UFCW Canada – Canada's Leading and Most Progressive Union
UFCW Canada is Canada's leading and most progressive union. Together, we are more than a quarter of a million Canadian workers strong, and together we are building a stronger future for UFCW Canada Members, Families and Communities, while protecting and promoting employees rights and social justice for all.
UFCW Canada stands for the United Food and Commercial Workers Canada. We are one of Canada's most experienced and respected unions, with union history that goes back to 1899. At the same time, we are one of Canada's most youthful unions with more than 40 percent of UFCW Canada Members under the age of 30.
We are a democratic union. Members vote for their Local Union leaders, the bylaws that govern their Local Union, and their collective agreements.
We are a Canadian union backed up by the strength of UFCW International – one of North America’s largest private-sector unions with more than 1.3 million Members.
Many people think of UFCW Canada as the food workers’ union because we represent Members in every sector of the food industry from the field, to the processor, to the warehouse, to the store, to the dinner table. But we are more than that. Across Canada tens of thousands of UFCW Canada Members also work in retail, healthcare, hospitality, security, financial services, non-food manufacturing and many other industries.
The UFCW Canada Membership is diverse and vibrant, and UFCW Canada Members work in every province in Canada. The Membership is made up almost equally between men and women, and whether you are employed part-time or full-time, every UFCW Canada Member is entitled to the same level of service and work-related assistance.
All UFCW Canada Members are treated equally, including thousands of Members who are also Temporary Foreign Workers in Canada – on a path to permanent status because of their UFCW Canada collective agreements.
UFCW Canada – Democracy, Solidarity and Strength
The structure of UFCW Canada is built on the strength and participation of the Membership. Members in each workplace are represented and serviced by one of 36 UFCW Canada Local Unions across Canada.
Each Local Union is part of the national union through Membership in the UFCW Canada National Council. Some UFCW Canada Local Unions are small, representing just a few dozen workers at a single workplace. Others have tens of thousands of Members working at hundreds of workplaces in their area.
No matter their size, all UFCW Canada Local Unions only exist because of the Membership, who nominate and elect the President, Secretary-Treasurer, Recorder and three or more Vice Presidents of their Local Union. In some UFCW Canada Local Unions, rank-and-file Members also serve as Vice Presidents. Presidents and other officers may be also be rank-and-file Members; while at other Local Unions the positions are full-time.
Rank-and-file Members also participate directly on Local Union advisory boards, and sometimes as the Local Union's representative to local labour councils and federations.
Most UFCW Canada Local Unions have their own full-time union representatives, organizers and administrative staff. Some smaller Local Unions are supported with training, bargaining, organizing and administrative services through the UFCW Canada National Office.
The UFCW Canada National Council
All UFCW Canada Local Unions presidents are represented at the UFCW Canada National Council. The National Council meets twice a year and is the union’s National Executive Board and leadership forum.
The National Council has five Advisory Committees that help create ongoing programs to build the union's strength and better prepare UFCW Canada for the future. The National Council Committees include: the Education Committee; the Human Rights, Equity & Diversity (HRED) committee; the Political Action Committee; the Women’s’ Advisory Committee; and the Workplace Rights Committee.
Members of the Committees are drawn from UFCW Canada Local Unions across Canada — acting as a voice for Membership concerns and initiatives.