The 2014 Retail Wholesale Union Shop Steward Appreciation Golf Tournament began with a shotgun blast at 1:00pm on Friday September 19th at the Fort Langley Golf Course.

This third annual event proved to be the biggest and best yet as over 60 shop stewards, committee members, invited guests, and staff teed it up.  As per usual the focus was on fraternity and merriment rather than low scores.

The day is an opportunity for RWU members and guests to get together and celebrate the successes that the RWU has had in the past year in helping to improve the lives of working people.

Going Green - Sleep Country Canada Shop Steward

Troy TBone Latimer decided to sample the turf rather than wait for a hot dog after the ninth hole.

 

 If only there was an award for grooviest twosome Produce Terminal Stewards Jay Moysey and Amelan Goonesekera would have had it locked up.  While Jay and Am pose Local 517 Vice President and Lantic Sugar worker Subhas Chand frantically searches for yet another lost ball.

 

 Lantic Sugar Plant Chair Doug Finnamore (left) makes his best play of the day while Local 517 Secretary Treasurer Pat Pollock (right) seems to be approving of the expense.

Local 580 Executives and Viceroy Homes Shop Stewards Sukh Kajla (left) and Keith Halovich (right) do an excellent job of pretending to like each other while EV Logisitics Shop Steward Ryan Walsh does an even better job of being a photo bomber.

 

RWU President Rick Janzen (second from right) reminds former RWU Staff Representative Gary Brassart of something Gary didn't get around to doing before he retired seven years ago while RWDSU Staff Representative Rocky Luchsinger and RWDSU President Jeff Peters put their male modeling skills to good use.

RWU Office Staffers Penney Siegle (left) and Sharon Picco (right) flank International Longshore and Warehouse Union Third Vice President Romeo Bordignon and yes his name really is Romeo.

 Local 517 Vice-President Subhas Chand certainly looked the part of a golfer even if his score didn't reflect that so much.

 Pop Quiz:  Has Local 580 Secretary Treasurer lost a) her ball b) the rest of her foursome (including husband and McKesson safety committee member Bob) or c) her mind?  For the correct answer you will have to come to a Local 580 meeting and ask her.

Long time Sleep Country Canada Plant Chair Mark Hayhoe prepares to drive a poor ball in anger.  Nice form Brother Hayhoe!

 

 ILWU First Vice-President Rob Ashton tries to convince an apparently skeptical RWU Provincial Representative Shawn Lakusta that everything is okay.  If anyone finds an eight iron on the seventh hole of the Fort Langley Golf Course about ten feet into the black berry bushes please let us know as it belongs to Brother Ashton.  Please don't ask how it ended up there.

  Damco Shop Steward Jason Weir looking very happy and very guilty of something.

 

 Another guilty looking twosome: RWU Assistant Provincial Representative Chris McCuaig and ILWU Third Vice President Romeo Bordignon.

 

 A determined Will Clements of the law firm Koskie Glavin & Gordon prepares to drive onto the road in search of his wedge which somehow magically flew over a fence onto the street.  Will has graciously agreed to teach the labour law section of the upcoming RWU Shop Steward Class.  Lets hope his legal advice is better than the golf advice he rendered on this day.

 RWU Local 580 Recording Secretary (and Lucerne Milk worker) Geordie Birch accomplishes the rare golf feat of smiling before during and after what was in all likelihood an absolutely terrible attempt at moving the ball closer to the hole.  Well done Brother Birch, well done.

 This foursome consisting of Pat Pollock and Doug Finnamore (Lantic Sugar), Gerry Baron (Simmons Mattress), and Todd King (Sleep Country Canada) didn't win anything but they still seemed to have a pretty good time.

 The Winning Foursome of Derek McCluskey and Chris Harris (Lantic Sugar), ILWU Local 502 First Vice-President Shawn Nolan, and ILWU Local 502 Casual Laurenne Picard pose on the course where they ultimately prevailed. 

 

 

Is that Barack Obama?  Not quite but someone equally as important: ILWU Secretary Treasurer Bob Dhaliwal.  To the left is Grain Workers Union President Gerry Gault.  The RWU was very pleased to have several guests and affiliates at the golf tournament.

 RWU Provincial Representative Shawn Lakusta presents the first prize of the evening to Damco Shop Steward Colin Bonner.  Colin is the graveyard Steward at Damco Logistics Canada and often spends all night working and then attends meetings and makes calls all day long in effort to resolve issues that have arisen for his coworkers.  The RWU is happy to have the opportunity to thank Stewards like Colin for all the work done to make things better for our members.

 

Winners of the Most Enthusiastic Foursome Award (left to right) Keith Ambeau (EV Logistics), Tony Xu (MEC), Frank Allison (RWU Staff Rep), and Aaron Larson (MEC) appear delighted at having fooled the judges into giving them this award.

 

Damco Shop Steward Gagan Bains (second from right) was the lucky winner of a thermos and a pair of BC Lions tickets donated by Don Crane (left) and Stan Guenther (second from left) of the law firm Rush Crane Guenther.  RWU Provincial Representative Shawn Lakusta's attempt to pull the tickets away from Gagan was thwarted by Gagan's massive arms.

