Unifor’s equity audit measured the diversity of our membership against the diversity of Unifor leadership at the local and national level. While the union is aware that representation gaps exist, the purpose of the audit was to understand the specific barriers to overcome our collective challenges.
The audit took place over nine months and included semi-structured interviews with 470 local unions. Two equity coordinators traveled across the country meeting with locals and asked questions about the diversity of local membership and the diversity of the executive committee, stewards and bargaining committees.
Although the audit was completed and presented to Canadian Council in August of 2017, this project is not the end of this important conversation, it is the beginning. It is also the beginning of a deeper dialogue to develop a path forward. Certainly, progress has been made in our first four years as Unifor. The commitment to and participation in this first phase of an equity audit is evidence of that. But the progress we’ve made is not enough.
We need to become a union that will not wait for our members to come to us, but a union that will go to the places where our members celebrate diversity in all its forms.
A commitment to equity, inclusion and diversity starts with each one of us. Diversity must be reflected in the faces of Unifor’s leadership, in our committees and in our organizational structures. It is our shared responsibility to establish the kind of sustained change in attitudes and practices that will move our Union forward so that we truly are a union for everyone.