Advocate for Alberta meat plant workers wins award

Faduma Ahmed is a labour relations officer in Calgary and is 1 of 8 women receiving the Women Who Inspire Award.

The Canadian Council of Muslim Women recently announced the winners of their 2023 Women Who Inspire Awards, and an Alberta worker was named as one of the recipients.

Faduma Ahmed will join 7 other Muslim women on 5 November 2023 in Toronto to receive her Women Who Inspire Award.

The Canadian Council of Muslim Women is a national organization dedicated to the empowerment, equality, and equity of all Muslim women in Canada.

Support independent journalism

Currently living in Calgary, Ahmed immigrated to Canada in the 2000s, originally starting her Canadian labour journey at the Lakeside Packers (now JBS) beef plant in Brooks, where she and her coworkers were represented by Local 401 of the United Food and Commercial Workers.

Not long after, she began working with Local 401 as an administrative assistant. This is also around the time she channeled her past experience as an anti-apartheid activist in South Africa to begin advocating for workers at the meat plant, as well as those employed at the Safeway grocery store in Brooks.

Local 401 recognized Ahmed’s dedication to social justice early on and wanted to do what they can to take advantage of her skills and talent, as well as help her to excel in this area.

“I have a clear memory of being deeply moved by Faduma’s passion and talent when I first met her in Brooks,” said UFCW Local 401 President Thomas Hesse. “Our previous president, Douglas O’Halloran, asked me to advance a plan paving the way for Faduma to move to a role of heightened responsibility at our local union.”

In 2018, Local 401 promoted Ahmed to labour relations officer, and her passion for community engagement and activism continued to grow. She even helped on a political campaign during the 2021 municipal election in Brooks, which saw the election of Brooks’ first ever Black city councillor.

She now represents workers the Cargill meat plant in High River.

Support independent journalism

By Kim Siever

Kim Siever is an independent queer journalist based in Lethbridge, Alberta. He writes daily news articles, focusing on politics and labour.

Comment on this story

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.