International Woodworkers of America-Canada

International Woodworkers of America (now IWA Canada), formed in 1937 as part of a drive towards industrial unionization mounted by the Committee for Industrial Organization (later Congress of Industrial Organizations). The IWA quickly moved into BC where it absorbed earlier unions such as the Lumber Workers' Industrial Union, which had grown out of major strikes in logging and sawmilling earlier in the 1930s. A successful strike and organizing drive in 1946 established the IWA as western Canada's largest union, a position that it has generally held since then. In 1948 the IWA's then-communist leadership was replaced with a CCF-NDP tradition that has continued to the present.

Until 1986, the IWA's Canadian membership was divided into the Western and Eastern Regions at the Manitoba-Ontario border. The best-known activity of the Eastern Region was the NEWFOUNDLAND LOGGERS' STRIKE of 1957, following which Premier SMALLWOOD enacted universally condemned legislation barring the IWA from that province. The 2 regions amalgamated in 1986 under the presidency of Jack Munro, who had led the Western Region since 1973. Munro retired from the union in 1991 and was succeeded by Gerry Stoney, who retired in 1997 and was replaced by David Haggard.

In 1987, the Canadian section of the union separated from the previously international union, and established an independent Canadian union, retaining only the familiar "IWA" initials in the new name "IWA-Canada". Membership has declined from a peak of about 55 000 in 1981 to about 43 000 in 1994, concentrated in sawmilling and logging in BC, northern Ontario and the Prairie provinces.