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Authority record
Labour movement

Stevenson, Ray, 1919-2004

  • Person
  • 1919-2004

Ray Stevenson was a trade union organizer and peace movement participant. He was born near Virden, Manitoba in 17 December 1919 and started working in mines there before joining Upper Canada Mines in Kirkland Lake, Ontario in 1939. He participated in the Mine Mill union organizational drive that culminated in the 'union recognition' strike of 1941-1942, which led to the Federal Government legislating compulsory bargaining. Stevenson was a member of the Communist Party of Canada from 1940 to 1998. He was commissioned as a 1st Lieutenant in the Canadian Army in (1942-1946), but served at home, due to his political affiliations. Stevenson ran unsuccessfully for the Communist Party in the Ontario Provincial Election in 1945, and in 1946, he moved to Northern Ontario and became the Educational Director for Workers Co-op. He joined the Labour Progressive Party soon after and was a political organizer in Northern Ontario and Northwestern Quebec. In 1950, Stevenson went to work for Inco and was elected to the executive of Local 598 in 1951. Nationally, he served on the Canadian Mine Mill Council, sitting on Canadian Executive Board of the council until 1961 when he became executive editor at the Mine Mill Herald. When the Mine Mill Canada union merged in 1967 with the United Steel Workers of America, Stevenson served as editor of the USWA magazine "Information" until 1972. From 1972-1978, he was acting Public Relations Director for USWA Canada. He left the USWA in 1978 to pursue his interests in the peace movement organizations, including the World Peace Council in Helsinki, Finland, the International Committee of Trade Unionists for Peace and Disarmament and the Canadian Peace Congress. Stevenson was also a founding editor of the "Northstar Compass" from 1991 until his retirement in 1995. Stevenson died in Toronto on 24 August 2004.