Dionisio, António


Date of birth: ?
Place of birth: Lourinhã Portugal
Arrival in Canada: ?
Affiliations: Laborers’ International Union of North America Local 183

António Dionisio was born in Lourinhã, Portugal. When he was 13-years-old he moved to Cassiar, an asbestos mining town in northern British Columbia, where he joined his father who worked there as a miner. After three years his family moved to Toronto, where he would attend George Brown College learning how to be a welder. He found a job as an apprentice welder and became a member of the Laborers’ International Union of North America Local 183, led by John Stefanini. Dionisio took an immediate interest in union matters, attending every meeting and participating in committees. Stefanini hired him as Local 183’s complaints officer, whose job was to register every worker’s complaint about an employer. Over the phone or in person, Dionisio tried to address the workers’ concerns when they were easily solved or referred them to their designated business representative. As he would later explain to reporter, he made less money as a complaints officer than as a welder, but that job gave him the opportunity to pursue a career in labour organization. Indeed, the stories he heard directly from the workers and the trust he built with the membership (especially the Portuguese) as a result of this position would prepare him for his ascension within the union, eventually becoming Stefanini’s successor as Local 183’s business manager. [1]

[under construction]


[1] “Local 183 Tenta Interessar os Sócios Portugueses.” Comunidade newspaper, January 31, 1979: 1, 6-7.