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Article

Strikes and Lockouts

A strike is the withholding of labour by workers in order to obtain better wages or working conditions. A lockout is the opposite, being the temporary shutdown of a business by an employer to compel employees to accept certain conditions.

Article

Trades and Labor Congress of Canada

Founded in 1883, the Trades and Labor Congress of Canada (TLC) was the first union central to take lasting root in Canada. Principally bringing together craft unions, the TLC was the largest workers’ organization in Canada at the turn of the 20th century. The TLC saw its membership fluctuate in the 20th century because of the fierce competition between national and international unions and the rise of industrial unionism. In 1956, the organization merged with the Canadian Congress of Labour to become the Canadian Labour Congress.

Article

United Farmers of Canada

The United Farmers of Canada was a militant farmers' organization established 1926 as the United Farmers of Canada (Saskatchewan Section). It combined the radical Farmers' Union of Canada and the more conservative Saskatchewan GRAIN GROWERS' ASSOCIATION.

Article

Vancouver Island Coal Strike

 Vancouver Island Coal Strike began on 16 Sept 1912 when miners at Cumberland declared a "holiday" to protest the firing of Oscar Mottishaw. Canadian Collieries, recent purchaser of the Dunsmuir Mines, locked them out and hired Chinese and recruits from Britain and the US as strikebreakers.

Article

Windsor Ford Strike of 1945

The Windsor Ford Strike was a 99-day strike from 12 September to 19 December 1945 by 11,000 employees of the Windsor, Ontario, Ford Motor Company plant. Some 8,000 auto workers from other plants also participated. The Ford workers, who were led by the United Automobile Workers of Canada (UAW), demanded recognition of their union by Ford and mandatory membership for all plant workers. The strike was ultimately resolved through binding arbitration under Supreme Court Justice Ivan C. Rand and resulted in the widely used Rand Formula.

Article

Alberta Wheat Pool

 During the first years of operation, companies like Alberta Pacific Grain and United Grain Growers agreed to process the first Pool deliveries through their own facilities.

Article

One Big Union

The One Big Union (OBU) was a radical labour union formed in Western Canada in 1919. It aimed to empower workers through mass organization along industrial lines. The OBU met fierce opposition from other parts of the labour movement, the federal government, employers and the press. Nevertheless, it helped transform the role of unions in Canada.

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Macleans

General Motors Strike Settled

This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on October 28, 1996. Partner content is not updated.

For picketing Canadian autoworkers, it was a symbolic gesture. With the strike against General Motors of Canada Ltd. dragging into its third week, tempers flared at a cavernous GM plant in Oshawa, Ont.

Article

Collectivism

As the social evils of industrialization and urbanization unfolded in the later 19th century, many Canadians saw the basic problem as an excess of individualism.

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Nine Hour Movement

The Nine Hour Movement was an international phenomenon, taking place in Canada between January and June 1872. The movement’s goal was to standardize shorter working days.

Article

United Farmers of Quebec

The United Farmers of Quebec (Fermiers unis du Québec) were founded in 1920. PM Borden's decision to conscript farm youths caused a huge farmers' demonstration in Ottawa on 15 May 1918 and gave Québec farmers their first contact with the United Farmers movement in English Canada.

Article

Winnipeg General Strike of 1919

The Winnipeg General Strike of 1919 was the largest strike in Canadian history (see Strikes and Lockouts). Between 15 May and 25 June 1919, more than 30,000 workers left their jobs (see Work). Factories, shops, transit and city services shut down. The strike resulted in arrests, injuries and the deaths of two protestors. It did not immediately succeed in empowering workers and improving job conditions. But the strike did help unite the working class in Canada (see Labour Organization). Some of its participants helped establish what is now the New Democratic Party.

Click here for definitions of key terms used in this article.

This is the full-length entry about the Winnipeg General Strike of 1919. For a plain-language summary, please see Winnipeg General Strike of 1919 (Plain-language Summary).