The Stand

WSLC’s Lori Province, citing medical reasons, to retire

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province-loriSEATTLE (July 9, 2015) — Lori Province, Field Mobilization Director for the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, has announced that she will retire in November. She was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year and has been working while receiving treatment for the past several months.

“It’s a little bit earlier than I had planned,” Province said, “but I think this is a message to stop now and get really well.”

Province, who joined the WSLC in 1996, began her work as a Dislocated Worker Labor Liaison, providing layoff aversion, Trade Act and NAFTA petition development. In April 2008, Province moved to the position of Field Mobilizing Director, working to coordinate the council’s active support of national and congressional campaigns and the WSLC’s state legislative and political agenda through the Labor Neighbor and Labor’s Voice programs.

“I have had the honor and privilege of having worked with Lori Province since 1987 as staff members and as colleagues,” said WSLC President Jeff Johnson. “But more importantly she has been a treasured confidant, mentor, and friend. Lori is all about giving working people a voice at the workplace, in their communities, and in the halls of power. She knows only one speed — full speed ahead. And she is rooted in the value of solidarity. Lori bleeds union.”

Province joined the WSLC after serving as a union representative for the Washington State Council of County and City Employees, AFSCME, in Lynnwood for eight years. She has also served as a union representative for Service Employees International Union Local 120 in Everett. A longtime labor activist, Lori has been active in the WSLC’s WISHA Monitoring Committee for years, along with several government task forces and councils developing workforce development policies.

Province says she plans to stay active in labor causes:

This is going to be really hard. I have worked for working people since 1983. I don’t know how to repay the trust that people placed in me to do right for and by them. I need to take some time now to get well, figure out how best to stay well, and then to give myself opportunities to work on workers’ issues where I can make some difference. That has always been at the foundation of all that I ever attempted — to get workers believing they can do more — that they are in charge because their voice and vote matter.

After almost 20 years at the Washington State Labor Council, my friends and labor family are the workers in Washington state. There is going to be quite a hole that I will need to fill — first with getting very well, and then with some social justice actions that I can work on to help workers and their families.

“It is with heavy heart that we will see Lori leave the WSLC staff,” Johnson said. “But fortunately Lori will never leave the WSLC family. Get strong, Sister. We need you.”

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