UFCW Local 175 President Shawn Haggerty

Shawn Haggerty

President, Local 175 UFCW Canada

March 2018: Can 4,640,538 votes make a difference on June 7?

For everyone who believes their vote doesn’t matter, take a look at that number: 4,640,538. That’s how many registered voters didn’t take part in the 2014 Ontario election. Imagine if they had shown up.

To give you a bit more perspective. Here was the breakdown for the three major parties:

  • NDP - 1,144,822
  • Liberal - 1,863,974
  • PC - 1,508,811

Now take another look at the unbelievable number who didn’t vote and tell me it wouldn’t make a difference. We face another election on June 7. Now is the chance to make that difference.

It’s been said many times that democracy is messy: It’s imperfect and fragile. But without the participation of its citizens, democracy becomes just another way for the powerful to stay powerful.

And I know many people are tired. Tired of having unimpressive candidates from which to choose. Tired of politicians who seem to be all the same. Tired of being sold a bill of goods by a candidate only to have them run away from those promises once elected.

UFCW Locals 175 & 633 - 2014 Ontario General ElectionBut the process is in all of our hands. So, we must show up and exercise our right and our responsibility to vote. We may not always like our options, but our system generates the candidates that we allow and it’s still our choice to make. Voters must scrutinize the promises and platforms put forth by every single candidate. Their words have been tested with focus groups, turned into statistics, and churned through a public relations machine to tell candidates exactly what to say to satisfy their voting base and entice others for their votes.

No matter who you elect, they are accountable to the citizens in their riding, their province, and their country. Ultimately, the goal for many politicians is to be re-elected. To achieve that, they need your vote.

And our role in our democracy doesn’t end at the ballot box. Merely checking a box and walking away with fingers’ crossed until the next election isn’t enough. While they’re in office, if your elected candidates actually hear from the voting citizens in their riding, they will listen.

You are the only reason a politician gets to be in office. And you are the only reason they get to stay there.

So, vote. And after you vote, stay involved. Sometimes that might mean a protest. It might mean signing petitions and writing letters. Many people get involved in social media movements too. It might even mean running for office yourself.

If you dislike what you see from your elected representatives then you need to do something about it. Speak to your friends, family, and neighbours about your concerns. Form groups to lobby your Municipal, Provincial, and Federal representatives. Be professional about it and be willing to sit down and discuss your concerns in person.

Your vote does matter and it can make a difference, but only if you use it. Recognize your power as a voter and show up on June 7.

We don’t all agree on the best path forward for our province, I know that. But we have to start down that path with a first step – and that first step is your vote.

In Solidarity,

Shawn Haggerty
President, Local 175 UFCW Canada

UFCW Local 175 Secretary-Treasurer Kelly Tosato

Kelly Tosato

Secretary-Treasurer, Local 175 UFCW Canada

March 2018: Marking an amazing year for women’s rights

This year’s International Women’s Day, celebrated worldwide on March 8, came at a time of great progress and upheaval in the status quo.

Since the incredible Women’s Marches in 2017, through the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements of recent months, to this year’s marches and more. We are witnessing a movement that is long overdue. Staff and members took part in several marches and events in January including Kitchener, Hamilton, Toronto, Muskoka, and Windsor too.

Even recent legislation recognizes the importance of this momentum. Bill 148 includes emergency leave plus specific 10-day job protected leave for those who experience or are threatened with domestic or sexual violence – the kind of violence that overwhelmingly affects more women.

These steps are important but they are only the first of many. We have a long way to go to truly reconcile issues of inequality and oppression that have been deeply embedded in our systems and ways of thinking for a long time.

The movement is evolving constantly and change is happening. The progress isn’t perfect but it’s dangerous to expect it will be because we’re also human.

The stories that are emerging have ignited a worldwide spark. We can use this fiery momentum to create change in the systemic inequities that affect other minoritized bodies and groups too.

Many people face deeply entrenched barriers throughout our society, our systems, and our institutions that we must confront. We must take up the torch of everyone who fought before us for equality and justice. It’s why I was happy to see Viola Desmond chosen as the Canadian to be featured on the $10 bill.

Viola is the first woman to appear on the $10 bill and an African Canadian woman who fought against racism and segregation. Her battle against the government and ideology of the time began in Nova Scotia in 1946. She was strong, tenacious, and an inspiration, and recognizing her contributions and those of other leaders like Viola is long overdue.

Unions have been a part of the fight for equality and justice since their inception. And as a Union, we continue to do our part to move the conversation and the solutions forward. Your Union bargains strong anti-harassment and anti-discrimination language into our Members’ contracts.

The local union policy against harassment and bullying is also very clear. We read it at every conference and convention the Union holds. We take the policy and every complaint seriously. But language is only as powerful as you make it.

That means speaking up when you see something happening that shouldn’t be happening. It means finding someone you trust to tell when something happens to you so that you can take the steps toward coming forward and reporting incidents. The process can be difficult and frightening for victims but coming forward is the only way we can move forward.

So, I urge you to read the stories being told. Seek out the hashtags like #MeToo, #TimesUp, and the International Women’s Day tag #PressForProgress.

Read the histories of powerful women and change-makers like Viola Desmond as well as those that came before her, and the many that have followed.

We will continue the fight for justice and equality as Union Sisters, Brothers, and Friends as we move toward a better future for all.

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
Saranjit Singh 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