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October 19, 2010

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B.C. loses much-loved health & safety activist

RICHMOND—It is with great sadness that CUPE BC has learned of the death on Sunday night of CUPE 716 (Richmond Schools) member Reynold Sokolik.

Sokolik, a respected activist and long-time member of CUPE BC’s Occupational Health and Safety committee, was suffering from cancer and died after a brief hospitalization.

“Reynold was a great trade unionist, health and safety activist, and a friend who will be missed by all who knew him,” said CUPE BC secretary-treasurer Mark Hancock, whose Facebook page was filled with tributes to the popular activist.

CUPE 716 president June Kaiser said that Sokolik would be dearly missed by his brothers and sisters in the local. “The outpouring of love [on Facebook] is equaled by the love shown here in Richmond,” she said.

OH&S committee member Marlene Kantz of CUPE 608 described him as a “great activist” who “fought hard for his members, was a very active member of the committee, [and was] a friend and brother.”

David George Shapiro, president of CUPE 394 (Richmond Civic Outside Workers), described Sokolik as “a hell of a unionist—a gentle and kind man that I enjoyed working with the few times Local 716 and 394 needed to work together.”

CUPE National representative Cheryl Colborne praised Sokolik for his work on the CUPE BC Resolutions committee, on which he served for several division conventions. “His contribution, presence, attitude and sense of humour made this so much more enjoyable and productive,” she said.

There will be a memorial service for Reynold Sokolik on Monday, October 25th at 2:00pm at the Valley View Funeral Home in Surrey (14660 72nd Ave).

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