For as long as Bruno Turbide can remember, Rio Tinto (Alcan) has always been a part of his life. From a “typical Arvida family,” as he likes to say, Bruno grew up hearing stories from his grandfather, father, and uncles—all employees of Vaudreuil Works. He is now retired after 33 years of service. He joined Vaudreuil Works as a pipefitter in his early twenties. Unexpectedly, this led him to work as a social worker a few years later—a role that allowed him to pursue a career that fulfilled his purpose.
How would you summarize your time at Rio?
My career path was unusual. I took a plumbing course, I was a pipefitter for fifteen years, and then I became a prevention representative. One thing led to another, and I had the opportunity to take night classes at a university to obtain two certificates—one in intervention and another in substance abuse—and to start a third in youth intervention. Without even realizing it, I was paving the way towards becoming a social worker. Helping others allowed me to learn more about who I am as a person. Everything I learned has helped me on a personal level and in my own relationships. I believe that this is one of the great privileges of my career—my job has made me a better person.
How would you describe your role as a social worker?
I have helped many people in different jobs, unionised or not, and in various facilities. I have always believed that my duty was first and foremost to people. I learned how to be welcoming and how to communicate with others. I was sensitive to what was happening around me, and I knew when my colleagues were going through tough times. I listened. They knew that they could call me at any time, and that I would always be available for anyone who needed it. People knew that I was there for them. I know from experience that just being there can help those who are suffering. I am very happy that my role as a social worker will be filled by someone new, who will be able to bring their unique perspective to the job, just as I did over the years.
How do you feel when you think about all the help that you were able to give throughout your career?
I worked hard, but I feel that I got back more than what I gave. Before, I was working because of my background, not out of righteousness. At some point, I stopped following the crowd and changed my habits to a healthier lifestyle. I did a lot of interventions, testimonials, talks and awareness activities. I helped choose caregivers. I spoke about my personal experience, and I used myself as an example. I think that this made people trust me. I touched on sensitive topics like suicide and mental health, and I talked about the importance of reaching out for help.
Network of caregivers: There for you at all times
The network of caregivers is made up of a volunteer group of hourly and staff employees who get involved to support colleagues going through tough times.
Caregivers are committed to the well-being of others and are attentive to those who show signs of distress. When needed, caregivers are trained to provide immediate assistance and guide colleagues in need to available resources. They encourage asking for help and create awareness around mental health.