UFCW Local 175 President Shawn Haggerty

Shawn Haggerty

President, Local 175 UFCW Canada

President’s Message Winter 2021

Ford swings into full election mode

The gears are moving in anticipation of the provincial election next year. Ads have begun, and Ford’s promises and new legislation announcements are going to be a regular occurrence. Ford’s only concern is re-election. He believes that if he throws enough scraps out there, that the public will forget how little he’s done to look after and serve the needs of the people over the last four years.

He might be right. But I know that the people of Ontario have better memories than that.

Minimum Wage

Right out of the gate, Ford eliminated minimum wage increases, that would have put the rate at $15 per hour as of January 2019, and froze the rate for two years. Happy employers; Workers left falling behind.

But in November, Ford announced that minimum wage would be $15 per hour on January 1, 2022. And while that’s a step in the right direction, his past rhetoric was that $15 per hour hurts businesses. In fact, $15 is not a living wage anywhere in this province anymore. The living wage across Ontario is well above $15 per hour.

• Guelph – $18.10
• Halton – $20.75
• Kingston – $17.75
• Niagara – $18.90
• Sault Ste. Marie – $16.20
• Thunder Bay – $16.30
• Toronto – $22.08
*Source: Ontario Living Wage Network (Nov 2021)

Ford also refuses to lift Bill 124, which caps wage increases for many frontline nurses and other workers, and is an infringement on the collective bargaining rights of those workers.

Paid Sick Days

In 2018, Ford scrapped the two legislated paid sick days that workers had. Only after more than a year of the pandemic and intense pressure from all sides did Ford give in – just a bit – and create an inadequate and temporary program that grants three paid sick days to Ontario workers, and only for COVID-19 related illness.

The truth is, these kinds of worker-friendly announcements can’t hide the truth of his allegiance to the best interests of business.

Truth and Reconciliation

Ford chose not to recognize the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation as a provincial statutory holiday. Many employers followed suit, making the same wrong decision, with some violating collective agreement language in doing so. Read about an arbitration victory on this matter with Loblaw Companies on page 14 of the Winter 2021 issue of Checkout magazine.


In October, the government said it would legislate to allow the Workplace Safety & Insurance Board (WSIB) to return up to $3 billion to employers. The WSIB plans to cut employer premiums by $168 million while continuing to force injured workers to live on inadequate benefits. You can read more on this on page 20 of Checkout Winter 2021.

These are just a few examples of how Ford will play both sides to get the vote. I know there’s more to come in the next six months and this won’t be the last time I speak about Ford on these pages. For now, I ask you to be wary of Ford’s antics and to keep the bigger picture in mind as we approach next year’s election.

I had hoped, like everyone else, that this year we’d have been pandemic-free and back to a more regular routine. With a hopeful light at the end of this tunnel, I encourage everyone to do their best to help keep us on the right track.

As we wrap 2021, another year of sometimes overwhelming change and adaptation, I want to thank you, our members, for your continued commitment to your co-workers and your jobs despite these difficult times.

Please take this camaraderie with you through the holiday season and lean on it when you need to. And please know that your hard work does not go unappreciated.

Take care.
In Solidarity,
Shawn Haggerty

UFCW Local 175 Secretary-Treasurer Kelly Tosato

Kelly Tosato

Secretary-Treasurer, Local 175 UFCW Canada

Secretary-Treasurer’s Message Winter 2021

What would a Wealth Tax mean for Canadians?

In the federal election, versions of a wealth tax appeared in several party platforms: whether a one-time tax, or an annual one per cent paid on wealth of more than $10 or $20 million.

A wealth tax is not a new idea but it’s one that rarely sees the light of day, likely because big corporations and CEOs have far too much influence on our politicians. But it’s an important idea that could bring some balance of wealth back to Canada and provide funding for vital programs and services.

In the last 18 months or so, more than 5 million people died from COVID-19 around the world. Here in Canada, the number of workers affected by either job loss or hours reduced by at least half peaked at 5.5 million, with hundreds of thousands still facing income insecurity.

We’ve watched as our healthcare system, already understaffed and underfunded, struggled to maintain elder and patient care. We saw our hospitals reach capacity and stop elective procedures and even life-saving surgeries. We watched as far too many workers died from COVID-19.

Working people everywhere have adapted to new realities at work and at home to keep their communities healthy, safe, and fed.

Yet, throughout this same time, many employers raked in profits while refusing to pay premiums, lobbying against paid sick leave, and asking employees to face angry customers, work close to other people, and take care of the elderly and ill.

During the first year of the pandemic, the richest people in Canada got $78 billion richer.

But this financial disparity existed long before the pandemic.

“Research from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) showed that by 2016 Canada’s 87 richest families each held, on average, 4,448 times more wealth than the typical family. Together these 87 families held more wealth than the bottom 12 million Canadians combined.”

But, then, earlier this year, we watched billionaires go to space. Of course, not all billionaires went to space. Some were content just to fight tooth and nail to avoid giving their hourly workers premiums, substantial raises, health and safety protection, and more.

And making personal space travel a priority doesn’t make someone a bad person. After all, those projects required innovation, research, and the labour of many working people. But the stark contrast of having the luxury of time and money to fly to space to look back on a planet that’s in crisis, or to protect millionaire shareholder profits instead of the livelihoods of working people, is a little troubling to say the least.

So, what would a wealth tax mean to most people?

The CCPA estimates that: A one per cent tax on wealth over $20 million could generate about $10 billion in revenue in its first year.

