Red Deer city councillor and long-time activist Dianne Wyntjes has received the May Day Solidarity Award, which is given to an Alberta trade unionist every year who has "contributed to peace, social justice and the improvement of working conditions and workers' rights for all Albertans."
"Now, as I am enjoying the work of city councillor, I take with me the many lessons I learned in the labour movement," Wyntjes said.
Wyntjes worked in her early years as a dishwasher in a hamburger restaurant and eventually secured her first full-time job with the federal government in Red Deer. She then became a member of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 417.
Wyntjes started working for CUPE in 1980 and has held various positions within the organization. She has been Alberta regional director there for the past 12 years. She was elected to Red Deer city council in 2010.
"I can't think of a more worthy recipient," said Gil McGowan, president of the Alberta Federation of Labour (AFL).
"This woman has been a phenomenal advocate for all workers — in support of a social agenda for the betterment of all society."
The May Day Award was created in 1989 by the AFL, which represents 140,000 workers in Alberta.
Red Deer Advocate, Mon May 2 2011