National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women Dec 6th

Written by  Unifor Local 506

National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women Dec 6th

On December 6, take a pause to recognize the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. As we remember the 13 engineering students and one worker who were murdered at l'École Polytechnique de Montréal in 1989 by an act of gender-based violence, we also commemorate all the missing and murdered Aboriginal women, transgender women, and each and every woman whose lives have been harmed or lost to gender-based violence.
This year, there is a growing, worldwide conversation about sexual harassment and assault. More and more women are coming forward with their experiences in the workplace and in their working lives.
Countless others don’t have the safety to share their stories. It is in this context that Unifor continues its work to highlight the link between the sexism and misogyny we face in our everyday lives and violence against women and girls. By recognizing that link, we can use the tools to change it.
Unifor encourages all locals and members to take action in the following ways:
1. Distribute and post Unifor's December 6 statement and poster. Share it on social media
2. Attend vigils and support calls to action to end sexism, harassment and violence in your local and community
3. Negotiate Unifor's model anti-harassment, respectful workplace training and joint investigation language
4. Lobby for Paid Domestic Violence Leave to be law and negotiate it in your collective agreement
5. Negotiate a workplace Violence and Harassment Policy that includes a Women's Advocate
With our collective commitment, we can eliminate this widespread, persistent and devastating violation of human rights.
December 6, National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women - Statement from NB Federation of Labour

Moncton – 2017 marks the 28th anniversary of the December 6, 1989 Ecole Polythechnique massacre where 14 young women lost their lives simply because they were women. Each year, on December 6, we take a moment to mourn these 14 young women and all women and girls who were killed or experienced various forms of violence in their homes, their communities and workplaces. We also take this time to renew our commitment to work for change and to build a society based on respect, equality and peace.

This year, in the wake of #MeToo and in recognition that too many women experience sexual harassment and other forms of gender-based violence at work, the New Brunswick Federation of Labour is issuing a challenge to governments, to unions, and to all men in the labour movement.

The onus is on all of us, every day of the year, to take a stand on violence against women and girls. We know that harassment and violence are all too common in our workplaces. We also know that it happens in our movement, and we have to change the culture that allows this to happen. We have to act differently, to break down some of the barriers, to support women and others who come forward to disclose their experiences. We have to make it safe for them to do so. Survivors should not have to further expose themselves in order to see change. We must end our own complicity and our self-imposed silence, not just by reaching out to victims, but by calling out sexist and harassing behaviour when we see it happen. If we are truly going to eliminate violence against women, we all need to step up.

We need to acknowledge our complicity in perpetuating a culture that tolerates toxic masculinity. We also need to recognize the connections between gender-based violence and other forms of discrimination and violence that workers experience. The barriers and the risks of disclosure can be much greater for racialized women, Indigenous women, women with disabilities, trans and non-binary folk. Breaking down barriers starts with recognizing that not everyone experiences discrimination, violence and harassment in the same way. We need to make a commitment to change in our workplaces, but also in our own organizations.

We can be proud of the work the labour movement has already done. For decades, unions have been negotiating collective agreement language on sexual harassment, and raising awareness of all forms of gender based violence at work.

Finally, we encourage all of you to attend the December 6th activities organized in your region and support the numerous campaigns of our partners to end violence against women and girls.

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The New Brunswick Federation of Labour is New Brunswick's largest central labour body representing 40,000 members of both public sector and private sector labour unions.

Patrick Colford                                                    Shanny Doucet

President, NBFL NBFL                                          Vice-President responsible for Women's Issues
(506) 857-2125 / (506) 381-8969 (cell)                 (506) 227-9900 (cell)


National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women events/vigils to attend in NB:

Fredericton:  Vigil on Dec 5th from 2 to 3 pm at Head Hall, Room HC13, 15 Dineen Drive # 15, Fredericton, NB  E3B 5A3 - Hosted by UNB Engineering Within Diversity.  For more info:

Miramichi:  Vigil on Dec 6th from 12:30-1:30 pm at the NBCC in lecture theatre 1145.  This is a free event and it is open to all community members.  For more info:  Ccall Jessica at 778-6496 or visit

Moncton:  Dec 6th from 6:30 to 9:30 pm at the Dan Bonham Centre, 5 Fatima Drive next to Riverview Town Hall followed by a candlight vigil and laying of the roses at the monument at Casely Park.  Sponsored by Moncton District Labour Council.  For more info call 852-9609 or visit

Saint John: Vigil on Dec 6th from 7 - 8:30 pm at the Grand Hall UNBSJ, 40 Charlotte Street, Saint John, NB - Hosted by UNBSJ.  For more info visit: