VANCOUVER—Amber Hockin, a longtime activist with the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) and currently the Pacific Region Director of the Canadian Labour Congress, and Aaron Ekman, from the BCGEU and past President of the North Central Labour Council, today launched their campaign for President and Secretary-Treasurer of the BC Federation of Labour. The Federation’s 56th Convention will be held in Vancouver November 24-28.
“The challenges facing our movement are daunting, but I am optimistic about the future of the labour movement in BC,” said Hockin. “My entire career has been about bringing people together and building consensus, and I believe we can do that by working strategically and cooperatively within the Federation.
“Working people in BC—union and non-union—face a hostile right-wing provincial government for at least another three years, and I believe the BC Fed can be a more effective voice for those left behind by the BC Liberals, and a more credible source of progressive policy and legislation.”
Hockin and Ekman both thanked outgoing President Jim Sinclair for his many years of service and contributions to the labour movement. Sinclair announced last week that he would not be seeking re-election.
A wide range of unions have already endorsed Hockin and Ekman: the BC Government and Service Employees’ Union, the Canadian Office and Professional Employees (COPE 378), the Canadian Union of Public Employees BC Division (CUPE BC), the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Provincial Council, and the International Aerospace Machinists and Allied Workers (IAMAW 250). Additional endorsements will be announced in the coming days.
Prior to her time at the CLC Hockin was vice president, and then president of her CUPE airline division Local, and was CUPE’s airline division’s lobbyist in Ottawa from 1992-1994. She has also served as president of her staff union local.
In addition to serving as founding president of the North Central Labour Council, representing more than 12,000 union members across northern BC, Ekman previously served as the first Chair of the Vancouver & District Labour Council’s Young Workers’ Committee. He currently is the Northern Regional Coordinator with the BC Government and Service Employees’ Union, and previously worked as a union organizer.
“I am honoured to put my name forward with Amber for this important position,” said Ekman. “The labour movement in BC has improved the lives of countless working people, and I know that we can do more by working more effectively to represent the interests and issues of affiliate unions and their members.”
Hockin and Ekman have been talking about their priorities and agenda with union members across the province. “Almost everyone I’ve talked to is very excited and receptive to our campaign,” said Hockin. “Our vision of a more unified, effective and progressive BC Federation of Labour is resonating across the province.”
For more information, including downloadable hi-resolution photos of Hockin and Ekman, please visit www.amberhockin.ca.