Last Friday, UFCW Locals 1118 and 401 donated over $2,000 in food to the Calgary Food Bank as a result of a campaign that the unions jointly ran.
The donation will assist more than 30 Calgary families in need.
From June 16 to August 1, UFCW organizers were engaging Alberta Save-On Foods workers about the benefits that joining a real union could provide them. Those workers are in the midst of an “open period” with their current representative association, the Christian Labour Association of Canada (CLAC), during which they can legally consider changing their representation.
“Our mission is to be a voice for working Albertans and we take that job very seriously,” said UFCW Local 401 Secretary Treasurer Theresa McLaren. “We work every day to get our members the best contracts possible and we’re equally happy to support working Calgarians who might be struggling to make ends meet with this donation.”
“In the course of speaking with those workers, we purchased a lot of food,” added UFCW Local 1118 President Albert Johnson. “We’re glad that we can turn around and give that food to an organization like the Calgary Food Bank.”
The donation comes at a vital time with organizations like the Calgary Food Bank experiencing a sharp increase in usage for the month of June.
“Last year 129,000 Calgarians came to us for temporary emergency support,” said Calgary Food Bank representative Keoma Duce. “This year’s numbers are showing a nearly 9 per cent increase over last year; however, we are also noticing that people are coming to us less often.
On average, over 80 per cent of people come to us less than twice in their lifetime. This decrease may be a result of the direct referrals for support we provide that address the root causes of what led to food insecurity in the first place.
Donations like the one being made by UFCW Locals 1118 and 401 are tremendously important in helping us to provide the support that we do.”
Assisting with our campaign to show Save-On Foods workers in Alberta the benefits of joining a real union, the Alberta Federation of Labour (AFL) has been organizing a series of rallies with its affiliates outside Save-On locations to engage Save-On employees. Speaking about the rallies, AFL President Gil McGowan has the following to say:
“The Christian Labour Association of Canada (CLAC) is not a real union. It’s a cheap knockoff masquerading as the real thing, giving other unions a bad name in the process.
We’re supporting UFCW 401 in its efforts to offer an alternative to employees at Save-On Foods because we believe unions should always keep the interests of its members at the top of mind.
A real union, like UFCW Local 401, is principled, transparent, democratic, and member-driven. Simply put, a real union is the voice of its members.
But that’s not how CLAC sees it. CLAC spends more time talking to management at Save-On Foods than it does listening to its members. Why? Because CLAC is not interested in representing its members; it’s too busy keeping their members out of the way.
CLAC’s current negotiations are more of the same. Negotiations are ongoing for a new contract, but most employees won’t be made aware of the progress, details or compromises being agreed to by CLAC on behalf of employees. In fact, some employees at Save-On Foods that we’ve spoken to this summer aren’t even aware their contracts are currently in negotiations.
A union without the engaged participation of its members is not a union at all.
We stand beside UFCW Local 401 because employees at Save-On Foods deserve a union that stands up for them, takes care of their interests, and includes them—not a cheap knockoff that ignores them.”
Working together improve the lives of all workers – that’s the union way!
As you may be aware, GlobalFest will be running in Calgary on August 14 – 23. GlobalFest is a world-class, multi-faceted arts and culture festival that celebrates and showcases cultural diversity and artistic excellence within our communities and across the globe.
As part of our sponsorship of the Festival, UFCW Local 401 members have access to an exclusive discount on GlobalFest tickets that I wanted to share with you. If you go to GlobalFest and enter UNIONYES as the discount code, you will be able to purchase tickets at a reduced price.
UFCW Local 401 is happy to be able to offer you this benefit of union membership and I hope that many of you will take advantage of this opportunity!
By bargaining together strong, members at Pebble Beach were able to win significant gains in a tentative agreement with their Employer for the next three years. Most of the issues that were addressed by the members were resolved through negotiations, including monetary gains that will match the wages received by members at Buffalo Metis Catering.
Additionally, Pebble Beach members will now have a turnaround of 20 and 10 (previously 21 and 7). The new turnaround formula will greatly benefit members at Pebble Beach both mentally and physically by providing them with more time away from the stresses and challenges of camp life.
Finally, the members at Pebble Beach were able to secure greater stability and certainty in their scheduling. Previously, the Employer was only required to schedule members a minimum of 40 hours a week. But the placement of those hours could be extremely erratic, with a number of eight, nine, and ten hour days occurring throughout the week. This schedule would often shift from week-to-week, causing a great deal of uncertainty for Pebble Beach members.
Under the tentative agreement, the Employer is required to schedule Pebble Beach members a minimum of 8 hours each day so that the members are able to maximize their hours while also enjoying a greater degree of predictability with their schedules.
Pebble Beach members will be reviewing the offer and making a decision in the coming weeks. However, already the members’ hard work has paid off in improvements contained in the Company’s offer that will positive impact the quality of life at Pebble Beach.