2018 Labour Appreciation Award Winners

Working for a community where everyone matters

This year’s award winners stand for social justice. They educate, advocate and change local lives.

Jean Simpson

Unifor 1520 Retiree | United Experience

Labour Appreciation Award Recipient

Jean was one of the 18 women originally hired at the Talbot Ford Plant, and the first woman to be elected to leadership at Unifor 1520. She was a passionate member of the Women’s Committee, and is still very active with the retirees. Jean was a champion for United Way every year, and served on the 1520 Executive. She was also editor for the News Headline, the official 1520 newsletter.

Jean has given a lifetime worth of passion and activism to her community.

Brea Hickey

PMA Western | GenNext

Labour Appreciation Award Recipient

Brea is a very engaged member of our community. She is as an advocate of women’s health issues, and involves herself in causes that seek to overcome poverty.

Brea shares her passion for United Way by participating in product drives.

She is a vocal activist and encourages the people around her to get involved as well. She is actively involved in United Way through GenNext. Brea is also deeply committed to Habitat for Humanity.

Brea is leading the charge for young activists.

Jim Wilkes

Unifor Local 27 | London For All

Labour Appreciation Award Recipient

Jim has been active in his union since he joined in 1980. He has played an active role within and beyond our community on many Social- Justice Campaigns. He has been actively involved in the work of Steven Lewis Foundation, Unity Project, Art for Aids and many more. Jim has also sat on the Board of Directors at Elliott House, and is currently serving on the Board of Directors at Turning Point. He currently sits on the Leadership table of London for All and the Coordinating committee to End Women Abuse.

Jim is always willing to fight for the underdog.

Linda Davis

OPSEU Local 109

Labour Appreciation Award Recipient

Linda is a true activist and women’s advocate. She has been involved with the Business and Professional Women of London as a member since 1993. She sat as President of BPW Ontario from 2012 to 2014 where she worked as an equal pay coalition representative. Most recently, Linda was elected as President of BPW Canada this past August where she works avidly seeking equality in the working people and the improvement of economic, political, employment and social conditions for women. She is a Board Member of the Provincial Council of Women and the Canadian Federation of University Women. Linda has also been involved with the Gender Wage Gap Strategy steering committee.

Linda is a true social warrior for women’s rights.

Philip Shearer

OPSEU Region 1

Labour Appreciation Award Recipient

Philip is a soft spoken hero for social justice. Among other causes, Philip uses his voice to eliminate the stigma around HIV/AIDS and has been involved in organizing events for World AIDS Day. He is a relentless supporter and advocate for the Red Scarf Project. Philip promotes the Silent Auction at OPSEU Convention by soliciting great items from locals and encourages bidding to help raise funds for the Stephen Lewis Foundation. Phil is also active as Disability Rights Liaison and works with the Solidarity Fund Board.

Phillip’s fierce heart and dedication is a true super power.

Sue Fairweather

OPSEU Local 166

Labour Appreciation Award Recipient

Sue currently sits on the Provincial Women’s committee region one. She organized the camp kit project for children attending Stevenson Children’s Camp, ensuring no child would arrive without all the necessities. She loves to make Pussy Hats for rallies and uses the money to help support women in our community who are in need. Whether Sue is secretly scrounging up food cards and money to help members facing difficult times or fundraising for Municipal Candidates, Sue is never idle. Sue gives till it hurts and her compassion knows no limits.

One should not underestimate this powerful activist.

Beverly Wright

OPSEU | St. Thomas & District Labour Council

Labour Appreciation Award Recipient

Bev has been an unsung hero in our community for many years. She is active on the St. Thomas & District Labour Council, serving as President and Treasurer. Bev is an activist for women’s issues and a proud board member of Second Stage Housing in St Thomas. She participates heavily in their “Hit the Floor” fundraiser. Bev is a ‘behind the scenes’ hero. She quietly volunteers her time, never seeking praise or notice.

Our community, members and labour council are stronger because of Bev’s years of commitment and dedication.

Larry Baird

BCTGM Local 154G

Labour Appreciation Award Recipient

Larry has been a member of his union for over 30 years. He has served on the Kellogg’s ECCO Committee for 18 years. Larry was a major activist and organizer for the London Day of Action in 1995 in the strike against the Provincial Government. He has spent many years involved with the London Labour Council as the Unions delegate. Larry has volunteered with the steering and adjustment committee for the Grain Millers Action Center, and he is currently an elected officer with the KARA-Kellogg/AFGM Retirement Association.

Larry should be recognized for the impact he has, and continues to have on the Labour movement. 

Pat Blaney

BCTGM Local 154G

Labour Appreciation Award Recipient

Patrick is receiving this award tonight for his 25+ years of involvement in the Labour movement. He has a hands-on approach with all things he does. He has sat on the Board of Directors at Stevenson Children’s Camp where he supports the camps work of helping vulnerable children have meaningful and safe childhood experiences through overnight camping. He has been deeply involved in the Kellogg’s ECCO Charity, with over 10 years of time served. Patrick is very involved in his Union’s work at the local, municipal, provincial, federal and even international level. He is now involved in the Kellogg Retiree Association, and is an avid Kellogg Historian.

