Lodge plans June 28 celebration
BILL MORRISON, BM-ST of Local 191 (Victoria, British Columbia) for 15 years, will retire June 30 at the end of his term.
Morrison began his career working in the Scotland shipyards in 1955. As an apprentice, he was not required to join the union until he had worked a year, but Morrison learned a valuable lesson early on about union strength.
“At that time apprentices didn’t have breaks, but were directed to make tea for the journeymen,” Morrison said. “One day the yard manager suspended me for a month for making the tea. When I looked over my shoulder, I saw 800 shipyard workers walking out behind me. The shop stewards of all the trades told the yard manager they would not be back until my suspension was lifted. Everyone was back — including me — the following day. After retuning to work, I joined the Shipwright’s Union and was appointed shop steward for the apprentices. I have been a union member ever since.”
Morrison and his family moved to Canada in 1966. He was elected Local 191 inspector in 1980, president in 1981, and business manager in 1993.
In 1994 he negotiated an agreement for a new ship repair facility now known as Victoria Shipyards, where Local 191 members continue to work today. He was also elected president of the Victoria Metal Trades in 1994, a position he still holds. Morrison received the Distinguished Service Award, the highest honor bestowed by the International union, in 2004.
On June 28, Local 191 will hold a retirement celebration for Morrison at the Gorge Vale Golf Club in Victoria.