I became a member of Teamsters Local 879 in 1987 as an apprentice machinist at Vesta Cutting Tools in Niagara on the Lake, Ontario. It was here that I had my first taste of Union activity as I spearheaded the organizing campaign that brought the Teamsters in, was elected as their first chief steward and remained in that capacity until coming to work for our Local as a fulltime business agent on February 5, 1996.
As a business agent I looked after our Locals miscellaneous portfolio, negotiating collective agreements, conducting grievance meetings and dealing with all the concerns of the members in a wide range of issues and at a variety of workplaces.
In 1999 I was appointed to fill the term of office of retiring Secretary-Treasurer Brother Fred Ellis, a position that I was re-elected to on a number of occasions until 2009 when I was further appointed to fill the term of office as the President of Teamsters Local 879 from retiring President, Brother Joe McLean, an office that I currently hold.
My duties as President of the Local have me participate in a wide range of activities from dealing and meeting with members, attending negotiations, attending labour board and arbitration hearings along with handling the day to day operation of our Local Union. Even though I’m based at the main office in Hamilton, I am continually on the road assisting the members and business agents in all our offices from Niagara to Windsor.
I also sit on a number of boards and participate in a number of groups that assist the advancement of our Local Union and in turn the members such as: the Teamsters Canada National Executive Board as the Representative for Ontario, Trustee on Local 879 Freight Pension Plan, Observer on Local 879 Ready Mix Pension Plan, Trustee on Local 879 Health & Welfare Plan, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Joint Council # 52, Secretary-Treasurer of the Hamilton Port Council, Member of the Niagara Workforce Planning Board’s Apprenticeship Strategy Committee, Director on the Niagara Workforce Planning Board’s Labour Market Planning Committee, Delegate to the Niagara Regional Labour Council, Delegate on the Hamilton and District Labour Council, Director on the Ontario Federation of Labour’s Workers Health & Safety Committee Board of Directors… just to name a few!