walking steward and a Union office in the plant so that your issues can be dealt with quickly and effectively. The voice and visibility of your Union in your workplace is important and cannot be ignored. JBS employees have told us that Union representation and easier access to their union are an important issues.

We believe that JBS local management wants to keep you from knowing your rights so that they can abuse your rights. When employees see their Union, they become more educated and are less afraid to stand up for their rights at work. We believe that JBS as a whole do not have policies against Unions or towards violating people’s rights, but local management seem to have issues with following the collective agreement and the many other rights and protections that workers currently enjoy.

We have made very little progress to date.

It’s time for JBS employees to turn their thoughts towards the possibility of a strike by taking a strike vote. Striking is one of the Union’s most powerful weapons to force an employer to negotiate fairly and give employees what they need in a fair collective agreement. A strike cannot take place unless workers in the plant show their support for one through a strong “yes” vote. Your Union still hopes to negotiate a fair contract without taking that step.

It is necessary for us to warn you of this possibility.

We have further negotiating dates set for June 3rd, 4th and 5th, and June 17th, 18th and 19th, 2014.

We hope that we will have more success during these dates. Issues that are important to JBS employees continue to be fought for at the negotiations table.

We will be applying for government appointed mediation next week to try and help us reach a negotiated contract that is fair and reasonable for the employees. Government mediation is a mandatory step in the negotiations process. All negotiations in the Province of Alberta must go through the mediation process before taking a strike vote from the employees in the plant.

Watch for further updates after June 3rd, 4th and 5th, 2014.

- Doug O'Halloran

Clean Harbour Camps Make Big Step Forward In Organizing

UFCW Local 401 filed applications for certifications for Clean Harbor camps: Ruth Lake, Tamarack and Leismer. The workers were ecstatic!! Some of the workers said “It is about time, we are sick and tired of receiving low wages, no benefits and quite frankly no appreciation.” Labour Board meetings have been set for June 4th, 2014 in Edmonton.

Chris O’Halloran, Assistant to the President said “It’s about time that these big bosses that are making millions share their wealth and understand that there will be a standard for all camp workers in the North.” He also went on to say “UFCW 401 is not going to stand still until all camp workers are organized with fair wages, benefits and good working conditions.”

While we wait for the labour board, UFCW Local 401 will ensure that all workers will be treated fairly. We congratulate all of the workers at CleanHarbor in joining our Union.

- Chris O'Halloran