More than 45 delegates and guests recently participated in the UFCW Canada Saskatchewan Women’s Conference in Saskatoon. The conference, held March 4 – 6, brought UFCW Canada sisters from Local Unions across the province including locals 1400, 248P, 649, and 342P.
Also attending during the conference were Denise Kouri, the federal NDP candidate for Humboldt; Norm Neault, President of UFCW Canada Local 1400; Local 1400 Secretary-Treasurer Darren Kurmey; and Deb Higgins, NDP MLA for Moose Jaw-Wakamow, and a UFCW Canada Local 1400 member.
The theme for this year’s conference was “Taking ACTION in your community – GET INVOLVED.” How to reduce harassment, bullying and discrimination in the community was the subject of one workshop presented by Jai Richards, the executive director of Saskatoon’s Avenue Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity. Jill Alaerf, a local organizer for the Day of Pink, also brought the sisters up to speed on the April 13th event that celebrates diversity and an open-minded commitment to accepting differences and learning to respect each other.
Sister Darla Laird of the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) presented a workshop on the impact of the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), and on the CLC’s Retirement Security for Everyone campaign to improve the CPP. Workshops also included a presentation by the Saskatchewan Intercultural Agency which is a community-based, settlement service for immigrants to the Saskatoon area. Nora Becker, a former Local 1400 member and shop steward is the employability co-ordinator at the agency. Lucy Figueiredo, a Local 1400 staff representative, has also worked closely with the agency in hosting seminars for new Canadian workers on their labour and workplace rights, including the right to unionize.
“As UFCW Canada sisters, we know we can make a big difference in our union, but also in our communities,” says Kathryn Hiller, who helped organize the Saskatchewan local union conference and is the education coordinator at UFCW Canada Local 1400.
“We’re even more prepared now, with sister representatives from each local union now working on women’s initiatives; reaching out to members and their communities across Saskatchewan.”
Vol. XI, No 13 • 28 mars 2011