Profile: Anne Baranyk was raised on a farm near Elk Point, Alberta. Moving to Edmonton in 1952, her first job was as an examiner or quality control person at GWG. Early on she became a union activist in Local 120 of the United Garment Workers, first as a grievance officer, then as the local’s secretary and in 1956, she became the president of Local 120. Over the next 14 years, she negotiated both piecework and hourly wage contracts, benefits, and protections for injured workers. After her period as president, she was employed full-time by the union and in 1974 became the president of the Edmonton and District Labour Council for four years as well as an Alberta Federation of Labour council member. In the interview, Baranyk-Broad indicates that individual grievances occupied much of her time as a union official in a plant that at its peak had 1200 employees. When she first started, she found that many workers feared losing their jobs if they brought complaints to management. The union provided a means for them to get problems addressed without confronting management individually.
Keywords: Edmonton and District Labour Council; Grievance officer; GWG closure; GWG machinery; Levi; Quality control; Piecework; United Garment Workers, Local 120.
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