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VICTORIABC Federation of Labour president Jim Sinclair congratulated CUPE BC delegates for their activism and dedication.

Speaking to 600 delegates at the CUPE BC convention in Victoria on Saturday, Sinclair credited CUPE for its crucial role in recent municipal election successes. “CUPE came to us and said municipal elections are crucial – we need to get involved.”

“We sent out 190,000 poll cards with our suggestions of who to vote for and we got results,” said Sinclair, adding “but we still have a ways to go - there are still working people and union members who didn’t get a poll card, and we need to let everyone know who is on their side.”

“The results include the election of a city council in Vancouver that just passed a motion to raise the minimum wage to $10/hour. When we asked the last mayor and council they refused, but the vote this time was 9-to-1.”

Sinclair pointed out that the provincial government continues to refuse to raise the minimum wage despite popular support for the move. “More than 80 per cent of British Columbians support a $10 minimum wage, yet the Liberals keep saying it would kill jobs. Well, there are 300,000 British Columbians working for less than $10 an hour who deserve a raise, and while Gordon Campbell has frozen wages for public workers he has raised his own wage by 54 per cent – can you spell hypocrisy?”

Sinclair emphasized that “one of the reasons we have to elect the NDP on May 12 is because Campbell is planning to cut another 10,000 public jobs over the next three years – gutting the public service that we all depend on.”

“Our challenge,” said Sinclair, “is to work our hardest and knock on every door before May 12 to protect job safety, wages, young workers and the forestry sector. It’s a great fight that we have to keep up so that we can have the biggest victory party ever on May 12.”