Your Voice e-newsletter v14.117

Bill C-377 Is Back

Bill C-377 Is Back

Stephen Harper’s infamous anti-union Bill C-377 was a hot topic of debate a few years ago, right up until last year when the the Bill was sent back to the House of Commons with major amendments to address rampant concern about the propriety and constitutionality of the Bill by the Senate. To many people’s surprise, that Senate revolt was lead by a handful of Conservative senators.

When Harper prorogued (shut down) Parliament, the Bill died on the floor without having been addressed. But the Bill has now been reintroduced with a renewed vigor.

Think Bill C-377 is just a problem for Canada’s unions and won’t have any impact on the average Canadian? Think again. Watch the following video to find out why.

- Doug O'Halloran

Solidarity With Crescent Heights Safeway Members

Group of hands

One of the Safeway stores in Medicine Hat is preparing to close its doors for the last time on December 6th, 2014. This little Crescent Heights store opened in the 1960’s and has been a staple for many that live in the area. Customers have said that they have shopped at the store for 50 years, first shopping with their parents and now with their own families.

Understandably, it has been an extremely emotional time for the employees of the Crescent Heights store, as well as the two remaining Safeway stores nearby.

Over the last several weeks, employees have been issued letters from the employer with a range of options for them after their store closes. These include: a bump into another position, a reduction in status from full-time to part-time, or to be unfortunately laid-off.

Although Medicine Hat has a city population, it still has that “small town feel”. So imagine being put in the position of having to bump a co-worker out of their work in order to keep your full-time status. The majority of these Safeway employees have worked together for many years and have formed friendships beyond work, bumping each other in this way just isn’t an option.

Your union believes that many of the letters issued to employees have been in error and we are in the process of grieving all the mistakes. This has given some comfort to the Safeway members of Medicine Hat, though they understand that the grievance/arbitration process is never quick in Alberta.

We will continue to work with our Medicine Hat Safeway members all in hopes of settling this matter as quickly as possible and remind our members in Crescent Heights that the union stands in solidarity with them.

- Sandy Harmeson

New webCampus Courses!

UFCW Canada’s webCampus program has a number of new courses that members and their family can sign up for. One of the new courses that might be of interest to members is around Internet safety. (registration open until November 14).

Facebook has 1.25 billion users and there are more than 500 million tweets sent out every day. The Internet is a great tool and fountain of information, but it can be a dangerous place if you are not careful.

There are many reasons that you need to use the highest security measures while on the Internet in order to keep yourself and loved ones safe. It doesn’t matter what age you are, you need to protect yourself, your family and your children from Internet stalkers as well as protect your personal information so that no one steals your identity or hacks your banking information.

This webCampus course (free to members and their families) discusses:

  • Understanding Internet threats – Malware. Phishing. Pharming. Spoofing. Not sure what these mean? This is a good place to start.
  • Computer safety – The Internet is an important part of daily life. Find out what you need to know to keep yourself, your device, protected.
  • Personal safety on the Internet – what are the threats and how to be safe while browsing?
  • Keeping your children safe while on the internet. While exploring the net make sure they are protected.

Promo video for the course

Full listing of webCampus courses

- UFCW Canada

Voice and Visibility at JBS

On July 28, 2014, UFCW Local 401 members at JBS Foods Canada/Lakeside Packers in Brooks voted by 97% for a new Union Contract. This will be their third contract since 2005 and we are pleased to announce that we have made great strides in the areas of voice and visibility for our 2,300 strong membership at JBS.

The union will now designate two walking Shop Stewards that will be chosen from among the JBS membership to cover A, B and C shifts. These individuals will have the administration of their new Union Contract, including safety assignments and the processing of grievances as part of their job duties – just to scratch the surface.

In addition to these two walking Stewards, the union will also have a new office at JBS that will be located in the lower level of the Slaughter Building next to the Recruiting Department. This will give our members the benefit of direct access to a full-time Union Representative or a walking Shop Steward when issues arise at JBS.

We look forward to implementing these new changes for our member in the very near future!

- Dennis Forsey