Who We Are
The United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) Locals 175 & 633 is a diverse Union representing 70,000 hard-working people of all ages and backgrounds in Ontario. Our members work across many sectors and industries doing a wide variety of jobs. We are the Local Union for All Workers. Explore who we represent below.
As a member of our Local Union, you will either belong to Local 175 or Local 633. So, what is the difference?
Local 633 has Craft Union status and represents about 600 members who work as meat cutters in a number of retail locations. Local 633 intends to maintain its historical Craft Union status for as long as possible.
Local 175 represents every other member of the Local Union, and our two Locals have an agreement that sees Local 175 provide all services to Local 633 members.
Our Local Union is a part of UFCW Canada, which represents a total of more than 250,000 working people nation-wide, and UFCW International based out of Washington, D.C., which represents more than 1.3 million workers across our two countries.
UFCW Locals 175 & 633 is divided into 10 regions, each led by a Director who oversees servicing and bargaining for the membership in that area. Each region can be reached through our Head Office at 1-800-565-8329 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who We Represent
With 70,000 members, UFCW Locals 175 & 633 has a strong presence and years of experience across many sectors of the Ontario economy.
Scroll through some of the sectors we cover below, and meet some of our Members working hard to provide quality products and services to their communities and to families across Canada.
UFCW Locals 175 & 633 represents more than 42,000 retail workers at about 570 grocery and wholesale stores, pharmacies, hardware stores, cannabis retail, and more across Ontario. Stores where our members work include: Loblaw banners (Loblaws, Fortinos, Zehrs Great Canadian Food Stores, Real Canadian Superstores, Your Independent Grocers, Valu-mart, No Frills, Wholesale Club), Metro (Metro, Food Basics, The Barn), Sobeys and Freshco, Rexall, Pharma Plus, RX Drugmart, Lococo’s, Home Hardware, and some independent retail establishments as well.
Ala Abu-Zeyada is a Produce Manager at Food Basics in Ottawa. Ala has been at the store since it opened in 2005, has been a Union Steward for a total of 16 years including the last 10 years spent as Chief Steward in the workplace. He says he gets satisfaction from helping all the members at Food Basics with whatever they need and tries to explain their rights and the different articles in the collective agreement. Ala is also a great promoter of the Union’s website and is constantly telling new employees to visit us online and discover that they have access to member discounts and information.Read More
Anthony Yerkie is a meat cutter at Metro in North Bay. Anthony has been a member of the Union for more than six years and says he enjoys working at the store. Anthony feels that it’s very beneficial to belong to the Union as it provides many securities including job protection, seniority rights, higher rates of pay, benefits, and more. A Union also provides a better working environment and gives employees a voice to raise any concerns, without fear of repercussions.Read More
Christine Felix is UFCW Local 175 member who works at Rexall at Etobicoke’s Cloverdale Mall. Christine is a cosmetician and has been at the store for more than six years. "My family and peers describe me as reliable, generous, and expressive. When I come to work, I like to include every aspect of my personality. I work efficiently and effectively to achieve the goals of the day. When people come to me for assistance, my aim is to give the best service.” Christine says the being a unionized worker has brought her many benefits and that she “feels protected and safe to be myself while serving others."Read More
Across the Service and Hospitality industries in Ontario, UFCW Locals 175 & 633 represents approximately 2,600 workers. These members work in hotels, restaurants and catering/meal services, car rental agencies and parking lots, housekeeping, office and building services, and more.
