On Labour Day, another Elsie Awards showcase is organized and co-hosted by New Westminster & District Labour Council (NWDLC) and Vancouver & District Labour Council (VDLC).
The second annual awards will be held virtually on Monday, starting at 11 a.m., via a link posted on the websites and social media accounts of both labour councils.
The Elsie Awards name is a tip of the hat to the labour council title, or “LC.”
The 2021 Labour Day theme is “Workers are the Recovery,” and award nominations closed back on June 10.
“This year we will recognize the crucial efforts of all those workers whose tireless dedication and labour has carried us through the pandemic,” says an event post on vdlc.ca.
“We will highlight a few of those outstanding union members in the categories of Awesome Union Activist, Dedicated Front Line Worker, Outstanding Shop Steward and Caring Community Activist, as well as hearing from some special guests.”
For a second year, due to the pandemic, no in-person Labour Day events are planned in B.C. this year, according to Rob Cottingham, director of communications for the BC Federation of Labour.
Video of last year’s inaugural Elsie Awards is posted to the YouTube channel of Vancouver and District Labour Council.
“While we will once again miss seeing everyone in person, we are very excited to be joining together for a virtual event on September 6,” says a message on the Vancouver and District Labour Council website. “Please join us in recognizing the incredible contributions of union members from across the Metro Vancouver region during the past year.”
The 2020 Elsie Awards involved Awesome Union Activist nominees Ronnie Nicolasora (Professional Employees’ Association, Hospital Employee Staff Union Chapter), Tanya Kerr (BC Teachers’ Federation, Langley Teachers’ Association) and Paz Mazaredo (BC General Employees’ Union).
For Outstanding Shop Steward, the nominees were Frances Lamiel (Movement of United Professionals), Candace Knoll (United Steelworkers Local 1944) and Dave Stephens (Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 1004).
Dedicated Frontline Worker nominees last year were Amrik Cheema (Health Sciences Association Region 7), Dorothy Nelson (Hospital Employees’ Union Haro Park Complex of Care) and Nelda Navarro (United Food & Commercial Workers Union Local 1518).
The 2020 Caring Community Activist nominees were Shelley Cermak (International Association of Machinists’ and Aerospace Workers Local Lodge 764), Louella Vincent Hospital Employees’ Union Western Human Resources) and Hermen Kailley (International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 502).
Also held this year was a Labour Day kids’ colouring contest. “Labour Day has always included our families and in keeping with our tradition of having children’s activities at our events we will also hold a Labour Day colouring challenge,” the NWDLC says. “The challenge is open to all, and submissions will be posted on our social media pages from mid-August to mid-September.”
The New Westminster & District Labour Council is described as “a community-based central labour organization chartered in 1966 by the Canadian Labour Congress to represent workers in 14 Lower Mainland municipalities, of which Surrey is the largest city. We represent approximately 60,000 union members from almost 100 affiliated local unions continuing the proud union tradition of workers speaking out on issues affecting them in their workplaces and in their communities.”
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