“Time after time, Leo showed an unshakeable commitment to the workers he represented, including a willingness to make significant personal sacrifices when needed” — Larry Brown, NUPGE President.
Ottawa (3 May. 2019) — Members of the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) are mourning the death of a leader in our union, Leo Puddister. Leo passed away peacefully on May 2 at the Health Sciences Centre in St. John’s, surrounded by his loving family. Leo is survived by his wife Bernie, his daughters Leah and Krista and his 5 grandchildren.
Leo Puddister’s election as President of the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public and Private Employees (NAPE/NUPGE) on May 16, 2003 came after decades of service to the union.
Following several years of service in the Canadian Armed Forces, Leo Puddister became a NAPE member in 1968 when he started work as a correctional officer. Within weeks, he was actively involved in his NAPE local as a shop steward, rising to become local president.
Puddister represented the correctional officers on NAPE/NUPGE’s provincial board of directors from 1979 to 1980. He served on NAPE/NUPGE’s provincial board as eastern vice-president from 1980 to 1983, during which time he led the establishment of affirmative action positions for women on NAPE/NUPGE’s board.
Experience and skills in negotiations will be remembered
In 1983, Puddister joined NAPE’s staff as an employee relations officer, and in 1999, he became NAPE’s senior negotiator. As a staff member, Puddister has negotiated more contracts, organized more groups, and arbitrated more grievances than anyone else in NAPE’s history. His win record in arbitration cases is one of the best in Canada.
Unshakeable commitment to the labour movement
“Time after time, Leo showed an unshakeable commitment to the workers he represented, including a willingness to make significant personal sacrifices when needed,” said Larry Brown, NUPGE President. “His incredible dedication to the labour movement will be missed.”
“The Officers, staff and Board of the National Union extend our condolences to Leo’s family and friends on their loss,” said Brown.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 390,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. — NUPGE