As we approach the last long weekend of the summer, we will all be celebrating Labour Day and the tireless activism of those in the labour movement who fight to improve the lives of all working people.
The history of our movement and the battles fought led to improved rights like the basic work week, parental leave, weekends and more. All of this happened because workers collectively stood together – in their workplaces, at the bargaining table, on the picket line and beyond.
It is this fight for dignity and respect for all workers that continues today. The struggle is not over and UFCW 1518 has a critical role fighting for fairness, especially as we continue to represent members in dynamic and ever changing industries.
Together, we must continue the fight for improved health and safety regulations and enforcement; to combat racism and discrimination in the workplace; to advocate for equity for ALL; to lobby government for labour code reform to protect the rights of workers and to make improvements for our members at the bargaining table – just to name a few.
Our local is approaching a membership of 24,000 members and we are continuing to grow across BC and the Yukon. With this growth, comes increased responsibility. Next month, we celebrate the 10th anniversary of our New Westminster Office, and we will also be doing the Grand Opening of our new Kelowna office. These spaces allow us to put into action our mission of building member power through more training, education and direct member engagement.
Union representation throughout BC is essential to engage all members, which is why we are committed to more direct communication. It is important that we hear from you directly on what you need, and we are very pleased to report we continue to see an increase in member participation at meetings we hold across the province, telephone town halls, training seminars and community events.
We have seen members mobilize this past year fighting period poverty through the United Way’s Period Promise campaign, advocating for a fairer Labour Code at our Lobby Day event and exercising their democratic right to vote at our recently concluded UFCW 1518 election of officers. As federal elections are on the horizon, many of our members are also mobilizing their communities to support candidates who are tackling issues that matter to working people. I look forward to continue having members engaged in more initiatives that show the power workers have when they stand together.
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We have a busy fall and year ahead, but this Labour Day I encourage you to take a break and join us in celebrating what this movement has already achieved, together. UFCW 1518 will have a presence at the Labour Day celebration events in: Surrey, Vancouver, Abbotsford, Kelowna, Merville and Prince George. You can find more details about these events and other Labour Day celebrations in your area at ufcw1518.com/events.
I look forward to celebrating this important occasion together!
Happy Labour Day to all of you and your families,
President, UFCW 1518