John Friesen is a long-time resident of Winnipeg and a labour activist. His father was a union activist on the railway and was active in the CCF and, later, the NDP. During his interview he talked about memories of being on picket lines as a child, experiences of poverty growing up, and his attempts to live some of his left political commitments as student council president in high school. As a young man he spent time in Toronto, Vancouver (where he worked on the railway and was active in his union), and Europe. He returned to Winnipeg in the mid ’70s and got hired at the Post Office. In his early years in the Canadian Union of Postal Workers he was part of the youth rank-and-file and shop steward agitation against both the company and a more conservative leadership in the local. At the time of our interview, he was the Education and Organization Officer for the Prairie Region of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers.
Material from Friesen on the site:
- Transcript excerpt where he talks about some of his experiences in rank-and-file and shop steward organizing in his CUPW local in the late 1970s.