Kitimat councillor and mayor still ask people to support picnic

Councillor Mary Murphy and Mayor Phil Germuth still encourage people to support the Labour Day picnic even if they aren't invited.

Councillor Mary Murphy is still encouraging people to attend the annual union-organized Labour Day picnic, even if Kitimat Council has been specifically excluded from the event.

Murphy asked for the letter from Unifor Local 2301, included in the August 17 council agenda package’s information packet, to be brought out under new business so she could speak to the issue.

The letter is the one, signed by the local Unifor Business Agent Martin McIlwrath, which says the Local 2301 executive has motioned to “not allow Kitimat Mayor & Council to attend our 2015 Labour Day picnic event.”

No one from Local 2301 has so far responded to the Sentinel’s request for comment, and we were told last week the entire executive was away on union business and unreachable.

An effort to reach Local 2300 also has not resulted in a returned phone call.

In reacting to the letter at the August 17 council meeting, Murphy said that as much as she’ll respect the union’s wishes she encouraged others not to boycott the event.

“I wanted to say I hope that everybody puts their differences aside and…attend the labour day picnic and make it a really successful event,” she said.

She also highlighted her own history in establishing the picnic as an event in Kitimat.

“I plan on following their wishes and not attend but I did want the community to know I was instrumental, along with many of my family members, of making that day a success. It’s advocating [improved] working conditions for labour and it’s a really good social and educational event. It’s in the honour of labour.”

Mayor Phil Germuth said he hasn’t had much conversation with 2300 members on this issue but he has had a few words with 2301 members.

“I’ve heard through the grapevine that some of [2300] workers weren’t happy [with the letter],” he said, but said he’s had a number of 2301 workers come by and all have been quite upset over it.

His contact with the 2301 executive itself has been limited since the release of the letter. Germuth recalled what he felt was a very cordial conversation he had with 2301 president Sean O’Driscoll at Rio Tinto Alcan’s first pour special event in July where relationship building was brought up, but that was it until he learned they wouldn’t be invited to the picnic.

“We had a good time. We talked about building the relations,” said Germuth of that event in July.

Germuth also encourages people to attend the event and to not shut it out due to this current controversy.

“We’re not advocating anyone boycott it. You should go out and have a good time,” he said, adding that he understands it’s an executive-specific decision and he isn’t holding any hard feelings on this to the general 2301 membership.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Image courtesy CDC
Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Kitamaat Village

Haisla Nation Council said there are two confirmed cases they are aware of at this time

A coal-fired power plant seen through dense smog from the window of an electric bullet train south of Beijing, December 2016. China has continued to increase thermal coal production and power generation, adding to greenhouse gas emissions that are already the world’s largest. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
LNG featured at B.C. energy industry, climate change conference

Hydrogen, nuclear, carbon capture needed for Canada’s net-zero goal

Victoria’s Royal Jubilee Hospital took in two COVID-19 patients from Northern Health as part of a provincial agreement. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria hospital takes in two COVID-19 patients from Northern Health

Royal Jubilee Hospital takes patients as part of provincial transport network

An aerial shot of Cedar Valley Lodge this past August, LNG Canada’s newest accommodation for workers. This is where several employees are isolating after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared on Nov. 19. (Photo courtesy of LNG Canada)
52 positive COVID-19 cases now associated with LNG Canada site outbreak

Eight cases still active, 44 considered recovered

The Kitimat River in July. (Clare Rayment photo)
Good News, Kitimat!

Bringing some local good news to your week

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Another 694 diagnosed with COVID-19 in B.C. Thursday

Three more health care outbreaks, 12 deaths

A demonstrator wears representations of sea lice outside the Fisheries and Oceans Canada offices in downtown Vancouver Sept. 24, demanding more action on the Cohen Commission recommendations to protect wild Fraser River sockeye. (Quinn Bender photo)
First Nations renew call to revoke salmon farm licences

Leadership council implores use of precautionary principle in Discovery Islands

Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps poses for a photo with his parents Amanda Sully and Adam Deschamps in this undated handout photo. Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps was the first baby in Canada to be diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy through Ontario’s newborn screening program. The test was added to the program six days before he was born. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Children’s Hospital Eastern Ontario *MANDATORY CREDIT*
First newborn tested for spinal muscular atrophy in Canada hits new milestones

‘If Aidan had been born any earlier or anywhere else our story would be quite different’

(Pixabay)
Canadians’ mental health has deteriorated with the second wave, study finds

Increased substance use one of the ways people are coping

An RCMP officer confers with military rescuers outside their Cormorant helicopter near Bridesville, B.C. Tuesday, Dec. 1. Photo courtesy of RCMP Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey
Good Samaritan helped Kootenay police nab, rescue suspect which drew armed forces response

Midway RCMP said a Good Samaritan helped track the suspect, then brought the arresting officer dry socks

People line up at a COVID-19 assessment centre during the COVID-19 pandemic in Scarborough, Ont., on Wednesday, December 2, 2020. Toronto and Peel region continue to be in lockdown. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19 vaccine approval could be days away as pressures mount on health-care system

Many health officials in regions across the country have reported increasing pressures on hospitals

(Needpix.com)
Pandemic has ‘exacerbated’ concerns for B.C. children and youth with special needs: report

Pandemic worsened an already patchwork system, representative says

Most Read