Canadian Labour Congress

Canadian Labour Congress

October 02, 2011 12:53 ET

Georgetti Praises Nancy Riche-Says Workers Everywhere Have Lost a Fighter

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 2, 2011) - The Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) today is mourning the death of Nancy Riche, one of Canada's leading women labour leaders and a tireless advocate for workers' and women's rights.

"We are all saddened by Nancy's death. Workers everywhere have lost a fighter," says Ken Georgetti, president of the CLC. "She never backed down from a challenge, and never stopped working for everyday working people."

A champion of women's rights and a pioneer in the Canadian women's movement, Riche, a former CLC Secretary-Treasurer, passed away Saturday following complications from a heart condition.

Riche came to the Canadian Labour Congress as a seasoned union leader and activist. A community college instructor in Newfoundland and Labrador, she served from 1984 to 1986 as Secretary-Treasurer of the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE), the national umbrella union representing the interests of provincial public service workers.

As a prominent union activist, Riche also held the position of Vice-President of the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Labour for the six years ending in 1984.

Riche's earliest union involvement convinced her of the need for labour to push its agenda in the political arena. As such, she has been a long-time supporter of the New Democratic Party, and served as the federal NDP's Associate President (Labour).

In 1995, Riche was awarded an Honourary Degree from Memorial University of Newfoundland, from which she graduated in 1977.

As one of Canada's leading female labour leaders, Riche served as Vice-President of the Brussels-based International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) and Chair of its Women's Committee from 1993-2002.

She has also been recognized for her outstanding contribution to the lives of working women in Canada and around the world. In 2002, she received both the National Action Committee on the Status of Women (NAC) Woman of Courage Award and the Governor-General's Award in Commemoration of the Persons Case. In 2004, she became an Officer of the Order of Canada.

"Nancy's contribution to the social fabric of Canada will live on in the work of the countless labour and women's activists whose lives she touched and inspired," Georgetti says.

The Canadian Labour Congress, the national voice of the labour movement, represents 3.2 million Canadian workers. The CLC brings together Canada's national and international unions along with the provincial and territorial Federations of Labour and 130 district Labour Councils. Website:

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