Endorsing Jim Sinclair and Irene Lanzinger to lead the BC Federation of Labour
The November Constitutional Convention of the BC Federation of Labour (BCFL) is next week. This year’s convention and the choices the convention delegates will be asked to make are critical.
The convention will certainly include active debate on a range of policy issues, discussions on an action plan that will guide the federation's work over the next two years, and include the launch of the labour movement's political action campaign leading to the May 2013 provincial election. More now than ever affiliates need to leave the convention united and organized. Our success as a movement depends on it.
This year’s convention also includes an important vote on the positions of President and Secretary Treasurer. Our union has considered the choices and has made a commitment to support Jim Sinclair for President and Irene Lanzinger for Secretary Treasurer. Both are incumbent candidates and both have demonstrated strong and effective leadership during their time at the federation.
Our union is supporting Jim and Irene because they articulate a vision for our movement that reflects the values around which unions have built solidarity and strength. Although some might argue that the job of the BCFL is to advance the priorities of union members, both Jim and Irene recognize that approach is far too narrow.
The job of the labour movement is to advance the interests of ALL working people. Sometimes that means supporting unions at the bargaining table, as Jim and Irene have done for the last year and a half with their coordinated approach to provincial public sector bargaining. Sometimes that approach means fighting for an increase in the minimum wage, a fight that has taken almost a decade to win. It’s a fight that sends a strong message to workers—union or not—that raising the minimum wage is good for everyone, especially BC’s lowest paid workers.
The federation, under the leadership of Sinclair and Lanzinger, has also taken a strong stand on workplace health and safety, a stand that has not only strengthened the capacity of workplace health and safety committees in organized workplaces, but has also helped protect the lives and safety of non-union workers. Whether it was the federation’s leadership in highlighting the appalling conditions that farmworkers face in our province or the leadership the federation showed in mobilizing public concern over the tragic death of Grant De Patie, every worker in this province has benefited from their leadership.
J. S. Woodworth once said “what we desire for ourselves, we wish for all”. It’s a quote that has been a guiding principle for the labour movement in BC. It’s a principle that Jim and Irene have put into action in countless ways during their time at the federation. And it’s a principle behind our union’s support for their re-election on November 29.
I encourage you to find out more about Jim and Irene. Check out their website and support their campaign.