Friday March 8th marks International Women’s Day, a global day of celebration of women and their achievements. The first International Women’s Day gathering was in 1911, and was started by working women to call attention to poor pay and working conditions. It grew to include a call for women’s rightful place in leadership and safety from violence.

Today, it is a day to celebrate equality gains and to recommit to our action and persistence towards full equality for all equity seeking groups.

A few achievements to highlight within our local include:
• Electing the first woman president of an automotive local in North America
• Successfully achieving full time child care in Port Elgin for everyone
• We were the first local to bargain benefits for same sex couples, before it was legislated by the government.

Our sisters are trailblazers, involved in the grassroots of community organizations such as STICH Supper Club and the Women’s Employment Resource Centre.

Our local committees of volunteers, continue to raise awareness and support community organizations through education, fundraising and donation drives, year after year.

We have more women in leadership roles now than ever before. Our National President is making history as the first woman to lead a large private sector union.

Another historical achievement is the Unifor Women’s Advocate program that was negotiated in the 1990’s with CAW. It started with the Big 3 and has since been bargained across the country in all sizes of workplaces, and in all sectors.

It has been recognized internationally and has been presented during the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women proceedings. It was a groundbreaking program at the time, we are very fortunate to have this resource available to us and dedicated sisters doing the work.

This year, the global theme for International Women’s Day is: Inspire Inclusion. When we inspire others to understand and value women’s inclusion, we forge a better world. And when women themselves are inspired to be included, there’s a sense of belonging, relevance and empowerment.

Today, we hope you take some time out of your day to celebrate the amazing achievements of the women and girls in your life, and the positive difference they are making in this world.

To the trailblazers, supporters, nurturers, innovators, activists and fighters in our lives near and far, thank you for all that you do.

Happy International Women’s Day!

In Solidarity,
Unifor Local 88 Women’s Committee