About Us

The Worker Solidarity Network, formerly known as the Retail Action Network, consists of non-unionized and precarious workers across B.C. that advocate for our rights and interests as workers while taking collective action to improve labour standards for all.

In 2015, a small group of retail and restaurant workers in Victoria, B.C.  joined together to discuss the common trends and experiences they endured in their sectors of work. Upon further research and conversation, and by recognizing the historical power of labour organizing, they began to act together in the spirit of mutual aid, solidarity, and direct action.

The WSN now consists of workers throughout the province that share an invested interest in the well-being of precarious employees that struggle under capitalism. The WSN effectively organizes to: distribute accessible know-your-rights education, close the gap in effective labour rights enforcement, support and empower individuals with complaints, and to campaign for long term improvements.

Through collective action, we are excited and confident about the future of the worker solidarity movement in B.C.

Staff

Executive Director

Kaitlyn Matulewicz

  • Can research circles around bosses
  • Will talk tips for days
  • Watering plants is her favourite way to start the day

Kaitlyn comes to this work with seven years of experience working in restaurants. After getting tired of restaurant managers telling her to dress “classy provocative” or “sexy business casual” on the job (yes, those were their actual words), Kaitlyn joined Retail Action Network and a community of workers fighting for fair and decent working conditions.

Now her work at the Worker Solidarity Network includes ensuring staff and members have the tools needed to take action, developing workers rights education programming, and using her research skills to push for changes that make a difference.

Contact Kaitlyn at kaitlyn@workersolidarity.ca

Coordinator

Pamela Charron

  • Badass worker advocate
  • Fabulous denim
  • Walk the Walk
  • Feminism is my prizm 

Shaking drinks by night and shaking the system by day, Pamela has been a part of the restaurant industry for over a decade and working with WSN for two years.  Having worked in restaurants, she realized that workers often face unfair conditions, from the lack of sexual harassment policies, overtime pay, living wage, tip protections and many others.

Pamela joined WSN because this was something to fight for.  Pamela is a coordinator of the Solidarity Stewards Program and Campaign organizer. In these roles she ensures that workers find justice in the workplace and works on campaigns that show the world the power of collective worker action.

Solidarity Steward

Andreea Micu

  • The best voice-overs
  • Dancing queen
  • Will tell you all the laws your boss is breaking

Andreea has worked in retail for over ten years and is familiar with many of the challenges retail workers face. Empowering workers to stand up for themselves and their rights sparks joy for her.

As a Solidarity Steward, Andreea lets workers know their options in whatever situation they’re facing at work, and has their back throughout the process that follows.

Communications & Digital Coordinator, Solidarity Steward 

Anna Gerrard

  • Big eyes to see through corporate lies
  • “I’ve met all my friends in unfair weather.” 
  • Worships at the altar of unsung heroes and under-estimated women. 

Anna didn’t anticipate her involvement in the workers rights movement but became increasingly aware of its importance through personal experience, by learning about local labour history, and in witnessing the inexcusable exploitation of workers. She has come to recognize that it is commonplace in B.C. for people to be sick and exhausted from their job, but yet scarcely able to afford the basic costs of living, all for a system they didn’t sign up for.

Anna dedicates her time to supporting workers across the province by winning back missing wages and deciphering worker’s rights protections in their interest. She plants seeds for revolution through mutual aid and creative tactics, and can be found clicking laptop keys in a rage over one injustice or another, in standard millennial-fashion.

Contact Anna at comms@workersolidarity.ca 

Fundraising & Community Relations

Michael Fraser

  • Grant writing wizard and labour organizer
  • Thinks mutual aid is the key to just labour futures
  • Committed tea drinker
  • Worked in the restaurant industry for 10+ years. Knows the ins and outs of this sector in crisis.