June 15, 2020
UFCW 247 meatcutter James Haslam receives award from TRU

Congratulations to UFCW 247 member James Haslam, who has been awarded the CPMCA Award of Merit for the Thompson Rivers University Retail Meat Processing Foundation Program in Kamloops.

James, a meat cutter at Safeway’s Broadway & MacDonald store in Vancouver, won the award for finishing at the top of his class. James was a recipient of the TRU-UFCW Meat Cutting and Apprentice Scholarship.

“I’m grateful to UFCW 247 to be sponsored for the retail meat cutting program at Thompson Rivers University,” said James. “The course is an excellent learning experience and really prepared me for the workplace.”

“I’ve used the skills learned in the course regularly, and the experience has been invaluable, especially in the trying times of COVID 19,” James said. “The knowledge and skills I acquired through the program have been a great boon to my career.”

UFCW Local 247, in partnership with Thompson Rivers University and UFCW 1518, offers members in British Columbia an opportunity to enhance their butchery skills or to carve out a new career with this scholarship.

The meat cutting scholarship covers full tuition and partial living expenses for UFCW 247 members attending the nine-month TRU Retail Meat Cutting Program.

The TRU program touches on charcuterie, and other key elements of the trade, including:

  • safety and sanitation
  • beef, veal, lamb, pork, and poultry processing
  • product identification and nomenclature
  • value added processing
  • fresh, smoked and cured sausage
  • meat nutrition and cooking
  • customer service and employment skills

The UFCW’s history with the meat industry goes back more than 120 years, starting in 1896 when a group of independent butchers’ unions met in New York state to start the Amalgamated Meat Cutters and Butcher Workmen (AMC). The AMC merged with the United Packinghouse Workers (UPWA) in 1968, thereby unifying industrial butchers across North America. The AMC later merged with the Retail Clerks (RCIU) in 1979 to create the UFCW.

Today, there are more than 6,000 retail meat cutters, or retail butchers, across Canada, with most of them working as members of the UFCW.

Retail Meat Cutter is a recognized and certified trade in B.C., as well as SaskatchewanOntario, and Quebec.