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Ian McDonald collection
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Ian McDonald collection

  • RBSC-ARC-1783
  • Collection
  • [1910?]-2017

The collection contains materials related to Ian McDonald's Master's thesis research on the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), Local 213 “Class conflict and political factionalism: a history of Local 213 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, 1901-1961," and related to the activities of his father, Les McDonald, a trade union activist who belonged to Local 213 but was eventually suspended for leading the Lenkurt strike of 1966. Les McDonald was also a multi-sport athlete, and is credited with introducing the triathlon into the Olympics; some materials in the collection relate to Les McDonald's involvement in various sport and environmental organizations, as well as some of his personal papers. In addition to what he received from his father, Ian McDonald was also given papers by former IBEW Local 213 business manager Art O’Keeffe and Barry Sharbo, a board member of the Canadian Union of Electrical Workers (UE), which are included within the collection.

The collection is largely comprised of newspaper and photocopied journal articles, correspondence between members of IBEW Local 213, legal documentation, newsletters and other printed ephemera related to IBEW Local 213.

The collection also contains sound recordings of interviews with numerous figures in IBEW Local 213 created by Ian McDonald during his thesis research. McDonald's thesis, submitted for the completion of a Master of Arts in History at Simon Fraser University, can be found in the Summit database: http://summit.sfu.ca/item/6361.

McDonald, Ian

Thesis research

The series contains materials collected by Ian McDonald for the purposes of writing his Master’s thesis on the history of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 213, from 1901 to 1961. Materials within the series include collective agreements, newspaper and journal articles, court case summaries, interview transcriptions, census tables, meeting minutes, correspondence and dissertations; most materials are photocopies rather than original documents, however.

Also included are materials that pertain to the Lenkurt strike of 1966, which McDonald omitted from his original thesis to limit its scope. He took up the events surrounding the Lenkurt strike in a later essay, “Spontaneity Went Out with Spartacus: IBEW Local 213, Les McDonald, and the Lenkurt Strike of 1966,” which McDonald regards as a continuation of his Master’s research; the essay is also part of the series.

Oral history and audio history material re: British Columbia Labour History

The file contains audio recordings relevant to British Columbia labour history, including oral narratives and tapings of radio broadcasts. Interviewees include numerous IBEW Local 213 figures, such as Ernie Fulton, Dusty Greenwell, Terry Simpson, George Gee, Jack Ross, Art O'Keeffe and Angus McDonald.

The interviewer on most of the cassettes is Ian McDonald; some interviews were conducted by Simon Fraser University History professor, Allan Seager, who was also McDonald's supervisor for his Master's thesis.

[IBEW Photographs]

File contains photographs documenting an IBEW labour struggle in Squamish, BC over July and August of 1965. Also contains photographs of the 1966 IBEW Canadian progress meeting attendees.

Collected papers

The series contains materials belonging to Ian McDonald’s father, Leslie (Les) McDonald, and other figures involved in IBEW Local 213. Materials relate predominantly to the activities of IBEW Local 213, though some papers also relate to Les McDonald’s involvement in various sports and community organizations, his writings and his personal correspondence.

Materials within the series include notebooks, postcards, letters, newsletters, newspaper articles and issues, legal documents and photographs. Relative to the ‘Thesis Research’ series, many more materials are original or copies made at the time the originals were created.

Lenkurt papers

The subseries contains materials related to the 1966 wildcat strike by IBEW Local 213 workers at Lenkurt Electric, in which 257 members participated in a walkout that resulted in the loss of their jobs. A large number of the group were women protesting the employer’s demands for them to work overtime. The month-long dispute that followed was at times violent in response to the court injunctions and police presence sought by the employer.

The subseries is predominantly comprised of newspaper articles collected around the time of the strike; there are also legal documents related to Les McDonald’s appeal of his suspension following the Lenkurt strike, pamphlets, correspondence and photocopies of meeting minutes made by Ian McDonald.

