PRESS RELEASE: NOVEMBER 12, 2005

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 Local 247 Loses a Friend in George Semeniuk


George Semeniuk, beloved Husband, Father, Grandfather, Brother, Uncle and Friend, peacefully passed away Thursday, November 10, 2005 at St. Paul's Hospital. George was predeceased by his parents, Paul and Leana and his father-in-law Albert Deg. Left to cherish his memory are his loving wife Wanda, daughter Lorrie (Larry) Hoium, son Allan (Cynthia), daughter Carrie (Gary) Thomas and grandchildren Derek and Drew Hoium, Hanna, Haiven and expected baby Thomas. Brothers Mike (Doreen), Bill (Margaret), Fred (Winnie), sisters Anne (Matt) Kawchuk, Mary (Denis) Prefontaine, mother-in-law Zelma Deg, as well as many other loved nieces, nephews, relatives and friends. George was born on July 23, 1938 on the family farm near Domremy, Sask. He enjoyed many things throughout his lifetime, which included fishing, hunting, golfing, farming and many sports. Many friends, family and neighbors had the pleasure of George sharing his carpentry skills, building decks, basements and doing numerous renovations. He was just an overall handyman and was greatly appreciated by all. George was a firm believer in the Labour Movement and fought hard for the working people, to ensure a safe work place and fair wage for all.

George joined UPWA (United Packinghouse Workers of America Local 234P on October 15, 1956 and, for six years he was the President of that local. He worked as the president of the UFCW Saskatchewan Provincial Council for two years, then on October 19, 1970 he was employed as Council Representative by the SK Provincial Council and in August 1988 he was further advanced to International Representative for Saskatchewan. On May 1, 1989 he was promoted to UFCW Assistant to the Director and Collective Bargaining Representative for Western Canada. At International conventions, he sat on the Constitution Committee for UFCW and was also a member of the UFCW task force on Canadian Structure.

Throughout his career he took on further duties and board positions; he was a board member for three years for the Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan, on an OH&S Advisory Council to the Minister of Labour and was the president of the Prince Albert Labour Council for two years. He was on the SFL Executive Council for 17 years, two of which he spent as president and he served two years as a CLC vice-president. He also worked on numerous other committees, Boards of Arbitration and Boards of Conciliation.

George Semeniuk retired from UFCW in 1997 after a long career in the labour movement, from the position of the Western Assistant to the Canadian Director of the United Food and Commercial Workers. He resided in Saskatoon with his wife Wanda and enjoyed spending time with his son, daughters, their spouses and his grandchildren.

After Georges retirement he took a few months off then chose to work at the Department of Labour as a Conciliation and Mediation Senior Officer doing what he has always done so well, helping members, unions and companies to find acceptable solutions to outstanding issues. He then moved to community volunteer work with the United Way as a Campaign Cabinet volunteer Labour Representative for three years.

George loved his family and friends, and especially enjoyed all the fun times spent with his grandchildren. We will all miss the sparkle in his blue eyes and that tremendous smile which he had until the very end. Many of the staff and membership of Local 247 were lucky enough to have worked with George and we will all miss him greatly. Our thoughts and prayers are with his lovely wife Wanda and the rest of their family.

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