During the last telephone town hall membership meeting, President Dan Goodman provided an update on staffing changes that are to come into effect today, Tuesday March 1.
The announcement included the hiring of former UFCW National staff, Michael Toal. As a national rep, Mike assisted UFCW local unions across Western Canada (including Local 247) with negotiations, organizing, servicing and education. He was also involved with organizing and bargaining for migrant agricultural workers in BC, working in English and Spanish. In 2016, Mike was hired by UFCW Local 1118 in Edmonton and led negotiations with companies like Cargill High River, Sofina Foods, and Safeway/Sobeys. When Local 1118 merged with Local 401, he was assigned to be part of a major retail bargaining session and was also Communications Coordinator for Local 401.
His hiring has had a bit of a domino effect on our Local needing to review the union representatives’ servicing territories and switch some of the units our reps service. “It's common for us to review the territories from time to time and there were various reasons that have prompted us to make some alterations” said President Goodman.
As we continue to expand our communication and engagement efforts, Eric Seto will be taking on a communication role, in addition to dealing with WCB appeals and also servicing some units. Eric has assisted the Local with website updates and developing written materials from time to time, so we view this move as an easy transition for him. As Assistant to the President, Cathy Shannon’s role in the Local is also expanding. In addition to serving as our Sobey’s point person, she will also be the “go to” person for our union reps on internal and day-to-day servicing issues.
With the new territories coming into effect today, reps will continue to deal with any outstanding grievances they may have filed while servicing their former units. Members may have already seen their existing rep introducing them to their new rep in recent store/unit visits. We hope this will make for a smooth transition in getting to know your new union representative. The bulletin boards will be updated shortly with a poster showing who your new union rep is, along with other relevant posters that fill the bulletin boards. Members can also see who their union rep is here.
“My directive to the staff is that the priority for them is to reach out and contact their new shop stewards as greater communication with stewards is a key focus for us, specially during this transition period. We need to find new ways to engage with stewards, arm them with the information and tools they need and make them aware of the importance of their role within the Local”, added President Dan Goodman.
We remind our members that it's important to keep your union rep's contact information handy at all times and to contact them directly with any questions/concerns you may have. There are also many useful resouces available on this website, like your collective aggreement, benefit information, education and community resources. Please take some time to become familiar with these resouces and share with as many fellow union members as possible.