Biography of Russell, Robert Boyd, 1889-1964

Robert Boyd Russell (1889 – 1964) came to Canada from Scotland in 1911. He worked for two years as a machinist for the C.P.R. and then became a business agent for District 2 of the International Association of Machinists. He was a member of the Socialist Party of Canada and the main leader of the Winnipeg General Strike. He was the first of the labour leaders to be tried for his part in the strike and sentenced to two years at Stony Mountain Penitentiary. He served 360 days. In December 1921 he ran unsuccessfully in the federal election in Winnipeg North. He was General Secretary of the One Big Union from 1922 to 1956 when the OBU merged with other labour councils merged with the Canadian Labour Council. He then became Executive Secretary of the Winnipeg and District Labour Council C.L.C. and served in this position until ill health forced him to retire in 1962. In 1967 the D. Roblin provincial government named the new vocational high school being built in Winnipeg in his honour.

Mentioned in:


  1. Trial testimony of 4 November 1919 of Robert Boyd Russell
  2. Minutes, Dominion Labor Party, 21 December 1918, excerpt, not paginated
  3. Letter from Great War Veterans Assoication to returned soldiers 1919
  4. Letter of 19 May 1919 from R.B. Russell to V. R. Midgley (unsigned)
  5. Circular 1706 of 23 June 1919 Socialist Party of Canada
  6. Minutes, Winnipeg Strike Committee, 19 and 20 May 1919, excerpt, not paginated


  1. Letter of 28 January 1921 from F. J. Dixon to A. Meighen and Hugh Guthrie
  2. Letter of 12 January 1919 from John F. Maguire to R. B. Russell
  3. Letter of 28 May 1919 from T. Murray to R. A. Rigg


  1. Minutes, Winnipeg Strike Committee, 19 and 20 May 1919, excerpt, not paginated
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