Me in 1983 at the Ford Motor Co. in Oakville Ontario. A member in good standing of CAW 707. This is on the #1 trim line where the cars just come over from the body shop after all the robots weld the body of the car.
One of my dad’s best friends Curly Kennedy took this photo. He was lifer a Ford starting when the plant opened and retired after 30 years.
My dad got that job at Ford just before I was born. Our family really needed that job. I asked my dad why he stayed so long at Ford and he said ” he was tired of walking around in white shirts with no money in his pockets and I needed the job.”
My father was a smart man he went to grade 13. He sold cars, had a small garage and sold insurance door to door for a while. He was a life long learner. He was interested in electronics and become HAM radio operator. This was one of his great passions in life. After working the night shift he would talk to people all over the world in Morse Code in the corner of our unfinished basement, his “radio shack”.
As a young man he work on the steam engines in Hamilton Bay as his other 3 brothers did. One uncle was a conductor and other two worked as auto workers. My uncle Frank worked at Studebaker in Hamilton, the plant is still there and empty. My uncle Bob started at the Ford Oakville plant when if first opened and fought in the first strike to get the union into the plant. It was a long and hard strike and they burned every piece of wood within miles to stay warm.
My father worked at the Ford plant for more than 30 years and was a proud member of 707 CAW now Unifor Local 707. That was a great summer. I made killer money, got to ride with my Dad from Hamilton to Oakville and got to know him a little better as a person.
Our family depended on that good paying job. My father was the sole money earner in our family. My mom took care me and my two sibling and was very active in our community.