Our Spotlight Blog this month is highlighting Brother Gurdev Singh. Gurdev is a seven year ATU Local 583 and Shop Steward Operations #2.
1. How did you first get involved with ATU Local 583? How did that lead to your position as Shop Steward for Operations 2?
I joined Transit in 2013 as a Transit Operator and become a Job Steward in 2014. And now it’s my second term as a Shop Steward Operations 2. I had decided to be actively involved in the Union on the day of Union Orientation, when I first met the Full-time Officers. I have teaching background from back home where I was always involved in the teacher’s union, which give me the understanding of the importance of unions.
2. What do you enjoy most being a Steward of the Local?
The most fascinating part of being a Steward is continuous learning which leads to spontaneous growth. This learning also enables me be a supportive member to my fellow workers. Whenever I am able to assist/support my fellow partners in Transit, I feel that it’s a very rewarding position and it gives me feeling of fulfillment.
3. What would you say to someone who is interested in getting involved with their Union?
I would love to see more involvement of my fellow members in the Union. To my fellow members I want to say that being involved in Union helps you to learn and grow. It gives you the opportunity to give back to your workplace by being a support to someone in need, by sharing information with your fellow workers. By being involved in the union, you can be a part of the change you want.
4. How have things changed in the workplace since you become active in the Local?
Things have changed in a positive and progressive manner for me for sure. I have learned a lot; how various committees work in the Union. I leaned what kind of challenges are faced by the Operators, Union Representatives and Membership.
The current pandemic has taught me about the resilience we have in transit. All my Brothers and Sisters stood strong and united in these current tough times. We kept the city rolling together with our resilience and unity.
5. We would love to hear about other forms of activism you’ve been involved with:
Currently I am involved with YMCA Calgary. I volunteer there as a sports coach for badminton and also at membership services. Being an immigrant to Canada, I was very busy in settling things down for first four-five years. But now I feel like I should give back to community and volunteering is one way of fulfilling that cause.
6. Please tell us a bit about yourself, your family and/or your interests during your free time
My name is Gurdev Singh. I am father of four lovely kids; two biological and two adopted. Myself being 35, I can say that I have huge experience of being a parent of very wide age range of kids. My kids are 20, 18, 11 and 8 years old (20 years and 18 years are adopted).
I love to play badminton and do yoga. My passion is to do Punjabi folk dance; Bhangra. During my free time I make Bhangra videos. My wife works as an In-School Settlement practitioner, where she supports new immigrant students.
COPE 397 /jr