Health and Safety Advocates
Dewey Funk describes nurses’ struggles against management in their efforts to secure safe working conditions in Alberta hospitals and the Edmonton Remand Centre.
Lucien Royer became a leader in trade union action on the environment and health& safety at the national and international levels, including the organization of national and international Days of Mourning for workers injured or killed on the job.
Dennis Malayko was health & safety officer for AUPE, creating the government’s joint worksite health and safety program, as well as initiating efforts to create both provincial and national occupational health and safety organizations with strong union presence.
Lori McDaniel – As a heavy equipment operator at Suncor, Lori McDaniel experienced the sexist discrimination faced by women in non-traditional jobs, as well as an uphill struggle to promote occupational health and safety and progressive politics.
Steve Senio raised in the Ukrainian settlement near Calmar, was the postwar organizer and then business manager of Local 720 of the Ironworkers Union.
Jennifer Ward is a long-time registered nurse on the psychiatric unit of the Grande Prairie Hospital where she, as a local UNA executive member, has fought for nurses’ rights to refuse unsafe work.
Women in the Skilled Trades
A number of the women ALHI interviewed about their work in the skilled trades had stories about health and safety on the worksite.
Aisha Amin became a journeyperson welder after coming to Alberta from Ethiopia in 1988. She emphasizes the importance of proper personal protective equipment to the health and safety of workers in the construction trades.
Delanee Daviau is a journeyperson welder who worked in the Ironworkers Union Local 720 to promote drug and alcohol testing as part of a health and safety, while taking on the challenges facing women in the skilled trades.
Siobhan Mangal is an apprentice in both the Plasterers’ Local 222 and the Insulators Local 110. She describes the support she received from other women, her response to discrimination, and the importance of health and safety training on the job.
Alberta Workers’ Health Centre Project
ALHI is working with The Workers’ Health Centre to collect oral histories with a focus on Occupational Health and Safety, particularly with Alberta’s most vulnerable workers. These interviews are an initial sample with more to come.
Tarik Accord Somalia-born worked in several cleaning firms. Injured on the job at one of them, she helped form a union at Bee Clean and served as a union steward, emphasizing education of members regarding their legal rights with regards to occupational health and safety.
Sam Nuako is a Ghanian-born labour relations officer for UFCW who focuses strongly on diversity issues and on encouraging members to always speak up about their concerns.
Documentary on Trade Union Action for Health & Safety
The Hinton Asbestos Wildcat Workers trying to clean up asbestos in Hinton’s pulp mill for over a decade, finally shut the plant down on July 1st, 1997, arguing that they faced an “imminent danger”. Union members talk about this action and how the removal of the carcinogen benefited not only the workers, but the whole community of Hinton.
Maria Dunn has written a new song about the COVID related deaths in Alberta’s Meatpacking plants. Listen to it here.