Labor Council To Honor Wilkinson

The Jamestown Area Labor Council AFL-CIO will be honoring David Wilkinson with the 2013 George Ritzer Memorial Award at a ceremony being held at Bergman Park, Monday, Sept. 2, at 4 p.m.

The award was named after local labor leader George Ritzer, who served as president of the Jamestown Area Labor Council for more than 20 years.

He organized and served as president of the Food and Commercial Workers Local 1.

In 1984, the late Ben Spitale wanted to give recognition to a labor leader who was affiliated with the Jamestown Area Labor Council AFL-CIO. The committee felt that Labor Day would be the most appropriate time for this recognition. The committee consisted of the late Ben Spitale, the late Anthony Raffa, Pete Thorenson, Doug Card, George Spitale and Michael Piazza.

The award is given to an individual who volunteers and contributes toward the labor movement and volunteers time to community organizations.

Wilkinson will be presented with a plaque and medallion from the Jamestown Area Labor Council AFL-CIO.

Wilkinson has been a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local Union 106 since December 1986. During his time with Local 106, he has been appointed union steward on several jobs. Wilkinson was also an executive board member from 1991-92, before holding the office of vice president from 1992-95. He has sat on the negotiating committee during five contract ratifications.

In 2007, Wilkinson was elected business manager and financial secretary of Local 106 and continues to serve in this capacity. He also serves as the training director for the Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee, as well as serving as co-chairman to the Trust Funds Committee. As such, he is responsible for overseeing all of the day-to-day business associated with the Local Union.

The IBEW Local 106 membership consists of 176 inside journeyman wiremen, 30 apprentice wiremen and 15 waste water treatment workers.

Wilkinson is currently seated on the following boards: Chautauqua County Workforce Investment Board, Cattaraugus County Workforce Investment Board, Southwestern New York Building and Construction Trades Council as vice president, Jamestown Area Labor Coalition as a delegate, Dunkirk Area Labor Coalition as a delegate, Chautauqua County Labor Coalition as chairman, United Way of Southern Chautauqua County Board of Directors and Chautauqua County Workers’ Memorial Committee.

On April 25, Wilkinson was presented with the We Are One Award by the Western New York Labor Federation for his efforts in assisting and mobilizing on behalf of the workers and residents of the Chautauqua County Home as well as the entire Chautauqua community. He is currently engaged in the repower of the Dunkirk NRG facilities.

Wilkinson resides in Cassadaga with his wife, Kim Wilkinson. They have four grown daughters and three grandsons with another on the way.

Previous recipients of the George Ritzer Memorial Award include: Donald Lucas, Norman Smith, William Servis, David Painter, Rick Weilacher, Jim Smith, Gary Sorenson, Jeffrey Peterson, Clayton Barber, Anthony Foti, Edward Mifsud Stephen Skidmore, Vincent Capizzi, Michael Dye, Hobart Rhinehart, Helen Sischo, G. Steven Simpson, Jack Rudy, Donald Liden, John Campion, G. William Samuelson, E. Douglas Card, Bruce Rhinehart, Vaughn Rudy, Benjamin Spitale, Michael Piazza, James Kurtz, George Spitale and Robert Franco.