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Jack Munro, former IWA leader and former head of the Labour Heritage Centre, is photographed in Burnaby, British Columbia, Wednesday, August 28, 2013.

Rafal Gerszak/The Globe and Mail

Legendary B.C. labour leader Jack Munro has died. He was 82.

As head of the International Woodworkers of America, Mr. Munro was key to a conflict in 1983 that saw the Solidarity movement against the Socred government almost precipitate a general strike.

Mr. Munro's wife, Deborrah, said Friday that the cause of death was prostate cancer. He passed away at home on Friday.

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Until Sept. 27, Mr. Munro was still going to his office at the Labour Heritage Centre, but he began to physically decline after a cruise vacation that ended Oct. 10.

"He always worked for the worker, always looked after the worker, that was his first thought always – to make the lives of the worker better – decent wages, decent working conditions," said Ms. Munro.

In a statement, B.C. NDP Leader Adrian Dix and labour critic Harry Bains said Mr. Munro was a personal inspiration to participate in politics.

"In Jack, people across the province had someone who fought for them, their rights to opportunity, dignity and respect for their hard work, fair wages and to pensions in exchange for their valuable contributions to B.C.'s economy," said a statement from the two New Democrats.

"Jack, on so many occasions, won the argument that fairness drives prosperity. He made the case that we all do better as a society when people from all backgrounds have a chance to advance and experience success and security."

He had two sons and one stepson. A private memorial is planned and various labour organizations are also planning a memorial.

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About the Author
B.C. reporter

Ian Bailey is a Vancouver-based reporter for The Globe and Mail.  He covers politics and general news. Prior to arriving at The Globe and Mail, he reported from Toronto and St. John’s for The Canadian Press.  He has also covered British Columbia for CP, The National Post and The Province. More

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