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An Open Letter To My Fellow Union Members


Well the day has finally come for me, I'm about to retire and feeling a bit lost, but looking forward to the next chapter. Numerous times over the last 10 years or so, fellow workers have complained about our company and how they don't do anything for long term employees. I counter and say none of us are long term employees, but we are long term union members. So be thankful we are because with this company, many of us would have been fired (as you can agree from some of the recent events of suspensions and firings recently and in the past numbers of years at my plant).

Since the demise of our previous ownership group, and the purchase of our operations by a large multi-national corporation, we've been able to continue working and had that security because of the union, and not because of our years of highly skilled schooling and degrees before we were employed at the dairy that we started our employment at.  Too many workers forget that without the union, we'd all have been let go, or downgraded in wage and benefits. 

One recent event of firing of two workers at my plant, and their eventual reinstatement is only because of the Union.  My own beginning was at a smaller regional dairy, then the sale to a larger dairy cooperative, then the bankrupted purchase by a multi-national, and because of the Union, I'm now able to retire with a pension after 39 and a bit years. For that I do not thank the company, but I do thank the Union.

I only wish more members would realize how important being a union member is, and I do hope after I'm gone, those who are left become more involved and wake up to the fact that because of the union, we do make great wages, have incredible benefits, and when we need the support of the union, (as mentioned earlier with firings and suspensions) you've been there.   I thank the union for my retirement, and the union has been the one that has enabled me to enjoy life, raise a family, and now retire!  The company has been the source of income, but the union is the reason I have the monies and benefits.

Well this email has become far longer and more in depth than it was meant to be, so I say goodbye, my last day of being a Union member (no I'll always be a Union member), my last day of employment is here at last.

Thank you,

Dave S

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“They have demonstrated the dedication and leadership that
our Local requires. They have always provided sound counsel, support, and frank
discussion on matters involving the members, contract negotiations and our

- Bruce Tillapaugh –Shop Steward. Island Farms, Victoria

"I was a Shop Steward and was also on the contract negotiation team. The Union took the time and trouble to learn all about our industry and what we do. This means they are better able to fight for us whether it is on the job or at the bargaining table. We have the best contract in our industry. Thanks guys!"

- Gerald Price - Agrifoods

"I was employed for many years at a Teamster company that was shut down due to the economy. Because of my age, I was worried about starting over. Bobby, Bob and Paul not only negotiated a much better severance package than was in the contract, but they also went the extra mile and got me on at one of their other companies with an even better contract.They continued to help me even though it wasn't their job to."

- Armando Borean