International Women's Day Conference

Hamilton Ontario

March 8, 2011

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International Women's Day Conference
International Women's Day Conference
dated March 8, 2011
Hamilton, Ontario
January 29, 2011

Hamilton, Ontario
March 8, 2011

Delia Hutchinson
CAW Local 555

       "The 100th anniversary is a really historic moment and we wanted to do something extra special to commemorate it and we thought a one day conference to give our members a day away from their paid job would be the best way to just enjoy the day, have a relaxing, enjoyable time and get women to feel empowered and inspired by the end of the day."

Annie Labaj
CAW International Dept. Director

       " I just wanted to share some of the things that we are doing on your behalf around the world. And I want to thank you for your support because the difference you make in women's lives is amazing. There are a lot of campaigns that are easy to do where it only take a few minutes. And it is surprising the kind of response you get from the governments when they know people from outside the country are watching. We can link as women around the world and talk about our common struggles, talk about violence against women and how it is impacting them in their countries and what they are doing about it and what kinds of campaigns are happening around that."

Billy O'Neill
CAW Local 707

       "The government has now assigned civil servants to monitor our social media networks so that they can see what Canadians are saying about the government and to challenge their perspective. So what that indicates to me is that they are afraid of our message. They are looking at what Annie was talking about world wide; about people fighting back. And basically it's our chance to get our message forward, share it with our networks. We know the corporate controlled media does not necessarily tell our story, so by tapping into the social media we are about to use Union book, Facebook, Twitter to get progressive working class messages out."

Stephanie Johnstone
CAW Local 636 

       "Today I am going to be talking about the bullying of the LGBT youth and to hopefully allow other people to see that as a collective that we can definitely challenge it and start to do things about it."

Jenny Ahn
CAW Political Action and Membership Mobilization Director

       "As a union we have been working really hard to improve the Canada Pension Plan. We have a "Retirement Security for All" campaign and of course this year there are a number of elections that are taking place. There is a possible federal election and there is also a provincial election here in Ontario. And all this ties in, the Retirement Security pension campaign in addition to other campaigns that we are involved in makes an impact and makes a difference in electoral politics. So I am hopefully making that connection for the sisters that are here today."

Katha Fortier
CAW Health Care director

       "Now a lot of our health care is being delivered as unpaid work as we have moved a lot of health care out of hospitals and into the community. And the reality is that women are still performing the majority of the unpaid work that goes on. So certainly it is an important issue for them to make sure that heath care expands, that we make sure that we have adequate long term care, that we make sure that we have adequate home care, and resources for people, particularly as our aging population is expanding."

Charlotte Yates
Professor Labour Studies McMaster University

       "Ten years ago women's wages as a proportion of men were going up. Now they have begun to decline again. So, in that sense, on the dollar women continue to earn less than men and that is beginning to deteriorate again that means we have to be continually vigilant to protect those gains that we have made over the last fifty years."

CAW Fighting Back Makes A Difference.

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