2022 Outstanding Achievement Award Winners
January 16, 2023
Tyrina Cyr, Member, Lyle’s No Frills
2022 Outstanding Achievement Awards: Demonstrating Outstanding Contributions to the Community
A bronze medal winner in the Canada Winter Special Olympics, Tyrina, who is autistic, doesn’t let anything hold her back. Tyrina has helped children and adults in the LGBTQI2S community go through their transitioning, even as she was going through it herself. And in 2019, Elliot Lake Pride crowned Tyrina as Empress of Algoma.
Tyrina started an annual Halloween party for adults with disabilities, paying for the parties herself. After a COVID-19 hiatus, Tyrina was happy to be back at it in 2022. She also gives back by gifting to people in need as a porch fairy. During COVID, Tyrina reached out to parents on social media to see how she could get gifts to children, and paid for the gifts herself.
“Many people tell me how much they love Tyrina and her respect for others, and how she goes out of her way to help people,” said Cheryl Cyr, Tyrina’s mother and co-worker at No Frills. “She always puts others first: I’ve seen her buy customers groceries when they didn’t have enough money.”
“Tyrina’s giving nature is inspirational to her community and co-workers,” said Union Rep Jeff Barry. “Congratulations, Tyrina. You deserve this award.”
Bryan Dennis, Chief Steward, Cargill Dunlop
2022 Outstanding Achievement Awards: Enhancing & Achieving Improvements in Workplace Health & Safety or Workers’ Compensation
In his role, Bryan, alongside the Plant Chair Paul Alexander, leads a team of about 12 Stewards and Joint Health & Safety Committee members. This team represents more than 800 bargaining unit employees at the facility.
With almost 28 years at the plant, including more than 10 years as a Steward and three years as Chief Steward, Bryan has extensive knowledge of all the jobs within the plant. That experience makes him a wonderful advocate for the members when looking at suitable accommodation and he consistently attends Return To Work and accommodation meetings.
“Whenever we have disagreements with the company, Bryan will hold the employer accountable through the grievance procedure,” said Union Rep Jason Hanley. “Bryan is respected because he is a consistent and dedicated advocate for his co-workers. His efforts have made a positive impact in the plant, and he continues to strive for improvements every day.”
Gurpreet Singh, Chief Steward, Polar Pak
2022 Outstanding Achievement Awards: Manifesting Leadership & Advancement of the UFCW
Gurpreet was instrumental in gathering his co-workers’ support for a successful vote to join the National Defence Fund (NDF), which meant a stronger position at the bargaining table resulting in a good deal.
A health and safety drive started by Gurpreet led to significant changes like increased floor space through hoisted pedestal fans and having racks installed to get materials off the floor. This drive and other efforts, have also been launched at other plant locations.
Gurpreet ensures that the 400 employees across Polar Pak’s six locations understand the value of being a Member of UFCW Local 175. Through grievances, he has resolved harassment and coercion issues, and his perseverance in bargaining helped establish weekly labour relations meetings to deal with issues before they become grievances.
“Gurpreet has made great improvements for his co-workers,” said Union Rep Tony Nigro. “He’s also an advocate of the UFCW WebCampus and encourages co-workers to arm themselves with knowledge.”
Dana Aikens, Steward, RXDM Deep River
2022 Outstanding Achievement Award: Dedication to Fundraising for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada (LLSC)
As a Steward for almost one year now, and as a member at the store, Dana has shown she is someone who often goes above and beyond to make a positive impact.
An example of her efforts include a store fundraiser to support the LLSC, which is the UFCW’s charity of choice. Dana organized a garage sale and bake sale day outside the store – and she even baked items to sell. While Dana would be quick to credit the event as a collective effort by members and management, it was Dana who was instrumental in making it all happen.
The successful event raised over $700 to support the LLSC’s work to advance blood cancer research, treatments, and patient care.
“The last several years have had a detrimental impact on many charities’ ability to raise money through events,” said Union Rep Kim Hunter.
“Dana’s leadership and desire to give back, especially during what has been a difficult time for many, is an inspiration to me, her co-workers, and her community.”