Profile: Jack Hubler was born in High Prairie in 1936 and raised on a farm in Lesser Slave Lake. Moving to Edmonton in 1957, he apprenticed as a plumber, gasfitter, and steamfitter/pipefitter. Joining the United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters Union, Local Union 488 in 1964, he became a lifelong dedicated activist. A member of the negotiating committee in 1968, he helped win health, welfare, and pension improvements. After a work accident in 1969, a crushed heel limited his options for physical work.
In 1973 Hubler was elected business agent for 488, a position he held for 20 years. He witnessed sharp decline in trades membership during the 1980s recession as the Progressive Conservative government permitted unionized companies to spin off non-union companies and transfer contracts to them. Hubler joined the grassroots Dandelion movement that arose to protect union jobs. Apart from his lifelong 488 activities, he participated in the larger labour and progressive movement, including Public Interest Alberta and the NDP. He also became an early activist in ALHI, serving on our Board and participating in all our activities. Hubler’s activism was recognized with the Jim Shewchuk Award of the Edmonton District Labour Council and the United Way in 1997. His dedication to Local 488 was exemplified by his continuing to attend meetings until two days before his death in March, 2022.
Keywords: Business agent; Dandelions; Edmonton District Labour Council; Jim Shewchuk Award; Local Union 488 Pipefitter; Plumber; Public Interest Alberta; Spinoff companies; United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters; Work injuries.
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See also: Health & Safety