Patrick is a labour activist and fighter for the right of his fellow workers.

Jeff Robinson


Labour Appreciation Award Recipient

Jeff always shows up for his community. Whether he is stuffing backpacks or marching in protest, Jeff is at the frontlines. He is passionate about Raise the Bottle, a campaign to stop Labatt’s cutting jobs in London and working against privatization. Jeff is also active behind the scenes, quietly working to support his fellow members. His door is always open, and he is everyone’s advocate.

Jeff is an unsung champion for social justice.

Loreta Giusti

Unifor Local 27

Labour Appreciation Award Recipient

Loreta is a grass-roots activist who is always helping out others. Whether she is cooking for families suffering from loss or checking in on co-workers that have fallen on hard times. She feels that empathy is the secret to coexistence. Loretta is approachable, honest and caring.

Loreta is a true grass-roots activist.

Blair Middleton

OSSTF District 11

Labour Appreciation Award Recipient

Blair has served District 11 as both past District and TBU President. He is supportive, empathetic and considerate. He is a dedicated member of the union and currently sits on the Teachers and District Executives. He is also an active member of Amnesty International. Blair has been involved in Walk for Kids Help Phone, Shine the Light, Orange Shirt Day and anti-bullying days. He is a strong advocate for members’ rights and a team player who seeks to promote the accomplishments of others.

Blair is an activist and a passionate spokesperson for human rights.

Tim Davis

OSSTF District 11

Labour Appreciation Award Recipient

Tim goes above and beyond to support the community. He has been an active member in his District and sits on the Political Action Committee. Tim has organized rallies in support of workers, including Unifor, Fanshawe and more. Tim has been involved in OSSTF District 11’s participation in the London Pride Parade. He is an avid supporter of women’s issues with Oxford Labour Council and the Take Back the Night Campaign.

Tim is a teacher, activist and advocate.

Steve Stokan

London Police Association

Labour Appreciation Award Recipient

Nothing gets Steve down. When he faces opposition he rises to make things right. Steve is a passionate advocate for project Trauma Support, and runs a support group for the cause. An avid voice for mental health issues in our community, Steve has influenced community wide systematic and fundamental changes that impact our entire community.

Steve is a HERO. Rising through adversity and always in the fight.

David Heap


Labour Appreciation Award Recipient

David has been a peace and social justice activist for much of his adult and professional life. He participated in the Gaza Freedom March and Canadian Boat to Freedom campaigns. Issues of social inequity compel David into action. He is a past member of the London & District Labour Council as an official observer. He has organized UWOFA’s participation in the annual Labour Day picnic and is an active participant in Pride activities.

David is a compassionate, radical visionary!

Tawny Edwards

Unifor Local 27

Labour Appreciation Award Recipient

Tawny works tirelessly for both the Labour Movement and greater community. A doer, Tawny is always the first person on the scene and the last one to leave at the end of the night. Last year, Tawny didn’t miss a single Labour Gives Back opportunity. Tawny is always there for anyone in need. Her empathetic nature makes her a great supporter of whatever she is working for at the time.

Tawny is an advocate, activist and soft shoulder.

Nancy Richter

PSAC Local 0017

Labour Appreciation Award Recipient

Nancy is the President of PSAC London Area Council, and an active member of Labour United, presently serving as the Volunteer chair and past Give chair. Nancy is an honest, hardworking activist. You will find her lobbying, at rallies and serving both her members and our community.

Nancy is a leader, activist and community do-gooder.

Terence Kernaghan

ETFO Thames Valley Teachers Local

Labour Appreciation Award Recipient

Terence is active in causes surrounding human rights. He is a Teacher, ETFO Workplace Steward, and a member of the ETFO Local Executive. He also works tirelessly to promote the Thames Valley Teacher-Librarian Association. Terence speaks for those who can’t, and will support anyone in need.

Terence is a leader for social justice and our community.

We Own It

Amanda Picot, Len Elliot, Philip Shearer, Sue Fairweather & Laurie Nancekivell | OPSEU

Partnering with a Purpose award winners

OPSEU’s We Own It campaign was one of the most ambitious campaigns OPSEU has undertaken. Both Sue and Amanda, along with 32 other members from across Ontario, were booked off from their regular roles to work on this campaign full-time. They worked tirelessly to raise awareness and push political parties to abandon privatization altogether.

We will find We Own It signs, swag and slogans through-out the community.

We Own It is one of the most significant campaigns in 2018 to change the hearts and minds of our community and they are working tirelessly to keep public services public.

CAMI Strike Committee

Dan Lefrank, Brent Tree, Linda Leyten, Linda Smith, Kim DeGraaf & Kim Crump
Unifor Local 88

ChangeMaker award winners

Betty-Jean Rayner

CUPE 7575

Workers Health & Safety Centre Activist award winner

Kevin Jones

Injured Workers

Prevention Link award winner

Brian Tansy 

ATU Local 741| Labour United Chair

Images of Hope award winner

Together, we are possibility.

Sarah WalkerLabour Appreciation Award Winners