Alberta retiree Jack Wilson is a member of our executive and working committee. Let’s let Jack tell us why he joined the Council.
I have been a member of the Communications Workers of Alberta Local 30400 since I helped organize the Wall to Wall chapter at the daily Red Deer Advocate in 1992. At the time the unit had more than 150 members but has been eroded to about 105.
Retirees stay on board
After graduating with journalism and English degrees from Eastern Washington University in 1974, I worked in the newsroom for more than 35 years as a reporter, city editor and sportswriter. I covered the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow, the best trip ever. Also, the 1982 World Cup on Spain when I became a Barcelona fan. Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea also get good play in our house.
Our Alberta local also comprises units in Medicine Hat, Lethbridge, and Calgary, with a total strength of about 170, including 10 retirees whose annual dues are set at $12.
From the beginning, I have always taken an active role on the executive, serving as President for eight years, executive vice-president, vice-president and now secretary-treasurer. I have also been involved in numerous contracts bargained in the last 22 years.
Buyout negotiations for several local members have also been a part of my duties, especially last year when the Advocate slashed costs and forced layoffs.
I retired in 2012 but continue to serve as our local’s secretary-treasurer after being elected while I was still working at the Advocate.
An active role for retirees
Our local has always supported an active role for retirees and when the opportunity arose to attend the founding meeting of the Retirees Council it was a no-brainer.
The executive voted unanimously to spend $20 for my initial membership dues with the Retirees Council.
At present, I am also a trustee with the Red Deer and District Labour Council, which represents about 7,000 workers in Central Alberta.
The family tradition of unionism continues. My daughter Danielle, a marketing and website director with a Calgary-based clothing company as a co-author of a history of the local , published in 2012. My daughter Katie is a kindergarten teacher. I have been married for 43 years to Lisa.
I enjoy having more time to go cross-country skiing, playing golf and working out.