Calgary – May 4, 2019 – As one of Alberta’s largest and fastest-growing unions, UFCW Canada Local 401 has learned to organize in bold and innovative ways, helping hundreds of workers join the union each year. Recently, UFCW 401 members gathered in Calgary for a week-long union organizer training session.
Facilitated by staff from the UFCW Canada National Office, the course brought together a dozen UFCW 401 members from across the province for an in-depth look at what it takes to organize a union in non-unionized workplaces.
During the training session, participants learned about the importance of organizing new workers, the lack of rights and enforcement issues faced by non-unionized workers, and strategies on how to encourage union members to get involved in growing an even stronger union.
An important part of the course involved tackling the challenges faced when organizing new workplaces and learning how changes introduced by the province’s previous NDP government have protected workers seeking to join a union.
Staff from UFCW Local 401 and the UFCW Canada National Office shared invaluable real-life examples of organizing successes and failures.
“Organizing isn’t about numbers,” said one participant. “It’s about how we as union members can help others gain a voice in their workplace and grow our collective strength as a union. Workers can win if they are clear about what they want but getting there is usually not easy.”
“We’re pleased to have been able to offer this kind of training to members,” said UFCW Local 401 President, Douglas O’Halloran. “Through organizing, we gain a fresh perspective on what we have and don’t have in our unionized workplaces, but we also learn a lot about what it means to build solidarity and confront big challenges in a unified way.”
With this training under their belts, participants were excited to get involved in Local 401’s numerous organizing campaigns happening across the province.
With 32,000 members, UFCW Canada Local 401 is Alberta’s largest private sector union, giving a voice to working Albertans in industries as diverse as food retail and production, warehousing, hospitality, entertainment, and education. To learn more about UFCW 401, visit the Local Union’s website.