What do you get when you put 311 Unifor sisters under one roof? You get one heck of a feminist gathering and the sharing of wonderful sisterhood moments. Each year the Unifor Women’s Conference is the largest event held at the Unifor Family Education Centre in Port Elgin, Ontario. This year was no exception. Bursting at the seams, this three-day conference hosted Unifor women from coast to coast to coast, some with children in tow.
The theme of this year’s conference was Strong Women, Strong Unions. Unifor’s Women’s Director Lisa Kelly did an outstanding job of organizing this event which focussed primarily on women’s equality from the political and collective bargaining perspective. During the conference delegates listened to four top-notch panel discussions on political action, bargaining breakthroughs, strengthening our union, and supporting our sisters.
Workshops were offered on a variety of topics such as lobbying, retirement planning, taking action against gender-based violence, use of social media to effect change, bargaining equality, getting women elected, closing the gender wage gap, finding your voice and learning more about the experiences of our Quebec sisters.
In addition to panels and workshops, there were also various meetings for young workers, aboriginal and workers of colour, workers with disabilities and a pride caucus.
What makes this conference so popular among our union sisters is the opportunity to share our experiences, our challenges, and our commitment to making our workplaces respectful, safer and our work more secure.
Attending from FFAW-Unifor were Tina Pretty, FFAW Women’s Co-ordinator, Jackie Baker, Women’s Advocate and FFAW Science Co-ordinator, and Flora Mills, Women’s Advocate and Unit Chairperson at Notre Dame Fisheries, Comfort Cove.