Memorable Manitobans: Richard Allan “Dick” Martin (1944-2001)
His work as a trade union activist began while he was employed as an electrician by INCO in Thompson in 1968. He rose through various union positions, including President of Local 6166 of the Steelworkers Union, and in 1978 was elected President of the Manitoba Federation of Labour. One of his projects, the Manitoba Federation of Labour Occupational Health Clinic, became the first of its kind in Canada. He served on the University of Manitoba Board of Governors from 1983 to 1984 and helped establish the Manitoba Labour Education Centre to assist people to advance their understanding of labour relations and the multitude of issues they cover. In 1984, he was elected Executive Vice President of the Canadian Labour Congress. In 1997, he was elected President of the 43 million member Inter-American Regional Labour Organization, headquartered in Caracas, Venezuela. He established a National Day of Mourning on 28 April to honour workers killed on the job. By the time of his retirement in 1999, he was widely recognized for his efforts to improve human rights, not only in Canada, but also throughout Central America and South America. In recognition of his community service, he was inducted into the Order of Manitoba (2001). He died of cancer at Ottawa, Ontario in October 2001.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 3 November 2001.
“We will not forget them,” Winnipeg Free Press, 31 December 2001, page B3.
We thank Margaret Martin for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 18 March 2018
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