Our Members at Work: Fortinos
Many people don’t realize how often they interact with a Union member every day. From school bus drivers to teachers, hotel clerks and fast food workers, manufacturing and warehouse personnel, nurses and PSWs, and many more. Members of this Local Union work in almost every industry across the province too!
We’d like to introduce you to just some of the more than 5,600 Members of UFCW Local 175 you might meet if you shop at Fortinos. (Published in the Winter 2018 edition of Checkout magazine.)
The Fortinos name has been around since 1961 when the first store opened in Hamilton. Since then, the chain has grown and Fortinos employees have been a part of the Union since January 1989. Twenty-three stores are spread out through Hamilton, Stoney Creek, Oakville, Burlington, Ancaster and Waterdown, plus Brampton, Vaughan, Etobicoke, and North York. In addition, the Fortinos Sausage Room, whose employees are responsible for making the delicious sausage sold at all of the stores, can be found in Hamilton.
Customers shopping at Fortinos will find Members of UFCW Local 175 in almost every part of the store.
The Members pride themselves on a high level of service and knowledge, and providing the best service to their customers.
The Members at prepare fresh salads and cut fruit, bake and decorate amazing cakes and treats, greet you at the cash register, stock the shelves, and provide service in every part of the store.
They create the stunning floral arrangements and displays you see every day as well, including holiday creations throughout the year. For years, the Fortinos meat departments have been well-known for their hanging beef where customers can get exactly what they need in specialty cuts. In January especially, many customers come in to get fresh pork legs and whole pork butts to take home and make their own prosciutto, salami, cacciatore, and fresh homemade sausages from traditional family recipes.
- Meat Cutters & Clerks
- Floral Clerks
- Produce Clerks
- Cake Decorators
- Deli Clerks
- Warehouse Drivers
- Sausage Makers
- Pharmacy Assistants
- Assistant & Junior Assistant Department Managers, and more.
The chain started adding a fresh food section to its stores called Pane Fresco in 2011. Pane Fresco can be found in 19 Fortinos stores currently, and the intention is to have them in all stores eventually. Since 2011, the addition of the Pane Fresco department resulted in about 150 new full-time and 1,050 new part-time jobs.
Many of the store franchisees, as well as the head office, are quick to offer support for the Local Union workplace and community barbecues by providing sausages and other items at no cost. They also provide prizes year after year for Stewards’ conferences and fundraising events.
The members at Fortinos are well cared for by a team of 78 Union Stewards at work. Plus, the more than 80 Health & Safety Committee members across the chain work diligently to ensure that the safety and health of every employee is a top priority.
UFCW Locals 175 & 633 represents more than 37,000 retail grocery employees across Ontario including at other Loblaw-owned banners such as Zehrs Great Food, Loblaws, Real Canadian Superstores, No Frills, Valu-Mart, Wholesale Club, and Your Independent Grocer (YIG).
Thank you to everyone who shops at a Union store! Your support of unionized workplaces helps maintain good employment in your community.