(l-r) Susan Caruso, Local 401 member, Safeway, Lethbridge, AB; Jean Coleman, Local 401 member, Safeyway, Hinton, AB; Juanita O’Reilly, Local 401 member, Buffalo Meats Catering, Fort McMurray, AB; Cheryl Watamaniuk, Local 401 member; Lorraine Pilotte, Local 401 representative, Edmonton office; April Albrecht, UFCW Local 401 representative, Calgary office
Recently in Jasper, Alberta, the Equinox educational conference for Alberta women trade unionists celebrated its tenth anniversary. This year's conference — Working Women: Connecting with our Communities— was sponsored by the women's committees of the Alberta Federation of Labour and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW). Sisters from AFL-affiliated unions from across the province gathered for three days of workshops and key note presentations on maximizing potential and moving forward as women labour activists.
"Women face many of the same challenges wherever they work, so it was great opportunity to share, and listen, and learn about what works in facing those challenges," said UFCW Canada Local 401 representative April Albrecht. Sister Albrecht, who is also a member of the UFCW Canada National Council Women's Advisory Committee, was one of six Local 401 sisters who attended Equinox. Some of the seminars included the struggle to balance work life and family life; advocating for improved access to quality childcare; workplace violence prevention; and using social media to build bridges with young workers.
"Women workers of all ages have a great opportunity in building solidarity for a better workplace and a better community," says Sister Albrecht. "We owe to each other and we can do it."