UFCW Local 401 at GloblaFest

 

Running since 2003, GlobalFest is Calgary’s premier fireworks exhibition, showcasing talent and cultural diversity from all over the world. This year, UFCW Local 401 participated in all five evenings of the Festival, bringing the Union’s unique perspective to the 2013 theme: Women’s, Gender, and Identity Issues.   

On Friday, August 16,GlobalFest, in partnership with Citizenship and Immigration Canada, held a citizenship ceremony. UFCW Local 401 activists participated by helping to usher the New Canadians and their families to their seats with activists from participating ally Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC).

On the other nights (August 18, 20, 22, and 25), UFCW Local 401 set up a tent at the Festival with PSAC and CUPE to engage Festivalgoers on labour-related issues. The unions operated a raffle, in which members of the public could be entered after answering a skill testing question from the Employment Standards Code.  

Some sample questions included:

  • What is Alberta’s current minimum wage? 
  • What is Alberta’s minimum wage if you serve alcohol?
  • Beginning on September 1, what will be Alberta’s new minimum wage for each?

Nearly every participant followed their question up with a question of their own: why are there two different minimum wages? There was an immediate sense that two different wages seemed discriminatory and many participants thanked the unions for bringing this issue to their attention.

Additionally, UFCW Local 401 distributed copies of the Union’s Know Your Rights booklets and pamphlets. The materials were available in a variety of languages for Festival attendees from different ethnic communities and in keeping with the Festival’s celebration of diversity. \

UFCW 401 activists also educated the public on the UFCW Canada Child Care campaign, receiving signatures on almost 700 campaign postcards at the event. The campaign urges Prime Minister Stephen Harper to make affordable and quality child care a national priority. PSAC handed out information about job cuts hurting women and the Conservative government’s assault on women’s rights. CUPE also handed out materials on a variety of different issues.

Over all, the Festival was a resounding success for all three unions. Activists spoke with several thousand people about important issues and the line up for our tent persisted throughout the entirety of the Festival.

On Monday, August 26, Connie Cornell, the winner of the raffle, stopped by UFCW Local 401’s Calgary offices to claim her prize.