Smokey Thomas Re-Elected as OPSEU President

OPSEU workers have voted for strike action
OPSEU President Thomas
OPSEU President Smokey Thomas

THUNDER BAY – Warren (Smokey) Thomas has been re-elected as President of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union for a sixth consecutive two-year term. He was first elected to the union’s top post in 2007.

Thomas defeated Myles Magner, OPSEU Regional Vice-President for the Toronto area. Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida, a correctional officer from Hamilton, was acclaimed for his fourth two-year term as First Vice-President/Treasurer yesterday.

In his campaign speech to delegates, Thomas vowed to continue to run OPSEU by his lifelong motto: “Don’t do anything your mother wouldn’t be proud of.”

Thomas thanked Magner for his candidacy and also praised Almeida, saying, “He’s the best Treasurer this union ever had – and I did the job for six years.”

Thomas campaigned as a “members-first president,” underscoring that, in OPSEU, his role as President is to support bargaining teams – not tell them what to do. He vowed to continue the union’s ongoing fight against privatization, build on its successes in collective bargaining and organizing, and further expand its commitment to equity.

“We will persevere against the forces working against working people and we will do it together,” he told the more than 1,700 delegates, alternates, and observers at Convention.

A native of Kingston, Thomas was trained as a registered psychiatric nurse and worked at the former Kingston Psychiatric Hospital for more than 20 years, serving as president of OPSEU Local 431 before being elected as an Executive Board Member. He served three terms as First Vice-President/Treasurer before becoming President.

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