Local 199 Donation to Brock Makes Its History More Complete

When the Local 199 Executive Board made the decision to downsize due to costs, there were countless archival documents and historical items with limited space to store. The decision was made to reach out to Brock University to inquire if they would be interested in the collection.

The Collection itself documented nearly 100 years of community involvement, including helping to fund the building of Brock University – which was important to Local 199 members, as they wanted their children to be able to go to university close to home. It also highlights the important work that Standing Committees have done through the Local and in the community.

From the article:

“”We knew it was going to be a very special collection as we kept daily coming back to it, the things that were pulling out of there was absolutely incredible,” he said. “It was richer than we could have imagined because it’s been decades since the 199 was established, so depending on who the administration is, sometimes records just get tossed out for the sake of making space.””

“The items document the inner workings of the organization, as well as its role in the labour movement. Local 199 was one of the first to move towards equal rights for the LGBTQ community, women’s rights and environmental causes. Union members volunteered for disaster relief abroad, built community housing in St. Catharines and hosted dances at its union hall to raise money for community efforts such as scholarships and reduced transit fees for seniors.

“They have an entire environmental committee dating back to the 1980s when recycling was just really starting as a problem and they jumped on it really fast. And then women’s committees and other homeless initiatives that they’ve done over the years, health and welfare,” he said.

Sharron said Brock has, for years, been trying to collect the complete set of monthly newsletters McKinnon Industries (a subsidiary of General Motors) distributed to its workers. The union kept “every issue.””

““It really filled in that labour union gap that we didn’t have for a long time. It just makes our collections here richer because it adds to the entire story of unions and what they do for our communities over decades. It’s really fantastic.””

Click below to see complete article published in St. Catharines Standard

Local 199 donation to Brock makes its history ‘more complete’ | StCatharinesStandard.ca