The focus of this interview is the founding in 1976 of Organized Working Women. OWW was an independent feminist labour organization of unionized women that used the resources of the labour movement to promote equity issues. The interview deals with OWW’s early activism and its advocacy work in support of women’s struggles for equality within their workplaces and unions and in the wider labour movement and broader society. There is commentary on some of the key people involved. Attention is paid to the skills-building and leadership workshops, conferences, and women’s committees organized in support of women’s efforts to pressure their unions to support equal pay, daycare, affirmative action, and free abortion on demand. There is discussion of the generational composition of the membership (trade union women and younger union women influenced by the women’s movement and New Left), and the OWW newspaper, Union Woman. Assessments of OWW’s record and legacy are also offered.
With Holly Kirkconnell, Barbara Cameron, Margaret McPhail, Wendy Cuthbertson.
Interviewed by Franca Iacovetta
This project has been made possible in part by Library and Archives Canada’s Documentary Heritage Communities Program.