Ana Da Silva
Ana Paula Da Silva works for Dependable Maintenance Janitorial (DMJ) at Sunnybrook Hospital in the Oddette Cancer Centre Building. Ana has worked for the company for more than two years now and currently works as an ‘Environmental Services Partner’ where she performs sanitization, general cleaning, and isolation. Ana has been a Union Steward since January 2021. “Being a steward is an amazing experience because it is helping me better myself as a person by expanding both my knowledge and by giving me day-to-day goals to help my fellow workers in any way I can.”Read More
George Behnam is the Chief Steward at the Westin Hotel in Ottawa, where he has worked since October 1983. The members elected George as Chief Steward 24 years ago because of his knowledge and experience. George has been a banquet server for his entire career at Westin but he has also helped in most departments including Valet, Service Express, Bar, and Stewarding. Through eight sets of bargaining, George has taken pride in using his experience to help the members by negotiating better benefits and higher wages for the membership with the help of the Union. The team of Stewards at the hotel has been very successful at resolving members’ issues throughout the years. George enjoys helping the members and feels satisfied when he sees fairness for everyone.Read More
George Czuczor is UFCW Local 175 member who works at the Canadian Forces Support Unit (CFSU) in Ottawa where he has been a member for 14 years as a mechanic at the CFSU golf course. The work keeps George and his co-worker busy because they are responsible for the maintenance of all golf course equipment. That work includes sharpening lawnmower blades, fixing tractors, and more; the list is as long as the 18-hole course. UFCW Local 175 represents workers at several other military bases in the province including CFB Trenton, CANEX CFB Borden, CANEX North Bay, and the Military Family Resource centres in both Trenton and London.Read More
Khalid Alesai is a member at Park‘N Fly in Toronto where he has worked for more than 22 years. As a bus driver there, Khalid enjoys meeting and engaging with new people every day. For Khalid, being unionized means there is no pressure to just accept what the employer says; being a part of a Union feels like someone has your back. Khalid feels that without the Union, there would be little benefits, and the employees would not have job security. Khalid shared that he “appreciates his Union Representative, taking time to listen to his issues and being there to support him and the members."Read More
Nearly 4,400 members of UFCW Locals 175 & 633 produce and package some of your favourite foods, snacks, and beverages. From chocolate to candy, breads and cakes, peanut butter, baby formula, dairy and non-dairy beverages, juice, eggs, milling, appetizers, and more.
These members work in every part of production in these plants and work hard to create quality products that families across the country enjoy every day.
Adnan Satar is a UFCW Local 175 member working at Ace Bakery in Toronto. With 23 years of experience working at the company, Adnan has a wealth of knowledge and expertise about many aspects of work in the plant. Putting his knowledge to use, Adnan is involved on the Union scheduling committee. The bakery is large and members there produce a wide variety of products. As such, the plant has a very demanding schedule. Through his work on the scheduling committee, Adnan ensures that members get the best possible shifts to suit their lives.Read More
Shaun Gibson is a member at Lactalis Canada Inc. in Sudbury, where he took on the role of Union Steward in 2017. But Shaun first gained experience as a Local 175 Steward at Maple Lodge Farms in Brampton starting in 1991. “The Union means there is strength in numbers. When a company realizes it must deal with a Union instead of just an individual, it will often think twice before acting against someone. We should never forget that the life and privileges we enjoy today were won for us by the hard work of our Union brothers and sisters of the past. It is up to us to stand firm, stand fast, and stand united, so we can pass on the benefits that have been won to the next generation of workers. That is why being unionized is important to me.”Read More
Shirley Desroches at Post Foods
Shirley Desroches is a member who has worked at Post Foods in Cobourg for about four years. At the plant, Shirley work as a Packaging Line Operator on the Weetabix Biscuit Line – just one of many products produced by the members at Post Foods. Shirley is glad that she belongs to a Union. “I like the fact that someone is available when I need answers and guidance on any issues or concerns that I may have,” she said. “Also having ‘just cause’ protection and a voice that will speak on your behalf.”Read More
HOPE stands for the Hospital, Office, and Professional Employees sector here at UFCW Locals 175 & 633. Many of our HOPE sector members – more than 6,500 – are in the healthcare field. This includes workers in long-term care, retirement homes, homecare, community care, and congregate care settings. Our members are the frontline nurses, personal support workers, aides, cooks, social workers, and other support workers and attendants who help care for the elderly, the ill, and others who need assistance.
In addition to direct healthcare, our HOPE Sector members also work in teaching, childcare, addiction services, emergency medical services, pet care and veterinary services, dental care, funerals, laboratory settings, social services, and more.
Judy Tsao is an Outreach Counsellor/Case Manager at the Queen West site of the Parkdale Queen West Community Health Centre. She works with people who are homeless or under-housed, and started working at the centre in December 2000. Judy has been a Union Steward since 2005, and she is a strong advocate for her co-workers, ensuring they are treated with fairness and that their voices are heard. In 2002, Judy was instrumental in helping the then Queen West Community Health Centre unionize with UFCW Local 175. She has been on several negotiation teams, and took part in the harmonizing negotiation effort to merge the collective agreements of the two Health Centres.Read More
Kayla Selleck is a Personal Support Worker (PSW) who has worked at Bayfield Manor in Kemptville for more than 10 years. She is a dedicated caregiver to the residents at the Manor through good times and tough times. And, as a healthcare worker, working though COVID-19 was and still is tough. Kayla says that working in a Unionized environment has been a great experience for her as she feels she has a voice and knows she can talk to her Union Steward or Union Representative any time. Additionally, she hopes that the provincial government institutes more legislated paid sick days for health care workers.Read More
Moses Klein is a member of UFCW Local 175 who works at TAIE International Institute, which is an international private school located in Toronto. Moses has been a math teacher at the institute since 2009, and he became a Union Steward after the ratification of their first collective agreement in August 2019. Moses is an active Union member who took part on the negotiating committee for that first agreement where they achieved a number of improvements including important language provisions. He is a strong voice for his co-workers and he continues to enforce the collective agreement daily in the workplace.Read More
From slaughter to processing and packaging, approximately 8,000 members of UFCW Locals 175 & 633 work to provide people across this country with high quality meat products.