In Canada, that income could fund investments to improve the lives of millions of people: from affordable child care to affordable housing, from funding healthcare and education, to providing financial support as industries and the economy move toward more environmentally sustainable models, and much more. It might not mean you see more money on your paycheque, but it means your paycheque would go further.

So much of our system is broken and in dire need of attention.

A wealth tax is only one step in the right direction toward an economy and country that treats working people with the respect and dignity they more than deserve. We also need responsible government leadership to address tax havens, put limits on profit sharing while a company and industry is in crisis, and ensure a company is responsible to its employees in every way possible – from fair, livable wages to protected pensions, full benefits, and more.

As you work, shop for gifts and groceries, and interact with each other, please remember that kindness and courtesy, including wearing a mask, go a long way.

Have a wonderful holiday season. Stay safe, and take care.

In Solidarity,
Kelly Tosato

Locals 175 & 633 Executive Boards

Local 175

Shawn Haggerty – President
Kelly Tosato – Secretary-Treasurer
Karen Vaughan – Recorder


Rick Alagierski, Glen Avila, 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, Sharon Jones, 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, Agron Klecka, Rita-Lynn Swiderski.


UFCW Locals 175 & 633 Staff (2019)

Officers of Local 175

Shawn Haggerty – President
Kelly Tosato – Secretary-Treasurer
Karen Vaughan – Recorder
Rob Armbruster – Executive Assistant to the President
Chris Fuller – Executive Assistant to the President
Sylvia Groom – Executive Assistant to the President
Angela Mattioli – 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)
905-821-8329  |  1-800-565-8329  [fax: 905-821-7144]

Director – Tracy Stubbs
Union Representatives – Alex Stubbs, Tracy Stubbs

Region 2

(Mississauga Office)
905-821-8329  |  1-800-565-8329  [fax: 905-821-7144]

Director – Lee Johnson-Koehn
Union Representatives – Rick Daudlin, Sacha Edey, Christina Mayberry, Tony Nigro, Sabrina Qadir

Region 3

(Ottawa & Cornwall Offices)
905-821-8329  |  1-800-565-8329  [fax: 905-821-7144]

Director – Daniel Mercier
Union Representatives – Sean Carroll, Shannon Epp, Paul Hardwick, Kimberly Hunter, 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 – Nunzio Cannistraci, Colleen Cox, Brittany Farr, Virginia Haggith, Jennifer Hanley, Amanda Nagy, Chris Watson.

Region 5

(Cambridge & Leamington Offices)
905-821-8329  |  1-800-565-8329  [fax: 905-821-7144] Cambridge:

Director – Jehan Ahamed

Union Representatives – Joce Cote, Mario Tardelli
Servicing Representatives – Rolando Cabral, Kelly Dick

Region 6

(Mississauga Office)
905-821-8329  |  1-800-565-8329  [fax: 905-821-7144]

Director – Sam Caetano
Union Representatives – Dave Forbes, Jason Hanley, Mike Mattioli, Melody Slattery, Navidad Talbot, Fred Teeple.

Region 7

(Cambridge Office)
905-821-8329  |  1-800-565-8329  [fax: 905-821-7144]

Director – Jehan Ahamed
Union Representatives – Chris Bernardi, Todd Janes
Servicing Representatives – Arlene Robertson, Michael Windley

Region 8

(Sudbury Office)
905-821-8329  |  1-800-565-8329  [fax: 905-821-7144]

Director – Derik McArthur
Union Representatives – Jeff Barry, John Beaton, Richard Eberhardt, Jim Hames

HOPE Sector
905-821-8329  |  1-800-565-8329  [fax: 905-821-7144]

Director, Long-Term Care & Retirement: Sandra Ashcroft;
Union Representatives: Ayesha Jabbar, Derek Jokhu, Dean McLaren, Steve Springall

Director, Community Care: Sandra Rogerson;
Union Representatives: Nabeela Irfan, Casey Magee, Meemee Seto
Servicing Representative: Hodan Wais

Pay Equity, Health & Safety, and Workers' Compensation

Directors – Chris Fuller, Sharon Kempf

Pay Equity

Representatives – Orsola Augurusa, Matt Davenport

Workers’ Compensation Department
905-821-8329  |  1-800-565-8329  [fax: 905-821-7144]

Coordinator – Sarah Neath
Workers’ Compensation Representatives – Joanne Ford, Sarah Neath, Nelson Pereira, Courtney Salomons
Intake Representative – Georgina MacDonald

Health & Safety
905-821-8329  |  1-800-565-8329  [fax: 905-821-7144]

Health & Safety Representative – Mary Shaw

Organizing Department
905-821-8329  |  1-800-565-8329  [fax: 905-821-7144]

Director – Rick Wauhkonen
Organizing Representatives – Ricardo Bocanegra, Tim Hum, Jeffery Lu, Lionel MacEachern, Amy Tran

Legal Department

Director – Jane Mulkewich
Legal Counsel – Shauna Fabrizi-Jomaa, Mary Hurley, Matthew Jagodits, Silvia Neagu, Kendall Yamagishi

Training & Education
905-821-8329  |  1-800-565-8329  [fax: 905-821-7144]

Director – Rob Armbruster
Coordinator – Kelly Nicholas
Servicing Representative – Teresa Wilson

Communications Department

Coordinator – Jennifer Tunney
Communications Representatives – Laurie Duncan, Ashleigh Vink

Project Coordinator

Coordinator – Wei Chen