Profile: Norman Bezanson (1929-2022) was active as an activist, officer, and then organizer for the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) for most of his working life. Born and raised in Nova Scotia, he initially followed his father’s footsteps into the lumber industry. At age 19 he switched to work in an aircraft plant whose workers soon joined the IAM. In 1953 he and his new bride moved to Alberta, where, after almost 2 years on oil rigs, he joined Northwest Industries, soon becoming recording secretary for his IAM local, then president. About 1960 he was elected as the full-time District Business Representative. He was involved in many organizing drives, including maintenance workers at Wardair in Edmonton and Field Aviation in Calgary, pipe manufacture workers in Edmonton, and Red Deer’s automotive shop workers.
Bezanson faced the anti-labour policies of the Manning Social Credit government as he organized. He was also frustrated by his inability to get automotive mechanics in Calgary and Lethbridge to take their union and strike votes seriously.
Keywords: Automotive mechanics; District Business Representative; Ernest Manning; Field Aviation; International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM); Northwest Industries; Wardair.
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