Browse "Labour Leaders"

Displaying 1-20 of 35 results

Abraham Albert Heaps

Abraham Albert Heaps, labour politician (b at Leeds, England 24 Dec 1885; d at Bournemouth, England 4 Apr 1954). An impoverished English Jew who immigrated to Canada in 1911, Heaps, an upholsterer, became a distinguished parliamentarian as member for Winnipeg North from 1925-40.


Alexander Whyte Wright

Alexander Whyte Wright, journalist, labour leader, politician (b at Elmira, Ont 17 Dec 1845; d c 1919). After some business attempts in southwestern Ontario, he became a journalist and newspaper editor in the 1870s.


Alfred Charpentier

Alfred Charpentier, labour leader (b at Montréal 25 Nov 1888; d there 13 Nov 1982). Working as a bricklayer 1905-15, he became president of the International Union of Bricklayers in 1911.


Allan Studholme

Allan Studholme, stovemounter, labour leader and politician (b at Drake's Cross, Worcestershire, Eng 8 Dec 1846; d at Hamilton, Ont 20 July 1919).


Alphonsus Gregory Duggan

Alphonsus Gregory Duggan, labour leader (b at Holyrood, Nfld 21 Sept 1884; d at Grand Falls, Nfld 26 July 1970). In 1913 Duggan helped organize Local 63 of the International Pulp, Sulphite and Papermill Workers Union and became its first president.


Bromley Armstrong

Bromley Lloyd Armstrong, CM, OOnt, Black trade unionist, community organizer and activist (born 9 February 1926 in Kingston, Jamaica; died 17 August 2018 in Toronto, ON). Bromley Armstrong was a pivotal figure in the early anti-discrimination campaigns in Ontario that led to Canada’s first anti-discrimination laws. A self-described “blood and guts” ally of the working poor, Armstrong demonstrated a lifelong commitment to the trade union movement and the battle against disadvantage and discrimination. For more than six decades, Armstrong worked for human rights, helping to generate civic and government support for racial equality and advocating for human rights reforms in public policy.


Helen (Ma) Armstrong

Helen (Ma) Armstrong (née Jury), labour activist, women’s rights activist (born 17 June 1875 in Toronto, Ontario; died 17 April 1947 in Los Angeles, California). Helen Armstrong was a labour activist who fought for the rights of working-class women throughout her life. She was the leader of the Winnipeg Women’s Labor League and a central figure in the 1919 Winnipeg General Strike. She campaigned for unions, a minimum wage and social security, and against conscription. Armstrong was arrested for her activism at least three times, including twice during the Winnipeg General Strike. Historian Esyllt Jones described Helen Armstrong as “the exception in a male-dominated labour movement.”


Bob White

Robert White, OC, labour leader (born 28 April 1935 in Upper Lands, Northern Ireland; died 19 February 2017 in Kincardine, ON). Among his many achievements as a union organizer, White was the founding president of the Canadian Auto Workers union. His autobiography, Hard Bargains: My Life on the Line, was published in 1987.


Buzz Hargrove (Profile)

The presidential suite of the downtown Toronto hotel is not looking terribly presidential. Glossy mahogany surfaces are littered with papers and empty pop cans. There is a constant flow of denim-clad people and a perpetual hum of fax machines. This is the "war room" of the Canadian Auto Workers.


Sleeping Car Porters in Canada

Sleeping car porters were railway employees who attended to passengers aboard sleeping cars. Porters were responsible for passengers’ needs throughout a train trip, including carrying luggage, setting up beds, pressing clothes and shining shoes, and serving food and beverages, among other services. The vast majority of sleeping car porters were Black men and the position was one of only a few job opportunities available to Black men in Canada. While the position carried respect and prestige for Black men in their communities, the work demanded long hours for little pay. Porters could be fired suddenly and were often subjected to racist treatment. Black Canadian porters formed the first Black railway union in North America (1917) and became members of the larger Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters in 1939. Both unions combatted racism and the many challenges that porters experienced on the job.


J.L. Cohen

Jacob Laurence Cohen, lawyer (b at Manchester, Eng 1898; d at Toronto 24 May 1950). Immigrating with his family to Canada in 1908, Cohen supported his mother and 5 younger children after his father's death in 1911.


Jeanne Corbin

Jeanne Henriette Corbin, communist activist and union organizer (born in March 1906 in Cellettes, France; died 7 May 1944 in London, Ontario). A member of the Communist Party of Canada and secretary of the Canadian Labour Defense League, she defended the rights of Canadian workers for over 15 years. She gained particular prominence for her role in the lumber workers’ strike in Rouyn, Quebec in 1933.


Daniel John O'Donoghue

Daniel John O'Donoghue, printer, trade union leader, politician (b at Lakes of Killarney, Ire 1844; d at Toronto 16 Jan 1907). "The father of the Canadian labor movement" began his apprenticeship as a printer in Ottawa


Fernand Daoust

Fernand Daoust, trade union official (b at Montréal 26 Oct 1926). Between 1969 and 1993, he was successively General Secretary and President of the Québec Federation of Labour (QFL), and a major force and key figure on the Québécois scene.


Joe Davidson

Joe Davidson, labour leader (b at Shotts, Scot 1915; d at Motherwell, Scot 23 Sept 1985). Always political, he described himself as an evolutionary socialist "with the proviso that evolution needed a shove at every opportunity.