John Bowman


Interviewed by Phil Legg

John Bowman grew up in the north end of Winnipeg and went to the University of Winnipeg studying labour history and journalism. He became active in progressive issues. John edited the student union newspaper while taking a full course load. He later worked for CUP for a year. While editing the student newspaper at U of W, John participated in many picket lines at the Griffin Steel Foundry where the issue was the CAIMAW foundry workers opposing compulsory overtime. It was a long battle against the company and the strikebreakers, where the police were firmly on the side of the boss.
John moved to the West Coast to become the editor of the CAIMAW newspaper, writing material and conducting many workers’ compensation and B.C. Labour Relations Board appeal hearings. He also became a winger for the B.C. LRB and eventually became a labour side member of the Federal Labour Board in Ottawa. John then moved back to Vancouver where he headed the regional Federal Labour Board office.

John developed considerable expertise as a successful union organizer and has many useful perspectives on how unions can be more effective in organizing, including changing laws to ensure unions have access to unorganized workplaces.

Winnipeg; University of Winnipeg; Winnipeg General Strike; One Big Union; CUP; CAIMAW; compulsory overtime; Griffin Steel Foundry; strikebreakers; Steelworkers; B.C. Labour Relations Board; federal labour board; union organizing; Jess Succamore; Pat McEvoy; Peter Cameron; Kenworth; data processing; union militancy; Placer; Endako; Gibraltar; mining; Craigmont; emergency assessment plan; secondary picketing; picketing; solidarity; certification; certs; strikes; Quebec; Ste. Therese; Kenworth; safety; Cathy Walker; WCB; health and safety; Review Board; Compensation Commissioners; witnesses; evidence; hearings; WCB appeals; lawyer; litigation; collective agreement; money; cross examination; manufacturing; industrial union; White Spot; Kentucky Fried Chicken; FASWOC; Local 40; hotels; mergers; airline workers; railway workers; CBRT; Cascade Aerospace; trucking; port; container trucking; Teamsters; Jim Sinclair; master agreement; Indo-Canadian; Lamber Sidhu; community; licences; injunction; CAW; democratic leadership; independent Canadian union; referendum; Canadian Labour Congress; B.C. Federation of Labour; Tom Fox; radical action; Organizing Institute; GEU; Bob Chernecki; Buzz Hargrove; federal unions; Federal Board; Ottawa; adjudication; arbitrations; industrial relations; non-union terminations; just and reasonable cause; collective bargaining; shop stewards; automatic certification; vote; Starbucks; strategy; access to workplaces

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