Sunday, December 15, 2013

RIP Jack Munro

Reading the remembrances for former IWA leader Jack Munro I am struck by how widespread the recognition is that he was a labour leader from another era.

Here's one of the better ones.

Munro was IWA President when I joined that union in 1979. Thanks to the IWA I was making a well above average middle class income as a maintenance welder. I worked for a small millwright outfit, but our work took us into sawmills all over southern Vancouver Island.

It was good work, good pay, and thanks to the efforts of old-school guys like Jack Munro, that was an era when you were proud of your union affiliation.

While it's tempting to say those days are over, I'm going to be a glass-half-full guy and predict that there will be another generation of Jack Munros, Jimmy Hoffas, C.S. Jacksons, and Bob Whites coming along.

There's a generation of young folks out there who can't find jobs that will pay off their student loans, let alone make a decent life. Sooner or later this generation is going to take the reins from our current generation of labour leaders. Strike action will make a return. Solidarity will once again mean something. Two-tier contracts will be a thing of a past.

It can't happen soon enough.

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