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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

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Testimonial

"I was there when we brought the Union in. The first-time contract they won for us was unbelievable. It changed the quality of my life. I am now a Shop Steward and enjoy working with my Union and looking after my fellow workers. "

- Paul Landrecht - Shop Steward. Island Farms Dairy.

“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
Local.“ 

- Bruce Tillapaugh –Shop Steward. Island Farms, Victoria

“I look after a lot of members in a very big plant. For years I had to fight for them by myself with no help at all from any of the Union’s representatives or Officers. This changed completely once Bobby, Bob and Paul were in office. Now I have access to my reps 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!  They’re always there to back me up.” 

- Darrell Lawres – Chief Shop Steward. Saputo, Sperling