UFCW Local 175 President Shawn Haggerty

Shawn Haggerty

President, Local 175 UFCW Canada

Summer 2020: The ongoing war on workers... even in a pandemic

Over the last few months, a number of members received COVID-19 diagnoses. In early May, a member from Maple Lodge Farms died as a result of the virus. On behalf of the Local Union, I offer condolences to the family of that member and send my thoughts to all those dealing with their own diagnoses as well. This pandemic is real and it has had a massive effect on our working and social lives.

As a Union, it’s our job to advocate for working people. But that advocacy can’t stop at the workplace door. Politicians and corporations have far too much control over many aspects of our members’ working lives. We don’t have the luxury of ignoring what happens at Queen’s Park, Parliament Hill, or our Municipal City and Town Halls.

And politics didn’t stop with the COVID-19 pandemic either.

In fact, the pandemic has revealed the many failings of our current systems. It's all politics when we see Doug Ford’s pandering comments calling working people heroes and the backbone of our province: as soon as he steps away from the mic, he gets right back to the profitable business of dismantling workers’ rights.

At the start of the pandemic, he told workers to stay home if they felt sick. But he’s the one who repealed paid sick days for those same workers as soon as he took office.

He also stopped the planned minimum wage increases as well. So, while it’s infuriating enough that most, if not all, employers have ended pandemic premiums (even though we’re still in the pandemic), remember that if Doug Ford had kept the planned increases, minimum wage would have been providing $1 more per hour by now.

Ford has also limited workers' pay in Bill 124, which limits increases for public sector workers, including members of UFCW Locals 175 & 633 in some health care and service jobs. That law says that those workers cannot receive a wage increase of more than 1% – which is below inflation – in each of the next three years. It also caps any benefit improvements to 1% per year as well.

Bill 124 interferes with bargaining rights. Your Local Union, along with more than 40 other Unions and led by the Ontario Federation of Labour, launched a Constitutional challenge against Bill 124 as a violation of workers’ collective bargaining rights which are enshrined in the freedom of association guarantee of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. A decision in early June by Manitoba courts struck down similar legislation, so we are hopeful this case will have a similar outcome.

Recently, Doug Ford introduced Bill 175. If passed, the Bill would result in further privatization of parts of the health care system. The terms of this Bill were determined without any advance consultation with stakeholders in the sector. The legislation would dismantle public governance and oversight for home care; privatize our existing public and not-for-profit home care system; potentially expand private hospitals, and; repeal important existing protections for clients and the public when it comes to home and community care, including the Bill of Rights and the complaint process.

There are far greater concerns to address within our health care system, particularly when it comes to our for-profit long-term care homes. It makes no sense to move to a barely regulated, more for-profit model for our home care sector.

And when recently, news outlets reported Ford’s plan to introduce changes to statutory holiday legislation for retail stores, it was only substantial public outcry that forced Ford to retreat from the proposal.

And, all of this during a pandemic.

As I said, this crisis has exposed failings in our systems, and we’ve got a long way to go to fully recover from this pandemic in more ways than one. But know, that as long as politicians continue to try and dismantle workers’ rights, your Union will be there to fight back and protect your rights every step of the way.

In Solidarity,

Shawn Haggerty
President, Local 175 UFCW Canada

UFCW Local 175 Secretary-Treasurer Kelly Tosato

Kelly Tosato

Secretary-Treasurer, Local 175 UFCW Canada

Summer 2020: Acknowledging oppression and working toward change

Change doesn’t come easy and sometimes it's scary. The pace of progress can feel like we take a step back for every two steps forward. But forward is the only option.

There was a time when children worked in Canadian factories; when it was legal to pay women less for the same work as men; when women couldn’t vote; when Indigenous people couldn’t vote. There was a time before now when many parts of society were very different. Even just six months ago, our lives were different. COVID-19 brought fear, uncertainty, and more changes to our lives than we thought possible.

But there are aspects of many people’s lives that haven’t changed enough for far too long.

Black people, Indigenous people, and People of Colour (you may see the acronym BIPOC on social media) have been oppressed for centuries. And generations of the people responsible for hateful acts have been protected by the powers that be; protected by wealth and privilege; protected by silence.

In the last couple of months, we’ve witnessed the Black Lives Matter movement – a revolution – take hold in the United States and around the world like never before. While the catalyst for the recent protests was a violent and heartbreaking video capturing the last eight minutes and 46 seconds of George Floyd’s life at the hands – the knee – of a white police officer, these protests are the culmination of generations of systemic violence and trauma.

Black Lives Matter. It’s that simple.

Black Lives Matter protest in St CatharinesHate is taught. That hate, unchecked and encouraged, persists and takes hold in the minds of those infected by it. That deep-rooted unfettered hate in the hands of those in power leads to the systems we have now: systems that enables violence, murder, oppression, and all kinds of inequities. And those systems are rigged to maintain and protect those in power. Things must change.

But I have hope. There are signs that this time may be different. The mayor of Washington, D.C., Muriel Bowser – a Black woman – had Black Lives Matter painted down the street heading toward the White House and renamed part of that street as Black Lives Matter Plaza. Protests in Minneapolis led, finally, to the arrest of the officers who murdered George Floyd. Protests in other states and cities have led to other arrests and, in some, even the defunding or overhaul of the police.

And we must remember that Canada is no better than the U.S. when it comes to oppression and racism. June is Indigenous History Month. Our nation was built on land taken from others, but many Canadians know very little about the historical and ongoing oppression of Indigenous people. From the denial of status to Indigenous women, to the implementation of Residential Schools and the Sixties’ Scoop; to ongoing issues with having access to drinkable water, health care, and education; from a disproportionately high incarceration rate to tragically an even more disproportionately high rate of suicide. The Indigenous people in Canada continue to pay the price for colonization.