IBEW Local 213 papers

The subseries contains materials related to the activities of IBEW Local 213 between 1949 and the mid-1970s, including affidavits, reports, correspondence and newspapers. Documented within the subseries is the internal conflict between the IBEW’s American leadership and trade union activists within Local 213, and attempts to unite IBEW Locals in British Columbia through a provincial council. Also contains numerous issues of IBEW Local 213’s newspaper, the 213 Live Wire, between the mid-1950s and mid-1970s.

[Collected IBEW Local 213 materials, 1949-1959]

File contains affidavits, telegrams, letters and other correspondence related to political matters within IBEW Local 213 during the 1950s, including the gathering of testimony against George Gee and Alex Dorland, and IBEW representative Jack Ross reporting back to IBEW International secretary J. Scott Milne about "a good Local going bad."

Barry Sharbo papers

The subseries contains newspaper clippings, pamphlets, official correspondence, bulletins and other ephemera collected by Barry Sharbo, who was the spokesperson for the breakaway movement from IBEW Local 213 in 1967 which would eventually become the Canadian Union of Electrical Workers (CEW/CEWU/UE). Also contains a copy of the CEW's constitution and a proof copy of the first issue of Live Wire, the CEW's newspaper.

Art O'Keeffe papers

The subseries contains materials collected by Art O’Keeffe, former business manager of the IBEW Local 213, including correspondence and legal documentation regarding his suspension from the union following the Lenkurt strike in 1966. Also contains newspaper clippings and court case summaries, some of which may have been added later by Ian McDonald.

O’Keeffe, Art, b. 1918

Les McDonald papers

The subseries contains materials collected by and about Les McDonald including notebooks on his union activities and his participation at the Community Party Education Camp in 1964, newspaper articles he wrote, documents related to the appeal of his suspension from IBEW Local 213, personal correspondence and photographs of IBEW Local 213 members engaging in a job action in 1965. In particular, there are a large number of postcards that he sent to his mentor, Bill Stewart, while McDonald was traveling in his bid to get the sport of triathlon into the Olympics.

McDonald, Les, 1933-2017

[Issues of 213 Live Wire (3 of 3)]

File contains various issues of "213 Live Wire," the newspaper of IBEW Local 213. A few copies of "Live Wire," the newspaper of the Canadian Union for Electrical Workers are also within the file, as well as some IBEW Local 213 business manager newsletters. Also contains a copy of the December 1964 issue of the Electrical Worker's Journal with handwritten annotations by Les McDonald.

[Issues of 213 Live Wire (1 of 3)]

File contains various issues of "213 Live Wire," the newspaper of IBEW Local 213. A few copies of "Live Wire," the newspaper of the Canadian Union for Electrical Workers are also within the file, as well as some IBEW Local 213 business manager newsletters. Also contains a copy of the December 1964 issue of the Electrical Worker's Journal with handwritten annotations by Les McDonald.

[Issues of 213 Live Wire (2 of 3)]

File contains various issues of "213 Live Wire," the newspaper of IBEW Local 213. A few copies of "Live Wire," the newspaper of the Canadian Union for Electrical Workers are also within the file, as well as some IBEW Local 213 business manager newsletters. Also contains a copy of the December 1964 issue of the Electrical Worker's Journal with handwritten annotations by Les McDonald.

Pacific Tribune, 1957-1958 (strikes) re: 213

File contains photocopies of articles from the Pacific Tribune concerning IBEW Local 213's strike action against B.C. Electric, Hume and Rumble and Peterson Electric in March 1958, as well as the subsequent lockout by the Associated Electrical Contractors of B.C. in May 1958; Art O'Keeffe, John Waplington and George Gee are mentioned.

Business Manager Reports (1964-1966)

File contains five Business Manager's newsletters for Local IBEW 213, while Art O'Keeffe was business manager and financial secretary. Issues include June 1964, June 1965, September 1965, December 1965 & March 1966.

Jimmy Hall (papers) - charges in 1955

File contains photocopied documents related to charges by the IBEW Local 213 against Jimmy Hall, as well as documents related to the suspension of George Gee in 1955. Also contains a photocopy of "A Ballad of 213," and photocopied reports given by J. Waplington (President of Local 213) and Art O'Keeffe (Vice-President) at the 1954 IBEW convention.

