I was saddened to learn this week that Sister Aline Lachapelle, former president of Teamsters Local Union 1998, passed away. She was the first woman to become president of a Teamster local union in Canada.
Eight years ago today, tragedy struck our sisters and brothers at G4S. While performing a routine cash service at the University of Alberta’s HUB Mall, Travis Baumgartner fatally shot three of his coworkers, Eddie Rejano, Brian Ilesic and Michelle Shegelski. A fourth, Matthew Schuman, was rushed to hospital with gunshot wounds to the head.
More than ever, the contribution of workers to the economy and our well-being must be highlighted in the context of the pandemic that we have been experiencing for seven weeks now.
Transportation workers are the backbone of our economy and are essential to delivering food and medical supplies across the country. It’s a job made even more crucial by the current crisis; you went as far as to thank “delivery folks, […] truck drivers, train conductors and so many others” during your press conference on Sunday.
The COVID-19 pandemic is global. We are facing one of our greatest challenges, but it’s not the first time that collectively and individually, we are faced with adversity. I notice, with satisfaction, that we are already showing solidarity and compassion for one another.
As president of Teamsters Canada, I encourage all members of our union to go out and vote. Our democracy depends on it, and so do the interests of all Teamsters and workers. Politicians simply don’t listen to those who can’t be bothered to take 20 minutes to cast a ballot on October 21 or on any of the advance polling days.
The 2019 Teamsters Women’s Conference kicked off today in Montreal. Over 1,200 Teamsters from across North America are in town for the three-day annual event, which provides the opportunity for empowerment and education for women in our union.