November 22, 2018 - Brother Laird Cronk, International Representative of the IBEW First District, has announced that together with Sister Sussanne Skidmore, a prominent long-time labour activist and an elected Vice President of the BCGEU, they are seeking the top leadership positions at the BC Federation of Labour, President and Secretary-Treasurer, respectively.
The Federation is holding its 58th Convention in Vancouver from November 26-30, 2018, with elections taking place on Thursday, November 29th. Incumbent President Irene Lanzinger and Secretary-Treasurer Aaron Ekman have both announced they will not be seeking re-election.
“I want to sincerely thank Irene and Aaron for their service and dedication to our movement and the Federation,” said Cronk, a Red Seal electrician and 33-year member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 230. “I’m running for President because I believe I have the skills, the experience and the passion to build on our strong foundation by working to make the labour movement even more central to the lives of workers in this province.”
Local 258 IBEW Business Manager, Brother Doug McKay, said, “Brother Cronk comes from a family of IBEW leadership as his father Brother Doug Cronk served as Business Manager/Financial Secretary of our young Local 258 a few years after we were awarded our charter in 1967. I know Laird has the abilities, knowledge and personality that will lead, serve and strengthen our labour movement as we move forward.”
Cronk has been an Officer of the BC Fed for the past six years and for the past four years he has chaired the Fed’s Apprenticeship and Skilled Trades Working Group. He is also a board member of the provincial Industry Training Authority (ITA).
“After 16 years of systematic attacks from the former BC Liberal government, the fact that the labour movement is still alive and kicking is amazing, and now we have the political and economic conditions to build an even stronger movement,” said Cronk. “The Fraser Institute and the rest of the anti-union crowd don’t want you know it, but the history is clear—the more union members there are, the better the economy works for everyone.”
Laird and Sussanne have received many endorsements of union support, including from the IBEW BC Provincial Council, CUPE BC, MoveUp, UFCW 1518 and the Federation of Post-Secondary Educators, among others.
“I’m thrilled and honoured to put my name forward for Secretary-Treasurer,” said Skidmore, a well-known social justice and human rights activist who has served as executive vice president of the BC Government and Services Employees Union since 2014. Skidmore also sits on the BC Fed’s Executive Council. “Laird and I have formed a strong partnership, and I’m looking forward to working with him. We have very different backgrounds, but we share a common drive to get things done in a respectful, inclusive but determined way.”
Local 258 IBEW is sending a delegation to the Convention to support Brother Cronk and Sister Skidmore and to participate in advancing the agenda for working people in British Columbia.
For more information on the campaign, visit the “Laird and Sussanne for BC Fed 2018” Facebook page, or follow them on Twitter @Laird4BCFed.
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Vancouver Star, Nov. 22, 2018: You've probably never heard of him but this labour leader is poised to become one of the loudest voices in the ear of the premier by Alex McKeen