Semeniuk, George (1938-)

Born in 1938, George Semeniuk is one of the longest-serving labour leaders and most experienced trade union staff representatives in the province. Following his schooling, he went to work in 1956 for Burns Foods at a meat-packing plant in Prince Albert, and immediately joined the United Packinghouse Workers of America Local 234P. He became active in the union, and served as president of Local 234P for six years; he was also president of the union's provincial council for two years.

In 1969 Semeniuk was hired as a full-time union staff representative with the Retail Wholesale and Department Store Union. In 1970, he moved to the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) as a union representative, becoming an International Representative with the union in 1988. In 1989, he was named Western Assistant to the Canadian Director of UFCW, a position he held until he retired from the union in May 1997. From 1997 to 2000 Semeniuk served as a senior labour relations officer with the provincial Department of Labour, conciliating, mediating and settling industrial disputes.

George Semeniuk was also president of the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour for two years, serving on its executive for seventeen years. He was a Canadian Labour Congress vice-president for one term, and president of the Prince Albert Labour Council for two years. In his three decades of service to the labour movement, George Semeniuk bargained numerous collective agreements, settled countless grievances and arbitrations, and presented cases to the Labour Relations Board. He also advised the Minister of Labour on occupational health and safety issues, and was named to the board of directors of the Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan.

George Semeniuk is now retired and living in Saskatoon.

Garnet Dishaw