Davidson, Joe

Joe Davidson, labour leader (b at Shotts, Scot 1915; d at Motherwell, Scot 23 Sept 1985). Always political, he described himself as an evolutionary socialist "with the proviso that evolution needed a shove at every opportunity." He came to Canada in 1957 and worked in iron foundries in Hamilton and Dundas, Ontario, before he became a mail sorter in Toronto and a shop steward in the Canadian Postal Employees Association transformed into the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) in 1965. During the 1965 strike, he was active on the Toronto strike committee. He was elected president of the Toronto local 1967, became vice-president of CUPW in 1968 and was president 1974-77. His presidency encompassed 2 national postal strikes and dozens of smaller skirmishes over automation. He became the media's choice as the most hated man in Canada and in 1983 he retired.