Unifor Local 88’s communications committee won three awards out of the eight delivered to Unifor at the Canadian Association of Labour Media Awards in Halifax. The ceremony on May 11 was part of a conference happening from May 10-12, bringing together labour communicators from across the country.
“We’re very thrilled particularly since we have some new people who’ve been contributing,” said Linda Smith, co-chair of the volunteer-based communications committee. “They’re very excited to be part of a committee that deservedly wins awards.”
The committee won for best photograph, volunteer produced. It was a picture by Doris Weir that captured member Ashley Osbourne and her son on the picket line during the 2017 CAMI automotive strike in Ingersoll. Osbourne, facing the plant and with her back to the camera, is wearing a shirt that says “Keep Good Jobs in Canada”.
“That was our real reason for being on strike,” said Smith. “We wanted to keep jobs in Canada. This was about jobs. Not just jobs for our members but jobs for the community because we have related jobs in the parts suppliers and local restaurants that survive because of the plant.”
Local 88’s April 2017 issue of the “Off the line” newsletter also won the Rosemarie Bahr award for excellence in print layout and design in regular print publication for imaginative and effective use of graphics, cartoons, photography, typography and layout - volunteer produced.
And finally, Local 88’s website, unifor88.ca, won for best website content - volunteer produced. It’s a website that the committee connects readers to with the help of the Unifor Local 88 app, which now has over 800 users, notifying them anytime something goes on the website.
“We started with just a newsletter committee and grew with technology to a portion that had the website, webmasters and so on, and then we joined together as the communications committee,” said Smith.
Now the newsletter which publishes every two months has two co-editors, someone works on layout and design, and one member is the photographer.
Local 88’s communications committee is showing what members who have a story tell can accomplish. “It’s nice for us to be able to go back to our local after the award ceremony and show our leadership that we have a great, active committee that can produce award-winning material,” said Smith.