Sean Griffin


Interviewed by Ken Novakowski

Sean grew up in Burnaby where he began his political activism early as a paperboy delivering Pacific Tribune newspapers for Harold Pritchett. Sean’s father was the longtime editor of the Pacific Tribune and Sean’s mother was also politically active. Due to the Cold War she was surveilled by the RCMP’s Red Squad but was fortunately able to keep her work as a teacher due to the courage of the Burnaby school superintendent.

Sean later became editor of the Tribune where his widely-read analysis helped to squelch Bob Skelly’s proposal for bringing in a Prices and Incomes Accord. Sean’s political ideals led him away from the Communist Party when the Soviet Union under Gorbachev did not become as democratic as many had hoped.

Sean attended UBC where his student activism distracted him from his studies; he completed a degree years later.  He worked in a number of jobs, including unloading carcinogenic carbon dust as a teenager and later at Allied Engineering where he was an activist with the Marine Workers & Boilermakers Union.  He became editor of the United Fishermen and Allied Workers’ Union newspaper, The Fisherman, as well as becoming research director. He was also involved in doing collective bargaining for the herring fishermen and undertaking important campaigns to protect the livelihood of B.C. fishers and shoreworkers.

Singing for labour and progressive causes is a passion of Sean’s.  He has sung with Carol-Ann Power and with the Solidarity Notes choir and the Left Coast Labour Chorus. Sean put his scientific interest to good use with the Labour Environmental Alliance Society and wrote several versions of the Cancer Smart Consumer Guide.



Harold Pritchett; Cold War, The Fisherman, United Fishermen and Allied Workers Union (UFAWU), Mifflin Plan, Jack Nichol, Marine Workers and Boilermakers Union, Allied Engineering, Pacific Tribune, Communist Party, the red scare; Carol-Ann Power, Bob Skelly, Prices and Incomes Accord, Solidarity, Labour Environmental Alliance Society (LEAS), Mae Burrows, Solidarity Notes choir, Left Coast Labour Chorus; journalism; labour music


Digitized union newspapers (including the Pacific Tribune and The Fisherman)


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