The Ginger Goodwin Documentary

Ginger Goodwin, Local 1611, labour movement

Ginger Goodwin, union activist, labour rightsThe Legacy of Ginger Goodwin

Chuck Chatten, former Local 1611 President and retired miner, brought The Goodwin’s Way campaign to the attention of the Labourer’s Union Charities (LUC). The producer fundraised for final production and distribution expenses for this film and LUC was able to provide a donation.

This “documentary is about a former coal town’s past and present struggles for social justice.” The Labourers’ were proud to contribute to this project.

Woven through this documentary about a town’s uncertain future is the story of its unreconciled past: the legacy of Ginger Goodwin. Cumberland’s most notorious mineworker took part in some of Canada’s most important labour battles of the early 1900s. Blackballed after the bitter 1912 Vancouver Island miner’s strike, Goodwin fought for the eight-hour workday at the height of World War I, while boldly opposing the conscription of his fellow workers. His influence was so great that his death in 1918 prompted Canada’s first-ever general strike.”

Albert “Ginger” Goodwin (May 10, 1887 – July 27, 1918) of Treeton, England was a migrant coal miner who found work in the Cumberland mines, arriving on Vancouver Island, British Columbia in late 1910. Upon his arrival, Goodwin was outraged by the working conditions and management’s ubiquitous disregard of all labour factions. As a result, Goodwin became an advocate for worker rights, organizing and promoting the establishment of trade unions. Goodwin became a prominent social rights leader specifically in organized labour. Goodwin is believed to have been murdered in an attempt to stifle collective bargaining. The controversial circumstances of his death are still debated to this day. His scandalous death became the motivation for Canada’s first general labour protest, the Vancouver General Strike of 1918. This event proved to be a defining moment in the Trade Labour Movement and Goodwin is considered a significant figure in Canadian History.

For further information about this very important film check out Goodwin’s Way the documentary.