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Friday, July 28, 2006

Jill Ovens Wins SFWU Election - Speech

Scenes of jubilation and tears of joy greeted the stunning victory by Jill Ovens in yesterday's election for the new Northern Region Secretary of the Service and Food Workers' Union (SFWU). The special delegates conference of 112 voting delegates gave Ms Ovens the clear mandate of a 68 to 44 winning result. Ms Ovens upset success over Lisa Eldret, Darien Fenton's anointed successor, was achieved in spite of repeated and sustained interference in the election process by the new Labour MP.
A Pacific Island woman, a delegate from a hospital in South Auckland, rang me this morning and said; "Shame on her", in reference to Fenton’s attendance at the conference. This delegate rang up all her fellow Pacific Island voting delegates in the week before the election to get them to vote for Jill. She said she supported Jill because she not only talked the talk, she also walked the talk. "Jill was always there for us", she said.
Below is a copy of the speech given by Jill Ovens to the voting delegates. One delegate who works on a well-known food factory site told Jill afterwards that hearing her speech made him feel for the first time what it really meant to "be union".

Speech removed by requset of Jill Ovens. Jill wants a "clean start" for the SFWU in the Northern Region and feels her speech should remain internal to the union.

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