As we commemorate Women’s history month this October, PSAC remembers the women of the labour movement who have fought tirelessly to improve the lives of women and all workers.
For generations, labour activists have organized in their unions and communities for employment equity, maternity leave, child care, equal pay and equal pay for work of equal value, an end to racism and harassment, accessible workplaces – and so much more.
In 1980, when fifty thousand federal clerks took their demand for fair wages into the street, PSAC women were at the forefront of the action. It became one of the largest strikes in Canadian history and fully three quarters of the workers were women.
As women’s union activism has grown stronger, the movement has opened up space on labour’s agenda for the inclusion of different experiences and sources of identity. Francophone women, Indigenous women, queer women, women with disabilities, racialized women, trans women and their allies have raised the issues of difference and inclusion at the bargaining table and beyond. Together we have struggled to build a new solidarity which recognizes and respects these differences so women who remain marginalized at work, in society and in the union may take their rightful place in the mainstream.
Despite decades of progress, the struggle continues. PSAC women continue to fight for justice. Across the movement we are advocating for:
- protections at work to support women affected by domestic violence,
- justice for missing and murdered Indigenous women,
- proactive federal pay equity legislation,
- inclusion of our trans sisters at work and in our communities, and
- affordable high-quality child care in every province and territory.
Together, we will continue to make history.