UFCW Local 175 President Shawn Haggerty

Shawn Haggerty

President, Local 175 UFCW Canada

June 2017: Ontario's New Labour Law Reform

On June 1, 2017, the provincial government introduced the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017 (Bill 148) which would amend the Employment Standards Act (ESA) and the Labour Relations Act (LRA).

I am encouraged to see the government taking action finally, after years of lobbying by our Local Union and the labour community. They’re starting to listen. The proposed changes are long overdue and significant, and mark a victory for workers.

There are a number of changes in the Bill. Most notably, minimum wage will increase in three steps to $15 per hour by January 1, 2019.

What does that mean for the Members of this Union? Different collective agreements and job classifications will be affected in different ways. But your hourly rate cannot be less than the minimum wage. If your rate falls below the minimum wage on the implementation dates, you will get the increase.

The increase is an important step. It will help elevate struggling workers and improve the standard of living for many families. Easing financial burdens will have a positive effect on the well-being of those individuals and their ability to put money back into the economy. It is a good thing.

For long-service workers it might feel like suddenly your length of service doesn’t matter. The gap between entry and long-service rates will decrease significantly and there’s no way to ignore that. This is a valid concern and it will have to be dealt with in bargaining. 

This is Solidarity: We can celebrate this victory and know that there is still work ahead. It will take time. It will take patience.

Equal pay for equal work is another change: Part-time, casual, temporary, and seasonal workers will be entitled to the same rate as full-time if they’re performing the same work. Any collective agreements entered into after April 1, 2018 must comply with these rules. Agreements in force before that date will be grand-parented until their expiry. Your Union will mitigate these amendments too
through bargaining going forward.

There are many more changes contained in the Bill too. Many are positive, many don’t go far enough, and on a number of levels the government failed to show they truly know what it means to protect workers.

Your Union lobbied for the reinstatement of card-based certification (card-check) and first contract arbitration to help new members achieve their first contract sooner and with less hassle. Bill 148 does extend card-check to a few sectors, but most workers will still have to go through the secret ballot vote to achieve Union representation. And while there are some improvements proposed regarding first contract arbitration, employees in a new bargaining unit must still wait through intensive mediation before arbitration can be considered even if the Board grants automatic certification due to employer interference in the organizing process.

It is important that we continue to be politically active because the business community will strongly oppose these changes.

To help ensure this legislation passes, I encourage you to contact your Member of Provincial Parliament and demand they support the passing of Bill 148 with no delay because none of the proposed amendments are guaranteed yet. Once the legislature resumes in the fall we’ll have a better understanding of what to expect and the full ramifications of those changes.

We continue to reach for the horizon as we move forward. This metaphor for the Union movement, its history and struggles is eloquently worded in a poem by Lucia Misch, which you can find on page 7 of the June issue of Checkout magazine.

It’s our job as your Union to work hard to continue to raise the standard for all of the Membership. Your Union will strive to achieve this goal at the bargaining table and through political action.

The floor has been raised – now it’s time to raise the ceiling.

In Solidarity,

Shawn Haggerty
President, Local 175 UFCW Canada

UFCW Local 175 Secretary-Treasurer Kelly Tosato

Kelly Tosato

Secretary-Treasurer, Local 175 UFCW Canada

June 2017: A Step in the Right Direction Toward a Living Wage

The $15 minimum wage announcement made on May 30 is an important step forward for workers. Many business owners complain that it’s a burden. But if paying a living wage is a burden then perhaps they shouldn’t be in business. The increase will require some adjustment but ultimately it will help raise many workers out of poverty.

A living wage is more than just dollar amounts. It eases stress by diminishing the burden of our bills, allowing more social time, providing our children with better opportunities, and much more.

In 2015, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) reported that “based on the needs of a family with two parents and two young children ages 7 and 3. Each of those parents needs to earn $18.52 per hour, and work 37.5 hours per week, in order to afford the basics in life”i in Toronto. That was two years ago.

The estimated current living wage for St. Thomas and Elgin is $16.03 per hour ii and the Durham region living hourly wage has been calculated as $17 iii. Those estimates put a family of four, with both parents working 37.5 hours per week, at a decent quality of life in those communities. Nothing extravagant, but decent.

As you can see, $15 over the next two years won’t even meet where many living wages already need to be. If our government looked out for the best interests of workers, Unions wouldn’t need to lobby so hard for these slow-to-arrive incremental changes.

Today’s workforce is fighting debt on many fronts: Enormous student loans, low interest rates from the collapse of the market in 2008, sky-rocketing housing prices, and inadequate wages have kept many workers from achieving things like home ownership or living debt-free.

