Â Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚  MARQUETTE – Velma M. Webber Bouchard and Jon G. “Jack” LaSalle will be inducted into the Upper Peninsula Labor Hall of Fame on Saturday, April 17, at Northern Michigan University.

 Â Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚  The event will include a 5:30 p.m. social hour and a 6:30 dinner, followed by the induction ceremony. It will be held in the Great Lakes Rooms of the University Center.

 Â Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚  Bouchard was born in 1931 in Curtis, Mich. She was raised in Luce County, attending the Newberry schools. She worked at Newberry Board of Water and Light from 1975-1993 and was a member of Local 2530, Council 55 (now Council 25), American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO.

 Â Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚  Within her union, she served as local president, secretary-treasurer and recording secretary. She was also a delegate to the Eastern U.P. Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO, and vice chair of the U.P. AFSCME Political Action Committee. Bouchard was trained by AFSCME International to be a local union training instructor and traveled throughout the Upper Peninsula teaching labor history and representation skills to AFSCME members. She served on the U.P. AFSCME community services committee and on the union women/minorities leadership training program board in the 80s.

 Â Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚  Beyond her union service, Bouchard is recognized for her Democratic Party activities. She has been chair of the Luce County Democratic Party since 1988. Her other positions have included officer-at-large of the Michigan Democratic Party; delegate to the 1992 Democratic National Convention; and alternate delegate to the Michigan Democratic State Central Committee. During the Blanchard administration, Bouchard was appointed to the Controlled Substance Advisory Committee and to the International Trade Advisory Board.

 Â Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚  LaSalle was born in Nahma, Mich., in 1948. He graduated from Garden High School and earned a bachelorÂ’s degree from NMU. Shortly after college, he began an apprenticeship as an ironworker and became an apprentice member of Local 783, International Association of Bridge, Structural, Reinforcing and Ornamental Iron Workers, AFL-CIO.

 Â Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚  In 1975, LaSalle became a journeyman ironworker and took a staff representative position with Council 55, AFSCME. He later took a position with the Michigan State AFL-CIOÂ’s Labor Employment and Development Program, serving as the lead staff person in organizing the Eastern U.P. Central Labor Council and the Dickinson-Iron Counties Central Labor Council. He has also been active in politics, serving as chair of the Marquette County Democratic Party since 2001.

LaSalle served several terms as financial secretary-treasurer for the Marquette County Labor Council, AFL-CIO. He also served seven years as president of the Labor Council and is now its recording secretary. LaSalle is in his 19th year as a field representative for the Michigan State Building and Construction Trades Council, serving the U.P. and the northern Lower Peninsula. He is an active member of Ironworkers Local 8 and maintains memberships with the Industrial Workers of the World and the American Civil Liberties Union.

Tickets for the induction banquet and ceremony are $25 per person and may be purchased from the Marquette County Labor Council at 710 Chippewa Square, Suite 205, in Marquette. For more information, contact Shana Harvala at sharvala@chartermi.net.

The U.P. Labor Hall of Fame is located in the Superior Dome. It was established in 1993 at NMU to recognize workers who have made an outstanding contribution to the cause of worker dignity and workplace fairness.

Prepared By
Miriam Moeller and Kristi Evans
News Director