Coleman Powell was raised in a union-friendly family. His father worked in a union manufacturing plant in Edmonton. Coleman remembers their family’s quality of life improving once their father joined the union. Not only were they financially better off, but their father was able to spend more time with his family.
Coleman also remembers that collective bargaining wasn’t easy and always seemed to come up at inopportune times.
"I remember that we, as CEP union workers and families, brought coffee and donuts to the strikers and walked the picket line for them while they took a break at Safeway," said Coleman. "Safeway was UFCW, not even CEP. But that’s the way it was then. Unions had that family feeling back then and that’s what I grew up on."
Many years later, Coleman joined the Labours Union, Local 92 where he worked in materials management, and ran a forklift. In August 2012, he joined Local 955 and progressively became a Red Seal Mobile Crane Operator.
Unfortunately by then, Coleman felt the importance and spirit of union brotherhood and sisterhood had been forgotten within all unions. He decided he was tired of sitting on the sidelines watching this decline, so he ran for the Executive Board.
“I wanted to be more involved in my future,” says Coleman. “I really want to help with bringing pride back to 955 and encourage members to become more engaged. There are a lot of people who don’t know what the union is all about. Now that I am elected, I will ensure that the working person’s voice is heard at executive meetings."
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