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 the Canadian Textile and Chemical Union, and launched historic struggles over workers rights. In her late eighties, Parent continued to speak out on a wide range of social justice issues. In the end, her radical, left-wing ideas not only defined who she was but became her lasting legacy to Canadian society.
Although IWD is celebrated on March 8th, there are so many women whose work has improved numerous lives throughout the world, some of who are our very own, within the IAM. Throughout the month of March we will feature women from different parts of the world and historical eras to remind us that the women’s movement indeed has deep and long roots. Follow us as we learn together about women who have left a mark on history and society.
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