Brad Dunlop, a delegate from the Steelworkers' IWA Council, aims to increase the labour council's presence in the community in 2006.
"We must put our best foot forward, step out and take organized labour to the communities that we live and work in," Dunlop told delegates at the labour council's annual general meeting.
"We need to remind business, especially small business, that organized labour is not the enemy. Indeed, we are their friends, clients, and customers with the disposable income that helps make business profitable," he said.
"Furthermore, we live in and contribute to our community's health and welfare year around. We are here to support the entrepreneurs even when the region's seasonal residents have gone elsewhere."
Dunlop, who helped put together the labour council-sponsored all-candidates forum Jan. 17 in Kelowna, also said he wants establish a rapport with local politicians of all stripes.
"We must reach out to all elected representatives, regardless of political affiliation, within the North Okanagan Labour Council boundaries.
"We need make a serious attempt to open meaningful dialogue on all levels of politics in order to bring and keep the issues of concern for organized labour to the forefront."
With that idea in mind, NOLC delegates Wednesday voted to send congratulatory letters to newly elected Conservative MPs Ron Cannan in Kelowna-Lake Country and Colin Mayes in Okanagan-Shuswap.
Dunlop said the labour council needs to get out the message it is a positive force seeking the betterment of the communities it serves while also defending the interests of its 10,000 members in the North and Central Okanagan.
Also elected to the NOLC executive Wednesday were Glenn Nowag, Cheryl Stone and Kris Bothe as vice presidents; Ron Bobowski as secretary treasurer; Pat Bulmer recording secretary; Louis Schwingenschloegl northern (Vernon area) delegate; Karen Abramsen southern (Kelowna area) delegate and Jeff Carsience as sergeant at arms. David Porteous and Pat Munro were elected as trustees.
The NOLC holds general membership meetings monthly, alternating between Kelowna and Vernon. The next meeting is scheduled for March 8, 2006, at 7 p.m. in Vernon's Village Green Hotel.