Jackson, Clarence Shirley

Clarence Shirley Jackson, trade union leader (b at Ft William [Thunder Bay], Ont 1906; d 5 July 1993). Jackson worked first in the northern Ontario bush and later in Montréal and Toronto. His interest in left-wing politics brought him into organizing work for the fledgling Congress of Industrial Organizations. In 1937 he became a full-time organizer and later Canadian VP of the United Electrical Workers (UE), one of the most internally democratic of the new industrial unions in Canada. Despite his internment for his radical politics in 1941, he led left-wing opposition to the CANADIAN CONGRESS OF LABOUR (CCL) leadership in the 1940s, running several times for president. The CCL expelled his union in 1949, but Jackson and his fellow unionists held their membership together and by 1972 had re-entered the mainstream by affiliating with the CANADIAN LABOUR CONGRESS. For the 4 decades before his retirement in 1980, Jackson had been one of the most articulate, well-informed, though controversial, labour leaders in Canada.