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The Real Story on NDP-Union Ties



May 9, 2005

NDP leader Carole James is running away from the NDP’s ties to big unions. In today’s radio debate James was asked about her refusal to cut the NDP’s ties to Big Labour:

“…the caller is completely wrong when it comes to the connections. I’ve been very clear that we had a balanced approach, we have a wonderful group of candidates. We have some people who are involved in labour…”

FACTS: Almost one-third of the NDP candidate slate (25 out of 79) are people who have run unions or are union activists:

  • Dileep Athaide (Delta South) Secretary-treasurer, Federation of Post-Secondary Educators
  • Harry Bains (Surrey – Newton) Vice-president, IWA local 217
  • Barry Bell (Surrey – Tynehead) Executive board member, International Painter’s Union / Shop steward, Electrical Workers Union
  • Raj Chouhan (Burnaby-Edmonds) - Director of bargaining, HEU and Founding president, Canadian Farmworkers Union
  • David Chudnovsky (Vancouver – Kensington) 3 time President of BC Teachers Federation
  • Gary Coons (North Coast) President, Prince Rupert District Teachers Union (3 terms)
  • John-Henry Harter (Chilliwack-Sumas) Former president, SFU Teaching Support Staff Union
  • Nicki Hokazono (Kelowna-Mission) Member-at-large, Central Okanagan Teachers Association
  • Garry Litke (Penticton-Okanagan Valley) President, Okanagan - Skaha Teachers Union / Representative, BCTF Bargaining Comm! Ittee
  • Norm Macdonald (Columbia River-Revelstoke) - President, Golden Teachers' Association
  • Carol McNamee (Nanaimo-Parksville) President, Nanaimo District Teachers Association
  • Wayne Mills (Prince George-Mt. Robson) President, Prince George & District Labour Council
  • Cathy Pinsent (North Vancouver-Seymour) President, HEU local / HEU Provincial Executive
  • Joyce Procure (Okanagan-Westside) Former BCNU regional VP, former North Okanagan Labour Council executive member
  • Chuck Puchmayr (New Westminster) Former business agent & secretary-treasurer, Brewery, Winery & Distillery Workers Union
  • John Pugsley (Kelowna-Lake Country) President, OUC faculty association /  Former chair of faculty negotiating committee
  • Karen Rockwell (Port Moody-Westwood) VP, OPEIU Local 378
  • Doug Routley (Cowichan-Ladysmith) IWA local 180, executive member / IWA Chair in school district
  • Charlie Wyse (Cariboo South) “held several positions with teachers union”
  • Bart Healey (Burquitlam) Shop Steward, CAW local 114 / Delegate, New West and District Labour Council
  • Jarrah Hodge (Vancouver-Quilchena) Member, CUPE Local 391
  • Mel Lehan (Vancouver-Point Grey) Worker with the Unemployed Teachers Action Centre, an arm of the BCTF / Hired by Vancouver East Side Teachers’ Association to lobby for more money
  • Gian Sihota (Richmond East) Shop steward, CAWS Local 111
  • Shane Simpson (Vancouver-Hastings) Acting Editor, CUPE Public Employee (1998) / Legislative Coordinator, CUPE BC / Former co-ordinator of strategic planning & special projects, CUPE BC
  • Erda Walsh (East Kootenay) “union activist with HEU/ CUPE”

Carole James’ very first promise as NDP leader was to cut the NDP’s ties to Big Labour. She was going to remove the affiliation status of the BC Federation of Labour, CUPE/HEU, the CAW and other big unions. She didn’t do it. They are still NDP affiliates today.

Unions like the BCTF, the BCGEU, the BC Federation of Labour, and the HEU are running multi-million dollar campaigns to get the NDP back in power. In fact, the NDP president today is Jeff Fox, a BCGEU organizer.


Authorized By Jim Pipe, Financial Agent BC Liberal Party.
Tel: 604.606.6000, 1.800.567.2257