Unifor Local 673
“I joined a unionized work environment in my late 20s and it’s only now, that I’m really understanding how lucky I was to get such a great job!” This is Akash Shanghvi, a union activist at local 673. “When I joined, I didn’t know much about unions, I just wanted a secure job and enough money to raise a family. What I didn’t realize then but do now, is there are so many hard-working people in our country who want the exact same thing but face boulder sized challenges like discrimination or gig economy jobs that make those dreams seem impossible, but I was lucky and I had help. I had a strong group of people- I never met- remove those challenges before I even got to the workplace.” Since that realization, Akash has chosen to join the fight. He now plays an active role within his local and currently chairs the Human Rights committee. In that role, he has organized fundraisers and awareness campaigns to help community groups, shelters, care homes, and youth groups. On what he hopes to accomplish over the next few years, Akash says, “I want to do my part, I have so many people to thank for the joys I have in my life, I might never be able to thank them all in person, but I can pay it forward.”
Unifor Local 6006 Proud and committed
Sapna Sagar is the Vice-president of Local 6006. She is a union activist and active in promoting workers’ rights and the rights of those without a voice in the community. Sapna works with the community-based advocacy groups on various issues. She demonstrates her commitment in everything she does. Sapna is the Chair of the Education Committee at the local.
Unifor Local 2002
Leanne Sookram is a proud Mother of two young adults. Leanne is a proud Unifor Local 2002 member and activist. She works out of the Winnipeg Area with Air Canada for over 25 years. Leanne is newly elected to the Prairie Regional Women’s Committee, being the first woman of colour to be elected in all the regions on this committee. Leanne holds a number of other positions within her workplace, such as Vice Chair for two terms and Women’s Advocate since 2011. She actively participates in fundraising for Women’s Shelters along with various other campaigns. Leanne has assisted with other Unifor Sisters to amend the Manitoba Labour Code to allow for paid domestic violence leave (first province in Canada). In 2016, Leanne represented the Women’s Advocate program at ITF Women’s Conference in Morocco. Leanne had this to say, “10 years ago or so, I didn’t have a voice. I was experiencing a storm that was meant to harm me. Instead, with help, support, encouragement, and the power to believe in myself, that storm made me, Me. I found my voice and I am continuing to use it to help other women to find their own voices.”
Unifor Local 40 Leader and Activist
Rubeen Chauhan works at CultureLink Settlement & Community Services as a frontline worker. CultureLink is a non-profit charitable organization working to support the integration of newcomers and refugees since 1988. Rubeen runs different community connection mentorship programs and she matches newcomers with mentors to practice English, learn about Canada and get hands-on volunteer experience in public speaking, event planning and project management.
Rubeen is a steward representing members at CultureLink. As a rep, she is responsible for dealing with management, grievances and answering questions about union matters and members’ rights. Rubeen had this to say, “We have lots of new staff members joining the organization. Therefore, we work together as a committee and organize monthly member drop-ins so they can come with their questions or just have a chat with their union reps.” Unifor Local 40 is proud to have leaders like Rubeen who always make the membership, community and union a place for everyone.