Our Women’s Committee reaches out!

Food insecurity is a real issue in Nova Scotia. According to Feed Nova Scotia, more than 41,000 Nova Scotians were supported by food banks in 2017, and 1/3 of these recipients are children.

It’s a sad reality that 15.4 per cent of Nova Scotian households are considered “food insecure,” which means they lack reliable access to enough affordable, nutritious food.

This is why IAMAW Local Lodge 2797’s Women’s Committee decided to support Feed Nova Scotia.

“It’s important that we look at all issues that have to do with family dynamics within the home,” explained Sarah Covey, Chair of our Women’s Committee.

“And we try and focus on local organizations that benefit all of our communities.”

1,970,623 kilograms of food was distributed through Feed Nova Scotia in the 2017/2018 year: this includes non-perishable goods, perishables, pet food, and even menstrual supplies, which are provided through a partnership with Dignity Period. All of the items that are donated or purchased by the organization need to be checked to ensure they are fresh/undamaged, then sorted and packaged to be distributed throughout the province.

It’s a task that requires a lot of helping hands.

Enter the volunteers: more than 30,000 volunteer hours were donated last year to the organization to help make sure food gets to people who need it. Our local lodge is just one of 123 volunteer groups that are trying to help with the task. So far, our Women’s Committee has visited Feed Nova Scotia on three separate occasions to sort and package donations.

On Tuesday, June 11th, they repackaged 250 ml milk containers, checking their expiry dates, making sure the cartons weren’t damaged, sorting them into 15 kilogram groups and moving them onto pallets to be distributed throughout the province. On past visits, our group has helped sort imperfect produce that has been donated by farmers (approximately 15 per cent of Feed Nova Scotia’s donations come directly from farmers).

Our Women’s Committee plans to meet again in September and will probably hold another volunteer date with Feed Nova Scotia after that meeting. Anyone interested in joining the committee or volunteering with any of their events should contact Sarah Covey at scovey@nsgeu.ca.

For more information on food banks in Canada, please visit https://www.foodbankscanada.ca/

Two IAM Canadian Sisters honoured at the 2019 IAM Women’s Conference

Two IAM Canadian Sisters honoured at the 2019 IAM Women’s Conference

copied from The Dispatch, April 10, 2019

The 2019 Women’s Conference, titled Women Rising Unite the Fight, featured t-shirts bearing the winning design of IAM Local Lodge 2797 President, Roswita Hildebrandt. The design, featuring words of empowerment within a solidarity fist, was selected by a panel of independent judges.

Roswita has been a union activist for 20 years. She began her union career as a member of the Nova Scotia Government & General Employees Union (NSGEU), Local 77 while working for Dalhousie University as an administrative secretary in the Centre for Learning and Teaching. Roswita held positions on various committees and spent three two-year terms as president of the local. Currently, Roswita works for NSGEU and holds the position of communications secretary. The staff at the NSGEU joined the IAM in 2016. That same year Roswita was appointed Communicator of Local Lodge 2797. Roswita was elected Vice President of her local in 2017 and after the resignation of the President in January 2018, Roswita assumed the role. Her first action as president was to establish a women’s committee. The committee has been outstanding in their service to the local and the community.

“Roswita is a strong leader for Sisters in the IAM as well as her membership at large,” said IAM Canadian General Vice President Stan Pickthall. “As a Union advocate in her workplace at the Nova Scotia Government & General Employees Union (NSGEU), as well as the President of her IAM Local Lodge, Roswita brings a great deal of experience and background in representing Canadian workers.”

Tania Cannif, IAM Transportation District Lodge 140 General Chairperson, is the recipient of the 2019 Excellence in Leadership Award.  Tania is a 30-year member of IAM Local Lodge 764 in Vancouver, and has been active within our Union for 29 of those years. Tania began her career with Canadian Airlines in 1988. She was elected shop steward the following year, and rose to the challenge of many leadership positions in the ensuing years.

She has served as chief shop steward, bargaining committee representative, Local 764 president, and District 140 vice-president. In her current role as a general chairperson of District 140, Tania is a strong and well-respected leader who is dedicated to the work of the IAM and to improving the lives of our members within her jurisdiction and across Canada. Tania serves as the IAM’s elected delegate to the Canadian Labour Congress, a position she has held for the past eight years. Tania is a highly skilled negotiator and proudly dedicated trade unionist and advocate for human rights, equity, and equality. She is an inspiration for many of the Sisters who are now rising to follow her leadership.

“Tania is a true Journeyperson… I am proud to call her my Sister!,” said Pickthall. “On behalf of all Canadian IAM members, we can think of no-one better to be presented with this honour!”