February 10, 2000
Marie Mentz has been elected to her third consecutive term as president of the North Okanagan Labour Council.
Seven members of the NOLC executive were returned to office at the council's annual general meeting in Kelowna on Wednesday.
"I'm pleased to have these executive members back for another year," said Mentz. "We have achieved a lot in the past two years - in providing labour education programs, lobbying for and supporting labour causes, putting the council onto a solid financial footing and in creating a presence on the Internet - to name just a few.
"We will be able to build on our accomplishments of the past few years to play an even more important role in the community."
David Mitchell of the Telecommunications Workers Union and Scott Koch of the BCGEU were re-elected vice-presidents. Pat Bulmer of the Communication, Energy and Paperworkers Union, an executive member for the past two years, also moves into a vice-president's position.
David Doran of Armstrong and Carpenters 1346 returns as secretary-treasurer and Kelowna's Bill Dingman of CUPE as recording secretary.
Judi Filion of the BCGEU is again the sergeant-at-arms while Bob Barten was elected to a three-year term as trustee.
The north (Vernon area) and south (Kelowna area) delegate positions are slated to be filled at the next meeting, March 8 in Vernon.
"We have some candidates in mind, who will bring a wealth of labour experience to the council," said Mentz.
First up on the NOLC's agenda for the new year is the annual spring labour school March 11-12 at the North Kelowna campus of Okanagan University College.
Put on in conjunction with the Canadian Labour Congress and other interior labour councils, the school offers eight courses this year. For more information on the labour school or to obtain a registration form, check out the NOLC's web page at http://sites.netscape.net/okanaganlabour/, call 763-5050, fax 763-5048 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The NOLC will also be planning a campaign for the labour-sponsored Day of Mourning, the annual day of remembrance for workers killed and injured on the job. The Day of Mourning takes place on April 28.
Supporting locked out projectionists at the Kelowna and Vernon Famous Players theatres - and other local workers enduring lockouts and strikes - also continues to be a priority for the council.
"We will continue to support and fight on behalf of workers in the Okanagan and to make the community aware of their struggles," said Mentz.
The labour council also lends its support to unions involved in labour struggles outside the immediate region. On Wednesday, for example, the NOLC made financial donations to striking newspaper workers in Calgary and Castlegar.
Supporting community groups is another role for the council. Again on Wednesday, the NOLC approved donations to the Kelowna and Vernon women's centres to help with their International Women's Day events, slated for March 8.
The NOLC is the umbrella organization for labour unions in the North and Central Okanagan. It holds meetings monthly, open to the public, alternating between Kelowna and Vernon. The next meeting will take place March 8 at 7:30 p.m. at the Village Green Hotel in Vernon.
* Note: Tony Heisterkamp was elected in March as northern delegate and Art Larocque as southern delegate.