June is also Pride month. The Pride movement owes its origins to the Stonewall Riots in June 1969 following a police raid on a Manhattan gay bar called the Stonewall Inn. A Black transgender woman named Marsha P. Johnson is credited with starting the riot. It would take decades for legal changes to really happen in many countries – and the work continues today.

Change requires work.Black Lives Matter

We must stay focused and keep working to dismantle the systems that continue to
oppress. None of this is easy to think about, but without discomfort, there is no growth. We must remember that people live this reality every day, and if we don't acknowledge where we fail, we can’t do better. We cannot let systemic racism, violence and oppression continue. Murder must be called out as murder. Racism must be called out as racism. Injustice must be called out as injustice.

I attended the Black Lives Matter rally in St. Catharines a few weeks ago. It was an inspiring day and I really tried to take the opportunity to learn things I can do every day to make change. I've started having conversations, even when it's difficult, with friends and family about the importance of the Black Lives Matter protests and the changes that need to happen. As a Union, we recognize that we too need a plan going forward to ensure we do our part to raise people up and continue taking specific actions to create positive change.

Social justice is a cornerstone of the labour movement. Your Union remains committed to fighting racism and discrimination in all its forms and working toward equity and human rights for all.

Secretary Treasurere Kelly Tosato at the St. Catharines Black Lives Matter protest

No justice, no peace.

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, Chris Bernardi, Maggie Brayson, Lorne Bruce, Paul Capranos, Michael Collins, Al Couture, Kelly Dick, Michelle Dow, Ozren Elezovic, Ross Fraser, Lynne Grant, Rob Hamilton, Dawn Hanlon, Shirley Hepditch, Jennifer Hoskins, Kimberly Hunter, Scott Jackson, Kelly Kobitz, Carolyn Levesque, Murray Macrae, Jose Marteniano, Julia Mcaninch, Sharon McMahon, Cheryl Miner, Jim Montgomery, Tony Morello, Jean Patenaude, Jamesantony Pathmarajah, Toni Pettitt, Alan Reston, Louis Rocha, Terry Rombough, Joy Searles, Linda Souliere, Leighton Stephenson, Rick Szyja, Navidad Talbot, Jonathan Van Egmond, Lori Wallis, Byron Williams, Michael Windley.

Local 633

Marylou Mallett – President
Brian Kozlowski – Secretary-Treasurer
Julie Hinsperger – Recorder


Dennis Gagnon, Dale Stuart, Rita-Lynn Swiderski.


Officers of Local 175

Shawn Haggerty – President
Kelly Tosato – Secretary-Treasurer
Karen Vaughan – Recorder
Rob Armbruster – Executive Assistant to the President
Sylvia Groom – Executive Assistant to the President
Jim McLean – Executive Assistant to the President


Officers of Local 633

Marylou Mallett – President
Brian Kozlowski – Secretary-Treasurer
Julie Hinsperger – Recorder

Region 1

(Thunder Bay Office)
807-346-4227 – 1-800-465-6932 – fax 807-346-4055
Director – Sandra Rogerson
Union Representatives – Alex Stubbs, Tracy Stubbs

Region 2

(Mississauga Office)
905-821-8329 – 1-800-565-8329 – fax 905-821-7144
Director – Angela Mattioli
Union Representatives – Farman Ali, Rick Daudlin, John DiFalco, Casey Magee, Christina Mayberry, Tony Nigro, and Meemee Seto.

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, Kimberly Hunter, Dean McLaren, Joe Tenn; Servicing Representative – Sandra Proulx

Region 4

(Mississauga Office)
905-821-8329 – 1-800-565-8329 – fax 905-821-7144
Director – John Di Nardo
Union Representative - Tim Kelly; Servicing Representatives – Colleen Cox, Virginia Haggith, Jennifer Hanley, Nabeela Irfan, 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 – Jehan Ahamed
Union Representatives – Joce Cote, Mario Tardelli, Ashleigh Vink
Servicing Representatives – Rolando Cabral

Region 6

(Hamilton Office)
905-545-8354 – 1-800-567-2125 – fax 905-545-8355
Director – Rob Nicholas
Union Representatives – Sam Caetano, Matt Davenport, Dave Forbes, Jason Hanley, Lee Johnson-Koehn, Mike Mattioli, Brad Morrison, Melody Slattery, Fred Teeple.

Region 7

(Cambridge Office)
519-658-0252 – 1-800-267-1977 – fax 519-658-0255
Director – Chris Fuller
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 – Derik McArthur
Union Representatives – Jeff Barry, John Beaton, Richard Eberhardt, Jim Hames, Derek Jokhu

Workers’ Compensation Department
519-658-0252 – 1-800-267-1977 – fax 519-658-0255
Sharon Kempf – Director
Joanne Ford, Phil Hames, Sarah Neath, Courtney Salomons – Workers’ Compensation Representatives; Georgina MacDonald – Intake Representative

Health & Safety
519-658-0252 – 1-800-267-1977 – fax 519-658-0255
Sharon Kempf – Director
Mary Shaw – Health & Safety Representatives

Legal Department

Jane Mulkewich – Director
Shauna Fabrizi, Mary Hurley, Matthew Jagodits, Silvia Neagu – Legal Counsel

Organizing Department
1-800-565-8329 / 905-821-8329
Rick Wauhkonen – Director
Ricardo Bocanegra, Tim Hum, Jeffery Lu, Lionel MacEachern, Amy Tran – Organizing Representatives; Ayesha Jabbar – Organizing Apprentice

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
Russel Evans – Training Representative
Tim Deelstra – Engagement & Media Relations Strategist

Pay Equity

Sharon Kempf – Director
Orsola Augurusa, Matt Davenport, Union Representatives