Please join me in sending our heartfelt best wishes to founding CMG staff member Bruce May, now retired but still with us in spirit, as he continues to whip us his tasty gourmet meals.
Bruce was with the union before it was the Canadian Media Guild. He helped build a united, media-specific union.
Along the way he inspired and mentored a generation of activists, improving the lives of thousands of workers. His tireless advocacy made him a sensitive colleague, and a popular staff rep, one who raised the bar on any discussion, always bringing the focus back to equity and fairness.
Bruce worked such long hours, his daughter Carrrie May Bradshaw, also a respected activist and former local president, says she took up union work so she could actually see him. CMG has benefited from and is grateful for both.
Long-time activist Bob Sharpe says members admired Bruce for his compassion:
‘Bruce May has been the cornerstone of this union for a long time. Always someone you could depend on for advice and guidance. Many of us were inspired by how he always put the needs of members first and foremost in dealing with management. A truly compassionate activist.’
–Bob Sharpe,VP CBC BEC
For all those reasons the Canadian Media Guild National Executive Committee (NEC) has voted to honour Bruce with a unique, CMG life-time achievement award. This was to be presented at the 2020 convention which, as we now know, had to be cancelled due to the pandemic. But that does not stop us from sharing our pride and respect for Bruce’s achievements with all of you now.
A response from Bruce below, with the humour and wit he is known for, and as self-effacing as ever.
Carmel Smyth National President, Canadian Media Guild
Farewell and thank you
By Bruce May
As I retire I would like to thank the Canadian Media Guild for hiring me as a staff representative.
My career has been both a labour of love and a love of labour.
Every time someone would ask what it was like working for a union, I was reminded an old-timer used to tell his students: ‘Find something you love to do and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.’
That’s the way I have felt for the past fifty years that I have been involved in the union movement representing people.
I’ve been fortunate to have met some of the most interesting, dedicated and talented union people. Over my career I learned from those who came before me. And I owe a great debt of gratitude to them.
Union work was and still is unpredictable. At the start of the day, you never know what to expect. Who will identify a workplace issue? How can we improve the working relationship between workers and managers? What can I fix today? What new challenge will come my way?
Some days were good and some days were bad. Every day was fulfilling.
And I enjoyed all of it.
Personally, nothing is more rewarding than helping people through difficult times. For me, it will be hard not to be part of the solution and helping people.
When times were particularly difficult I could always call on my union colleagues to guide and support me. And a great group of union lawyers to turn to when needed.
I would like to thank all those union colleagues (activists, elected officials, and staff) past and present that helped make the Guild work.