Paul Meinema announces retirement, Shawn Haggerty elected President of the UFCW Canada National Council
Toronto – November 30, 2023 – After 40 years of union activism that started on the shop floor of the Fletcher’s meat processing facility in Red Deer, Alberta, Paul Meinema has announced his retirement as UFCW Canada National President. Following the announcement of Brother Meinema’s well-earned retirement, Shawn Haggerty was unanimously elected to lead the UFCW Canada National Council at the Executive Board’s meeting on November 30th.
Beginning in the 1980s, Brother Meinema took his calling into the labour movement as a shop steward assisting members with issues while working on the harvesting floor at Fletcher’s. Fast forward over four decades and Brother Meinema’s activism runs deep throughout UFCW Canada’s storied history.
“From organizing campaigns to collective bargaining support, local union leadership and serving as International Executive Vice-President, Brother Meinema’s dedication to UFCW has been unwavering,” says President Haggerty. “UFCW Canada’s tremendous achievements for workers over the past decade were the result, in many ways, of Paul’s outstanding leadership.”
Brother Haggerty brings three decades of activism to the role of national leader, beginning as a member of UFCW Local 416P where he worked as an electrician in the maintenance department of Robin Hood Multi-Foods in Port Colborne, Ontario.
Shawn would later serve as President of UFCW Local 416P and Secretary-Treasurer of UFCW Local 617P until its merger with UFCW Local 175 in 2000. Brother Haggerty has served in number of roles at UFCW 175, including Director, Executive Assistant to the President, Secretary-Treasurer, and President since 2007. He also serves as a trustee on several pension and benefit plan boards, and an appointed member of the Labour-Management committee for the Ontario Ministry of Labour.
“Shawn will bring an unparalleled commitment and dedication to the role of National President,” says Brother Meinema. “With Shawn as our national leader, we can all rest assured that UFCW Canada is in strong hands, and we will continue to advance fairness, equality and social justice for our members and all workers.”