Plumbers Local 46 (1878-1970)
Born in Australia, John W. Bruce arrived in Canada in 1906 where he joined the local plumbers’ union. Besides getting active in his union, he joined the local socialist movement, mounting an unsuccessful run for Parliament in 1908. A year later, he was the labour council’s delegate to the American Federation of Labor. By 1910, John had been elected general organizer for this union, a position he held for over a half-century, until his retirement in 1963.
John was heavily involved in the campaign for workers’ compensation legislation, which was passed in 1914. By 1919, he had been appointed to the federal Royal Commission on Industrial Relations. John then took an active role in the CCF in the 1930s and ran for office. During World War II, he served on the National War Labour Board. In 1966 he was awarded the first ever William Jenoves Award by the Toronto and District Labour Council.