UFCW Local 175 President Shawn Haggerty

Shawn Haggerty

President, Local 175 UFCW Canada

Fall 2019: Make your vote matter.

Every year around Labour Day, I write about what it means to be a working person. With a federal election coming up on October 21, defining what it means to be a worker is more important than ever.

We take a lot for granted in this country – from universal health care, to our labour laws, to the assumption that we’re all treated equal. Truth is, it's all very fragile.

There are consequences to not voting. A lack of voter turnout helped elect Doug Ford and he’s done nothing but damage our province. There’s a reason that Ford has taken a step back leading up to the federal election; the federal Progressive Conservatives (PCs) are scared because Ford’s popularity is plummeting – and Ontario is a huge swing province with a lot of influence in the election.

Our votes matter.

Ford halted minimum wage increases, cut paid sick days, backtracked on coverage for child and dependent pharma care, and ended the Basic Income pilot project. He reduced funding for Autism care. He is threatening 7,000 good union jobs at the Beer Store because he thinks voters can be duped by his promise of easier access to booze.

Make no mistake – all of those things take money OUT of the pockets of working people. According to an editorial in the Financial Post: "In the 2018-19 fiscal year, the PC government spent a total of $163 billion — a whopping $4 billion more than the Liberal party had planned. The province’s debt rose by nearly $12 billion." [source]

I’m afraid Scheer would be no different at the federal level.

While our current federal government is far from perfect, it has made some significant improvements in the lives of working people; things that could be undone easily by conservative leadership. This includes:

  • Expansion of the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) to improve payments and raise the ceiling.
  • Better federal labour laws with improved vacation rights, and the addition of emergency job-protected leaves of absence for victims of abuse or sexual violence.
  • Making labour standards a key part of our trade agreements.
  • Repealing anti-Union laws that forced unrealistic financial reporting and eliminated federal card-based certification.

The global economy is growing and changing and we have a role to play as voters and consumers. Our choices have an impact on the behaviour of industries, corporations, and governments. We can't turn away from inequalities, hatred, and economic oppression: We must face them head on and choose a government that envisions a more equitable and sustainable future for generations to come.

Our government should protect:

  • Your right to strike;
  • Your right to join a Union;
  • Your right to a living wage;
  • Your right to universal health care;
  • Your environment, and;
  • Your Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and your right to take part in the democratic process.

In 2015, only 68.3 per cent of eligible voters turned out to cast their ballots. While it was the highest voter turnout in 20 years, we can do better; because about 8.2 million voices remained unheard.

We can achieve a lot with a unified voice. We can make a difference and we have to start somewhere. Use your vote in the fall federal election on October 21. Make a choice that moves us forward. Together we can define what the future of work looks like in Canada.

In June, Local 633 President May Chalmers retired. I want to wish May all the best and thank her for her dedication and care. I welcome Marylou Mallett as the new President of Local 633 and Julie Hinsperger as Secretary-Treasurer. I look forward to working with these leaders in their new roles.

Thank you to everyone who supported my re-election as President of Local 175 along with the re-elections of Kelly Tosato, Karen Vaughan, and Jim McLean, who all accepted their acclaimed positions with pride.

I am honoured every day to have the opportunity to advance workers’ rights and do good work on behalf of the members of this Local Union.

In Solidarity,

Shawn Haggerty
President, Local 175 UFCW Canada

UFCW Local 175 Secretary-Treasurer Kelly Tosato

Kelly Tosato

Secretary-Treasurer, Local 175 UFCW Canada

Fall 2019: The fight for workers' rights.

Belonging to a Union has never been more important. Workers face new and fast-paced changes to the job market that make it difficult for individuals to take charge of their work life.

You have rights as a worker. But, we know that many working people have their rights violated daily. Employees who continue to seek out our Organizers tell stories of division and exploitation as they face hurdle after hurdle just to be heard. We’ve heard it from couriers who work for a third party contracted by Amazon to ship parcels at lightning speed to customers. We hear it from drivers who work for some of the nation’s favourite food delivery, like Foodora, and car service apps like Uber.

Local 175 has filed proceedings against Amazon Canada Fulfillment Services Inc. and the courier companies involved for unfair labour practices resulting in terminations and closures. The company’s tactics of hiring third party contractors means it gets away with a lot of poor business practices and labour law violations because it doesn’t consider those workers to be actual employees. Yet the workers we’ve spoken to often have tales of being bounced back and forth between Amazon and the contractor to get answers for everything from scheduling to health and safety concerns, and more. These drivers are:

  • Trained by Amazon;
  • Generally paid a rate suggested by Amazon;
  • Instructed and monitored by Amazon, and;
  • Reviewed for their work performance by Amazon.

But, according to Amazon, these drivers are not their employees.

Amazon’s business tactics have created a culture of fear among its employees; a common theme in the workers’ stories coming from its warehouses and courier services. Everything points to Amazon being anti-Union.

It is a problem about the definition of what an employee is: If a worker is considered an independent contractor, and not an employee, do they have the right to Unionize? As we go to press in mid-September, couriers who work for Foodora in Toronto will face the company before the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) over this very question.

Workers who don’t belong to a Union do not have many protections. And when an employer violates the rights of a non-union worker, it’s up to the worker in many cases to file a complaint, hire a lawyer, and make their way through the system. Young workers, people with families, and those who work two or more jobs – they want the flexibility of an independent schedule but don’t realize how much they’re missing out on, or sometimes, that they even have rights to begin with.

Another consequence of gig economy jobs means that workers become decentralized. There’s no main workplace – no physical building that workers come to every day. These workers don’t get a chance to connect and discuss concerns because there is no lunchroom, no punch clock, no walk to their cars or transit, and they don’t stand on the same production line or at the same counter next to each other. There is also little opportunity to meet and speak with their employer in many cases as well. It is a subtle version of divide and conquer.

Many people don’t know they have rights in the workplace or they are scared about losing their jobs if they speak up. But, you DO have rights. It takes courage to stand up and fight for your rights.

On page 7 of the Fall 2019 issue of Checkout (or online here), you’ll find details on the honorarium offered by the Local Union to members who help our Organizers by providing leads for workers who want to join the Union.

I want to thank all of the Members whose confidence in my leadership has let me continue as your Secretary-Treasurer for another term. I know President Haggerty, Karen Vaughan, Jim McLean, and all of your new and returning Executive Board members appreciate your support.

Unions offer workers the ability to take back some control of their working lives. Being a Union member means you can take charge over your own future and work toward building the better life you deserve. Your Union will continue to have the backs of working people and fight for the rights of these Amazon workers and all working people.

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