Irene Lanzinger Re-elected as Head of BC Federation of Labour

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The BC Federation of Labour re-elected its president Irene Lanzinger and secretary-treasurer Aaron Ekman at its convention in Vancouver on Thursday.

The BCFED represents more than 500,000 union workers across the province.

Lanzinger told the convention that the job of president isn’t always easy, keeping union groups together and accommodating different perspectives and practices.

“But we share this deep commitment to working people, to making life better for everyday people in British Columbia and we share a deep commitment to workers’ rights and social justice,” Lanzinger said. “I’m so proud to be a leader of this group.”

Lanzinger was first elected to lead the BCFED in November 2014, becoming the federation’s first female president. She has previously served as the federation’s secretary-treasurer.

Lanzinger previously worked as a secondary school teacher and vice-president of the BC Teachers’ Federation.

She told the convention that as a teacher she thought the BCTF was the only union with a strong stance on social justice, but has since learned otherwise.

“Every union in this province is a social justice union in its own way,” she said, adding that the BCFED is among the most progressive labour movements in the country.

The BCFED’s secretary-treasurer Aaron Ekman was re-elected without contest. The executive council and trustees were elected by acclamation.

Lanzinger and the BCFED are leading a political action campaign ahead of the provincial election slated for May 2017. The federation announced its campaign to oust the BC Liberals on Thursday, throwing its support behind the NDP.

The federation’s convention ends Friday.

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