Strength and Unity at the N.D.F.
On July 9 and 10, 2018 the 32ndAnnual Convention of the National Defence Fund (N.D.F.) took place in Saskatoon Saskatchewan. Locals 175 & 633 had 55 delegates in attendance.
The delegates heard from Sarah Doyle of the Brookfield Institute on the Impact of Automation and Technological Change. Sarah told the us that every industry is becoming a tech industry, and that the largest five companies in the world by market value are tech companies. She described the ways that technology is impacting work and also clarified some myths behind technology and the workplace. Sarah then went on to explain what we can do to maximize the benefits of automation for businesses and people.
We then were privileged to listen to Farrah Khan from the Workers Action Centre who gave a very important presentation on Sexual Harassment in the Workplace, sexual violence, consent and how to disclose if you are a victim.
Farrah talked about how a good day at work has to include having a safe workplace, she discussed informed consent and the right to decide how much, when and with whom, and the right to change your mind at any time.
We heard that in Canada:
636,000 people self-reported incidents of sexual violence in 2014
1 in 3 women and 1 in 6 men will experience some form of sexual violence in their lifetime, and
More than 80% of all sexual violence is committed by someone the victim knows
She also told us that most survivors never tell a professional, that they tell someone they know like a co-worker or friend so we have to be ready. If someone discloses to us they need to know:
- I believe you.
- They chose what to do next.
- It’s not their fault.
- They are not alone.
We support each other in the labour movement and as advocates we need to foster a workplace where consent comes first. We must call in people who commit these acts and make sure they know it’s not okay, that you saw it, and report it.
Our delegates then participated in sector specific meetings in the flour milling, hospitality, packinghouse, soft drink and retail worker industries. Attendees heard about industry trends, and market insights. Reports were presented in each sector to illustrate these trends, and some of our delegates gave reports on their industries and workplaces. Gains achieved in collective bargaining were discussed.
The convention concluded with the administrative committee report of the NDF.