According to Indymedia
Scenes of jubilation and tears of joy greeted the stunning victory by Jill Ovens in yesterday’s election for the new Northern Region Secretary of the Service and Food Workers’ Union. The special delegates conference of 112 voting delegates gave Ms Ovens the clear mandate of a 68 to 44 winning result.
Ms Ovens upset success over Lisa Eldret, Darien Fenton’s anointed successor, was achieved in spite of repeated and sustained interference in the election process by the new Labour MP. Fenton even turned up at the special delegates’ election conference in the guise of Eldret’s scrutineer, the only capacity in which she was allowed entry into the closed meeting. This was so she could talk to delegates and try and convince them to vote for her nominee, Eldret.
Jill Ovens is as “old left” as they come. A co-leader until 2005 of what’s left of the Alliance Party, Ovens has taken a leading role in opposing war on Iraq, the Vietnam War, US backing of contras in Nicaragua, and the proliferation of nuclear weapons by the US. She has also spoken out against the privatisation of water services, rail and tertiary education. Jill has twice stood as Alliance candidate for Mt Albert on an anti-privatisation, anti-war platform… she is active in the wider trade union movement at a national level as CTU Women’s Council Convenor and recently attended the ICFTU World Women’s Conference as one of two CTU delegates.
Ovens is also active in the NZ/Cuba Friendship Society and was a member of the 1999/2000 Southern Cross Brigade of 40 Australians and NZers who travelled to Cuba during the 40th anniversary of the revolution. The Brigadistas generously picked 45 tonnes of oranges for the people of Havana to help relieve the food shortages caused by the evil US blockade of Cuba.
At the 2003 Alliance conference Ovens stated “that the conditions are right to unify the left and turn the growing anti capitalist movement into a force to replace capitalism with a fairer more equitable society”
In 2004 she stood for the Auckland Regional Council on the Manukau Vision ticket
Ovens, has a Masters Degree in Journalism and was an AUT Senior Lecturer in Journalism and former National President of the Association of Staff in Tertiary Education