Kamloops, B.C. – June 17, 2020 – UFCW Local 247 member James Haslam has been awarded the Canadian Professional Meat Cutters Association (CPMCA) Award of Merit for finishing at the top of his class in the Retail Meat Processing Foundation Certificate program at Thompson Rivers University (TRU).
Brother Haslam is a retail meat cutter who works at Safeway in Vancouver. Prior to winning this award, he was a recipient of the UFCW Retail Meat Program Scholarship.
“I’m grateful to UFCW Local 247 for sponsoring me in the Retail Meat program at TRU,” says James. “The course is an excellent learning experience and really prepared me for the workplace.”
“I’ve used the skills learned in the course regularly, and the experience has been invaluable, especially in the trying times of COVID-19,” he adds. “The knowledge and skills I acquired through the program have been a great boon to my career.”
UFCW Local 247, in partnership with Thompson Rivers University and UFCW 1518, offers members in British Columbia an opportunity to either enhance their butchery skills or carve out a new career in meat cutting with the UFCW Retail Meat Program Scholarship. The scholarship covers full tuition and partial living expenses for members attending the TRU Retail Meat Cutting Program, which teaches participants key elements of the trade.
UFCW’s history in the meat industry goes back more than 120 years, starting in 1896 when a group of independent butchers’ unions met in New York state to start the Amalgamated Meat Cutters and Butcher Workmen (AMC). The AMC merged with the United Packinghouse Workers of America (UPWA) in 1968, thereby unifying industrial butchers across North America. The AMC later merged with the Retail Clerks International Union (RCIU) in 1979 to create the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) International Union.
Today, there are more than 6,000 retail meat cutters and butchers across Canada, with most working as members of UFCW Canada. Retail Meat Cutter is also a recognized and certified trade in B.C., Saskatchewan, Ontario, and Quebec. To learn more about UFCW’s presence in the Canadian meat industry, see our union’s latest Annual Report.