Union of Northern Workers

Identity area

Type of entity

Corporate body

Authorized form of name

Union of Northern Workers

Parallel form(s) of name

Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules

Other form(s) of name

  • Former name: Northwest Territories Public Service Association

Identifiers for corporate bodies

Description area

Dates of existence


With the adoption of Yellowknife as the capital for the Northwest Territories in 1967, a Territorial Civil Service was established. Commissioner Stuart Hodgson and Assistant Commissioner John Parker were responsible for settling labour disputes and addressing employee concerns. Due to their frequent trips to Ottawa, disputes were not settled in a timely manner. Consequently, a number of territorial civil servants decided to organize a union. Keith McGinnis and Harold Franklin, both of whom worked for Corrections, launched a campaign to have a northern union created. Between 1968 and 1969, they began the distribution of union cards to civil servants throughout the Northwest Territories. In 1969, the head of the Public Service Alliance of Canada met with Commissioner Stuart Hodgson to discuss the formation of a northern union. With the consent of Commissioner Hodgson, a founding convention was held in Yellowknife in 1970. At that time, an executive was appointed: Keith McGinnis became the first president, Harold Franklin the first Vice-President and Marge Porter was elected as the first Secretary-Treasurer. After the convention, amendments were made to the Public Service Ordinance. The ordinance empowered the Commissioner of the Northwest Territories to establish and regulate a bargaining association for territorial civil servants, to establish the Northwest Territories Public Service Association (NWTPSA) and to recognize the association as the only bargaining agent for territorial employees. In 1988, the name of the union was officially changed to the Union of Northern Workers.


Legal status

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Internal structures/genealogy

General context

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Access points area

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Control area

Authority record identifier

Institution identifier

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Dates of creation, revision and deletion




Maintenance notes

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  • EAC

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