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Serve, earn respect and be respected in turn: Local 506 leadership

Serve, earn respect and be respected in turn: Local 506 leadership

Photo: Carmen and Italia Principato
 
TORONTO – La Canada’s Veteran’s Affairs could have profited by the example of “Recognition for Service” that the LiUNA Local 506 Executive Board put on display for its “servicemen”, that is their members and honorees.
This was a night to celebrate the longevity, determination and talent of those who offered themselves up everyday to build the City and the country. 
It was a special night. 
A quality affair usually seen only in high-brow circles, except with better quality meal.
It struck me that Carmen Principato and the Executive Board wanted to pay due homage to the wives of those by men who didn’t and don’t shy away from back-breaking and whose strength is derived from their families and spouses. 
They did a fine job.
Some of the honorees, those with 50 years of “good standing” started with meager pay and lousy, dangerous working conditions. 
Principato himself was moved to tears when speaking about their challenges to put food on the table and make ends meet on an hourly wage of $1.28.
This was a “family affair”.  Speaker after speaker from LiUNA gave thanks to their immediate and extended family – as they should; from Joe Mancinelli (International Vice-president), to Jack Oliveira (Business Manager, Ontario) and Roly Bernardini, current President Local 506 Toronto.
Local 506 has come a long way. It has its own chronicler and historian, Marino Toppan, a fifty-year honoree. 
Its (LiUNA) pension fund has more that $7 billion in assets from which to help secure a dignified retirement for current and future retirees.
And, it doesn’t forget the less fortunate. 
Pastor Bill Sunberg, in his invocation before meals, wanted to pay special thanks to the anonymous donor from Local 506 who has made a contribution to cover the next 30 years so that 50 disadvantaged youth – primarily, but not exclusively so – from Toronto’s Northwest can experience attendance at a summer camp.
Local 506 has gone further. It is partnering with provincial and federal governments to expand training facilities and programs for “the Trades”. 
But as Joe Mancinelli pointed out in praising the Honorees, “things do not happen by chance”, we need dedicated skilled people and “solid leadership”, like Carmen Principato. 
His wife Italia smiled. Carmen fought back outbursts of emotional expressions.
 
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Mar Sun ,2017