Windsor and Essex County’s labour community gathered tonight to recognize some of their own at the 3rd annual Gary L. Parent Labour Activist Awards.

"These are the people that are behind the scenes, more or less, they're the army of unsung heroes, that are being recognized here tonight,” said Gary Parent. “I think it's so appropriate, and I'm happy that I'm here to join in their celebration."

The reception is hosted by the Windsor and District Labour Council and is named for one of Windsor's most prominent union activists. Parent retired from CAW local 444 (now Unifor) in 2009.

Mr. Parent was in attendance Monday night to congratulate award winners for their contributions to the environment, health and safety, human rights and social justice, as well as numerous other categories.

Award winners were also thanked for the countless hours they spend away from their families, in the name of activism.

Christine Maclin of Unifor local 195 and also the newly appointed Director of Human Rights for Unifor Canada, says human rights touches all parts of our lives -- even her own.

"My family's been very, very supportive because this work has taken me away from home, and they've continued to realize that at the end of the day, it's about evoking the change we really need in this world," said Maclin.

Here is a list of the award winners:

Richard Coronado - Unifor 444: Environment
Maureen Curtis - United Way: Community Partner
Mike Kisch - Unifor 2458: Clifton Grant Health & Safety
Christine Maclin - Unifor 195: Human Rights
Michelle Johnson - CUPW 630: Political Action
Rian Fortier - Greater Essex ETFO: Public Education Advocacy
Shelley Smith - Unifor 2458: Public Services
Catherine Owen - CUPW 630: Social Justice
Darlene Jacobs - Unifor 2458: Women's
Tracie Edward - ETFO: OCHOW Rolly Marentette Health and Safety Award