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Grade 12 students in a suburban Vancouver school had something new to think about this year, thanks to a young member of CUPEs extended family.

Brad West, a 14-year old student at Port Coquitlams Riverside Secondary School, lost his father four years ago. Brads father was a CUPE member. This year Brad honoured his dads memory by working with CUPE BC and the BC Federation of Labour to have labour activists speak to every grade 12 class in his school about the health and safety issues theyll face as they leave school and enter the workforce.

On May 5, a special assembly was held with all students of the school to mark the annual Day of Mourning for workers killed or injured on the job. CUPE BC president Barry ONeill addressed the assembly, and says West should be commended for his contribution to the values CUPE members fight for every day.

Brad is one of the labour movements youngest heroes, says ONeill. Hes done more than just start a dialogue among his classmates hes gotten them thinking about health and safety issues that, down the road, could save lives and prevent injuries.

by Jim Kirk