UFCW Local 175 President Shawn Haggerty

Shawn Haggerty

President, Local 175 UFCW Canada

September 2017: Nation-wide Right to Work a Grave Possibility for the U.S.

In February, United States Congressional Republicans introduced a bill to make Right to Work federal law. Currently, 28 States have Right to Work legislation but even states whose voting citizens have rejected it time and time again will be forced to adopt the law if the bill passes.

As we celebrate Labour Day, we must remember that Canadians cannot be complacent about the rights of workers in this country.

Businesses and corporate lobby groups will fight hard in their own interests and we must do the same for the interests of workers. Economies are complex of course, but many studies show that States with Right to Work laws have lower wages for both union and non-union workers, and less chance of having health care and pensions.

Workers’ Unions have been around for 145 years in Canada. They emerged from the ground up because working people became activists. Those activists fought for dignity: To be seen as human and not just a means to increase profit for the wealthy.

Unions drove up middle class income, brought health and safety and protections like maximum work hours to those who were exploited under threat of job loss.

Clawbacks to wages, benefits, pensions and labour rights should be disturbing to all working people. Right to Work stands in complete opposition to what Unions fight for: Unity. Right to Work is divisive and breeds hostility among co-workers.

We make progress when we enhance the rights of people – not corporations.

We make progress when we achieve equality for everyone – not just improve the world for some. And we make progress by refusing to take a step backward – not by allowing government and big business to dictate the lives of workers.

In our Local Union, all 70,000 members pay dues. It’s the law. Ask yourself what happens if you were to pay dues while working next to someone who opts out? You get the same protection but only one of you pays for it. What does that do to your work relationships?

Some argue that they could negotiate better wages or benefits on their own. For some, that’s true. But time and time again when our Organizers are out talking to working people, one of the most common non-monetary issues is favouritism, and lack of dignity and respect on the job.

And I would offer to those that hate Unions, that there are plenty of non-Union jobs out there too. There must be something that keeps them in their Unionized jobs.

In the world that Right to Work creates, Unions are weakened and dismantled – or dismembered really. As membership dwindles so do the services those Unions can offer.

Workers’ rights should not be a political issue. They really shouldn’t.  Workers’ rights are human rights and should be inherently protected. But corporate interests and political greed mean we have to make it political.

The truth is, Unions wouldn’t exist if workers didn’t need an advocate. Yet here we remain, 145 years later, still fighting to maintain what we have achieved over the years.

I urge you as a Union member, but more as a worker and a citizen, to stand up for laws that protect the many gains fought for and won over many years of struggle by those that came before us.

Tell your elected MPs and MPPs that Right to Work has no place in our laws.

In Solidarity,

Shawn Haggerty
President, Local 175 UFCW Canada

UFCW Local 175 Secretary-Treasurer Kelly Tosato

Kelly Tosato

Secretary-Treasurer, Local 175 UFCW Canada

September 2017: Labour Day Brings Hope in the Fight for Workers’ Rights

We’ve seen it all as labour activists and Union organizers. In fact, our Organizers hear new and infuriating stories every time they visit with workers who want to join the Union. These workers talk of many employer scare tactics and the sad truth is, that the bottom line for many working people is just to keep their job so they can afford to live.

But, that’s not good enough. We all need to do better for workers.

From stacking employee lists with temps right before a vote, to outright threats and firings, and misusing government worker programs, some employers will do anything to avoid having a Union in their facility.

Recently, the Toronto Star featured a story where the journalist went undercover in an industrial bakery in Toronto. Her report, while disturbing, is not shocking in today’s employment reality. It’s happening to real people working real jobs trying to live real lives. And it’s happening right now. You can read her story at

Using a temp agency limits that employer’s liability for workplace accidents and illness. It greatly reduces their responsibility to ensure workers have proper training or that their rights are respected, and it significantly reduces costs.

And all of this comes at the expense of the health, safety, income and dignity of the temp workers plus the potentially full-time workers they’re replacing.

It’s what we see every day as we fight to keep jobs for our Members and work to help non-Union workers facing this reality join the Union.

The use of temp agencies is common and troubling but their existence and use has been increasing rapidly for a number of years now. So, it’s also very troubling that Bill 148 doesn’t go far enough to address this escalating and dangerous problem.

The Bill offers no shared liability for agencies and clients for worker safety. It doesn’t limit how much of an employer’s workforce can be hired through an agency, and it doesn’t define at what point those jobs must be made full-time permanent positions.

The state of Missouri just rolled back the minimum wage in St. Louis. Yes, rolled back. Two years ago, the city passed a minimum wage increase that rose to $10 per hour by 2017. In May, the city won a court battle to have that increase take effect, but the Republican-led legislature reverted the minimum wage to $7.70 per hour. That has a direct effect on about 35,000 workers.

We still face ongoing backlash from employers who claim the new minimum wage will cause job loss and rising prices. We cannot allow a rollback. Opponents to the increase seem to suggest workers’ rights matter less than profit. But the dignity and quality of life for many people and their families is on the line. Your Union will continue to lobby our government to make real positive change for working people, including minimum wage increases.

Visit the OFL’s There are direct links so you can email your MPP to tell them that workers’ rights must be fair.

At Labour Day parades and BBQs across the province, everyone from retail workers to factory workers, drivers to bakers, nurses to hotel clerks, and more, gathered and marched in solidarity. They brought their families. They celebrated what it means to be a worker. They wore their Union shirts proudly. You can check out photos on page 18 or at

Labour Day always makes me hopeful. Hopeful that the labour movement will succeed in achieving good improvements for workers. Hopeful that the younger generation will become activists to follow in our footsteps.

I’m inspired by how this community of working people and their families can come together and make things happen. I see the solidarity. I am Union Proud.

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, 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 – Farman Ali, Orsola Augurusa, Mona Bailey, John DiFalco, Anthony DiMaio, Tony Nigro, 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

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

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, Mike Mattioli, Melody Slattery: 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 Representatives – Dan Bondy, Dave Forbes

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, 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, Jeffery Lu, Meemee Seto, Amy Tran – Organizing Representatives
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

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