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Moose Jaw, Sask. – September 2, 2016 – UFCW Canada Local 1400 activists and stewards recently gathered in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan for the Local Union’s 7th Biennial Shop Stewards Conference.
UFCW Canada National President Paul Meinema opened the conference on Friday, welcoming participants to the annual gathering and providing members with an overview of UFCW’s victories and challenges so far this year. President Meinema’s comments were then followed by a social night aimed at raising funds for the important blood cancer research, education, and support work that the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada (LLSC) conducts.
On Saturday, conference-goers heard from guest speakers from the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour and the Saskatchewan NDP, as well as organizers for the Light the Night Walk in Regina and representatives from the Local Union’s legal counsel.
The theme for the three-day conference was “Building for our future.” Conference attendees were divided into four workshop groups, which were named after the founding UFCW unions – the Amalgamated Meat Cutters and Butcher Workmen of North America and the Retail Clerks International Union – as well as after the Barbers, Beauticians, and Allied Industries, and the Canadian Union of United Brewery, Flour, Cereal, Soft Drink and Distillery Workers, who joined UFCW early on.
While acquiring skills and strategies that can be used to help protect the rights of members in the workplace, the shop stewards also learned about the historical struggles that laid the foundation for today’s labour movement and for the rights and protections that we now enjoy.
“This was a very successful and motivating conference for all involved, with many old friendships renewed and new ones created,” says Norm Neault, the President of UFCW Canada Local 1400. “Events like these are critical to building the skills of members and stewards, and ensuring that our union remains a strong voice in the workplace,” he adds.