The top ten: most influential labor leaders in Saskatchewan.

Author:Martin, Paul
 
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Chris Banting (No photo provided)

Secretary-Treasurer, Retail Wholesale & Department Store Workers

A career employee of the Regina-based, 6,000-strong RWDSU, Banting joined the organization straight out of the U of R in 1971. This quiet-spoken veteran points to the recent unanimous Supreme Court ruling on secondary picketing as a major victory. The Court accepted the union's charter arguments that secondary pickets amounted to a freedom of expression for the members in a dispute with Saskatoon Pepsi plant.

Barb Byers

President, Saskatchewan Federation of Labor

As head of the province's federation of labor, Byers has access to the corridors of power and little trouble being heard, given labor's affiliation with the NDP. This former social worker currently co-chairs--with a business representative--the Saskatchewan Labor Force Development Board, a broad partnership working to strengthen workforce training and development. She is a member of U of R board of governors and the Canadian Labor Congress Executive Council.

Bob Bymoen

Saskatchewan Government and General Employees Union

Bymoen is a high-profile chair heading up 70 bargaining units, including the unit representing the largest number of provincial government employees. Along with the 10,000 members who work for the government or, as they call it, executive government, the SGEU has another 7,000 members working in everything from SIAST to treasury Crowns like Workers' Comp or community-based organizations. While working his way to the top post, he spent two years as chair of the Prince Albert and District Labor Council and ran for P. A. city council.

Ron Carlson

Administrative Vice-President, Western Region CEP

This Weyburn native worked his way up through the union ranks at SaskTel to the role of administrative vice-president Western Region with the CEP--Communications, Energy and Paperworkers of Canada. The union represents 160,000 workers in Canada and roughly 9,500 Saskatchewan employees at firms such as SaskTel, SaskPower and Weyerhaeuser. He was pivotal in securing the CEP's sponsorship of the Regina-based Crown Ventures Fund Labor-Sponsored Venture Capital Fund two years ago, raising $12 million for investment in the province.

Tom Graham (No photo provided)

President, CUPE Saskatchewan Division

This City of Saskatoon sign maker heads the largest union in the province with 24,000 Saskatchewan members. It is also the largest national union with roughly half a million members across...

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