John McCuish

File contains a letter by Art O'Keeffe charging John McCuish with violations related to creating dissent among members, a statement from McCuish about a visit from the RCMP, a copy of the IBEW's decision on McCuish's appeal, and a photocopied newspaper article by Tom McEwen, "Union wreckers linked to RCMP."

[Collected newspaper clippings]

File contains newspaper clippings from the Province, the Sun, Pacific Tribune and the Barker, mostly related to Art O'Keeffe or the use of injunctions in labor disputes.

Court Cases

File contains full text decisions of B.C. Dist. Telegraph Co. v. IBEW Local 213 (1965); IBEW Local 28 v. IBEW and Gordon Freeman, IBEW President (1961) and IBEW Local 28 v. IBEW Local 24 (1963). Although the file was explicitly grouped with the Art O'Keeffe papers in the received order of the collection (i.e. through the physical arrangement and a file list), O'Keeffe himself could not have collected copies of the court cases in 2016.

[Lenkurt suspension appeal documents]

File contains documents related to Art O'Keeffe's appeal of his suspension from the IBEW on the grounds of his involvement in the 'Lenkurt dispute' of 1966. Also contains "Injunctions have no place in labor disputes," the statement of Jeffrey James Power to the appeal court of British Columbia in support of Local 213 workers suspended after the Lenkurt Strike (published by the Marine Workers' & Boilermakers' Industrial Union Local #1), and some personal correspondence addressed to Art O'Keeffe supporting his position.

[Correspondence related to IBEW charges]

File contains copies of official correspondence related to charges brought against Art O'Keeffe by IBEW president Angus McDonald in November 1962, as well as charges against other IBEW members in 1965 and 1966 that O'Keeffe supported. Also contains a and an incomplete copy of O'Keeffe's appeal of his suspension.

[Lenkurt newspaper articles (2 of 2)]

File contains articles from various Vancouver-area newspapers documenting the events of the Lenkurt strike in 1966. Also contains an obituary for Jim Kinnaird and a retrospective article in the Pacific Tribune written in 1986.

[Lenkurt newspaper articles (1 of 2)]

File contains articles from various Vancouver-area newspapers documenting the events of the Lenkurt strike in 1966. Also contains an obituary for Jim Kinnaird and a retrospective article in the Pacific Tribune written in 1986.

[Materials related to the Canadian Union of Electrical Workers breakaway movement (3 of 3)]

File contains pamphlets, letters, newspaper clippings and other ephemera collected from Barry Sharbo, an electrician belonging to IBEW Local 213 who was charged for his involvement in the Lenkurt Strike and went on to join and become a board member of the Canadian Electrical Workers Union Local 1. The contents of the file relate primarily to the Lenkurt Strike and the formation of the Canadian Electrical Workers Union.

[Materials related to the Canadian Union of Electrical Workers breakaway movement (2 of 3)]

File contains pamphlets, letters, newspaper clippings and other ephemera collected from Barry Sharbo, an electrician belonging to IBEW Local 213 who was charged for his involvement in the Lenkurt Strike and went on to join and become a board member of the Canadian Electrical Workers Union Local 1. The contents of the file relate primarily to the Lenkurt Strike and the formation of the Canadian Electrical Workers Union.

[Materials related to the Canadian Union of Electrical Workers breakaway movement (1 of 3)]

File contains pamphlets, letters, newspaper clippings and other ephemera collected from Barry Sharbo, an electrician belonging to IBEW Local 213 who was charged for his involvement in the Lenkurt Strike and went on to join and become a board member of the Canadian Electrical Workers Union Local 1. The contents of the file relate primarily to the Lenkurt Strike and the formation of the Canadian Electrical Workers Union.

[Postcards sent to Bill & Dora Stewart (3 of 3)]

File contains postcards sent by Les McDonald to Bill and Dora Stewart. The written contents of the postcards revolve around McDonald's travel with the International Olympic Committee to establish triathlon as an Olympic sport, though he discusses a wide range of topics and frequently offers sharp political commentary on the places he visits, the IOC, and current events.

