On the weekend of June 8-10, approximately 100 Unifor delegates and guests came together at our Family Education Centre in Port Elgin. At the conference, they shared experiences and participated in discussions to advance our work on health, safety and workers’ compensation.
The theme of this year’s conference was the “Continuum of Injury – Injury Recognition, Recovery, Prevention - Saving Lives.”
It was fitting that our conference opened with a traditional “smudging ceremony” as we recognize the indigenous lands of the Saugeen Ojibway nations. This was followed by an engaging panel discussion on how representatives can implement the Occupational Hazards Identification Tools in daily work to identify occupational disease.
Over the course of the conference, we covered topics ranging compensation i.e. “Workers’ Compensation 101”, always a favourite - to workshops about the “Possibilities for Prevention”, “Lab Analysis 101”, “Creating A Mentally-Healthy Workplace” as well as an Introduction of our new one week Workers’ Compensation Board Paid Education Leave course on medical orientation.
The conference provided excellent networking opportunities for our members as we explored the world of Optimum Health with our guest Dr. Rashida Naraharasetti, MBBS (India). The day then came to an end with an enjoyable fire at the gazebo with our comrades.
Our weekend concluded with a casual panel discussion between recently retired activists, Joel Carr, Unifor Health & Safety Department, and Alec Farquhar., Director, Ontario Office of Worker Advisor, sharing stories of why “Fighting Back Makes a Difference.”
Our next national conference will be on issues of the environment, to be held in the spring of 2019 – stay tuned!