Art Kube was born in Poland in 1935 and raised by a trade unionist mother, on her own along with two children, while his father was taken prisoner of war in the Soviet Union. He kicked off his life-long work to fight for workers' rights as an executive in the youth wing of the Metal Workers union before immigrating to Canada in 1953 as a nineteen-year-old.
Art wore many hats over the years, from a steel fabricator and heavy equipment operator to miner. He was an organizer with the United Steelworkers and then a representative with the Canadian Labour Congress in the 1960s.
Art was the President of the BC Federation of Labour from 1983 to 1986. As Chairperson for Operation Solidarity in 1983, he had a front-row seat to one of the most difficult and tumultuous chapters in Canadian labour history. His leadership and determination during that time left a permanent mark, and inspired generations of activists.
Art was active well beyond his retirement, advocating for seniors' rights across the country, and serving as president of the Council of Senior Citizens Organizations and National Pensioners and Senior Citizens Federation.
In 2015, Art Kube was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada, to recognize and honour his deep commitment to working people and communities.
The following year, Art told the Labour Heritage Centre: "I truly hope that I have been able to help make a difference in this world and that the legacy of my life will live on in my children, grandchildren and the many people that I have been honoured to work with and serve in my life."
The BCGEU offers its condolences to Art's wife Mary and his family as we remember his legacy and his decades of contributions to the labour and social justice movements.
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