From ground beef used in some fast-food favourites, to your Thanksgiving Butterball turkeys, chicken strips, hot dogs, and more, the Members of UFCW Locals 175 & 633 have a hand in producing many of the products you find in your local grocery stores.
Gloria Almonte is a Union Steward at Olymel in Cornwall where she has worked for more than 19 years. She became a Steward to ensure her co-workers are treated fairly and to give a voice to those that might not stand up for their rights. Her collective agreement contains seniority provisions, vacation distribution, and a grievance procedure; all of which she believes are especially beneficial to the members. “I love going to the supermarket and seeing that the products we make are for sale. It gives me a sense of pride that I am actually a part of feeding people.”Read More
William Thrasher (known to most as Thrasher) works at JBS Foods in Belleville as a Millwright Apprentice Level 3 in the maintenance department. He is Chief Steward at the plant. Thrasher became a steward to help his co-workers and says the best part of the role is being able to get people results when they come to him with their concerns. He believes being part of a Union is important because the rights of the workers are protected and they have better wages and hours of work.Read More
In addition to industrial food production, more than 2,500 members of UFCW Locals 175 & 633 work in a wide variety of industrial manufacturing and packaging plants across the province. This includes plastics, rigid packaging, machinery and HVAC parts, electronics design and production, a variety of serve-ware and containers, furniture, and much more.
Kamlesh Samra is a UFCW Local 175 members employed at Polar Pak in Brampton. She is a Machine Operator who takes great pride in her Union and she works hard in her role as a Union Steward to represent her co-workers. And with more than five years under her belt as a Steward, Kamlesh looks forward to many more years of policing the collective agreement. She is always willing to participate in meetings for her co-workers about workplace issues on and off the clock, and takes pride in ensuring health and safety protocols are followed at the plant.Read More
Leroy O’Conner is UFCW Local 175 member at Regency Plastics in North York, where he has worked for more than 10 years. At the plant, Leroy is a machine operator who also works in the shipping/receiving department. As a strong advocate for health and safety in the workplace, Leroy puts the safety of his co-workers at the forefront. While maintaining workplace safety is the responsibility of the employer, the Union, and every worker, Leroy does his part by always being on the lookout for possible hazards including pinch points on machines, and risk areas while operating forklifts.Read More
Shelley St. Thomas
Shelley St. Thomas is a member of UFCW Local 175 who works at J.H. McNairn Ltd. in Whitby. With the company for more than 33 years, Shelley is a long-time member who works in the warehouse as a shipper/receiver. As a Union Steward for more than 10 years, Shelley is a strong voice for the members in the workplace and advocates every day to enforce the collective agreement. Shelley says it feels good when people know they can come to you for help.Read More
Meet Some of Our Members
Our hard-working Members can be found everywhere: From grocery and pharmacies to industrial manufacturing; meat and poultry processing to food, beverage, and candy production; from long-term care, retirement homes, and community care centres to teaching, social services, child care, and more. You can find our Members working behind the welcome desk or providing housekeeping services at a hotel, taking your order at the coffee shop in hospital cafeterias, renting you a car at the airport, and much, much more. Take a moment to meet some of our Members at Work below, and look for our weekly Member and Steward profiles on Instagram and Facebook. Plus, look for hashtags that celebrate workers and Union members:
#ufcwmember #ufcwsteward #unionsteward #unionmember #unionstrong #unionproud #membermonday #saturdaysteward #livebetterworkunion #ufcw175633
Chris Osborne works at Ridge Landfill in Blenheim and he has been a UFCW Local 175 member for 18 years. He worked most of those years as bulldozer operator but has moved up to excavator operator. He enjoys his job immensely and is proud to be a UFCW member. Chris appreciates the benefits that belonging to a Union provides him and he played a pivotal role on the negotiation committee for the last two rounds of bargaining. When Chris started at Ridge Landfill, his daughter was one year old. And now, she also works at Ridge as the scale operator.Read More
