Woodbridge, Ont. – June 9, 2015 – UFCW Canada Local 1000A member Angie Novosel loved working for Loblaws Great Food as a Natural Value Manager. For almost 13 years, Angie rarely missed a day.
“I was the most dedicated and loyal employee,” Angie said. “I put my heart and soul into my job. I took every course. I did everything they wanted me to do.” Her dedication to the company was so evident that they had her conduct peer orientation.
On June 19, 2010, Angie’s life changed in an instant when she slipped and fell at work. It was a Saturday morning and as she walked in, she was paged by the store manager to the receiving area.
No one was on the floor and the Natural Value skids, she was told, had to be worked and removed from the receiving area. She headed to her department to check the schedule for a call in — the last image she remembers before her fall is a woman shopping with her toddler.
Slipping on a cluster of grapes on the floor, Angie flew through the air, landing hard on her side. She remembers her co-workers trying to help her up and getting her upstairs. She would later find out that she had suffered tears in both knees and a tear in her right shoulder—injuries that left her unable to work again.
“I never would have believed something like this could happen to me,” said Angie, who underwent multiple surgeries, faced enormous pressure from the company, and struggles with the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB). The way she was treated left her suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Martha Villeda, UFCW Local 1000A’s WSIB Lead and Health and Safety Back-up, fought hard for Angie at the WSIB.
“Thank God, I had a union,” Angie said. “Martha and the staff went out of their way to help me and they were very compassionate. They were incredible in fighting hard for me.”
As a result of the Local Union's efforts, Angie’s claim was accepted and she received compensation from the WSIB. “It’s David against Goliath at the WSIB,” said Novosel. “But when you have a union, you have wings to soar.”