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Incumbent president defeated in BC Ferries union election

Members of the union representing workers at BC Ferries have elected Chris Abbott to replace incumbent provincial president Richard Goode.

Abbott, who is described as being more militant, won the presidency of the B.C. Ferry and Marine Workers' Union with 978 votes to Goode's 480.

"The mandate of our Union must be to protect the integrity of the bargaining unit from further erosion and to protect our Union as a whole from further governmental experimentation," Abbott said in an April 30 blog post outlining his vision.

"The next three years are all about rebuilding and defining our path," he wrote. "Should a new Provincial government come to power this too could lead to major change."

He spoke about better using the media to get the union's point of view across and increasing communication with members. "I have visited with many lately who claim to never have seen or heard of the Union President in their local and or their worksite," he said.

On a website page titled "enough is enough", an Abbott campaign pitch said, "Management will push us just as far as we let them." It continued, "Do not vote for me if you are not prepared to fight. Do not vote for me if you want to have your rights reinterpreted. Do not vote for me if you are not willing to give the mandate we need."

BCFMWU members also elected Jeremy Bryant as first vice president, Shawna Walsh as second vice-president and Kevin Lee as secretary-treasurer.

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee’s Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. Find him on Twitter or reach him here.

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