On the Line was commissioned by the BC Labour Heritage Centre, and I am grateful to members of the book’s steering committee for their faith in me. Their comments were helpful and encouraging throughout. The committee members are Ken Novakowski (chair), Joey Hartman, Michelle Laurie, Irene Lanzinger, Jim Sinclair, Kendra Strauss and Mervyn Van Steinburg.

I did not do many personal interviews for the book, but those whom I did interview include Jackie Ainsworth, Peter Burton, Peter Cameron, George Davison, Ray Haynes, Stephen Kelleher, Steve Koerner, Art Kube, Anna Lary, Shirley Mathieson, Craig Paterson, Rajinder Pettakur, Stan Shewaga, Jinny Sims, Jim Sinclair, Colin Snell, Gary Steeves, Jess Succamore, Mervyn Van Steinburg, Cathy Walker and Bill Zander.

Although my name is on the cover, this account of BC’s rich trade union history—stretching over a century and a half—could not have been written without the assistance of many others who willingly gave of their time, helped set me straight on any number of issues, were unfailingly constructive and, well, just helped. Among them were Jean Barman, Soren Bech, Elaine Bernard, Kim Bolan, Kate Braid, Rick Cash, Val Casselton, Marie Decaire, Jock Finlayson, Ashley Ford, David Frank, Bailey Garden, Terry Glavin, Sean Griffin, Gordon Hak, Stephen Howard, Stephen Hume, Stephen Hunt, Justine Hunter, Ben Isitt, Colleen Jordan, Paul Knox, Phillip Legg, Mark Leier, Lee Loftus, John Mabbott, John Mackie, Gary Mason, Dale McCartney, Geoff Meggs, Andrew Neufeld, Janet Nicol, Tom Sandborn, Lorne Slotnick, Carolyn Soltau, Norman Spector, Larry Stoffman, Roger Stonebanks, Wendy Stueck, Brooke Sundin, Bill Tieleman, Ron Verzuh, Sue Vohanka, Doug Ward, Patricia Wejr, Paul Yee and Henry Yu. Thanks also to the Vancouver Public Library and WorkSafeBC. Apologies to those I missed. Special thanks to Ray Haynes for his invaluable scrapbooks, which he kindly shared, and to David Yorke, for his priceless collection of union memorabilia and his deep fount of labour knowledge.

Several individuals were particularly critical to the book’s completion. Researcher Robin Folvik kept me focused on key issues, drew my attention to events of which I knew little, and amassed and organized an abundance of photos, sources and information. My heroic editor Silas White left me deeply in his debt. He managed the difficult task of reducing a mass of material to a readable, manageable length, devised a coherent structure, kept my eye on the ball and tolerated my writing and work habits. Ken Novakowski, a beacon of perseverance, saw the project all the way through its many ups and downs. Using a patience and diplomacy that was a marvel to behold, he remained unfailingly positive that everything would work out in the end. Labour heritage in BC has no better friend. Donna Sacuta, executive director of the BC Labour Heritage Centre, came late to the book project, but her energy, dedication and archival research were vital to the final product. Nor can I thank enough the progressive, aptly-named Community Savings Credit Union; my publisher, the treasured Harbour Publishing; project editor Peter Robson and copy editor Arlene Prunkl.

Finally, I would like to thank my parents, who allowed me to grow up in a home where politics and unions were part of normal conversation and not creatures from outer space. And most of all, thanks to my steadfast partner, Lucie McNeill, who lived with this book from the beginning with enduring equanimity and love and was always there for me. Words are inadequate to express my immense gratitude.