Winnipeg – July 19, 2023 – This week, hundreds of UFCW activists from across the country gathered for the 2023 National Defence Fund (NDF) Convention, held in Winnipeg from July 16 to 18. This annual event reviews updates on NDF bargaining units and explore strategies for building bargaining strength in UFCW’s core industries.
For more than three decades, the NDF has provided UFCW Canada members and their Local Unions with extra financial resources and negotiating strength when faced with a strike or lockout.
"The stability of our National Defence Fund is our bargaining committees' best tool to level the playing field and forces employers to think twice about their plans to starve us out on the picket-lines of tomorrow — because it won’t happen," UFCW Canada National President Paul Meinema told convention attendees. "Truly the NDF is our peace of mind knowing that we are a union strengthened by the sum total of our individual parts. Our union’s strongest asset is our solidarity."
UFCW Local 832 hosted the NDF Convention 2023 and provided a warm welcome to Manitoba for activists from across the country.
Over the course of the two-day event, activists from UFCW Canada Local Unions and the National Office took in presentations and workshops that focused on core industry issues, bargaining trends, and new tactics for empowering members as a force for positive change at work and at the bargaining table.
On Monday, the convention kicked off with a plenary discussion with Wab Kinew, Leader of the Manitoba NDP with National President Paul Meinema, UFCW 832 President Jeff Traeger, UFCW Resident Elder Eric Flett and Barry Sawyer, Executive Assistant, UFCW Canada.
In addition, delegates heard from David Meslin, engagement specialist, Sarah Meyer, from the International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers’ Associations (IUF), Mark Lauritsen UFCW International Vice-President and Director of our union’s Food Processing, Packing and Manufacturing Division, and Kevin Grier, livestock, meat, and grocery market analyst.
On both days of the convention, delegates joined their respective sector meetings for the packinghouse, hospitality, soft drink, flour milling, and retail food industries. To learn more about the National Defence Fund and the integral support it provides to members, visit the UFCW Canada NDF website.