Fonds RBSC-ARC-1365 - Tom McGrath fonds

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Tom McGrath fonds

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6 m of textual records;125 photographs;61 sound recordings

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Biographical history

Born in Saint John, New Brunswick, Tom McGrath had a long and distinguished career in the labour movement. He was active in a Canadian Seamen's Union strike in South Africa in 1949. He was a delegate to the founding convention of the West Coast Seamen's Union which replaced the disbanded CSU on the West Coast. After the collapse of the Second Narrows Bridge in Vancouver in June, 1958, he refused to take his men back to work, was dismissed by the International Association of Bridge, Structural and Ornamental Ironworkers Union, and organized the Canadian Ironworkers Local No. 1 and became its Secretary. He was President of Local 400, Seamen's Section of the Canadian Brotherhood of Railway, Transport and General Workers, 1970-1982, as well as serving as an Inspector for the International Transport Federation in Vancouver. He served as National Vice-President for the CBRT in Ottawa for 12 years and became President of the Canadian Merchant Navy Association in 1990. He died in 1996 after a prolonged battle with cancer.

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Scope and content

The fonds consists of textual material (subject files, correspondence, minutes, financial statements, and printed material) relating to Tom McGrath's activities with the following unions: International Association of Bridge, Structural and Ornamental Ironworkers, Vancouver Local 97, 1955-1964; Canadian Ironworkers Local No. 1, 1960-1968; Wood, Wine and Metal Lather's International Union, 1960-1973; Canadian Brotherhood of Railway, Transport and General Workers, Seamen's Section, Local 400, 1968-1982; and the Canadian Merchant Navy Association, 1990-1995. The fonds also includes interviews with various individuals including Frank Kennedy, Art Kube, Cliff Anstein, and Jess Succamore, involved in solidarity and union issues, his political campaign on behalf of the New Democratic Party in the Vancouver-Little Mountain provincial riding, and photographs of the Second Narrows Bridge.

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Inventory available. PDF document attached.

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Photograph identifier: BC-1956
Audiovisual identifier: SPC-82

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