UFCW Local 175 President Shawn Haggerty

Shawn Haggerty

President, Local 175 UFCW Canada

Spring 2019: Standing Up to Make a Difference

In 2018, our Union welcomed more than 1,760 working people to the membership.

Workers who choose to start an organizing drive have recognized the need and realize the benefits of being Union. They’ve connected the dots and have decided to take action. Helping workers win these victories time after time proves that Unions continue to be relevant and vital for working people who want and deserve equality and fairness.

In January, I spoke at an event in New York City to address a proposed new Amazon facility. Initially, NYC and New York State had offered $3 billion in subsidies to get Amazon to build in the borough of Queen’s. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is worth more than $130 billion and Amazon is a trillion-dollar company. Why do they need a $3 billion incentive to establish a new facility?

These subsidies come from taxpayers’ money, not unlike the bailout given to GM, with no strings attached. No promise of investment in its own employees through living wages, good benefits, and guaranteed pensions. No promise to honour their employees’ rights to organize a Union. And, definitely no promise to ensure those employees receive generous severance and transition assistance if the facility closes.

The citizens of New York State, the UFCW Retail Workers Department Store Union (RWDSU) and Teamsters all took a stand against Amazon and, as a result, the company decided not to build in Queen’s.

Amazon employees – from warehouse to delivery – are not treated very well.

Our own Organizing team has worked with delivery drivers contracted out by Amazon at three separate locations in the Toronto area and have heard their stories firsthand about constant tracking of workers’ movements, breakneck paces, and long shifts.

Plus, these workers have nowhere to go when they have a concern; told by their employer to contact Amazon, and told by Amazon to contact their employer.

Amazon had promised about 25,000 jobs with the new facility, but employment is too complicated to boil down to just the number of jobs alone. Good employment considers wages and benefits, a healthy work atmosphere, and a balance of what’s best for all the players involved. That includes consideration of the skills of the available workforce, the desire for full or part-time jobs, as well as things like housing costs, sustainable transit, and more.

Profit driven economies do not prevent safe and healthy workplaces. Successful businesses do not have to come at the expense of the people doing the work. Capitalism itself isn’t mutually exclusive to valuing labour and protecting people until greed and short-sightedness get in the way.

This isn’t about being anti-technology. There is room for technology and humans to work side by side. Even at Amazon, there’s room for that company to provide employees with a good, living wage in an environment that respects the workers.

There is opportunity to build a stronger ethic when it comes to how we treat working people and their labour.

Technology plays a major role in our world. But we must all require employers and corporations, and our governments, to ensure the human aspect is not lost in the pursuit of bigger, faster, and cheaper. With proper planning and consideration of the human factor, technology doesn’t have to mean the inevitable displacement and unemployment of people.

As I mentioned at the start, we welcomed more than 1,760 new members last year who made the choice to go Union. You can read more about some of the workers who have celebrated organizing victories here or on page 6 of the Spring 2019 issue of Checkout magazine.

Workers continue to organize because it’s clear that, left unchecked, corporate greed and disdain for working people continue to flourish. By organizing, and by being active in your Union, you’re standing up against bully corporations and taking your future back into your own hands.

In Solidarity,

Shawn Haggerty
President, Local 175 UFCW Canada

UFCW Local 175 Secretary-Treasurer Kelly Tosato

Kelly Tosato

Secretary-Treasurer, Local 175 UFCW Canada

Spring 2019: Pay Equity & Closing the Gap

In early March, the Union took part in several events to mark International Women’s Day, which is celebrated on March 8. The theme for 2019 is #BalanceForBetter, which brings focus to the challenges and benefits of creating gender balance throughout the world. That means making sure there’s gender balance throughout leadership, government, employees, media, and more.

It also means making sure that your rate of pay is not determined by your gender. Part of achieving that balance requires ongoing work to close the gender pay gap.

