Johnston, William H.

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Johnston, William H.

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William H. Johnston was the International President of the Industrial Alliance (I.A.) and a prominent labour leader of his day. He was born in Westville, Nova Scotia, on 30 December 1874. Raised by his father in a trade union atmosphere, he started an apprenticeship with the Rhode Island Locomotive Works in 1888. He later worked for the Builders' Iron Foundry and between 1895-1897 he aided the Jencks Manufacturing Company in refining their experiments on automatic knitting machines. During this time he became a charter member of a new lodge, No. 379 of the I.A. He was elected president of Local No. 147 while employed with Armington and Sons from 1897-1903, then became the Local No. 147 delegate for the Boston Convention, and by 1912 was the International President of the I.A. of M.


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