“Mr. Big Wood or Sawdust?”: Joseph R. Smallwood & The 1959 IWA Strike in Central Newfoundland
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Joseph R. Smallwood was, for lack of a better term, a Newfoundlander for Newfoundland. Or so, that is how he portrayed himself. Under the first ten years of Confederation, Smallwood pushed a program of rapid industrialization. This program was largely unsuccessful. So, when the IWA declared a strike on the Anglo-Newfoundland Development Company in January 1959, which posed a significant threat to the province’s most prosperous industry (pulp and paper), Smallwood leapt into action. Rather than support the loggers’ elected union, he banned the IWA in favour of a provincial union that was to be run by Max Lane, President of the Fishermen’s Federation. Utilizing key documents from the Smallwood Collections at Archives and Special Collections, Queen Elizabeth II Library, Memorial University, this thesis examines the factors that led up to this decision, its outcome and ultimately, and why Smallwood chose to do what he did.