Women’s Issues

7 October - World Day for Decent Work : Just Jobs

With more than 200 million jobs lost to the pandemic, another hundred million still at risk and large numbers of unemployed people – the vast majority of whom are women – simply dropping out of the labour market, the World Day for Decent Work on 7 October will call on every government to develop jobs plans. ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow said : “Governments must have one overriding priority, and that

Making History: IAM Develops Mentoring Program for Female Leaders

September 14 and 15, 2021 marks an important date in the history of the IAM. Following an announcement by International President, Robert Martinez about plans to launch the Leadership Excellence Assembly of Dedicated Sisters (LEADS,) a program aimed at increasing participation of women in the organization, representatives across the United States and Canada gathered at the Harbor. This is the first time that the organization has focused efforts on developing

IAM on the Global Stage: COVID-19 and the Private Sector

Participants from around the world gathered for the United Nations 65th Conference on The Status of Women, taking part in numerous sessions, with a great number looking at the impact of COVID-19 on women, youth and women of colour. Much attention has been given to the experiences of women in the public sector given large numbers of women in sectors like education and healthcare, but the experiences of women in

IWD 2021 - Adelaide Hoodless (1857–1910) - Canada

Educational reformer and founder of the Women’s Institute. Adelaide Hoodless began her public life with the death of her infant son, who had consumed tainted milk. The tragedy inspired her to set about making sure that more women were educated in matters of domestic science, and she began pushing for home economics courses to be taught in Ontario public schools. She was also a powerful force behind the formation of

Final Push to Promote the Sexual Harassment Survey

Greetings, Thank you for your assistance in promoting the national survey on workplace violence and harassment to your members. The survey will close next month so we are asking for a final push to ensure that as many workers as possible fill it out. We especially need responses from Quebecois workers and workers in federally regulated industries. It is open to workers of all genders. Like the groundbreaking Domestic Violence at Work

IWD 2021 - Heather Kelley - Canada

Heather Kelley accomplished many firsts in her long and storied career as an IAM member, none the least of which is that was was the first female Grand Lodge Representative (GLR) in Canada. Heather became a member on February 1, 1979, after starting work at Fleet Industries in Fort Erie. Heather worked her way up from the ranks as a member of IAM Local 171 in Fort Erie. Her activism

IWD 2021 - Noreen Schmitt (1942 - 2013) Canada

By Shelley Cermak and Laura Sharpe, IAM Local 764 Noreen Olive Schmitt was first a partner, mother, grandmother, a sister – and to many of us in the union family, a mentor! Kind, gentle, caring, empathetic and very sharing of her struggles and she wanted more for us young ones coming up the ranks.  She spent countless hours with her union & community, teaching and passing on her knowledge. She

IWD 2021 - Madeleine Parent (1918–2012) - Canada

Union organizer and social activist. Late in life, Madeleine Parent was recognized her indefatigable activism on behalf of workers, women, and minorities. But in her younger years she was marked as a dangerous woman and a “seditious” traitor. In the 1940s, Parent organized workers in the massive textile factories of Quebec. She was convicted — and later acquitted — of seditious conspiracy. From the 1950s to the 1970s, she led

IWD 2021 - Ga’axstal’as, Jane Constance Cook (1870–1951)

Kwakwaka’wakw leader, cultural mediator, and activist. Born on Vancouver Island, Ga’axstal’as, Jane Constance Cook was the daughter of a Kwakwaka’wakw noblewoman and a white fur trader. Raised by a missionary couple, she had strong literacy skills and developed a good understanding of both cultures and legal systems. As the grip of colonialism tightened around West Coast nations, Cook lobbied for First Nations to retain rights of access to land and resources.

IWD 2021 Thérèse Casgrain (1896–1981)

Activist, radio host, and politial leader. Despite being brought up in wealth and privilege, Thérèse Casgrain felt that life should be fair to everyone. She helped to found the Provincial Franchise Committee for Women’s Suffrage in 1921 and later hosted a prominent radio program, called Fémina, for Radio-Canada. She became the first female leader of a political party in Canada — the left-leaning Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) — in the 1940s.