Interviewed by Phil Legg
Peter Cameron was chief shop steward at the Phillips Cables plant in Vancouver, the first plant certified with the Canadian Electrical Workers, which merged with CAIMAW (Canadian Association of Industrial Mechanical and Electrical Workers) in 1969. He served on the CAIMAW national executive board and then came on staff as a national representative in the early 1970s. Peter negotiated collective agreements, handled arbitrations, and serviced local unions, especially in the mining industry where he played a key role, confronting a number of belligerent employers. He worked hard to establish a democratic Canadian union, replacing American-based unions, and organizing unorganized workers. Peter served on the Labour Relations Board. Peter then became the executive director of the Health Sciences Association (HSA) and later became part of the provincial government in the public sector, including serving as ADM (Assistant Deputy Minister) in the Ministry of Health.
Keywords: Afton mine; BCTF (B.C. Teachers’ Federation); Bill Rudichuk; Bennett; Bethlehem Copper; CAIMAW (Canadian Association of Industrial; Mechanical and Allied Workers); Canadian Kenworth; Canadian union; CEW (Canadian Electrical Workers) ; Closer to Home; Craigmont; CUPE (Canadian Union of Public Employees); Data processing workers; Dave Barrett; David Doorey; Donald R. Munroe; Ed Peck; Endako; Gary Moser; George Brown; Gibraltar; Glen Clark; HSA (Health Sciences Association); IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers); Jack Campbell; Jack Wasserman; Jef Keighley; Jess Succamore; John Fryer; Korbin Commission; Labour Relations Board; Lenkurt Electric Strike; lockouts; Lory Fairfield; Margaret Mitchell; Mine-Mill; mining industry; Moulders’ union; Murray Martin; NDP (New Democratic Party); Noranda; Operating Engineers; Pat Atherton; Peter Burton; Phillips Cables; Placer; Protected concerted activity; Public sector; Public Sector Employers’ Council; Pulp Sulphite union; Roger Crowther; Royal Commission on Health Care and Costs; Shaughnessy Hospital; Socreds; Steelworkers; strikes; Vancouver Hospital; Vander Zalm; Vince Ready; Women workers