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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

News Archive



"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

For 35 years I have been a Teamster and a Dairyworker, I was a young kid needing a job in tough economic times. I found a place to work and make a living, I learned to work together with others having varying and different backgrounds than my own.

Much has changed for me personally and professionally, I got married to my beautiful wife of almost 25 years and we have raised two amazing children, both of whom are presently studying abroad. Both of my children were recipients of Hoffa Memorial Scholarship Funding.

So much of my success I can credit to having a well paying union job. The Teamsters have been a great union for me, negotiating strong collective agreements that held good wage and benefit packages as well as the cornerstone beliefs of seniority and workers’ rights. The Teamsters gave me a good wage and a voice.

I have always been an active Teamster, and now I sit on Local 464's Executive Board.

There can be a great degree of personal feelings when the word union is mentioned, but so often I look at professional associations and realize the name may be different, but the thought is the same...strength in numbers.

As I get toward the end of my career, I look forward to the thought of receiving the Teamsters Canada Pension Plan, and I am so grateful for the belief others had before me that Teamsters deserved a good and decent retirement...thank you.


- Drew Speirs

“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