Irene Lanzinger was elected the first woman to lead the British Columbia Federation of Labour. She succeeds Jim Sinclair, who did not seek re-election after serving 15 years as the president.
The BC Federation of Labour represents over 500,000 members from affiliated unions across the province.
Lanzinger defeated Amber Hockin in an election held Nov. 28 during the 56th Convention of the BC Federation of Labour. More than 2,000 delegates from across British Columbia attended.
Lanzinger, a former teacher and past president of the Vancouver Teachers Association and BC Teachers Federation, has been the BC Federation of Labour’s secretary-treasurer for the last four years.
“I think it says it’s about time for a woman, right, you know partly that’s coincidence,” Lanzinger told Canadian Press. “There wasn’t a man out there who put his name forward, but partly it’s that women are taking their rightful place as leaders in the labour movement.”
Lanzinger said raising British Columbia’s minimum wage to $15 per hour is her top goal. B.C.’s current minimum wage is $10.25 per hour.