TORONTO - I am very happy to report that my good friend Ken Georgetti has today been acclaimed for another three-year term as president of the Canadian Labour Congress.
Pictured from left: Jim Sinclair, BC Federation of Labour president, Cindy Oliver, Federation of Post Secondary Educators president, Ken Georgetti, Cindy's husband and CLC president and Bill Tieleman.
Georgetti becomes the longest-serving CLC president in the organization's 52 year history with this new term, his fourth since first being elected in 1999.
Ken began his career in the labour movement as the president of the Steelworkers local in Trail, British Columbia, representing workers at the giant Cominco smelter.
I worked with Ken for six years as his communications director and assistant at the BC Federation of Labour – where he served as President from 1986 to 1999.
As BC Fed President, Ken led the fight against anti-union labour laws introduced by the right-wing provincial government, including shutting down the province in a one-day general strike and boycotting those unfair laws for 5 years until they were overturned by the New Democratic Party government of Mike Harcourt that was elected in 1991.
Georgetti is probably the only labour leader in Canada in recent history to be charged with seditious treason – for allegedly trying to overthrow the Social Credit government!
As CLC president, Ken has enjoyed many successes in Ottawa, including winning federal bankruptcy protection for workers, better health and safety regulations, successful political action, strong campaigns for women's equality and a bigger, stronger Canadian Labour Congress – a congress where there are more workers from more occupations than ever before.
Congratulations to Ken and to the other CLC executives who were also acclaimed - Secretary-Treasurer Hassan Yusseff and Vice-Presidents Barb Byers and Marie Clarke Walker.