UFCW Canada women members from local unions across Saskatchewan recently got together in Saskatoon for the UFCW Canada Local 1400 Women’s Conference, held March 12-13. The conference not only celebrated the 99th anniversary of International Women’s Day (IWD), but also UFCW Canada women themselves through the theme, Celebrating Our Strengths Through Our Diversity.
The conference, held at UFCW Canada Local 1400’s training centre in Saskatoon, brought together about three dozen UFCW Canada women – members and staff – from Locals 248P, 342P, 649, and 1400. A number of workshops were held during the two-day conference, including a review of women’s achievements over the last 100 years; how women can take increasingly active roles in their workplaces, the their union, and their communities; and using communications, conflict resolution, and nurturing skills to make one’s own life and the lives of others better and stronger.
Participants heard first-hand from Local 1400 member Caroline Wilkinson about the ongoing lockout at her workplace, XL Foods in Regina, Sask., where members have been locked out since September, after a layoff dating back to nearly a year ago. Sister Wilkinson also spoke about her experiences working as a woman in a predominantly male workplace.
UFCW Canada’s regional director for the Western Provinces, Nancy Quiring, brought greetings to the conference on behalf of UFCW Canada National President Wayne Hanley. “More than half of UFCW Canada members are women,” she pointed out. “The Saskatchewan Women’s Conference is a great annual opportunity for us to stay focused on the importance of solidarity as women members. And not just for us – for the whole union – by using our strength to ensure a better workplace and future for all of us.”
Sister Quiring also serves as chair of the UFCW Canada Women’s Advisory Committee. Her presentation included updates on a number of national UFCW Canada initiatives and campaigns, including those involving Walmart, the Agriculture Workers Alliance (AWA), diversity outreach initiatives to temporary foreign workers (TFWs), growing the union, and the webCampus outreach, just to name a few.
DIRECTIONS • Vol. X No. 13 • April 5, 2010