 RWU Provincial Rep Shawn Lakusta pretends to smile as he reluctantly hands over the longest drive award and the kp award to colleague RWU Staff Representative Frank Allison.  Brother Lakusta would later describe the scene as "Painful, just painful."  Brother Lakusta is also currently contemplating not granting leave for Brother Allison to attend next year's tournament.

 RWU Provincial Rep Lakusta presents a prize to longtime Viceroy Plant Chair Keith Halovich.  Although Brother Halovich was glad to win a prize both he and Brother Lakusta were disappointed not to have their names called for the Tod Brucker KP Award.  Brother Brucker was a long time Steward and strong RWU advocate at Viceroy Homes.  Unfortunately Brother Brucker was stricken by cancer and passed away before being able to attend the first Shop Steward Appreciation Golf Tournament in 2012.

 The 2014 winner of the Tod Brucker KP Award was Arnt Soros of Alsco Linen Nanaimo.  Brother Soros' name will be engraved on the plaque which proudly hangs in the RWU office entrance.

 

Following the delicious banquet, prize draws, and a big thank you to all the Shop Stewards, Committee Members, Staff, Union Executives and invited guests for all that they do to make the RWU the great Union that it is the evening concluded with dancing and merriment,  Music for the evening was provided by Viceroy Homes worker and RWU member Tyler Renney who is also the owner of Tune Twisters.

We look forward to seeing everyone next year.

IKEA is trying to force a two tier wage structure on its workers.  This seems to be a common proposal from the bosses.  Over the years the Retail Wholesale Union has consistently refused to even discuss such a proposal.  Please help out however you can to assist the Teamster workers at IKEA to fight back against this terrible demand.

IKEA WORKERS NEED YOUR HELP

AT ISSUE
IKEA in Richmond wants to lower the wages it pays its employees by imposing a tiered wage structure. More than 350 employees have been locked out by IKEA since May 13 of this year.

AFFECTED SITES
IKEA Richmond - Currently behind picket lines.
IKEA Coquitlam - No picket lines, but every dollar spent in IKEA Coquitlam is helping IKEA win the fight in Richmond.

HOW CAN I HELP?
Join IKEA workers at the Richmond IKEA location this Saturday at 11:00 am in a show of support for a fair settlement.
CLICK HERE for the Facebook invite and more details.

HOW ELSE CAN I HELP?

  1. DO NOT PATRONIZE either IKEA. Spending money in IKEA Coquitlam is helping IKEA win the fight with its employees in Richmond.
  2. VISIT the locked out workers on the picket line, and show your support.
  3. EMAIL IKEA management. Tell them you won't spend a dime there unless they back down from their demand for wage cuts for IKEA employees.

BACKGROUND

  • Teamsters Local 213 represents about 350 workers at the Richmond IKEA location.
  • Until 2007, IKEA Richmond had a tiered wage structure. The union fought for fairness, and eliminated the tiered wage structure.
  • IKEAs are owned centrally. Spending money at any IKEA goes in the same owner's pocket.

COPE 378

The Retail Wholesale Union suffered a big loss on February 21st when long time shop steward Tod Brucker passed away.  Brother Brucker had been battling cancer since last year and he passed away peacefully in his sleep.

Tod worked at Viceroy Homes since shortly after the Union was certified in 1998 and during that time he served as a shop steward and on numerous bargaining committees.

Tod was also a family man.  As a devoted husband and father of six you didn't have to speak to Tod for very long before the conversation turned to his family and what they were up to.

I had the privilege of working closely with Tod over the years and I always looked forward to being entertained and enlightened by his wonderful sense of humour..  He was the type of person who could lighten up a room just by strolling in.

Current Local 580 Outside Guard and Viceroy Plant Chair Keith Halovich was also lucky enough to have worked with Tod for many years.  Since his passing Keith and I have shared many stories regarding Tod's exploits.  As sad as we are our conversations have invariably ended in laughter and we know Tod would be delighted to know that he is keeping us entertained even after his passing,  The rest of the Viceroy Committee and the RWU office staff also have their favourite Tod stories.  

The entire RWU staff would be laughing when Tod would call up and ask to speak to the "Hammer".  Only once did he have to explain the he meant Shawn "the Hammer" Lakusta.  After that I acquired a new nick name.  He always had a kind word for the staff when he called.

Tod was fiercely loyal to the RWU.  One of the enduring memories that I have of him is when during some very difficult bargaining another Union came sniffing around looking to raid the RWU.  Tod called me immediately after having told the raiders where to go.  On my next visit to Viceroy the raiders in their distinctive green jackets were still hanging around.  I'll never forget the sight of Tod charging out of the front doors camera in hand and yelling "there they are" as he attempted to get their pictures.  The raiders turned tail and ran to their car never to be seen again. 

Tod loved to golf and he was really at home on the course.  He registered for the RWU's Shop Steward Appreciation Golf Tournament last year but he had to withdraw when struck by illness.  He called me and expressed a desire to attend just to hang around and he was advised that his presence in any form would be more than welcomed.  Unfortunately he was not well enough to attend on that day and his absence was felt by all who knew him.  Plans are already under way to honour Tod in a suitable way at this year's tournament.

Tod at home on the golf course with good friend and caddy for the day Local 580 Outside Guard and Viceroy Homes Plant Chair Keith Halovich.

Thanks for being a great friend and Union brother.  You will be missed by all the people whose lives you touched.

Solidarity Forever Brother,

Shawn Lakusta
RWU Provincial Representative