Profile: Vicky Beauchamp was born in 1940, the second of seven children in a farmhouse in Spring Creek, Alberta, near Willingdon. Her father was a Ukrainian immigrant, her mother Canadian-born. Both were active in the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF). Beauchamp worked at Canada Packers for three summers before completing high school. She then went to work full-time at Swift’s packaging meat products where she was elected shop steward of Local 280P of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), recording secretary, and trustee. She suffered a lifelong back injury in an accident in the plant. Next, she went to Gainers, where she became vice-president of UFCW Local 319. She married a fellow activist in the local, Gerry Beauchamp.
During the Gainers strike, Beauchamp was a strike captain and a tireless fighter for the workers’ cause. The union sent her on a cross-country tour to promote a boycott of Gainers. She remained active in the UFCW after the strike and still is in her retirement. She was also on the Alberta Federation of Labour executive for two years.
Keywords: Alberta Federation of Labour; Canada Packers; Gainers boycott; Gainers strike; Meat packager; Shop steward; Swifts; Ukrainian immigrants
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