UFCW Local 175 President Shawn Haggerty

Shawn Haggerty

President, Local 175 UFCW Canada

Winter 2018: The Human Impact of Layoffs & Closures

Over the last several months, Members of Local 175 at several workplaces received notice of layoff and closure.

Most recently, Members at Maple Leaf Foods in Brampton and St. Marys received notice their plants would shut down in about three years. There is hope that the new Maple Leaf plant, set to open in London in 2021, will re-employ many of the existing employees who will be displaced by the closures. The Union will work to maintain the good Union jobs at Maple Leaf through the transition, and that includes the new plant when it opens.

In November, 14 Members at Rona in Sudbury received news that their store would close in mid-January. These members are long-time employees in many cases, and have served their community and employer well. The members’ agreement guarantees enhanced severance, and the Union will work to ensure the employer meets those obligations.

In September, Kraus Carpets and Strudex Fibres announced that operations in Waterloo would cease permanently and immediately, putting 190 Members out of work. That facility had been a part of the community for almost 60 years. A number of our Members had been loyal employees for a long time.

The Union will continue to press Members of Provincial Parliament (MPPs) to enact legislation that provides workers and communities affected by transitions like these with assistance.

After all, the taxes of working people help provide financial support to companies like this time and time again.

Maple Leaf, for example, will receive $20 million from the federal government, and $34.5 million from the provincial government for the new facility.

Your Union uses every available avenue to pursue companies who owe a financial debt to Members and provide as much benefit to the affected employees as possible. With Rona, Kraus, and Strudex, the Union continues to work toward ensuring Members receive everything they are owed. As the transition for Maple Leaf workers happens over the next few years, we will strive to maintain a good working environment in the existing plants and a good Union contract to cover the jobs created at the new plant as well.

The impending closure of the Oshawa GM plant is devastating as well. Twenty-five hundred people will be out of work, and it will be felt throughout the community, which has relied on jobs in the industry for more than a hundred years. After the 2008 financial collapse, GM received a massive bailout of $3.29 billion from the federal government. Now, 10 years later, restructuring will put about 14,700 people out of work as the company closes seven plants across North America.

How do we protect the real, every day people who feel the impact of these closures most desperately? The ripple effects of job loss, especially on a large scale, are felt in many ways. Financial struggles take a toll on well-being. Multiply that across communities and it can become a crisis. And, it's a crisis that the Ford government is not interested in dealing with.

Too many companies, many of which receive tax incentives and money from the government, can just walk away from the impact of their decisions. And, far too often, these companies provide little notice and get away with never paying employees severance, owed wages or vacation, and hard-earned pensions.

We need legislation that guarantees that employees are the highest priority when it comes to a company paying what it owes.

We need real strategy in place to assist workers, above all else, in job transitions and employment. These real issues will face many, if not most, working people in their lifetime. These are issues to ask your elected representatives about and should be considered at each and every election.

This time of year can bring extra stress to many. Please remember that workers affected by closures and those on strike need the solidarity and support of their Union Sisters, Brothers, and Friends to stay strong and move forward through the tough times.

I sincerely wish all of you an amazing holiday season and best wishes for the new year to come.

In Solidarity,

Shawn Haggerty
President, Local 175 UFCW Canada

UFCW Local 175 Secretary-Treasurer Kelly Tosato

Kelly Tosato

Secretary-Treasurer, Local 175 UFCW Canada

Winter 2018: Bill 47 scraps many worker protections

On November 21, 2018, the Ontario government approved Bill 47, which will see many worker protections eliminated. Bill 47 will:

  • Scrap two paid sick days per year and replace those with three unpaid sick days.
  • Throw out the 8 Personal Emergency Leave days per year.
  • Freeze minimum wage at $14 per hour for 33 months.
  • Ditch Equal Pay for Equal Work.
  • Toss out legislation that made it easier for workers in some sectors to join a union.

Every time we roll back real protections and progress for workers, we start our fight all over again.

Bill 47 is short-sighted and reveals that the government is systematically leaving the well-being and protection of workers out of the equation in their future plans.

