Labour Legend Justin and his fellow union colleagues

Justin, second left, pictured with his union colleagues at a United Way event

Labour Legend: Meet Justin

Justin says his employer and local – GM-CAMI Assembly Ingersoll & Unifor Local 88 – made all the difference in the world when he faced a drug addiction and decided to get sober three years ago.

“Honestly, if it wasn’t for my union, I wouldn’t be alive today.”

Justin, who does production support and serves as the part-time Employee Assistance Program (EAP) rep for the auto assembly plant, once lost his job due to his addiction. It was through the EAP that Justin found his footing and began the road to recovery. He credits the assistance program with getting him into treatment and for advocating on his behalf for reemployment at the plant.

Today, aside from his busy job and completing an Addiction Care Worker diploma through McMaster University, Justin also volunteers with his local victim services organization and is the advocacy chair for GenNext. His first-hand experience with mental health agencies funded by United Way is one reason Justin wanted to deepen his commitment to giving back – something he calls his “social debt.” GM-CAMI has been a long-time workplace champion and supports United Way with an annual campaign; Justin would often participate in the yearly fundraising drive. “But now that I’ve gone through recovery,” he explains, “I really understand how important it is to make sure United Way is a part of our community.”

“I got help through services United Way funds and know the difference they make.”

“At my worst, I was on the street. Today, I can’t wait to see where life takes me.”

Dakota HalfpennyJustin