At UFCW 1518, we believe that we are stronger together. Everyone deserves safe and respectful working conditions and a healthy community. By continuing to win fights for fairness, organize workers in diverse industries, and support causes that benefit communities, we can improve quality of life for all British Columbians.
We improve quality of life for our members and their communities by standing together to fight for fairness. We are a democratic, member-driven union that is built on a foundation of integrity and respect. We work hard for our members, fighting for higher wages, better benefits, job security and fair treatment. We also use our voice to speak up on issues that impact our communities, such as implementing a living wage and standing against discrimination.
We trace our roots to 1899, when a group of retail clerks in Vancouver met to discuss how they could improve their working conditions. Since then, we have established a track record of winning key battles for our members. We are known as the leading experts on worker’s rights in the retail food and industrial food processing industries. Today, we represent over 20,000 workers in a diverse range of industries, including community health, seasonal agriculture, and professional services. Learn more about our history here.
For Kim Novak, the heart of the union is its members. She is a passionate advocate for social justice who draws upon her experience as a Safeway clerk in fighting for what’s right for members. Although she once considered a future in the legal profession, Kim’s job as a summer student for UFCW 1518 showed her the power of organized labour to make a real difference in workers’ lives.
After graduating with a degree in history from the University of British Columbia in 2007, Kim worked at the union in various positions, including communication representative, union representative, director and Secretary-Treasurer. She was unanimously elected President by the Executive Board in 2019. Kim is committed to bringing about positive change on issues that matter to members through education, engagement and empowerment. Her long term goal is to continue building member power in the workplace and for UFCW 1518 to become a leader in human rights and equity, fighting for fairness one member at a time.
A labour activist and environmentalist, Secretary-Treasurer Patrick Johnson has been organizing communities and handing out leaflets for as long as he can remember. It was through his fight for regional equity that he first witnessed the power of unions to bring progressive change on issues like affordable housing, environmental sustainability and workers’ rights. Patrick started with the UFCW 1518 in 2009, working as an organizer and fighting to bring the rights and benefits of the union to non-unionized workers. Since then, he has led successful organizing drives in the retail and industrial sectors, helping tip the scales toward justice for more British Columbian workers.
Patrick believes every worker is an organizer, with the power to bring fairness to the workplace and beyond; he is dedicated to building our members’ collective strength through education, engagement and political action. Patrick served as Executive Assistant from 2016-2019, when he was unanimously elected by UFCW 1518’s Executive Board to the position of Secretary-Treasurer. Patrick lives on the traditional and unceded territory of Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations with his wife and young two daughters. He has a degree in Environmental Policy from Western Washington.
Executive Board Members
UFCW 1518 believes that by being a member-driven and democratic union we are stronger in standing together in our fight for fairness. Our Executive Board consists of rank and file members from across the province, elected by our membership.
Camila Mehai – Sobeys, Vancouver
Christine Holowka – Save-On Foods, Prince George
Connie Buckner – Cowichan Home Support, Duncan
Dave Diamond – Save-On-Foods, Kelowna
David Gutierrez – Save-On-Foods, Surrey
Eleanor Smith – Penticton Home Support, Penticton
Erica Jones – Save-On-Foods, Maple Ridge
Jennifer Vecchio – Nelson Home Support, Nelson
Kari-Anne Neave – Save-On-Foods, Burns Lake
Kathleen Guerin – Save-On-Foods, Kamloops
Ken Bellows – Colonial Farms, Armstrong
Linda Wilson – Port Alberni Home Support, Port Alberni
Matt Rose – Safeway, Cranbrook
Nanette Fredericks – Mackenzie Co-op, Mackenzie
Rajiv Mehra – Grand River Foods, Abbotsford
Raven Morningstar – Save-On-Foods, Whitehorse (Yukon)
Robert Milan – Safeway, Kelowna
Sherry Earl – Save-On-Foods, Fernie
Stefan Nielsen – Safeway, Vancouver
Virgilio Encarnacion – Sofina Foods, Port Coquitlam
Kevin Sparkes – Sunrise Poultry, Maple Ridge