Phone: (360) 818-1877
Honoring Our Southwest Washington Labor Heroes
Updated On: Feb 17, 2022

It's no secret that 2021 was an amazing year for working people, with strikes and worker organizing dominating the headlines in "#Striketember, #Striketober, #Strikesgiving and #Strikesmas."

On February 4, 2022 more than 200 union members, supporters, and community members gathered at the Vancouver Hilton to pay honor to the people behind those headlines at the first annual Labor Heroes of Southwest Washington Awards, presented by the Southwest Washington Central Labor Council and the Cowlitz Wahkiakum Central Labor Council.

After introductions by Emcee Harold Phillips, Vancouver Mayor Anne McEnerny-Ogle, AFL-CIO Regional Representative Mike Roberts, Washington State Labor Council President Larry Brown, WSLC Secretary-Treasurer April Sims, and Washington State Building and Construction Trades Council Executive Secretary Mark Riker, these awards were presented to some of the most vital and active members of our Southwest Washington Labor Community:

The Union Ally of the Year Award is given to political leaders and community members who stood side-by-side with Labor to make sure working people are safe and treated with dignity and respect.

The SWWACLC award went to Labor’s Community Services Agency. Eryn and the staff of LCSA are true unionists and humanitarians, always looking for new and better ways to serve our union members. Whether it’s wildfires, heat waves or COVID-19 we know that LCSA will be there leading the way to help.

The CWCLC award went to JH Kelly AND the Longview School District. JH Kelly has provided construction services to the Clark, Cowlitz, and Wahkiakum County areas since the last century and has consistently employed a high number of multi-craft professionals in the Building and Construction Industry of Southwest Washington and Washington State. They also worked with the Longview School District to create a first-of-its kind pre-apprenticeship training program at Mark Morris High School

The Longview School District partnered with labor and industry to build that apprenticeship preparation program to inform and educate local youth about high quality and family wage jobs in the building and construction trades, bettering not only the students and their families, but also their local communities at large.

The CLC Volunteer of the Year Award is given to those volunteers at the SWWACLC and CWCLC who work hard to bring our community’s Labor organizations together and make a better life for working families in our region.

The SWWACLC award went to Doug and Leah AND John Murphy. Doug is the retiree that all organizations dream of. He has a heart of gold and the time to volunteer. The best part of Doug is his wife Leah, who is also an amazing person and volunteers right alongside Doug.

John Murphy has been involved with BCTGM local 364 for over 45 years, and even though he’s now retired he still steps in to help with negotiations. He is also one of the first to volunteer to help with any kind of union work and is always ready to help in other unions' struggles.

The CWCLC award went to Tera McElligott for her amazing work as CLC President during the pandemic, all the time she spends advocating for her union members, and balancing that with working a demanding job with "major overtime."

The Union Member of the Year Award is given to those union members who stood out and served as an example to others.

The SWWACLC award went to Diana Winther (IBEW 48.) The General Counsel for IBEW Local 48, Diana makes sure that its members, staff and the local as a whole is represented and protected. A true unionist, Diana has really risen as a leader within the Southwest Washington Labor Movement.

The CWCLC award went to Kathy Arneson (WSNA.)  Kathy was nominated for her hard work with the recent contract negotiations at PeaceHealth St. John, and for consistently working with legislators on making sure safe staffing issues are addressed.

The Union Leader of the Year Award is given to those leaders who inspire and fight for their members, and encourage the community to take action.

The SWACLC award went to Dawn Marick (WSNA) for advocating for safe practices and adequate PPE for nurses at PeaceHealth SW Medical Center and for routinely standing up to PeaceHealth’s CEO and corporate executives, asking tough questions and holding them accountable.

The CWCLC award went to Shawn Nyman (SEIU 925) for her efforts in support of school employees throughout the pandemic, including advocacy at countless school board meetings in the face of great controversy.

The Union of the Year Award is given to the unions who have fought hard for their members, and for all working people in our community.

The SWWACLC award went to the Clark Collage Association of Higher Education. Community colleges are notorious for paying part-time teachers substandard wages and providing little to no benefits. CCAHE is committed to improving the salary and working conditions of their part-time faculty. In 2020, the Clark College faculty union went on strike for three days, refusing to return until part-time faculty were promised better compensation. Successful college faculty strikes are rare. In fact, Labor Notes invited CCAHE to present at the 2020 International Labor Notes Convention in Chicago, in large part because CCAHE went on strike to improve conditions for part-time faculty.

The CWCLC award went to the Longview Newsguild for their hard-won battle for representation, and in recognition of their continued fight for a first contract (you can help them in that effort - write a letter today to Lee Enterprises and tell them to respond to the Longview Newsguild's reasonable wage proposal at the bargaining table!)

The In Solidarity Award is given to those within our movement who have taken the word “solidarity” to a new level by reaching out to unions and working people to encourage them to stand up and stand together.

The SWWACLC award went to Harold Phillips. Harold came to the Vancouver Labor movement in 2018 and right away he was an "active" delegate. As we all know in our monthly meetings, Harold has a lot to say and, luckily, he has a smooth voice to say it in. Harold filled the space that we needed and he has been bringing us all together ever since through the Web site that he maintains, the email notices that he sends out, and the social media that he monitors to keep Southwest Washington labor in the active feed.

The CWCLC award went to Mike Bridges for his work as a Rep. for IBEW Local 48 and as President of the Longview/Kelso Building and Construction Trades. He coordinates with other unions, community partners, politicians, and businesses to support economic development in our area. He also helped bring North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU) and the Longview School District together to create the first K-12 pre-apprenticeship program recognized by the Washington State Apprenticeship Council.

After the awards were presented, Labor's Community Service Agency Executive Director Eryn Byram took the microphone to draw winning raffle tickets and announce the winners of the evening's silent auction, which raised over $6,000.00 for the organization to aid in its mission to aid and support working families in our region.

The Southwest Washington Central Labor Council and Cowlitz Wahkiakum Central Labor Council are very proud to have presented the evening's awards dinner using 100% union labor, including the staff at the Vancouver Hilton (UNITE HERE Local 8,) awards and programs provided by Minuteman Press Vancouver North (CWA Local 7812,) technicians working with People's AV Company (IATSE Local 28) and Emcee Harold Phillips (Actors Equity Association.)

It's not too early to start thinking about who should receive one of next year's Labor Heroes of Southwest Washington Awards. As we move through the coming year, be thinking of who YOU might nominate for one of these awards... and we'll look forward to seeing you in February 2023!

Contact Info
Southwest Washington Central Labor Council
PO Box 61929
Vancouver, WA 98666-1929
  (360) 818-1877

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