Paul R. Meinema is the National President of UFCW Canada — the country’s leading and most progressive private-sector union with more than 250,000 members from coast to coast. Paul is also Executive Vice President, UFCW International and a member of the UFCW International Executive Committee.
Paul’s dedication to UFCW spans four decades, going back to the early 1980s when he first volunteered to serve his coworkers as a shop steward while working on the floor at the Fletcher’s meat processing plant in Red Deer, Alberta. Over the next six years, he also served as a member of various workplace committees, as well as a community labour rights activist.
In 1990, Paul was hired as a local union staff representative at UFCW Canada Local 1118, and was part of the team that successfully organized the Cargill packing plant in High River, Alberta. A year later, in 1991 he joined the UFCW Canada national office with responsibilities as an organizer and International Representative for Atlantic Canada.
In 1995, Paul returned to Western Canada as an International Representative assigned to Saskatchewan. In 2002, he was elected as President of UFCW Canada Local 1400 — the largest private-sector union local in the province.
In 2009, Paul moved from his Local 1400 presidency to join the UFCW Canada national leadership team as Executive Assistant to the National President. In 2013, he was elected UFCW Canada National President, and UFCW International Executive Vice President.
In addition to his role as UFCW Canada National President and UFCW International Executive Vice President, Paul also serves as a trustee of the UFCW Saskatchewan Dental Plan; as Canadian Sector Representative on the Board of Directors of the International Foundation of Benefits; and as a trustee of various UFCW Canada benefit and pension plans.