The Retail Wholesale Union suffered a big loss on February 21st when long time shop steward Tod Brucker passed away.  Brother Brucker had been battling cancer since last year and he passed away peacefully in his sleep.


Tod worked at Viceroy Homes since shortly after the Union was certified in 1998 and during that time he served as a shop steward and on numerous bargaining committees.


Tod was also a family man.  As a devoted husband and father of six you didn’t have to speak to Tod for very long before the conversation turned to his family and what they were up to.


I had the privilege of working closely with Tod over the years and I always looked forward to being entertained and enlightened by his wonderful sense of humour..  He was the type of person who could lighten up a room just by strolling in.


Current Local 580 Outside Guard and Viceroy Plant Chair Keith Halovich was also lucky enough to have worked with Tod for many years.  Since his passing Keith and I have shared many stories regarding Tod’s exploits.  As sad as we are our conversations have invariably ended in laughter and we know Tod would be delighted to know that he is keeping us entertained even after his passing,  The rest of the Viceroy Committee and the RWU office staff also have their favourite Tod stories.


The entire RWU staff would be laughing when Tod would call up and ask to speak to the “Hammer”.  Only once did he have to explain the he meant Shawn “the Hammer” Lakusta.  After that I acquired a new nick name.  He always had a kind word for the staff when he called.


Tod was fiercely loyal to the RWU.  One of the enduring memories that I have of him is when during some very difficult bargaining another Union came sniffing around looking to raid the RWU.  Tod called me immediately after having told the raiders where to go.  On my next visit to Viceroy the raiders in their distinctive green jackets were still hanging around.  I’ll never forget the sight of Tod charging out of the front doors camera in hand and yelling “there they are” as he attempted to get their pictures.  The raiders turned tail and ran to their car never to be seen again.


Tod loved to golf and he was really at home on the course.  He registered for the RWU’s Shop Steward Appreciation Golf Tournament last year but he had to withdraw when struck by illness.  He called me and expressed a desire to attend just to hang around and he was advised that his presence in any form would be more than welcomed.  Unfortunately he was not well enough to attend on that day and his absence was felt by all who knew him.  Plans are already under way to honour Tod in a suitable way at this year’s tournament.


Tod at home on the golf course with good friend and caddy for the day Local 580 Outside Guard and Viceroy Homes Plant Chair Keith Halovich.


Thanks for being a great friend and Union brother.  You will be missed by all the people whose lives you touched.


Solidarity Forever Brother,


Shawn Lakusta
RWU Provincial Representative