[Postcards sent to Bill & Dora Stewart (2 of 3)]

File contains postcards sent by Les McDonald to Bill and Dora Stewart. The written contents of the postcards revolve around McDonald's travel with the International Olympic Committee to establish triathlon as an Olympic sport, though he discusses a wide range of topics and frequently offers sharp political commentary on the places he visits, the IOC, and current events.

[Postcards sent to Bill & Dora Stewart (1 of 3)]

File contains postcards sent by Les McDonald to Bill and Dora Stewart. The written contents of the postcards revolve around McDonald's travel with the International Olympic Committee to establish triathlon as an Olympic sport, though he discusses a wide range of topics and frequently offers sharp political commentary on the places he visits, the IOC, and current events.

[Personal correspondence (2 of 2)]

File contains letters related to Les McDonald's personal life, including eulogies written for Bill Stewart and Herb Crabtree, correspondence from and related to his father, and a copy of Charles Boylan's "Learn From the Teacher By Negative Example" with a dedication to Les McDonald. Also contains "Some Recollections of Les McDonald," by David Yorke.

[Personal correspondence (1 of 2)]

File contains letters related to Les McDonald's personal life, including eulogies written for Bill Stewart and Herb Crabtree, correspondence from and related to his father, and a copy of Charles Boylan's "Learn From the Teacher By Negative Example" with a dedication to Les McDonald. Also contains "Some Recollections of Les McDonald," by David Yorke.

Cypress Bowl Issue

File contains newspaper articles and memoranda related to the privatization of Cypress Bowl Park's cross-country ski trails.

[North Shore Transportation committee materials]

File contains typed statements from the North Shore Transportation committee related to rapid transit and responses to freeway proposals, and a newspaper editorial written by Les McDonald in response to journalist David Butler's characterization of "crossing opponents" critical of building a third freeway crossing in the Pemberton Heights area.

[Spontaneity Went Out With Spartacus]

File contains an essay written by Ian McDonald on the Lenkurt strike and his father's role within the strike; the full title is "Spontaneity Went Out With Spartacus: IBEW Local 213, Les McDonald, and the Lenkurt Strike of 1966." Ian McDonald considers the essay to be a continuation of his work on his 1986 Master's thesis, which discussed the IBEW before the Lenkurt strike.

[Labour conference materials (1 of 3)]

File contains conference packages and resolutions from labour conferences in the mid-1960s; materials relate to the Labour-Management Conference of Economic and Technological Changes in the Sixties (May 19 & 20, 1965); 10th Annual Convention of the BC Federation of Labour (November 1-5, 1965); and the Sixth Constitutional Convention Canadian Labour Congress (April 25-29, 1966).

[Labour conference materials (2 of 3)]

File contains conference packages and resolutions from labour conferences in the mid-1960s; materials relate to the Labour-Management Conference of Economic and Technological Changes in the Sixties (May 19 & 20, 1965); 10th Annual Convention of the BC Federation of Labour (November 1-5, 1965); and the Sixth Constitutional Convention Canadian Labour Congress (April 25-29, 1966).

[Labour conference materials (3 of 3)]

File contains conference packages and resolutions from labour conferences in the mid-1960s; materials relate to the Labour-Management Conference of Economic and Technological Changes in the Sixties (May 19 & 20, 1965); 10th Annual Convention of the BC Federation of Labour (November 1-5, 1965); and the Sixth Constitutional Convention Canadian Labour Congress (April 25-29, 1966).

Union notes [(1 of 3)]

File contains notebooks, newspaper clippings, handwritten notes and pamphlets related to Les McDonald's union activities with IBEW Local 213.

Union notes [(2 of 3)]

File contains notebooks, newspaper clippings, handwritten notes and pamphlets related to Les McDonald's union activities with IBEW Local 213.

Union notes [(3 of 3)]

File contains notebooks, newspaper clippings, handwritten notes and pamphlets related to Les McDonald's union activities with IBEW Local 213.

[1966 injunction documents]

File contains a court order initiated by Les McDonald against IBEW Local 213 restraining actions in response to the results of the August 15, 1966 election and a copy of a sworn affidavit by Les McDonald.

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