Veterinary workers join the union — UFCW 175
Toronto – August 7, 2014 – Employees of Veterinary Emergency Clinics (VEC) have voted overwhelmingly in favour of joining UFCW Canada Local 175. As a result of the successful certification vote, VEC has become only the second animal hospital in Ontario to unionize.
This new and unique bargaining unit includes more than 100 part-time and full-time Registered Veterinary Technicians (RVTs) and Animal Care Attendants (ACAs), working at two locations in Toronto. Learning about Canada’s leading union for health care workers, the employees decided to contact UFCW Canada to join the union. Our national office connected the RVTs and ACAs with Local 175, which represents health care workers in nursing and retirement homes, community health centres, and home health care suppliers.
The workers at VEC rallied together, supporting one another to win their union vote. Two days prior to the certification vote, Local 175 released a leaflet with inspirational quotes from RVTs and ACAs about why they were voting yes, including:
Amanda: “I want to be treated like a person, not just a technician”
Jessica: “We’re an integral part of the team and should be treated as such”
Kate: “I want to have management listen to our concerns and actually take them into consideration”
Donna: “I would like the opportunity to have our pay reflect our skill level and experience”
John: “Better pay and respect, I wish not to be treated like dirt on someone’s shoes”
“Congratulations to our new members at Veterinary Emergency Clinics,” says Shawn Haggerty, UFCW Canada Local 175 President, “The issues facing these workers demonstrate that only unionization can improve their working conditions. It is an honour for us to welcome them to Local 175, connecting them in particular with our members in the health care sector.”