We still struggle to reach true Pay Equity in this country too. On April 11, the Equal Pay Day rally took place at Queen’s Park in Toronto to bring attention to the fact that on average a woman today must work more than 3 months longer to earn what a man makes in one year. So while wages may lag for all of us, women bear the brunt of the disparity. Read more about the fight for Equal Pay on page 6 of the June 2017 issue of Checkout magazine.

While we keep fighting to raise the standards for all workers we must each take ownership of our current financial reality as well. It can be a daunting task but there are professionals who can assist you no matter what your circumstance. Consult with a financial planner to determine where you’re at, where you want to be, and how you can get there.

I encourage you, whether you have a workplace pension or not, to start saving for retirement if you haven’t already. This was hard for me to understand too when I was younger. If there are bills to pay today, how can I possibly worry about 40 years from now? But retirement savings are a vital part of financial independence and you should start as soon as possible. Please take a look at the Retirement info tearout on the following page for some more reasons why you should start now.

At the end of the day, all most of us want is enough money to pay our bills, set some aside, and do the things we enjoy most with our family and friends without worry of debt today and into the future.

A true living wage is still down the road, but if we continue to fight for working people and push our elected representatives to do the same, we will achieve real progress.

In Solidarity,

Kelly Tosato
Secretary-Treasurer, UFCW Local 175

i Tiessen, K. Making Ends Meet: Toronto’s 2015 Living Wage. April 10, 2015 Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
ii Hontar, P. What does it cost to live in St. Thomas & Elgin. 2017. Living Wage St. Thomas Elgin.
iii Luyt, G., Mifsud, Dr. A., Aquanno, Dr. S., Bryant, Dr. T. Living Wage in Durham Region. 2017 Community Development Council Durham.


Local 175

Shawn Haggerty – President
Kelly Tosato – Secretary-Treasurer
Karen Vaughan – Recorder


Rick Alagierski, John Beaton, Lucy Bedore, Jeff Beitz, Bryan Braithwaite, Maggie Brayson, Lorne Bruce, Paul Capranos, Colleen Cox, Kelly Dick, Michelle Dow, Dawn Hanlon, Shirley Hepditch, Kimberly Hunter, Omar Hylton, Pathmarajah Jamesantony, Todd Janes, Lynn Jillings, Deb Kaufman, Tim Kelly, Kelly Kobitz, Carolyn Levesque, Rocco Maddalena, Jose Marteniano, Carolyn Martin, Julia McAninch, Nancy McKay, Sharon McMahon, Jim McLean, Jim Montgomery, Guy Morissette, Doug Mulder, Jean Patenaude, Toni Pettitt, Michel Poirier, Jason Polhill, Sandra Proulx, Louis Rocha, Karen Ronald, Dale Simon, Linda Souliere, Leighton Stephenson, Louise Summers, Rick Szyja, Fred Teeple, Lori Wallis, Kimberley White and Byron Williams.


Local 633

May Chalmers – President
Marylou Mallett – Secretary-Treasurer
Brian Koslowski – Recorder


Dennis Gagnon, Julie MacCrae, & Dale Stuart

Executive Board Committees

Community Action Network
Co-Chairs: Chris Fuller and Angela Mattioli
E-Board VPs: Bryan Braithwaite, Pathmarajah Jamesantony, Lynn Jillings, Carolyn Levesque, Jose Martiniano, Doug Mulder, & Kimberley White.

Growth Committee
Co-Chairs: Sandra Rogerson and Rick Wauhkonen
E-Board VPs: Jeff Beitz, Kelly Dick, Todd Janes, Michel Poirier, Marc Praill, Linda Souliere, Louise Summers, & Rick Szyja.

Membership Advocacy Committee
Co-Chairs: Sharon Kempf and Daniel Mercier
E-Board VPs: Paul Capranos, Dawn Hanlon, Shirley Hepditch, Nancy McKay, Sharon McMahon, Guy Morissette, Jean Patenaude, Leighton Stephenson, & Byron Williams.

Membership Discounts
Chair: Fernando Reis
E-Board VPs: Rick Algierski, John Beaton, Vanessa Ernst, Toni Pettitt, Jason Polhill, Sandra Proulx, Louis Rocha, Fred Teeple, Lori Wallis.

Political Action
Co-Chairs: Derik McArthur and Rob Nicholas
E-Board VPs: Maggie Brayson, Lorne Bruce, Colleen Cox, Kimberly Hunter, Kelly Kobitz, Marylou Mallett, Jim Montgomery, & Dale Simon.

Training & Education
Co-Chairs: Rob Armbruster and Kelly Nicholas
E-Board VPs: Lucy Bedore, May Chalmers, Michelle Dow, Deb Kaufman, Brian Kozlowski, Rocco Maddalena, Karen Ronald, & Karen Vaughan.

