VANCOUVER – Kamloops union leader and peace activist Bill Ferguson was honoured this week at the CUPE National Convention in Vancouver. Ferguson received a rousing standing ovation from the 2,500 delegates for his 60+ years of service to the union movement.
Ferguson was a founding member of the Canadian Union of Public Employees back in 1963. He was also a charter member of the Kamloops and District Labour Council in 1956 and remains an executive-member-at-large to this day. CUPE Local 3500 president John Hall called Ferguson “a true friend of the workers – many local presidents still call Bill for advice and strategy in dealing with employers on everything from grievances to bargaining issues.”
Eleven delegates representing three Kamloops locals are in Vancouver at the convention. The Canadian Union of Public Employees is Canada’s largest public sector union, representing 85,000 workers across B.C. and more than 610,000 workers across Canada.
CUPE represents about 2,000 Kamloops area workers in the municipal, school board and university sectors.
The Kamloops CUPE locals have put forward several resolutions at the convention on issues including lobbying government to ensure public access to clean, fresh drinking water. The Kamloops delegates are also pushing for pressure against attempts by the oil and gas industry to lift B.C.’s moratorium on off shore drilling and exploration.