Monique Lortitch: woman with head and arms
Monique Lortitch was elected on August 26 at the head of the Union of blue collar workers of Sherbrooke.
Share September 13, 2020 Updated on September 18, 2020 at 10:55 am Share Monique Lortitch: woman of head and arms
Sabrina Lavoie La Tribune For the first time in its history, the Sherbrooke Blue Collar Union will be headed by a woman, Monique Lortitch. After having done paving, concrete, snow removal, peat moss and housekeeping, she says she is ready to take up the challenge.
“Things have evolved well,” remarks the one who has worked for the City of Sherbrooke for 13 years. “At the time, we were two women out of about fifty road workers. Today, out of a total of around 500 blue-collar workers, there must be 100 women, ”says Lortitch.
Although we are still far from achieving gender parity in this employment sector, the new president sees her appointment as a great proof of confidence and openness on the part of her colleagues.
“From the vote, without naming the figures, we see that there is a real change in mentalities. However, there is still work to be done, ”says the one who has just turned 53.
“A few years ago, when I was part of a team of men, my immediate supervisor told the site foreman that a woman, 'it slows down the work in the field'. It got me completely off my hinges, ”says Ms. Lortitch, who says she is very active and keeps in shape every day.
She adds that this event particularly marked her since the man in question had a wife and a young daughter. “We are a long way from the older generation where men worked crazy hours while women stayed at home to raise children. It's not that anymore, ”laments the one who was happy to put the individual in his place.
“I also have a daughter and a granddaughter and it is for them that I defend the place of women in society. I have always been a go-getter and a little out of the ordinary. If I can open doors for them for the future, I will definitely move forward, ”she says.
A different approach
Although the emphasis is on the fact that she is the first woman to obtain the title of president of the Union des cols bleue de Sherbrooke, Ms. Lortitch recalls having experience in the union environment.
“I don't get there by chance. I was already seated around the negotiating table, she says. We have a great team and even though I know it won't be easy to represent 500 people from disparate sectors and who, in addition, are not all in the same building, I have great confidence. “
Moreover, the meetings concerning the collective agreement which expired since December should resume towards the end of September. “Women bring other ideas and have other ways of looking at things. I want to focus on a different, more human-oriented approach. I'm not saying we'll always be in agreement, but it will definitely be interesting, ”says Lortitch.
“The barriers, we put them up. There is nothing easy, but everything is possible, ”she concludes.