CAW Women Fighting For The Future

Port Elgin, Ontario

August 25, 2005

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CAW Women Fighting For The Future
CAW Women Fighting For The Future
dated August 25, 2005

August 21, 2005
Port Elgin, Ontario

       The 300 delegates at the CAW Women's Conference in Port Elgin Ontario August 21st to 23rd have embarked on a Fighting For Our Future campaign with pensions as their key issue.
       Julie White, CAW Women's Director kicked off the conference with a warning for both provincial and federal governments.

Julie White
CAW Women's Director

       "Women shouldn't have to fund raise for issues that are important to women. We're 52% of the population in this country and the government needs to understand that they have to fund women's programs in this country."

       During the conference workshops the delegates focused on how pensions operate, their vulnerability and the need for laws to protect workers' pensions. Andrea Horwath Ontario NDP pension critic said it is critical that women join the fight for better pensions.

Andrea Horwath
NDP MPP Hamilton-East ON
Pension Critic on Pensions

       ".I truly believe that now is the time that we need to deal with the pension issue, that we need to bring it front and center and we need to use all of the collective energy that we have, and all of the activism that we can muster to make sure that the government hears what we have to say; both at the provincial levels and at the federal level, to make sure that .our retirements are the ones where we can do the things that we want to do. The things that we have put off while we raised families, while we built communities."

       The conference also dealt with training issues to help empower women to take leadership roles both within their union and their community. Peggy Nash, Assistant to CAW National President Buzz Hargrove, urged the sisters to use their collective power.

Peggy Nash
Assist To National pres.

       "Whether it is in your workplace, or at a union membership meeting, whether it is at a picket line or on Parliament Hill, whether it is going door to door or through the mass media CAW women not only make the union strong, we make our world a better place for everyone. In short sisters, CAW Women Kick Ass!"

       Brazilian labour leader Emilia Valenta of the CNM/CUT told the delegates that education is the key weapon they are using in the fight for women's rights in Brazil.

Emilia Valente
CNM/CUT Brazil

       "We have to train people that when we talk about gender issues that these are issues for all of us, and to try to write up, at the floor level, tactics and policies that are about woman's issues. . and the first issue is violence against women. I mean this is the major reality. This is not just inside the union this is our homes too okay. And a lot of our sisters are ashamed to admit to violence against woman."

       The women took time to honour Roxie Baker one of the pioneers for women's right in the CAW. Roxie was the first woman elected to the CAW national executive board.
       Inspired by Roxie and armed with information the delegates from across Canada are heading home ready to fight for their future. Cynthia Dixon, Local 414 in Mississauga is one of them.

Cynthia Dixon
Local 414 Mississauga ON

       "What this conference did for me and the other women in my classes, it is empowering, finding out that we were talking out a bit more; we were more educated on our issues as women in society and it also teaches us a lot of things that will benefit us in the future."

CAW "Fighting Back Makes a Difference."

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