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2021 Christmas Message

Nobody saw a global pandemic coming for 2020 and nobody expected us to still be dealing with it through the end of 2021.

What we had originally locked ourselves away from, we now live with on a daily basis.  Nearly all BC industries are back in operation, although with some new rules in play, but we’ve adapted our lives to work within the pandemic.

Two short years ago, I wrote about our Local Union’s 100th Anniversary year and looking ahead to a bright future with a great Team and Membership.  Then COVID stole the headlines for 2020.

2021 brought a change in Government south of the border, a wide-ranging vaccine rollout and the anticipation of better days ahead.  That’s when the other shoe dropped.

2021 really put us all to the test: A heat dome settled over the Province, bringing record high temperatures, record wildfires, threatening small towns across BC and the erasure of Lytton from the Fraser Canyon.  Cyclone bombs and Atmospheric Rivers brought a different catastrophe, with the full evacuation of Merritt, the return of Sumas Lake to the Fraser Valley, flooding out all of those residents, and mudslides and washouts cutting off all of the main arteries connecting Vancouver to the rest of BC.

There were mass evacuations due to the flooding of the Sumas Prairie and thousands were stranded in their communities or on the highways.  Hundreds, if not thousands of livestock dead.  It’s amazing the human death toll wasn’t much higher than we saw.  As I write this, we still don’t know if any of those affected will be back in their homes before Christmas.

Many Teamster Members were greatly affected by these natural events and supply lines were cut, causing hard times for many communities.

What have we learned from our experiences in 2021?  We’ve learned that we’re resilient, and more importantly, Teamsters answer the call!

It was the Teamsters that kept the supply chain running.  Teamsters played a large part in distributing the life-saving vaccines across our Nation, our truck drivers and Rail workers distributed supplies throughout the Province, food manufacturing continued at a blistering pace, feeding the supply chain to ensure the shelves were stocked with goods.

To top it all off, Teamster Locals and Joint Councils from all across Canada have pledged to support our efforts here in BC, totalling nearly $300,000.  As the Federal and Provincial Governments have pledged to match these donations, this means the Teamsters are responsible for nearly a million dollars in Relief money.

So, as we look forward to joining family and friends in celebration of the Christmas Season, I cannot help but be proud of all of you and everything you do!  You make me so proud to be a Teamster!

Merry Christmas to you and yours and we here at the Local wish for a safe and happy Holiday Season for each and every one of you!

 

Fraternally, 

Paul Barton

Secretary-Treasurer

Teamsters Local Union No. 464

News Archive

Pages

Testimonial

"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

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


- Drew Speirs

"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