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Statement: Sarabeth Anne Forbes

April 23, 2017

FFAW-Unifor is deeply saddened by the tragic death of Unifor member Sarabeth Anne Forbes, a worker at Parkland Cape Breton, an assisted living facility in Sydney, NS and member of Unifor Local 4600.

Sarabeth, age 33 and mother of an elementary-aged child, was found dead at the home she shared with her common law husband who has been charged with first degree murder. This will go through the judicial process in due course.

FFAW-Unifor would like to extend heartfelt sympathy and solidarity to the family of Sarabeth and would like them to know that we work each and every day in our union to eliminate the systemic violence directed at women in our workplaces and in our communities.

We have worked with our National Union Unifor on training Women’s Advocates to deal head on with sexual harassment in our workplaces and communities and to be a support for women experiencing violence in the home or on the job.

We have committed to bargain for additional Women’s Advocates in our locals, Paid Leave for Domestic Violence in our collective agreements and to work with the NL Federation of Labour, the CLC and women’s groups to lobby our Provincial government to make the legislative changes to the Occupational Health and Safety Act so all women can avail of this valuable leave. We know from dealing with women in violent situations that having job and income security while fleeing an abusive relationship can be key to leaving; it’s one less barrier of the many she faces.

When we hear of women like union sister Sarabeth Anne Forbes die under suspicious circumstances we commit to redoubling our efforts and working towards the elimination of violence against women and girls in our society.

Our hearts and thoughts are with the family, our sisters and brothers of Local 4600, and all those who knew Sarabeth.