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Joe Morris (trade unionist)


Joe Morris (trade unionist)

Joe Morris
3rd President of the Canadian Labour Congress
In office
Preceded by Donald MacDonald
Succeeded by Dennis McDermott
Executive Vice President of the Canadian Labour Congress
In office
President Claude Jodoin
Donald MacDonald
Regional Vice President, Western Canada, of the International Woodworkers of America
In office
Personal details
Born (1913-06-14)June 14, 1913
Lancashire, England
Died October 11, 1996(1996-10-11) (aged 83)
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Spouse(s) Margaret Morris[1]
Occupation Trade unionist, logger
Military service
Service/branch Canadian Army
Rank Lieutenant

Joseph "Joe" Morris, CC (14 June 1913 - 11 October 1996) was a Canadian trade unionist mostly noted as the president of the Canadian Labour Congress in the 1970s.


  • Early life 1
  • IWA and CLC years 2
  • Post CLC career 3
  • Reference and notes 4

Early life

Born in England, he immigrated to British Columbia in 1929 where he worked as a logger. He joined the trade union movement, first with a union of unemployed workers and then with the Lumber and Sawmill Workers Union in 1934.[2] The union later joined the International Woodworkers of America (IWA)[3] and he became a leader in the movement rising to the position of president of Local 1-80 in 1948.[4] World War II interrupted his life, just like everyone else's in that time. He joined the Canadian Army, and was given the commission of Lieutenant.[2]

IWA and CLC years

An anti-Communist in the union movement, Morris was active in opposing Communist Party activists in the IWA when he returned from serving in World War II and became the IWA's regional president for Western Canada in 1953.[2] He left his IWA position in 1962 to become executive vice-president of the Canadian Labour Congress serving until 1974 when he became CLC president.[1]

In 1976, he led the CLC in a national day of protest involving one million workers going on a one day general strike against wage and price controls being implemented by the Liberal government of Pierre Trudeau.[3]

He also served as vice-president of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions in the 1970s and presided over two International Trade Union Conferences for Action Against Apartheid held in Geneva in 1973 and 1977.[3]

In 1977, Morris was elected chairman of the governing body

Preceded by
Donald MacDonald
President of the Canadian Labour Congress
Succeeded by
Dennis McDermott
  1. ^ a b c d Canadian Press (1996-10-14). "Trade union boss, Joe Morris played international role".  
  2. ^ a b c Clarke, John (February 1997). "Industry Watch:Bland New Era Beckons Generic IWA-Canada". Logging & Sawmilling Journal. Inc. Retrieved 2007-02-13. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "Biography: Joe Morris". Members of the Independent Commission on International Development Issues (ICIDI). Centre for Global Negotiations. Retrieved 2007-02-15. 
  4. ^ a b MACDOWELL, LAUREL SEFTON. "MORRIS, JOE". The Canadian Encyclopedia. HISTOR!CA. Retrieved 2007-02-15. 
  5. ^ a b "Honours, Order of Canada: Joseph Morris, C.C., LL.D.". Governor General of Canada. Retrieved 2009-11-06. 
  6. ^ "Obituary: Joseph Morris". 267th Session, Report of the Director-General. International Labour Organization. November 1996. Retrieved 2007-02-23. 

Reference and notes

He had a heart attack on 8 October 1996, and died at the Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria,[1] British Columbia on 11 October 1996.[6]

For his many years of national and international service to the labour movement, he was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada on June 25, 1978.[5] For his service in international human rights and labour circles, Morris was promoted, on June 25, 1984, to highest class of the Order of Canada: Companion.[5] In later life he served on the Independent Commission on International Development Issues (the Brandt Commission)[3] and on the boards of the Bank of Canada and the BC Ferries Corporation.[4]

Post CLC career

[1] He retired as CLC president in 1978.[3]

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