OTTAWA (March 8, 2021) – The International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) expresses its congratulations to the appointment of IUOE International Representative Lorna Harnum to the Government of Canada’s Women in the Economy task force.

The Women in the Economy task force will work in close collaboration with government officials to provide advice and to help develop an Action Plan to promote the interests of women in the economy, and to ensure that as Canada recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, women are at the forefront of those recovery efforts. The Action Plan will be guided by experts whose diverse voices will power a whole-of- government and intersectional feminist approach to the issue.

“We are very pleased, but not surprised, that Lorna Harnum would be tapped for such an important government task force,” said James T. Callahan, General President of the International Union of Operating Engineers. “She will bring the same passion and clear-eyed professionalism that has been the hallmark of her career as an Operating Engineer. We congratulate Lorna and the task force co-chairs for making such an astute appointment.”

Lorna Harnum’s expertise in the skilled trades, and her background in workplace and training development will be invaluable to the task force. With twenty-seven years of experience working in the labour movement, and twenty-three years in adult education union training, Lorna has a proven track record as a strong advocate for women working in the trades. She has assisted many female apprentices through the apprenticeship system and given guidance as they progressed to journey-person certification.

In 2017, Lorna was selected to be the IUOE’s first female International Representative, and she was recently appointed the Chair of Newfoundland and Labrador’s Provincial Apprenticeship and Certification Board.

“Lorna is dedicated and driven to ensure that the needs and wants of Canadian tradespeople and apprentices are addressed and put into action,” said Lionel Railton, IUOE Canadian Regional Director. “We look forward to the good work that she will do representing the IUOE and Canadian tradespeople on the task force. Once again, congratulations!”

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