Parting Words: Ruth Fane Retires as KDLC President

January, 2007

 by Peter Kerek

 After two uncontested runs as President of the Kamloops and District Labour Council, Ruth Fane (formerly Ruth McDermid) did not seek re-election in the recent bi-annual election.

 “I’m now retired, so I can’t be President,” says Fane. “It’s that simple.”

 Ruth Fane became the first female President of the KDLC since its inception in 1956. Fane was President of her own local with the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) for over twenty years.

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2006: Worth Forgetting – a view on labour with CUPE 3500 President John Hall

January, 2007

 By Peter Kerek

Compared to 2005 when the province barely missed a general strike, Telus workers suffered a lengthy lock-out, and teachers hit the picket lines, 2006 was a much calmer year for labour and employers.

 Numerous public sector contracts were renewed without any job action. They typically had small wage increases and a healthy signing bonus which was equal to roughly 5 – 10 per-cent of their annual income. However, labour peace does not necessarily mean that labour made great strides towards achieving the traditional goals of overall lifestyle improvements for the entire working class.

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Lest We Forget: The Mac-Paps, 1936-39

November, 2006

by Peter Kerek

Although it is known that at least 1448 Canadians volunteered for and fought in the Spanish Civil War, the Canadian government continues to deny any veterans’ rights or acknowledgement of these soldiers’ efforts to defend the democratically elected Spanish government of 1936.

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Manitoba Leads Way in Ethical Purchasing

September, 2006

By Peter Kerek

Winnipeg–Manitoba will be the first province to become “sweat-free”. The policy is expected to come into effect this fall after a legislative vote.

“In any purchases the province makes, we will try to ensure they are not produced by sweatshop labour,” said Tracey Danowski, Assistant Deputy Minister in the Department of Transportation.

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Who Matters Most in Trade Agreements

September, 2006

 By Peter Kerek, Editor

 I can’t possibly be the only person baffled by the recent lumber agreement discussions between the United States and Canada, or, rather, the Canadian government and American industries.

When Trade Minister David Emerson announced that he would be seeking approval from the majority of lumber businesses before agreeing to the proposed settlement, this should have rung alarm bells of the highest altitude as an indication about who’s really important to this government. Read More →

Bill Ferguson: A Friend of the Workers

July, 2006

 By Peter Kerek

 There’s no doubt Bill Ferguson is a friend of the workers.  From his early years working in logging camps where he received much of his philosophical education, to his current work on the Employment Insurance Board of Referees, there has never been any question as to where his allegiances lay.

 In fall of 2005, Ferguson was one of two recipients of honorary lifetime memberships to the Kamloops and District Labour Council (KDLC). Ferguson has been a member of the council since 1959.

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“Retire? Never” – Jack Kerssens, Honourary Lifetime Member of the KDLC

May 2006

By Peter Kerek

Awards, plaques and certificates blanket the north wall of Jack Kerssens home office. After decades of exemplary service and commitment to community groups and the labour movement, it’s little wonder that Kerssens would be running out of empty wall space.

Kerssens came to Canada as a young man in 1952 to seek the riches that so many said were all over Canada.

Starting off as a logger Kerssens saw first hand the dangers and poor working conditions of Canadians in general.

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The Last Word: Avoiding the Filter and Becoming the Media

March, 2006

By Peter Kerek

You might have noticed something that makes The Interior Worker a little different than most other publications. There’s no advertising. There may be some down the road, but, unlike 99% of community papers, the IW doesn’t need advertising to keep publishing, nor will it ever be dependent on or influenced by it.

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