Here are a few photos from recent PSAC BC events …

The 2009/10 Union Development Program – a sixteen-day intensive education program, taken in three weeklong parts – wrapped up in May. Twenty-three PSAC activists from around the province graduated: ready, willing and able to assume leadership roles in the union and in the broader labour and social justice movements. Several of the participants attended the 2010 Day of Mourning event in Vancouver, and we have some photos of that as well.

PSAC members, including REVP Kay Sinclair, also attended the recent pension consultation in Richmond, sponsored by the Ministry of Finance, and called on the government to ensure all Canadians have access to a good pension.

Last but not least, cheers to Darrell-Lee MacKenzie, President of the Okanagan Area Council, for this report and photos from the May Day celebrations in Pentiction.

May Day Celebrations in the South Okanagan

Members of the PSAC Okanagan Area Council and Regional Women’s Committee participated in May Day celebrations in Penticton organized by the South Okanagan Boundary Labour Council. This was the first May Day event in many years for the South Okanagan and was held to show solidarity with International Workers as well as our own CUPE 608 workers who have been laid-off from their jobs at the Penticton Community Rec Centre during building renovations and whose jobs are being threatened with privatization by Penticton City Council.

Despite the cool and slightly wet weather there was a steady stream of people stopping to visit the booths, sign petitions, partake of the kids’ activities, listen to the speeches or simply enjoy the various musical performances. PSAC members were kept busy assisting kids and adults alike to create their very own unique buttons or try their hand at origami at the PSAC kids craft booth.

For members Maria-Luiza and Ruy Romano who emigrated to Canada from Brazil, this was a reminder of celebrations back home. There, as in most parts of the World, International Labour Day is celebrated on May 1st, to pay homage to the general strike that started in Chicago in May 1st, 1886, in which thousands of workers went out to the streets to protest against the inhumane working conditions imposed on them. In Brazil it was first celebrated in 1895. In 1925 it was instituted as national holiday. Since then, the date is celebrated all over the country and involves a speech from the President to the Nation, parades, public events and shows, with the massive participation of the citizens. Traditionally, minimum wage increases and labour reforms were enacted May 1st.

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