Operating within the ancestral and unceded traditional Syilx, Ktunaxa, and Sinixt Nations in the Kootenay Boundary territory, the Construction Maintenance Allied Workers Local 2300 Diversity Committee is walking the talk when it comes to making strides and taking action in the name of diversity, equity and inclusivity (DEI). Their recent quarterly meeting minutes summarized exciting opportunities, which included DEI resourcing and incorporation at the national level. The CMAW Canada president has personally reached out to the members for their collaborative efforts alongside the national Diversity Committee in the initiation, development and implementation of equity-driven policies.
Indigenous relations are an integral part of the committee’s initiatives. This past summer, the committee was proud to be included in the annual union membership BBQ, where they handed out Ktunaxa-made t-shirts to support Orange Shirt Day, honouring Phyllis Webstad’s story.
The meeting minutes also summarized a discussion on the British Columbia Centre for Women in the Trades (BCCWITT) ‘Be More Than A Bystander’ Program, stating that by January 2024 the committee is projecting 1 in every 5 members to have undergone the training. Two members of the local have train-the-trainer status, meaning they can deliver training to other local members. This program is implemented at the hiring level within the union, in an effort to promote doing the right thing, right from the start.
Looking ahead, the committee is proud to forecast a fun night of celebrating the women in the local. The executive board passed a motion to sponsor the women members of the local Construction Maintenance and Allied Workers union hall in attending a local junior level hockey game from the ‘Luxury Suite’ while sporting the local swag. This is a great way to showcase and celebrate the work that the sisters do, and perhaps the cherry-on-top of it all is knowing that the game will be held on March 8th, International Women’s Day.
When asked about how she feels being involved in the local’s committee, Gabrielle Herle said she is “incredibly proud of the work the committee has done to-date and has a profound sense of respect for the people behind the work being done each and every day in an effort to make our workplaces better for everyone now and for generations of workers to come”.