American International Journal of Social Science

ISSN 2325-4149(Print), ISSN 2325-4165(Online)

Union Matters: United Food and Commercial Workers Local 12R24 Members Assistance Program
Linda Hood, Rick Csiernik

Abstract
Unions were a traditional partner in the development of joint labor-management Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) but with the weakening of the labor movement and the growth of third party EAP vendors across North America their prominence in EAP development and delivery diminished. However, some union-based EAPs still exist providing distinct programming to their members. This case study examines the evolution and development of Canadian union EAP utilizing volunteers, Members Assistance representatives, as the linchpin to informing members about the program, providing social support in the workplace and connecting them to formal counseling services. The article discusses the programs three component hybrid approach consisting of volunteer union Members Assistance representatives, a paid Program Director, and a provincial network of affiliate counsellors who are the primary service providers. Program outcomes for the past four years when a new data collection system was implemented highlight the program’s impact on the union membership.

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