Kevin Kotyk: Product Consultant - Local 58 - GOLICO Component
Our dues payments provide tremendous privileges that include having a say in how our union operates and functions. It allows us to attend education seminars, health and safety training, the possibility of being elected as a delegate to the MGEU Convention. I have attended conferences and conventions in Fredericton, NB, Halifax, NS and Vancouver BC, so if you love to travel and meet people, being a union activist can definitely present you with opportunities.
Thanks to MGEU members like Kevin Kotyk, a Product Consultant with the Manitoba Liquor Control Commission (MLCC) in Brandon, Manitobans can find the right bottle of wine, beer or spirits they're looking for while knowing such products are being controlled and sold responsibly in our communities.
A Product Consultant's job is to assist customers with their selections by answering any questions they may have while allowing them to try something new and exciting. But while their primary role is to find the right product for the customer, it's equally important that they make sure the product is being sold to the right customer. That's why all MLCC staff are trained vigorously in how to handle customers who are not fit for the purchase of alcohol, including minors and those who are intoxicated. These controls help keep our communities safer and Kevin takes this part of his job very seriously.
He also takes great satisfaction in helping someone pair the perfect wine with a dinner they're serving. "I have developed an appreciation for wine and I love taking additional internal training courses and attending wine festivals to further develop my palate. There is so much to learn about being a product consultant and I enjoy the educational aspect of my position. It is a privilege to work for a positive and innovative Crown Corporation like the MLCC."
Kevin is an MGEU activist. He's held numerous union positions since 2006 and has been involved in bargaining two Collective Agreements for his component. He currently serves as the Chair of the GOLICO (Government Liquor Commission) Component Executive, is the newly-elected Chair of the union's Technological Change committee and, at 29, is one of the youngest current members to sit on the MGEU Board of Directors.
Kevin credits his curiosity about how unions work along with the encouragement he received from a few of his fellow MGEU members for his strong union involvement.
"I attended my first local meeting because I was curious what the MGEU and Unions were all about," says Kotyk. "In attendance that evening was MGEU 2nd Vice-President Stephen Roznowsky. He answered all of my questions that evening and has served as an incredible mentor for me during my six years of activism in the GOLICO Component."
As local president, Kevin attended Area 3 council meetings and shortly thereafter was nominated by veteran MGEU activist Val Drosdoski for a standing committee position on the Constitution and By-laws Committee.
"As fate would have it, I was elected Area 3 Director in 2010, and through our Area Council and Board of Directors, Val Drosdoski was nominated and approved to be awarded the MGEU Solidarity Award. So it will be nice to present Val with the award at our next area council meeting because she helped me get my start in the Union."
After all of the help that Kevin's received from the union's veterans, he realizes that it's his turn to be a mentor for other young MGEU members and help get them involved.
"Our dues payments provide tremendous privileges that include having a say in how our union operates and functions. It allows us to attend education seminars, health and safety training, the possibility of being elected as a delegate to the MGEU Convention. I have attended conferences and conventions in Fredericton, NB, Halifax, NS and Vancouver BC, so if you love to travel and meet people, being a union activist can definitely present you with opportunities."
Most importantly, Kevin says that being an activist has shaped his personal values and allowed him to learn about respectful workplaces, labour law, labour rights and equality.
"It has molded me into an individual I am proud to be. People are treated with respect and dignity and it's a true privilege to participate in that type of welcoming environment."