As we celebrate International Women’s Day, we also celebrate the women who helped fight for unionism and equality in the workplace.
Some examples of this important and historical work are:
The Famous Five/The Alberta Five – 1927
The Famous Five also known as The Valiant Five, and initially as The Alberta Five, were five prominent Canadian suffragists who advocated for women and children: Henrietta Muir Edwards, Nellie McClung, Louise McKinney, Emily Murphy, and Irene Parlby. Particularly women’s right to vote.
They were also instrumental in the landmark Persons Case
The Persons Case, formally Edwards v. A.G. of Canada, constitutional ruling that established the right of women to be appointed to the Senate of Canada. Moreover, the legal recognition of women as “persons” meant that women could no longer be denied rights based on a narrow interpretation of the law. (Source: click here)
Montréal Dressmakers’ Strike of 1937
Led by the International Ladies’ Garment Workers Union, this strike was a turning point in the unionization of a key industry in Montréal, then principal centre of clothing production in Canada. In three weeks, Rose Pesotta, Lea Roback, and Yvette Charpentier, among others, rallied a primarily female French-Canadian workforce of more than 5,000 that was regarded by trade unionists as difficult to organize. An example of the essential contributions of Jewish activists within the clothing industry, this successful strike reflected the ability of Jewish and French-Canadian workers to cooperate in a union setting. (Source: click here)
NDP Elect the first Female Leader – 1989
Audrey McLaughlin is the first female party leader in Canada. She was at the front of Canada’s New Democratic Party from 1989–1995.
These are only three examples in a long history of women’s contributions, just in Canada alone. Women continue to be instrumental in the furthering of their own rights as well as worker’s rights.
ATU 583 is proud to have three wonderful women serving on our current Executive Board: Sharon Waugh (Chief Steward of Operations), Michaela Hannem (Executive Board Member Operations) and Renee Dunn (Executive Board Member Community Shuttle) and three excellent women who work as administrators: Jacinda, Lori and Aimee, in our office that play a critical role in helping us serve our Members. As well as all of our women members, who do such a fantastic job each and every day.
Please join us in celebrating the significant additions women have made to our daily world.
Happy International Women’s day to women around the world. The world is a better place because of your accomplishments and the sacrifices you continue to make today.