Browse "Labour Leaders"

Displaying 21-35 of 35 results
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Gérard Picard

Gérard Picard, labour leader, (born at Stratford-Centre, Qué 27 May 1907, died at Montréal, 19 Jun 1980). After completing a law degree at Laval, he was a journalist for L'Événement and L'Action catholique in Québec City during the early 1930s.

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Harold Horwood

Harold Andrew Horwood, columnist, union organizer, politician, editor, novelist (b at St John's 2 Nov 1923; d at Annapolis Royal 16 April 2006). A union organizer and politician during the late 1940s and early 1950s, Horwood supported J.R.

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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.”

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Helena Gutteridge

Helena Rose Gutteridge, feminist, trade unionist, socialist politician (b at London, Eng 1879 or 1880; d at Vancouver 3 Oct 1960). Gutteridge immigrated to BC in 1911 and organized the BC Women's Suffrage League.

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Humphrey Mitchell

Humphrey Mitchell, electrician, trade unionist, politician (b at Old Shoreham, Eng 9 Sept 1894; d at Ottawa 1 Aug 1950). After serving in the Royal Navy in WWI, Mitchell settled in Hamilton, Ontario, to work as an electrician.

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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.

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James Ryan

James Ryan, railway machinist, labour leader (born 1840 in County Clare, Ireland; died 17 December 1896 in Hamilton, ON). James Ryan was a machinist and railway engineer for the Great Western Railway and later the Grand Trunk Railway. He was a powerful voice in the Canadian Nine Hour Movement, which fought for a shorter workday. Ryan also helped establish the Canadian Labor Protective and Mutual Improvement Association in 1872, the forerunner of the Canadian Labor Union.

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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.

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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.

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John Hewitt

John Hewitt, cooper, labour leader, editor (flourished 1860s-90s). After extensive experience in American labour reform, Hewitt became a major Toronto labour leader. He helped found the Toronto Trades Assembly, led the NINE-HOUR

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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.

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Stanley G. Grizzle

Stanley George Sinclair Grizzle, CM, OOnt, citizenship judge, politician, civil servant, labour union activist (born 18 November 1918 in Toronto, ON; died 12 November 2016 in Toronto, ON). Stanley Grizzle had an illustrious career as a railway porter, soldier, civil servant, citizenship judge and activist for the rights of Black Canadians.