Depending on how calculations are done, the current gender pay gap is anywhere from 14% to 30% in Canada1. That means women, on average, are making between 70 cents and 86 cents for every dollar made by a man. We’ve made some progress, albeit slow, from where we started, but the gap remains worse for Indigenous women, trans women, women with disabilities, immigrant women, and racialized women.

One of several factors leading to the gap in wages is a lack of pay equity across many sectors and industries.

Like many aspects of our economic and social worlds, inequities in pay and employment are linked to deeply embedded discriminatory beliefs and practices, many of which continue today.

Jobs that have traditionally been filled by females tend to be undervalued even though many involve skills similar or greater than those required in male-dominated jobs. Employees in the undervalued jobs, including men sometimes, get paid less. Over time, those already lower-valued jobs see fewer and smaller wage increases than more traditionally male jobs, resulting in further inequity – an increasing gap – between those rates of pay.

Fighting back against these practices and achieving more equitable pay is an important part of levelling the playing field for women. This includes pursuing special wage adjustments for our members. In the health care sector, for example, we often have to argue to achieve equitable raises in an industry that still finds itself embedded in the historical undervaluing of nursing care.

Pay equity is a complicated endeavour that takes time to calculate and correct. The Union has trained a number of staff specifically to deal with employers regarding pay equity issues. Many of the Members’ collective agreements include pay equity language or letters of understanding, but determining how to achieve pay equity can take time and is different for each workplace.

Another benefit of having a Union collective agreement is that, while we continue to address pay equity issues, we also establish language to help ensure job postings are open to all workers based on skill and seniority – not based on favourites. And if those job filling procedures aren’t followed, workers can use the grievance procedure to have their arguments heard.

Equitable hiring and promotion practices are an integral part of ensuring we achieve better balance across many aspects of employment.

In April, your Union alongside other activists will mark Equal Pay Day. This is the day on the calendar that the average woman’s wages catch up to what a man made in the previous year. That’s about 15.5 months to make what a man makes in 12. Equality and balance is about ensuring that every person regardless of gender has the same opportunities to access jobs and skills training, receive fair wages, and be treated with respect and dignity throughout.

The world began celebrating International Women’s Day in 1911 but the struggle to bring gender balance to the world didn’t start with that day and won’t end with just one day of work a year. Activists, including women and allies in the labour movement and beyond, have been fighting for their fare share for a long time now and will continue to do so as long as imbalance exists.

In Solidarity,

Kelly Tosato
Secretary-Treasurer, UFCW Local 175


Local 175

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


Rick Alagierski, Glen Avila, 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, Tim Kelly, Kelly Kobitz, Carolyn Levesque, Rocco Maddalena, Jose Marteniano, Carolyn Martin, Julia McAninch, Nancy McKay, Sharon McMahon, Jim McLean, Jim Montgomery, Guy Morissette, Jean Patenaude, Toni Pettitt, Jason Polhill, Louis Rocha, Joy Searles, Linda Souliere, Leighton Stephenson, Rick Szyja, Navidad Talbot, Lori Wallis, Kimberley White, Byron Williams, and Michael Windley.

Local 633

Marylou Mallett – President
Julie Hinsperger – Secretary-Treasurer
Brian Kozlowski – Recorder


Dennis Gagnon & 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, & Kimberley White.

Growth Committee
Co-Chairs: Sandra Rogerson and Rick Wauhkonen
E-Board VPs: Jeff Beitz, Kelly Dick, Todd Janes, Linda Souliere, & 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, Toni Pettitt, Jason Polhill, Sandra Proulx, Louis Rocha, 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.

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

Chair: Kelly Tosato
Staff: Rob Armbruster, Charles Fulcher, Fernando Reis
E-Board VPs: May Chalmers, Rick Alagierski, Karen Vaughan, 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

Marylou Mallett – President
Julie Hinsperger – 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, and Tony Nigro.

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 – Colleen Cox, 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
Shauna Fabrizi, 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