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A Little Bit of History

In 1997, a small group of members of United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW), Local 1518, in British Columbia decided that it was time to challenge the ineffective leadership of their Local.

Concessionary collective agreements bargained behind closed doors and shoved down their throats earlier that year compelled them to question the motives and adequacy of their local union executives.

A grassroots organization called UFCW Local 1518 Members of Democracy was born.

In 1999, MFD ran an effective reform slate in Local 1518's executive election but ultimately lost under suspicious circumstances. Alleging ballot tampering, MFD challenged the election results. In response to the challenge, the UFCW seized the ballot box and took it away to Ontario. Thus would begin the first of two courtroom dramas between MFD and the UFCW.

With the UFCW steadfastly refusing to return the ballot box and no other recourse under Canadian law, MFD turned to the courts. A lawsuit demanding disclosure of the election results was filed in the BC Supreme Court later that year.

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