|Albert "Ginger" Goodwin|
May 10, 1887
Treeton, Yorkshire, England
|Died||July 27, 1918
"Mount Ginger Goodwin" west of Cumberland
|Cause of death||Single gunshot/head trauma|
|Resting place||Cumberland cemetery
|Other names||Ginger Goodwin|
|Citizenship||Canadian dual national|
|Occupation||Coal miner, labour unionist|
|Known for||Advocating organized labour, dying a controversial death, martyrdom|
|Home town||Treeton, Yorkshire, England|
|Political party||Socialist Party of Canada (SPC)|
|Political movement||Organized labour movement|
|Criminal charge||Evading conscription into the Canadian Army|
|Criminal penalty||State ordered apprehension|
|Criminal status||Killed during apprehension|
Albert "Ginger" Goodwin (May 10, 1887 – July 27, 1918) of Treeton, England was a migrant coal miner who found work in the Cumberland mines; arriving on Vancouver Island in late 1910. Goodwin was disgruntled by the working conditions, and management's ubiquitous disregard of all labour factions. Zealous for change, Goodwin became an advocate for workers rights; organizing and promoting the proliferation of trade unions. Goodwin increased in stature to become a highly prominent leader of the social movement that organized labour, but died rather suddenly; under highly controversial circumstances, that have not been settled to this day. The widely held belief that Goodwin was murdered in attempts to stifle collective bargaining inspired the 1918 Vancouver general strike on August 2, 1918; Canada's first General Strike ever. This strike prompted the Winnipeg General Strike of 1919; a defining moment in Canadian labour history.
 Early life
Goodwin was born in Treeton, Yorkshire, England, becoming a coal miner for most of his working life. Goodwin followed the work, mining in England, Nova Scotia, and from late 1910 on, Vancouver Island. Mayse's book Ginger: The Life and Death of Albert Goodwin says that Goodwin found the working conditions in the Cumberland mines to be "appaling" and that he organized his local, and convinced it to "down tools" in protest. These actions led into a "vicious coal strike on Vancouver Island" in 1912-13. Although the strike did not garner favorable change for workers, it was regarded as an extreme economic burden on Canada, and Goodwin was considered to be an instigator by management. Goodwin found himself "blackballed" from mining, never finding work in the coal mines again. This solidified Goodwin's resolve to demand favorable change; through trade unions and collective bargaining.
In 1916 Goodwin moved to Trail, British Columbia, where he worked as a "smelterman" for the Consolidated Mining and Smelting Company of Canada Limited. He then entered politics and ran as a candidate of the Socialist Party of Canada in Trail's "provincial election of 1916". On December 18, 1916 Goodwin was elected "full-time secretary" of the Trail Mill and Smeltermen’s Union. The following year he was elected vice-president of the British Columbia Federation of Labour, and president of both the International Union of Mine, Mill, and Smelter Workers, District 6 and the Trail Trades and Labour Council.
Goodwin was a conscientious objector of World War I, openly stating his disdain that the working class were now being employed to kill each other; in war. Goodwin complied with the law and signed up for the draft, but was not conscripted after a medical examination found him temporarily unfit for military duty; saying he suffered "black lung" and bad teeth. Shortly after, Goodwin led a strike at the Trail lead/zinc smelter in 1917; bargaining for a standard eight-hour workday. Amidst the strike, Goodwin was notified that his temporary status had been changed and that he was now "fit for duty".
As a pacifist opposed to the war, Goodwin fled conscription into the Cumberland bush where he avoided capture for some months; with the aid of his fellow workers from Cumberland. Hunted by the police for evading the draft, Goodwin camped in the hills surrounding Cumberland. On July 27, 1918, he was shot and killed by Dominion Police Special Constable Dan Campbell. Campbell, who claimed he fired in self-defense, was never tried for the death. Goodwin was given a large funeral, and his death sparked the Vancouver general strike in August 1918.
The Ginger Group, a faction of radical Progressive and Labour Members of Parliament who split in 1924 and advocated socialism, were named after Goodwin. The new highway near Cumberland was briefly named for Goodwin, though the resulting removal of the name signs indicates the continuing controversy over Goodwin's death and legacy.
 See also
Fighting For Dignity: The Ginger Goodwin Story. By Roger Stonebanks. Canadian Committee on Labour History, 2004. 206 pages.
 Further reading
- Mayse, Susan, January 1, 1990, Ginger: The Life and Death of Albert Goodwin, Harbour Publishing, 212 pp., with index and bibliography, ISBN 9781550170184
Stonebanks, Roger, 2004, "Fighting For Dignity: The Ginger Goodwin Story", Canadian Committee on Labour History, 206 pp., with index and bibliography, ISBN 1-894000-06-4
- Biography at the Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online
- Daily Bleed Calendar May 10, 1887 Reference page