Belinda Blanchard’s Retirement
We recently celebrated the outstanding career of our longtime Business Representative, Belinda Blanchard. In mid-November she retired after 22 years of representing our members at Operating Engineers of Manitoba Local 987. Belinda herself has been a long-standing member with the union since 1987.
She started her career at Misericordia Hospital in 1971 working as a dietary aid. Then quickly worked her way up through the hospital and worked in HR Occupational Health. She then moved on to become a Pharmacy Clerk, before being promoted to Pharmacy Technician having now obtained her certificate.
While working at Misericordia Hospital as a Pharmacy Technician, she became the Chief Shop Steward in 1987 and that same year joined the Operating Engineers Local 827 Executive Board.
In 1997 Belinda changed her career path and was employed as the 1st female Business Representative with Operating Engineers Local 827.
Belinda has a very impressive resume with the Operating Engineers union that she should be extremely proud of. She broke a lot of molds and shined bright in a mostly male dominated industry, paving the way for future female labour representatives. She became the 1st female President of Operating Engineers Local 827 in 1996 and served as President and Financial Secretary that year until Local 827 and Local 901 amalgamated and formed into the now Local 987.
She then went on to become the 1st female Vice President of newly formed Operating Engineers Local 987 from 1999 – 2009. After that was named the 1st female President from 2009 until her retirement this year after a decade in that position.
Never one to stay idle she held many positions outside of OE987. She was the Vice President for Operating Engineers Canadian Conference, Chairperson for Operating Engineers 987D Training & Education Fund for over 10 years, Trustee for the Operating Engineers Health & Welfare and Pension Committee for 4 years and sat on the board of the Manitoba Council of Healthcare Union for over 10 years.
As a business representative, Belinda was highly respected by all her colleagues and the members she represented. She genuinely cared for each and everyone one of them in a good-natured and compassionate manner no matter what the situation was.
Belinda will be greatly missed by everyone, but I know she will enjoy her time with her family and grandchildren.
Congratulations on your well-deserved retirement, Belinda!