Sonia Donaldson’s journey to Local 955 was not your typical route. She had a 20-year career in the arts as a professional singer and film/TV actor. She was a member of the ACTRA union and served as Edmonton ACTRA President and as ACTRA National Councillor. Sonia was the last official Klondike Kate (Edmonton Ambassador) for the Edmonton Klondike Days Association.
After 20 years, Sonia was looking for a new and rewarding career. She assisted former MLA for Edmonton Manning, Dan Backs on his campaign in 2008. Dan also happened to be a former Executive Board member for Local 955 and he suggested that she look into becoming an operating engineer. That piqued Sonia’s interest immediately.
Sonia got her first job in Fort Hills as a packer and joined Local 955 in 2008. She furthered her training at the IUOE Training site and has been hooked on operating ever since. She has run zoom booms, skid steers, rock trucks, overhead cranes, dozers, hoes and tractors.
“It’s been excellent. I have some financial security and I just love being an operator. I never get bored of it,” says Sonia.
Since joining Local 955 Sonia has considered running for the Executive Board several times.
“I really want to see some positive changes for our members. Our economy is down right now, but somehow we need to get our members out working. We need to make some progressive changes,” says Sonia.
Sonia is also very passionate about working on issues that women face as operators and encouraging more women to become operating engineers.
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