Co-Chairs: Kelly Tosato and Al McLean
Staff: Rob Armbruster, Ann Johnston, Fernando Reis
E-Board VPs: Dan Bondy, Rick Alagierski, Karen Vaughan, Dale Simon, Lori Wallis, Jose Marteniano.

Health Care Sector
Chair: Fernando Reis
E-Board VPs: Lucy Bedore, Shirley Hepditch, Karen Vaughan, & Kim White.


Officers of Local 175

Shawn Haggerty – President
Kelly Tosato – Secretary-Treasurer
Karen Vaughan – Recorder
Sylvia Groom – Executive Assistant to the President
Luc Lacelle – Executive Assistant to the President
Jim McLean – Executive Assistant to the President

Officers of Local 633

May Chalmers – President
Marylou Mallett – Secretary-Treasurer
Brian Koslowski – Recorder

Region 1

(Thunder Bay Office)
807-346-4227 – 1-800-465-6932 – fax 807-346-4055
Director – Kelly Tosato
Union Representatives – Colby Flank, Tracy Stubbs

Region 2

(Mississauga Office)
905-821-8329 – 1-800-565-8329 – fax 905-821-7144
Director – John Dinardo
Union Representatives – Orsola Aurusa, Mona Bailey, Anthony DiMaio, John DiFalco, Melody Slattery, Mark Stockton, Dave White

Region 3

(Ottawa & Cornwall Offices)
613-725-2154 – 1-800-267-5295 – fax 613-725-2328
Director – Daniel Mercier
Union Representatives – Shannon Epp, Paul Hardwick, Lionel MacEachern, Dean McLaren, Joe Tenn: Servicing Representative – Jacques Niquet

Region 4

(Mississauga Office)
905-821-8329 – 1-800-565-8329 – fax 905-821-7144
Director – Chris Fuller
Union Representatives – Ron McGuire, Brenda Simmons: Servicing Representatives – Rick Daudlin, Virginia Haggith, Lee Johnson-Koehn, Casey Magee, Christina Mayberry, Arlene Robertson, Meemee Seto

Region 5

(Cambridge & Leamington Offices)
Cambridge: 519-658-0252 – 1-800-267-1977 – fax 519-658-0255
Leamington: 519-326-6751 – 1-888-558-5114 – fax 519-326-0597

Director – Angela Mattioli
Union Representatives – Jehan Ahamed, Brad Morrison, Mario Tardelli: Servicing Representatives – Rolando Cabral, Dave Forbes

Region 6

(Hamilton Office)
905-545-8354 – 1-800-567-2125 – fax 905-545-8355
Director – Rob Nicholas
Union Representatives – Wendy Absolom, Sam Caetano, Matt Davenport, Joe DeMelo, Ashleigh Garner, Jason Hanley, Jeffery Lu, Mike Mattioli: Servicing Representative –Fred Teeple

Region 7

(Cambridge Office)
519-658-0252 – 1-800-267-1977 – fax 519-658-0255
Director – Sharon Kempf
Union Representatives – Diane Sanvido, Steve Springall: Servicing Representative – Dan Bondy

Region 8

(Sudbury Office)
705-674-0768 – 1-800-465-1722 – fax 705-674-6815
Director – Sandra Rogerson
Union Representatives – Jeff Barry, Matt Belanger, Derek Jokhu, Tony Nigro

Workers’ Compensation Department
519-658-0252 – 1-800-267-1977 – fax 519-658-0255
Rob Armbruster – Director
Joanne Ford, Phil Hames, Jennifer Hanley, Sarah Neath – Workers’ Compensation Representatives; Georgina MacDonald – Intake Representative

Health & Safety
519-658-0252 – 1-800-267-1977 – fax 519-658-0255
Rob Armbruster – Director
Mary Shaw, Chris Watson – Health & Safety Representatives

Legal Department

Fernando Reis – Director
Darcel Bullen, Saranjit Cheema, Matthew Jagodits, Jane Mulkewich – Legal Counsel

Organizing Department
1-800-565-8329 / 905-821-8329
Rick Wauhkonen – Director
Linval Dixon, Ali Farman, Amy Tran – Organizing Representatives
Amit Singh, Tim Hum – Organizing Apprentice
Joce Cote – Servicing Representative

Communications Department
1-800-565-8329 / 905-821-8329
Jennifer Tunney – Senior Communications Representative
Laurie Duncan – Communications Representative
Meemee Seto – Servicing Representative

Training & Education call 1-800-267-1977
Rob Armbruster – Director
Kelly Nicholas – Co-ordinator
Tim Deelstra – Engagement & Media Relations Strategist