Judy Darcy

Judy Darcy (born 1950) is a Canadian trade unionist. She was president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees from 1991 until 2003.[1]


[edit] Early life

Darcy was born in Denmark and came to Canada with her parents when she was 18 months old. Her father was a research chemist who a shipping clerk for years until he could re-establish his credentials in Canada and resume work in his profession.[2]

She was raised in Sarnia, and moved to Toronto to study political science at York University but quit after 1– years,[2] but not before infiltrating and disrupting the Miss Canadian University Pageant yelling "It's true it's a meat market and they do exploit women!" as the winner was announced.[3] After travelling and doing odd jobs, she became a University of Toronto library clerk in 1972 and became active in CUPE.[2][4]

[edit] Union activism

In her youth, Darcy was active with the Workers' Communist Party of Canada,[5] a Maoist group, and was a candidate for the party in the 1981 Ontario provincial election in the Toronto riding of St. Andrew–St. Patrick.[6] By 1985, she had left the party and joined the New Democratic Party saying of her earlier radicalism ""I'm older, I don't think we're going to remake the world, but we've got to change what we can."[7]

In 1983, she became a regional vice-president of the union's Ontario division and was also working at the Metropolitan Toronto Reference Library.[2]

By the mid-1980s, she was president of the Metro Toronto Council of CUPE.[8]

In 1986, she ran for the position of Ontario president of CUPE challenging 10-year incumbent Lucie Nicholson.[4] She was unsuccessful,[9] losing by a margin of 318-240, her defeat blamed on a red-baiting campaign by the union's leadership. Darcy, however, did manage to retain a spot on the union's executive board topping the slate of "member at large" positions.[10]

By 1988, she was first vice-president of CUPE's Ontario division[11] as well as a vice-president of the Ontario Federation of Labour.[12] In 1989, she successfully ran for the position of national secretary-treasurer of CUPE,[13] the union's number two position. saying that said she stands for strong leadership to help CUPE cope with "some of the incredibly difficult challenges we'll see in the next few years, especially in light of free trade."[12]

In the 1988 federal election, Darcy was the NDP's candidate against Liberal Frank Stronach and Progressive Conservative John E. Cole in York–Simcoe[11] placing a "distant third"[14] in the suburban Toronto riding.[15]

In 1991, she was elected CUPE national president taking over the 406,000 member trade union.[16] By the time she retired 13 years later the union had grown to 525,000 members.[1]

[edit] After CUPE

She moved to British Columbia subsequently and ran for the provincial British Columbia New Democratic Party nomination in Vancouver-Fairview but was upset by a businessman Gregor Robertson by a margin of 76 votes on the second ballot.[17]

In February 2005, Darcy returned to work in the trade union movement acquiring a position as secretary-business manager and chief negotiator[18] with British Columbia's Hospital Employees' Union.[19] She was known as being on the left of the union[7] and an advocate of issues such as employment equity[11] and childcare.[12]

[edit] References

  1. ^ a b Judy Darcy quitting after 12 years as president of CUPE, National Union of Public and General Employees, February 27, 2003
  2. ^ a b c d Papp, Leslie, "Ex-clerk leads race for top union job", Toronto Star, October 9, 1991
  3. ^ Pratt, Sheila, "Pioneers of women's movement tell their stories," Edmonton Journal, April 17, 2005
  4. ^ a b Slotnick, Lorne, "CUPE leadership rivals battle over profile and role of union", Globe and Mail, May 21, 1986
  5. ^ List, Wilfred, "CUPE chief survives attack by workers", Globe and Mail, May 23, 1981
  6. ^ Spiers, Rosemary, "St. Andrew-St. Patrick profile How federal Liberals turn Tory blue in voting booths", Globe and Mail, March 13, 1981
  7. ^ a b Deverell, John, "2 women fight it out for top job with CUPE," Toronto Star, May 30, 1986
  8. ^ "End discrimination against office staff, funds hearing told," Globe and Mail, September 13, 1985
  9. ^ Deverell, John, "Metro challenger fails in bid to lead CUPE in Ontario", May 30, 1986
  10. ^ Slotnick, Lorne, "Challenge for presidency falls short Nicholson keeps CUPE post," Globe and Mail, May 31, 1986
  11. ^ a b c Todd, Rosemary, "CAMPAIGN '88 Voters 'don't think money talks' NDP sends CUPE official to fight Stronach," Globe and Mail, October 17, 1988
  12. ^ a b c "CUPE activist plans to seek No. 2 post," Globe and Mail, January 27, 1989
  13. ^ "GST EXPECTED TO BE TOP ISSUE AT ALBERTA CUPE CONVENTION," Canada Newswire, March 26, 1990
  14. ^ Duffy, Andrew, "Tory hands Stronach a stunning defeat," Toronto Star, November 22, 1988
  15. ^ History of federal ridings: York-Simcoe, Library of Parliament
  16. ^ Galt, Virginia, "Former radical new CUPE president Darcy wants to unleash lobbying potential of largest union in Canada", Globe and Mail, October 17, 1991
  17. ^ O'Brian, Amy, "NDP picks businessman over union leader", Vancouver Sun, November 8, 2004
  18. ^ Penner, Derrick, "Labour reserved: Unions skeptical about public-sector funding", Vancouver Sun, December 1, 2005
  19. ^ "Health workers' union turns to seasoned labour leader", Vancouver Sun, February 24, 2005

Related topics in the Connexions Subject Index

Alternatives  –  Left History  –  Libraries & Archives  –  Social Change  – 

This article is based on one or more articles in Wikipedia, with modifications and additional content contributed by Connexions editors. This article, and any information from Wikipedia, is covered by a Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA) and the GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL).

We welcome your help in improving and expanding the content of Connexipedia articles, and in correcting errors. Connexipedia is not a wiki: please contact Connexions by email if you wish to contribute. We are also looking for contributors interested in writing articles on topics, persons, events and organizations related to social justice and the history of social change movements.

For more information contact Connexions