Miranda Spencer & Paulette Benoit

Miranda Spencer & Paulette Benoit
Canadian Nuclear Laboratories, Radiation Surveyor and Inventory Officer
Hometown: Chalk River, Ontario, Canada
Local Number 1568 & 4096, USW District # 6
Years as USW Member: 9

What is unusual about your hometown, place of work or job?

M: My job is in a field that not many people know about. A lot of people are curious about it and often ask me questions. 

P: My place of work is Canada’s leading science and technology laboratory. It is home to the National Research Universal Reactor that has served our country’s needs of medical isotopes for almost 70 years.

What does this year’s theme, “Everybody’s Union,” mean to you?

M: To me, it means that we are not only accepting of workers from different industries, but we are accepting of every human being no matter the ethnicity/race, age, ability/disability, etc.

P: That our union is so diverse. 

What issues will be important when your Local’s contract expires?

M: Inflation, health and safety after the pandemic.

P: Inflation, protecting current pension. 

What’s your go-to dance move?

M: Point in the air

P: Chalk River shuffle – one must visit Chalk River to find out this move!

Every leader has a good tune to walk out to when introduced. What’s your walk-up song? 

M:  Rise Up – Andra Day

P: Everybody Dance Now by C+C Music Factory

Who would you most like to have dinner with, and why:

M: Jack Layton because when I started first learning about politics and getting involved in my union, I was inspired by his leadership.

P: Leo Gerard because his passion and drive was something that I had never experienced or heard of before in the labour movement. He is an inspiration to me. The first time I heard him speak, I could have listened to him speak about his experiences all day.

What things have you done or hope to do while you’re here? 

M: Continue networking and meeting new people. Enjoying the atmosphere.

P: Meet new people, bring back some new ideas.

Have you yet decided how you will put the convention to work when you return home?

M: I would like to run off the spirit of the convention. We just came out of a dark and trying time for ourselves and our members. But coming here, you get the boost from other Steelworkers to keep fighting. I want to bring the energy from the convention back to my local union and keep our executive, stewards and members motivated. 

P: I’d like to take back new, fresh ideas to promote unionism with young workers. I’d also like to get back to the community so they are reminded that Steelworkers make great neighbours. We are one of about a dozen unions in our workplace but we are the most well-known because of the community work we’ve done.

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