Why I said yes to become a Union Organizer and why I would do it again.

I am an employee at a workplace where the workers are represented by UFCW Local 401.  I go to work each day and put in an honest day’s work.  I enjoy a very generous wage and great benefits. This has enabled me to pay for my daughter's college education, take a nice vacation, and pay my bills.  I don't have to choose between food and heat. I don’t have to worry about my child graduating from college with enormous debt and will I be able to retire with savings in the bank.  Do I believe I am greedy or do not deserve these things?  No way.  I work hard and contribute to the success of the company I work for.  I also believe that I am not the only person who deserves this.  I believe all workers do and that is why I became an organizer.

I have worked for non-union workplaces.  It is very discouraging to work so hard and barely be able to pay your rent and put food on the table.  It is extremely difficult to go to work each day and be treated with disrespect.  These pressures take a toll on a worker's physical and spiritual well-being. Now I know there is a way to improve things at work.  Organize your workplace and have a voice. 

When I was asked to help organize with UFCW Local 401, I did not hesitate to say yes.  I can now say it has been one of the most rewarding experiences in my life.  Listening to workers concerns and knowing that we can help them improve their working lives was the fuel that kept me going every day.  During my time spent organizing I got to see Red Clay Lodge negotiate their first collective agreement and Securitas start negotiating theirs. I also got to witness UPS and Sunday Creek Lodge voting in favour of joining UFCW Local 401.

Workers need to realize that joining a union is about them.  You need to have some power and influence over your job and your lives.  It is about fairness and what you deserve.  As workers, we need to stand together to improve the lives of our fellow workers. Contact a UFCW Local 401 Organizer today.  Speak to your colleagues about how a union will improve the workplace. It will be the best decision you ever made.

In Solidarity

Juanita O’Reilly