Why Join

Why Join the Union?

It’s your RIGHT to Join the Union.

Your employer cannot interfere with an organizing drive, and UFCW Locals 175 & 633 will ensure your rights are protected.

There are a number of steps to an Organizing drive. The Union only notifies the employer that a certification application is being made just before the application is sent to the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB). Before that, neither you nor the Union are under any obligation to inform the employer that an Organizing drive is taking place. All of your conversations, texts, emails, and notes with our Organizers are 100% CONFIDENTIAL.

So how does the process work?

  1. Contact the Union
  2. Meet with Union Organizers to discuss workplace concerns and how the Union can help solve those issues for you.
  3. Workers are asked to sign confidential Union cards indicating they want to join the Union.
  4. Once Organizers collect signed Union cards from a minimum of 40% of the workers, the Union will apply for certification at the OLRB.
  5. The OLRB will schedule a secret ballot vote seven days after that application is made.
  6. If 50% + 1 of the secret ballot votes are in favour of joining the Union, the OLRB will certify the Union as the representative of the workers.
  7. Meetings will take place for the new Union members to propose changes to the working conditions for their first contract. Members will be asked to elect a Negotiating Committee of their co-workers to represent them at the bargaining table. Your bargaining unit (you and your co-workers who are now part of the Union) will be assigned a Full-Time Union Rep who will lead your committee.
  8. Bargaining with the employer begins.
  9. You and your co-workers vote on any contract offer negotiated between the parties. To ratify, the contract must have a majority of accept/yes votes from those present at the meeting.

Membership Fees


Union members pay Union Membership Fees. It’s the only way the Union can function. But no one would join a Union if it didn’t provide benefits that far outweigh the cost of those Union dues! At UFCW Locals 175 & 633, the money from your Membership Fees is spent on providing the best service to you.

At UFCW Locals 175 & 633 your Union Membership Fees go toward providing these services:

  • Grievance handling & Arbitration hearings
  • Legal Counsel representation at hearings and in negotiations
  • WSIB Specialists to help members who are injured at work get the compensation they deserve
  • Full-time Union Representation to enforce your collective agreement, handle grievances and lead negotiations for you and your elected negotiating committee
  • Free educational courses and the opportunity for post-secondary scholarships
  • Health & Safety Specialists to ensure your workplace is the safest and healthiest environment possible
  • And much more!

[one-half]Why Join the Union - UFCW 175


New members of UFCW Locals 175 & 633 don’t pay Union Membership Fees until after the Union has negotiated, and you and your co-workers have ratified, your first collective agreement. That contract must be ratified by more than 50% of the workers who attend the vote. That means no one pays Membership Fees until you are satisfied with the improvements made in the wages, benefits, working conditions, and hours of work.

Remember, being a Union member pays you back in wages, benefits, pensions and more!  Plus, your Membership Fees are tax deductible!

Each Union sets its own formula for collecting Membership Fees.

Union Membership Fees for UFCW Local 175 are calculated using the following formula

.6 times your hourly rate + $0.25 per week


If you make $15.50 per hour, your weekly Union Membership Fees are calculated as .6 times $15.50, plus 25 cents, which equals $9.55 per week.

Look at it another way! Let's say the Union negotiates a $1 per hour wage increase over the term of the contract for all employees. A full-time employee working 40 hours per week would make an extra $40 per week.

Using the UFCW Locals 175 & 633 formula (.6 times the hourly rate + 25 cents):

If the employee made $15.50 per hour and now makes $16.50 per hour, they now pay $10.15 per week in Membership Fees. In this example, the employee still has $29.85 per week more after paying Membership Fees instead of it ending up in the company’s pocket.

Benefits of Joining the Union

Research shows unionized workers are happier with their pay, workload, training and safety conditions than their non-unionized counterparts.

Local 175 has some of the strongest collective agreements in Canada. As a member of the Union, UFCW Local 175 will work to ensure that you have safe working conditions, more respect on the job, good wages, and superior health and welfare benefits. In addition, you are guaranteed the full resources of your Union if your employer violates any provisions of your collective agreement.

When you belong to the Union, you benefit from:

Just Cause Protection

When you belong to UFCW Local 175 you have Just Cause Protection. That means you will never be unjustly fired or disciplined. It is up to the employer to prove they have just cause to take such action and you will have the resources of the Union`s legal department fighting to get your job or missed pay back to you. Learn more about Just Cause protection.

Strong Collective Agreements

Elected negotiating committees consult with members to find out the important issues in a round of negotiations. Your collective agreement, in addition to better benefits and wages, also guarantees you hours of work, seniority rights, protection from harassment and discrimination, safe working conditions and scheduled break times.

Educational Opportunities

President Shawn Haggerty and the staff of Locals 175 & 633 believe that providing education and training is essential to helping members achieve personal and professional goals and securing the kind of future they deserve. The Local offers many free educational courses online, in-class or through the mobile training unit.

Better Pay & Benefits

Government statistics show unionized workers make an average of 30 per cent more that non-unionized workers in the same industries. Locals 175 & 633 have more than 900 collective agreements across Ontario and at every negotiation we achieve better wages for you. Read about how the Union can help with salary stability.

Grievance Procedures

Your rights in your collective agreement are protected. When your rights are violated, you can file a grievance with the Union. You must inform your Steward and/or Union Representative if your rights have been violated – whether it’s with regard to pay, benefits, harassment or any other rights` violation. Grievance procedures are timely and if unresolved between the employer and Union, will proceed to arbitration.

Health, Dental & Vision Care coverage

Members of Locals 175 & 633 enjoy some of the best health and welfare benefits in Canada. This includes pensions, dental and vision care coverage, sick pay, disability insurance and many other benefits. Your collective agreement ensures you have the freedom to take necessary time off work, start a family or take the vacation you want and deserve.