Carol McGregor CLC Disability Rights Award
To: Members of Canadian Council
On the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) recognizes Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) activist, Marion Pollack.
December 3 is the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, which aims to promote awareness and mobilize support for disability rights issues. On this day, the CLC recognizes a union member for their disability rights activism.
The Carol McGregor CLC Disability Rights Award is named after an outstanding disability rights activist who passed away in 2006. The CLC is pleased to recognize Marion Pollack as this year’s recipient.
Marion is an inspiring leader in our labour movement, who held positions at the local, regional and national level in the Canadian Union of Postal Workers. A steadfast trade unionist and feminist, she has dedicated her life to tirelessly advocating for the rights of people with disabilities in British Columbia and across Canada.
Marion’s advocacy efforts have spanned many workplaces, from her work in a psychiatric hospital where she witnessed the abuse people with disabilities face firsthand, to her work as an active union member at Canada Post, where she introduced a buddy system to improve fire drills and evacuation safety for Deaf persons.
As a trade unionist, Marion was also passionate about educating her fellow coworkers and the workers she represented on the duty to accommodate legislation in BC. She worked hard every day to ensure the rights of workers with disabilities were respected in all workplaces. She also worked tirelessly to educate those around her about the importance of challenging and unlearning ableist language, in order to build a labour movement and communities that were inclusive of all abilities.
Today, Marion is a retiree member of CUPW, but her activism has continued well into her retirement. Most recently, she has been known for her leadership in advancing the rights of seniors with disabilities. This has included efforts such as launching a successful campaign that ensured Translink users did not always have to tap their Compass cards in order to access public transportation, ensuring more access for those with limited mobility.
As a lifetime champion for disability rights and inclusion of people with disabilities in her union and across many workplaces and communities, Marion perfectly embodies the spirit of this award.
In the words of her nominator, Colleen Jones, Director of CUPW’s Pacific Region, “I cannot think of a more deserving person for this award, as she has dedicated her life to the struggles of persons with disabilities and educating society as a whole on these issues.”
Congratulations to Marion and thank you for your leadership and activism for disability rights and inclusion.