Dear Sisters and Brothers:

It is hard to believe that another summer has passed us by. Here we are, through Thanksgiving and headed into the holiday season. We have a number of initiatives and situations we feel compelled to make all of our members aware of.

We would like to begin by advising everyone that at the UFCW International Convention held from August 12th 2013 through August 16th 2013 in Chicago Illinois, the UFCW International Union levied and ordained an increase to Union Dues in conjunction with the Per Capita tax increase we pay on all of our members; Article 38(A) of the International Constitution provides for an increase in Local Union dues of $3.00 (three dollars) per member per month or 0.69 (sixty-nine cents) per week. On behalf of UFCW Local Union 12R24 Executive Board, the Employer will be advised of this change to the Union Dues structure to commence January 1, 2014.

The Bargaining Committee involved in our most recent set of negotiations has been working through and proof reading the draft copy of our current Collective Agreement. The Employer has forwarded their changes and our committee has put it back to the Employer twice now to revise some of the changes. It is imperative that changes reflect exactly what we had agreed upon and nothing else. This is a precautionary process and is time consuming but we are now very close to having this completed. I am hopeful that we will be printing the new and final agreement within the next couple of weeks. Once we have them back from the printer, each work location will receive a copy of the new agreement via the Employer. UFCW Service Representatives will have copies to distribute and it will also be available on our website as soon as it is finalized.

Also, I would like to take this opportunity to announce that the Executive Board of UFCW Local Union 12R24 has elected to purchase a commercial building to house our operations. This is located at 83 Campbell Avenue East, in Campbellville, Ontario L0P 1B0. Campbellville is located on the West side of Milton, Halton Region. We will be vacating our current premises at UFCW National Office, 61 International Blvd. and relocating to Campbellville in December of this year. We believe it is a great time and a good move to acquire this type of asset and investment. We are proud on your behalf to be in a position to move in this direction. This building is solid, completely suited to our requirements and will establish a home for our operations as opposed to an address. Please see the new address and phone numbers on Contact Us page.

You will be receiving a brochure in the mail announcing the new programme for Union members that will offer discounts from selected merchant partners entitled "Members Affinity". The information enclosed will enable members to sign up for this programme if they wish. The programme and participating merchants will continually grow and evolve. We hope this will be a great value and added service to our membership. You will also be able to access this information on our website regarding this programme.

The UFCW Local Union 12R24 Annual Steward's Conference took place recently in Niagara Falls and we believe it was a great success. The Executive Board decided to have an additional day for educational purposes to roll out the "Together Fairness Works" programme which re-connects the history, the importance of trade unions and their significant contributions within our communities and society in general. These are very important issues in this era of attacks on trade unions and especially in our case as we are under attack by the convenience store lobby group and the threat of a possible Conservative Hudak Government as one of his Party Platforms is beer and wine in corner stores. We intend to be more politically active than ever before and especially regarding these attacks on our work base and attacks on Unions in general. We will be appointing UFCW union organizer Craig McDowell to the UFCW Canada Political Action Committee. We will also assemble a group of members that can be engaged at any point if and when these issues should become critical. These are issues and battles that we must be prepared and ready for. We count on our members to be supportive and helpful most especially at election time regardless if they are Federal or Provincial. We are and will continue to work with all participants and interested parties to preserve the work we all do, and what we accomplish for our employer, the owners and the taxpayers of Ontario.

On an informational note; I would like to emphasize the fact that we have concluded our annual scholarship draw and have awarded thirty one thousand dollar scholarships to our members or their dependents. We have also been able to increase the annual Christmas gift offering to our retirees and/or their spouses to fifty dollars as a result of improvements to our Collective Agreement in the recent round of bargaining.

Lastly but by no means least, I would like to pass on recent retirement news regarding Brother Dan Owen, Service Representative for Local Union 12R24. Dan has faithfully and with great care and dedication serviced the local and members in the Western Region of the Province for over forty years. In particular he has been a full time Service Representative for the last eleven years. Please join me and the Executive Board in wishing Dan and Giselle many, many years of happy and healthy retirement.

On that note, I would like to that this opportunity to advise all interested candidates to forward your application and résumé to the Local Union office by mail for the position of Service Representative in the Western Region. Please mail to:

UFCW Local 12R24
PO Box 9
83 Campbell Ave East
Campbellville, ON L0P 1B0

We will be short listing the applications and interviewing potential candidates in the near future. We would ask any prospective applicants to submit their applications by December 15, 2013.

In closing I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for your continued dedication and support of our Union. I would also like to wish you and your family members a safe and wonderful Holiday Season and all the best in the New Year.

Robert A. Edwards
President, UFCW Local Union 12R24