February 6, 2013
Pritchard takes helm at labour council
The new president of the North Okanagan Labour Council will lead a team with a lot of newcomers in 2013.
Andrew Pritchard, a longtime NOLC executive member, was elected on Wednesday.
He succeeds Carole Gordon, who stepped down to focus on running for the NDP in the upcoming provincial election.
The new NOLC executive is split about evenly between newcomers and returning members. There were more candidates than positions available in Wednesday's elections.
"I'm happy to see so many new members joining the labour council," said Pritchard, a member of the hotel and hospitality workers' union, UNITE HERE, local 40, a 6,600-member provincewide local that represents workers at the Coast Capri Hotel.
Pritchard predicts the new members will bring new ideas to the labour council, but the group will also continue some of the community-minded initiatives begun under Gordon's leadership.
The NOLC is surveying its members to determine priority activities for 2013. NOLC members voted Wednesday to get involved in the United Way's awards program and in a forestry panel session coming to the Coast Capri Tuesday at 6 p.m.
Pritchard said the NOLC represents most local unions, but he will try to get more to join.
Gordon was praised by outgoing executive member Debra Critchley for giving labour a voice in the Okanagan. Gordon urged members to become politically active.
"It's been a reactive 12 years," she said. "We have a chance to get proactive for the next few months and for the next 12 years.
Other executive members are Nikki Inouye, Sandy Thon, Ronn Dunn, Ron Bobowski, Cheryl Stone, Wynn Hartfelder, Lennie Dolinski, Helen Repole and Laureen Freayh.
The next NOLC meeting is 7 p.m., March 6 at 1091 Gordon Dr. Pritchard said the meetings are a good place for union representatives to exchange ideas.