Sisters and Brothers:
Many of you may be aware I have accepted the position as the Chief of Staff to IAMAW General Vice President Dave Ritchie in Toronto, replacing the retiring Tommy Lee.
Accordingly, it is, with mixed feelings of anticipation and regret, I announce my leaving District Lodge 250. I am looking forward to many new challenges and opportunities within our great Union, but I leave behind many great friends and allies who have supported me over the past 25 years.
To our officers, staff and membership throughout British Columbia I offer my sincere thanks for your support and solidarity throughout my time with LL692 and DL250. Everything I know about trade unionism and the fight for working families I have learned from you. Each member whom I have had contact with furthered my education and growth as a Business Representative and as your DBR.
As the elected Directing Business Representative of Machinists Union District 250 in British Columbia, I have worked with our members at all levels of the organization. I am a trade-unionist with a lifelong interest in workplace rights, labour relations, and bringing a balance of power to workers. I have acted on behalf of workers at the bargaining table and as Lead Counsel in legal hearings.
I proudly vote NDP.
From the time when I was first elected to the position of Shop Steward at Finning (Canada) Ltd., to my most recent election as Business Representative and DBR of District 250, I have had the privilege of representing our membership in virtually every corner of the Province of British Columbia.
I received the support of many people along the way, and I continue to enjoy that support in my day-to-day work. And I know I cannot do this job alone, but together we can achieve anything we desire.
Unions are about people. We are about workers sticking together and standing up for what they believe are their rights. I am proud to be part of the Machinists Union and our Canadian Labour movement. I am proud to make our IAMAW workplaces better and to have so many wonderful opportunities every step along the way.
My new position allows me to work with our Canadian IAMAW membership in a broader scope across the country. I will be learning many new things, and meeting new challenges in this work, and am looking forward to working with our membership from coast to coast. I know in this new capacity, many of our paths will continue to cross as we build upon the work our forbearers began.
I will always remember and appreciate the Rock Solid support I have had from District Lodge 250 and our Union membership right here in British Columbia.
Brother Walter Gerlach will replace me as the Directing Business Representative of District 250 and as our IAMAW representative on the BC Fed Executive Council. Walter is a strong and dedicated Union representative. I have every confidence the District is in good hands.
I know the officers, staff and membership across B.C. will give full support to Walter in this new role, and together you will continue to build our strong Union in this Province.
Once again, I offer my thanks to all of you for many years of support, solidarity, and friendship. I could not have enjoyed the success I have without the Strength and Unity of the membership behind me at every step.
Stay Rock Solid!
Directing Business Representative