David Gellately

Interviewed by Patricia Wejr and Donna Sacuta

Born in Newfoundland, David Gellately made his way to B.C. in the early 1970s. He became a provincial government employee in northern B.C. and an activist in his union, the BCGEU. David was elected as Regional Vice President for northwestern B.C. and was at the master bargaining table during the negotiations in 1983 when the province came close to a general strike during Operation Solidarity. When he became a staff member of the union he lived and worked in Terrace, Kamloops and Prince George before finally being Regional Coordinator in Victoria. He also held municipal office in Terrace, and was elected to the hospital board in Kamloops. This interview includes several anecdotes from his time as a union representative, and reflects on the nastiness of local politics in small-town B.C. He expresses his satisfaction with having organized workers and having successfully negotiated first collective agreements for them.

Keywords: BCGEU; John Shields; Dave MacKinnon; Terrace; Smithers; Kamloops; Prince George; Victoria; Newfoundland; NDP; Operation Solidarity; OpSol; George Heyman;

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