Debbie Sutcliffe is a member who works at Wholesale Club in Thunder Bay. Debbie is a cashier and has been working at the store since August 1998. Debbie is always supporting her co-workers and monitors the schedules to make sure that the cashiers are receiving the appropriate hours. She is the first face that customers see when they come into the store, and she is the last person customers see when they leave. Debbie always makes sure that everyone has a great shopping experience.Read More
Gregg Boyachuk has over 30 years of service with Metro in various locations in Toronto and Brampton. As produce department head and Union Steward, Gregg is a true leader in his workplace. During the pandemic, Gregg had been going into one of the hardest-hit COVID-19 communities in the country, but Gregg says “despite the challenges, being able to laugh and build teamwork with co-workers has given the downtown Brampton Metro store a sense of purpose and pride.” Gregg was a member of the Metro bargaining committee in 2022 where he was able to bring his 30+ years’ experience to the bargaining table.Read More
Karen Kershaw works at Food Basics in London as a cashier/supervisor. She has worked at the store for 20 years and enjoys helping customers and her co-workers. Karen is happy to work in a unionized environment. She feels protected having the Union to fight for her rights, and the contract has provided members with benefits and a pension plan along with vacation. Karen has been a Union Steward for more than 10 years. She enjoys helping members and being a voice for them, especially for those who are less confident and younger members. Karen says the best part of being a Steward is standing up for all the members and the satisfaction in knowing you have helped them. In her spare time, Karen likes to travel, but much of her free time is spent at a retirement home visiting her dad as much as she can.Read More
Melissa and Kaitlin
Melissa Pickell and Kaitlin Mitchell are members from the Quinte Humane Society in Belleville. Melissa has been at the shelter for about 11 years while Kaitlin has been there about six years. They say they are both happy to be part of a Union. Being members of UFCW Locals 175 & 633 gives them the chance to negotiate their contract and job security. In fact, both Melissa and Kaitlin were on the 2021 Negotiating Committee as well as the pay equity committee. Their wish is for you to visit humanesocietyhpe.ca and consider adopting one of the animals they shelter.Read More
Mohamedali (Monty) Karim is a driver for TransCare in Toronto, where he has worked for nine years. Monty is a Steward for the members and he enjoys introducing new employees to the collective agreement, listening to employee concerns, investigating incidents, and finding solutions. “It has been a great honour to be able to serve not only our clients but also my fellow co-workers. I have a genuine love and respect for the elderly, which stems from having my grandparents being a part of my upbringing. They taught me the importance of service and helping the community especially the elderly.” Monty was born and raised in Tanzania and enjoys playing in various soccer and volleyball leagues, listening to good music, and moving to the beat.Read More
Vany Bartheeban is a member who works at Zehrs Cambridge Centre as the Joe Fresh Manager. She has been with the employer for more than 20 years and says she likes the protection that being a Union member provides. Vany has been a Union Steward for more than 10 years and took on the role because she enjoys helping co-workers and problem solving. The high turnover rate in retail can make it challenging for a Steward to keep up with the new hires. But Vany believes a Union means Solidarity and Protection and she will continue to do her best for all the members at the store. When not working Vany enjoys cooking and spending time with her dogs.Read More
Our Servicing Regions
Region 1 (Thunder Bay Office)
Region 2 (Mississauga Office)
Region 3 (Ottawa Office)
Region 4 (Mississauga Office)
Region 5 (Cambridge Office)
Region 6 (Mississauga Office)
Region 7 (Cambridge Office)
Region 8 (Sudbury Office)
HOPE Sector – Long-term Care & Retirement (Cambridge Office)
HOPE Sector – Community Care (Cambridge Office)
Workers’ Compensation Department
Health & Safety
Training & Education
Our Local Union Also Has:
- A dedicated Organizing Team to assist non-union workers realize the benefits of joining the Union
- Specialists in Injured Workers’ Compensation to guide Members in their injury claim appeals
- Health & Safety experts to help workplace Joint Health & Safety Committees (JHSCs) and Members address hazards in their workplaces
- In-house Legal Counsel to assist with bargaining, arbitrations, and other hearings, and
- Training and educational opportunities available for free to Members through in-class courses and the UFCW WebCampus.