United Steelworkers 1913-1999
Born in Montreal, raised in Toronto, Eileen Tallman Sufrin began work as a teacher before transitioning to office work. She became active in the youth wing of the CCF, and, when the party established a union committee in 1937, she became secretary. By 1941, Sufrin had become a full-time organizer for the Office and Professional Workers Organizing Committee. She organized seven locals of bank workers in Toronto and led a strike of such workers in Montreal that year. By 1943, she had become an organizer for the United Steelworkers, helping to organize the huge John Inglis plant. After spending a few years in Vancouver, Sufrin returned to Toronto in 1947 to spearhead the four-year organizing drive at Toronto’s T. Eaton store into the Department Store Employees Union. The campaign was ultimately unsuccessful. In 1952, Sufrin returned to the Steelworkers where she organized white-collar workers. She later worked for the Saskatchewan and federal governments.