Tag : History

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May 15, 2019
Articles

What the 1919 Winnipeg General Strike teaches every working person

By Hassan Yussuff, as published in the Winnipeg Free Press and in the Toronto Star. The year 1919 was fraught with discontent. Workers in Canada were struggling to make ends meet and inflation had risen by 65% over a six-year span. Men who had just returned from a horrific war in Europe could not find employment; factories were shutting down…
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December 1, 2018
Articles

The poem that inspired a movement

On December 1, 1911, The American Magazine published a poem with the title “Bread and Roses” for the very first time. Over the next few years, it would become an anthem of the trade union movement, linked to the struggle for social justice and equality. Now a favourite anthem of the labour movement around the world, James Oppenheim was inspired to write…
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November 14, 2018
Articles

Ralph Klein blinks – conservative plans to slash budgets and privatize health services thwarted by Calgary laundry workers.

On November 14, 1995, laundry workers at the Calgary General Hospital called in sick to protest the outsourcing of their jobs. Enough was enough. It was time to take a stand. Within ten days, about 2,500 workers in six hospitals and nine nursing homes were on wildcat strikes and hundreds of other health care workers joined work-to-rule and other worker…
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November 13, 2018
Articles

BC’S operation solidarity

In 1983, labour and activist organizations alike across the province, including unions, environmental, religious, social justice and women’s rights groups, came together over the course of several weeks through escalating actions in what would effectively become the largest political protest in BC’s history. (Source: BC Labour Heritage Centre) In the spring of 1983, British Columbians re-elected the Social Credit Party, headed by William (Bill)…
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November 10, 2018
Articles

After 2 weeks in the streets, Ontario teachers end their historic mass protest.

On November 10, 1997, Ontario’s teachers returned to work after staging a two-week walkout to protest the radical, anti-democratic changes imposed by the Conservative government of Mike Harris. While the protest failed to stop Bill 160 from becoming law, it was a defeat for Harris and his so-called “common sense revolution” (CSR) in both public opinion and the courts. Mike…
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November 3, 2018
Articles

The union that changed Newfoundland & Labrador

On November 3, 1908, Newfoundland’s first class-based union and political party was founded. The Fishermen’s Protective Union (FPU) became a dynamic social, economic and political force unlike anything previously witnessed on the island. Founded by the charismatic William Coaker, the FPU worked to provide fishers and their families with a greater share of the wealth that their labour produced. Democratic, and…
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October 29, 2018
Articles

Union wins the biggest pay equity payout in history

On October 29, 1999 the federal government announced its plan to implement what stands as the biggest pay equity pay out in history. It was sweet victory for the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), which filed the original complaint to the Canadian Human Rights Commission on behalf of its members in 1984. Fair pay means that the work women…
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October 20, 2018
Articles

Happy birthday to the “greatest Canadian”

On October 20, 1904 the leader of Canada’s first social democratic government and the father of Medicare – Tommy Douglas – was born in Camelon, Scotland. A Baptist minister by calling, Douglas would serve as one of Canada’s first CCF Members of Parliament, Premier of Saskatchewan and the first leader of the New Democratic Party of Canada. Often called the…
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October 14, 2018
Articles

The largest labour protest in Canadian history

On October 14, 1976 over a million workers walked off the job across Canada as part of a General Strike called by the Canadian Labour Congress to protest the federal government’s plans to impose wage and price control legislation – a broken campaign promise and betrayal of workers by the Trudeau Liberal government. As Canada moved into the 1970s, workers…
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October 4, 2018
Articles

Standing in solidarity for our missing sisters

Sisters in Spirit Vigils on October 4th are an annual way to honour the lives of missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada. The violence experienced by Indigenous women and girls is a national tragedy that unions and the labour movement have been pressuring governments to address. Each year, the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) and Families of Sisters…
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