Two significant aspects of labour history will be commemorated on Tuesday, December 13 in Prince George.
At 3:30 p.m., the Steelworkers union Local 1-424 and the North Central Labour Council will dedicate a bronze plaque to Charles Howard Webb, one of the founders of the International Woodworkers of America in the central interior in 1945. The plaque will be on the exterior of their building at 1777 Third Avenue.
Later Tuesday afternoon, 4:30 p.m., the BC Government Employees’ Union will recognize the 1969 Convention of the BC Government Employees’ Association held in Prince George that established the BCGEU and launched a campaign for bargaining rights. By 1974, the BCGEU was certified as the exclusive bargaining agent for all provincial government employees.
The BCGEU has erected a bronze plaque outside its Prince George office, 500 Quebec Street, reflecting this historic event.
Both plaques will be dedicated by local and provincial labour representatives, including Aaron Ekman, Secretary-Treasurer of the BC Federation of Labour on behalf of the BC Labour Heritage Centre, Don Iwaskow, Financial Secretary of USW 1-424 and Stephanie Smith, BCGEU President.
The bronze plaques have been cast in a unionized foundry in Richmond, which has operated since 1928.
They are part of the BC Labour Heritage Centre’s Remembering Working People: Plaques Around the Province project which aims to recognize events, actions, episodes, movements, or experiences that played a significant role in the history of the labour movement and working people in all regions of British Columbia.