Workers’ rights, labour law, equality, and your Union collective agreement are all connected in important ways.

The last time we had a PC government was between the years 1995 and 2003. During those eight years, and the following year under the Liberals, minimum wage remained frozen at a meager $6.85 per hour. That's nine years.
Bringing the minimum wage to $14 per hour in 2017 was equivalent to workers having received an increase of about 30 cents per hour every year since 1995. But, because the minimum wage sat, stagnant, workers missed out and had to make due.

So, was $14 per hour too much too fast? Or, was it workers getting what they were owed?

The timing of Bill 148 may have been a transparent re-election bid but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t necessary. There was a two-year labour review, which found that far too many Ontario workers weren’t receiving some of their most basic rights, and that changes were long overdue.

Rolling back paid and unpaid emergency days disproportionately punishes women far more than men, as women continue to be primary care-givers in many households. When women must make decisions between caring for a child or other relatives and going to work, it has a further impact on the ability to reduce the gender wage gap.

Add to that, a frozen minimum wage of $14 per hour. So, not only are workers fending for themselves when it comes to emergency leave days, the government is freezing how much workers get paid when they do go to work.

Is the situation better for Unionized workers? Absolutely.

Your collective agreement language cannot be undone by the government. The standards we set in our agreements help raise up non-Union workers too. But, when the government sets the bar so low, it becomes more difficult to get any employer to do better.

This government is not worker-friendly and it is not For the People.

We need policy and legislation that moves us forward on a more humane level. Working people, government, unions, and employers all need to work together to strategize to fix the intrinsic problems in our labour model and better equip workers and businesses to deal with the future in real and relevant ways.

The nature of employment and the jobs we do will absolutely continue to change as we become more global and more technologically advanced. But, let’s ensure we advance our humanity and social responsibility too.

Thank you to all of our Stewards Health and Safety committees, and Members who work day in and day out to help make sure their workplaces are as safe and healthy as possible. I hope you all enjoy the warmth and kindness of the holidays with family and loved ones, and I wish you all the best that the new year has to offer.

In Solidarity,

Kelly Tosato
Secretary-Treasurer, UFCW Local 175


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, Michael Collins, 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 Kozlowski – 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 Kozlowski – 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 – Farman Ali, Orsola Augurusa, Rick Daudlin, John DiFalco, Casey Magee, Christina Mayberry, Tony Nigro, and Mark Stockton.

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, Dean McLaren, Jacques Niquet, Joe Tenn; Servicing Representative – Sandra Proulx

Region 4

(Mississauga Office)
905-821-8329 – 1-800-565-8329 – fax 905-821-7144
Director – Chris Fuller
Union Representatives – Dave Forbes : Servicing Representatives – Virginia Haggith, Jennifer Hanley, Tim Kelly, Sabrina Qadir, Arlene Robertson, Chris Watson.

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, Ashleigh Vink: Servicing Representatives – Rolando Cabral, Joce Cote

Region 6

(Hamilton Office)
905-545-8354 – 1-800-567-2125 – fax 905-545-8355
Director – Rob Nicholas
Union Representatives – Sam Caetano, Matt Davenport, Jason Hanley, Lee Johnson-Koehn, Lionel MacEachern, Mike Mattioli, Brad Morrison, Melody Slattery, Mario Tardelli, 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 Representatives – Dan Bondy, Todd Janes

Region 8

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

Workers’ Compensation Department
519-658-0252 – 1-800-267-1977 – fax 519-658-0255
Rob Armbruster – Director
Joanne Ford, Phil Hames, 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
Ron McGuire, Mary Shaw – Health & Safety Representatives

Legal Department

Fernando Reis – Director
Mary Hurley, Matthew Jagodits, Jane Mulkewich, Avo Topjian – Legal Counsel

Organizing Department
1-800-565-8329 / 905-821-8329
Rick Wauhkonen – Director
Linval Dixon, Tim Hum, Jeffery Lu, Meemee Seto, Amy Tran – Organizing Representatives

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

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