This Week in Canadian Labour History

July 4, 2017

Previous weeks in Canadian Labour History


January 15, 1915:
Ralph Chaplin finishes writing Solidarity Forever, perhaps the most famous labour anthem of all.

January 16, 1965:
The Canada-U.S. Auto Pact created the modern Canadian auto industry.

January 29, 1980:
Jean-Claude Parrot, president of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, is sent to prison.


February 10, 1963:
Striking pulp mill workers gunned down by local farmers in Northern Ontario.

February 14, 1949:
Workers at four asbestos mines walk off the job: their strike that will change Quebec and Canada.

February 23, 1967:
Workers in the federal public service win the right to collective bargaining, including the right to strike.


March 2, 1829:
Rideau Canal workers riot in the streets to protest poor wages and working conditions.

March 8, 1975:
The United Nations declares the first International Women’s Day.

March 17, 1960:
The Hogg’s Hollow disaster

March 24, 1937:
Quebec’s Duplessis government passes “The Padlock Act”

March 27, 1912:
The “1000-mile Picket Line”


April 2, 1998:
Edmonton lab worker fired for being gay wins new Charter protections for all Canadians.

April 11, 1972:
Quebec’s working class unites with union members in a “Common Front” for fairness.

April 18, 1872:
Unions Become Legal in Canada (but picketing is outlawed).


May 9, 1992:
The Westray coal mine explodes, killing the 26 miners working underground.

May 15, 1919
The Winnipeg General Strike begins.

May 26, 1995:
Quebec Women March for “Bread and Roses”.

May 28, 1926:
House of Commons passes the Old Age Pensions Bill.


June 4, 1919:
 “One Big Union” founded in Calgary.

June 12, 2002:
ILO declares International Day Against Child Labour.

June 21, 1996:
Canada marks its first First National Indigenous Peoples Day.

June 30, 1981:
Canadian postal workers go on strike for maternity leave – and win big!


Canada Day, 1935:
Canada’s Biggest Riot

July 15, 1996:
Workers Win Equality for Same-Sex Spouses

July 19, 1933:
“Radical” for its time – Regina Manifesto Defined Canadian Values

July 27, 1918:
Ginger Goodwin’s Murder Triggers Canada’s First General Strike


August 5, 1940:
Passage of the Unemployment Insurance Act

August 10, 1966:
Heron Bridge Collapse: Ontario’s Worst Workplace Disaster

August 18, 1961:
Songs of Solidarity & Justice

August 28, 1971:
First “Gay Rights” Demo on Parliament Hill


A Holiday Born in Canada

September 12, 1945:
How a 99-day Strike in 1945 Changed Labour Relations in Canada

September 24, 1918:
Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) Declared Illegal in Canada

September 29, 1931:
Striking Workers Shot and Killed While Marching with Their Families in Estavan, Saskatchewan


October 4:
Standing in Solidarity for Our Missing Sisters

October 14, 1976:
The Largest Labour Protest in Canadian History

October 20, 1904:
Happy Birthday to “The Greatest Canadian”

October 29, 1999:
Union Wins the Biggest Pay Equity Payout in History


November 3, 1908:
The Union that Changed Newfoundland & Labrador

November 10, 1997:
After 2 weeks in the streets, Ontario teachers end their historic mass protest.

November 14, 1995:
Conservative plans to slash budgets and privatize health services thwarted by Calgary laundry workers. 


December 1, 1911:
The poem that inspired a movement

December 9, 1895:
Union organizer and life-long political activist Annie Buller was born.


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