IAM Canada News

Ben Osakue Makes History as Business Representative at IAM District 78

District 78 once again makes history by appointing Ben Osakue as Business Representative. Osakue becomes the first African-Canadian male to hold any servicing position in the IAM in Canada.

This follows on the heels of last year’s election of Vivianne Simon as a Business Representative with DL78, becoming the first African-Canadian (and African-Canadian woman) to hold that position in Canada.

Osakue, born in Nigeria, lived in West Germany, then moved to Canada in the ‘90s. He has worked in the healthcare industry for the last 34 years, 22 of which have been at Spectrum Healthcare as a registered Nurse.

The Journey to Becoming a Business Representative at District 78

Ben Osakue moves from being the Central Chairperson at Local Lodge 1231 (Spectrum Healthcare) to Business Representative at District 78 through the mentorship program implemented at District 78. Osakue was also the Conductor-Sentinel and Educator for LL1231 as well as being the DL 78 Educator.

Passion for Engaging Members in Political Action

Osakue further emphasised the common needs of workers across different job classifications and the significance of involving union members in political engagement, advocating for education, support, and other mechanisms to empower members to participate in politics.  “This”, he says, “begin positive ripple effects on whole communities.”

Appointed by Directing Business Representative of DL78, Eric Johnston, Osakue is completing the remainder of retired representative Jim Snider’s term. “Osakue was appointed to the position after years of loyalty, dedication, and hard work in the position of central chairperson. Osakue’s steadfast commitment to the needs of the membership have more than prepared him for the position.”

For more information:
Eric Johnston, IAM District 78
Directing Business Representative


This article was originally posted on the IAM Canada website. View the original post here: Ben Osakue Makes History as Business Representative at IAM District 78