Haynes, Ray oral history interviews

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BC Federation of Labour
lumber milling
Mackenzie Valley Pipeline Inquiry

Ray Haynes is a former president of the BC Federation of Labour. As a young man Haynes worked at Hudson’s Bay Company Wholesale, a division of the Hudson’s Bay Company, where he reported earning a low wage and working in poor conditions. He then worked at Canadian White Pine sawmill where he learned about labour and other social issues from union members who were communist, Leninist, and Trotskyist. He worked at White Pine for only 18 months even though he was earning a high wage. Haynes told himself that if he did not leave the mill he would be just like the men working in their 60s working the green chain. After Haynes quit he did a few other jobs and eventually returned to Hudson’s Bay Company Wholesale, but with a union background. Within a few years of his return, Haynes and a partner organized a union which he headed from 1954 to 1966. He became the president of the BC Federation of Labour in 1973. Afterwards, Haynes and his family resettled to on Quadra Island and ran a resort for 5 years. He briefly worked as a union liaison on the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline Inquiry led by Justice Thomas Berger. He worked 10 years with the nurses union, and helped organize hundreds of nurses and brought their pay up to the “standard of everybody else” in the province. His last 2 to 3 years, before his retirement in 1993, were with the Vancouver Municipal and Regional Employee’s Union (VMREU), Local 15, which later joined CUPE.

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Interview with Ray Haynes