Dayle Steadman is the president of Unifor local 1106, based in Kitchener-Waterloo, representing more than 4000 members in health care and manufacturing. Dayle is stepping up to provide rank-and-file leadership in Ontario as Unifor’s next Ontario Regional Director.
Dayle started at Ventra Plastics in the auto parts sector in 1989. She became a steward in 1995 after many years of supporting women coworkers who had English as their second language. She was their voice when they had concerns and felt intimidated by the employer. She then became part of the bargaining committee in 1997 and during that period was also a community-based organizer and worked on many organizing campaigns. Dayle was elected chairperson for Ventra in 2009 and became a trustee for Local 1524 in 2010.
In 2014 she was elected financial secretary for Local 1524 and elected President in 2016 representing auto parts, manufacturing, armoured trucks, waste transportation, dealerships and insurance. In 2016, Dayle was an instrumental part of the merger agreement between Local 1524 and Local 1106.
After the merger, she became a top officer of Local 1106, continuing to represent the service and manufacturing units, and soon took on healthcare units as part of her assignment. After the sudden passing of Local 1106 President Bill McLachlan in 2018, Dayle alongside Ruth Pryce split his assignments until the elections in 2019 where Dayle was acclaimed vice-president.
As vice-president, Dayle took on a larger portion of the healthcare units with various services including not-for-profit and for-profit long-term care homes, retirement homes, hospitals and community Mental Health and addictions services.
Earlier this year, Dayle was acclaimed president of Local 1106.
Dayle has been out supporting members from the early days of her union involvement to today. She is a known presence on local picket lines, has participated in lobby efforts at all levels of government, and often campaigned for progressive candidates in federal and provincial elections. She has always stepped up to give her full support at community rallies and marches, when called upon by members in workplaces, or by the local or national union.
Dayle was born on Newfoundland’s west coast and moved to Ontario with her parents when she was 2. Like many Newfoundlanders, they came west to find work.
She continues to support her mother Venita’s claim for status with Qalipu First Nation. Her mother passed away in 2019, but the fight for her status continues today. Many continue to fight for recognition as members of the Mi’kmaq First Nation, established in 2011 as an Indigenous Band under the Indian Act. Dayle’s uncle, her mother’s brother, was accepted, while her mother was not. This continues to be a common, unfair and discriminatory set of rules applied to Aboriginal and Indigenous women - some of whom married outside their First Nation.
The fight to have the Qalipu First Nation recognized took decades. In Newfoundland and Labrador, the Mi’kmaq were excluded from recognition as status Indians through the province’s Terms of Union with Canada in 1949. Newfoundland is part of the traditional Mi’kmaq Nation whose territory extends from Quebec through the Maritime Provinces and into Newfoundland.
Dayle has been married to her husband Brad for 32 years. They have 2 children: Bradley and Brittany. As of July 18th, her whole family will be Unifor Local 1106 members! Her son is in his final year as an electrical apprentice at Ventra plastics, her daughter has just accepted a position at Grand River Hospital, and her husband is a maintenance technician at Sunnyside Long term care.
Dayle hopes to put her experience as local union president to the benefit of all members in Ontario. She supports the vision put forward by Lana Payne and Len Poirier. She is proud to join the Forward Together team and respectfully asks for the support of Unifor members at our upcoming Convention in August.