[1] On the eve of the war, Canada was suffering an economic depression, resulting in high unemployment. The Labour Program is responsible for protecting the rights and well-being of both workers and employers in federally regulated workplaces. Meetings conducted in these languages, other than religious services, were also banned. Canada Rail Strike Ends as CN Rail, Union Get Tentative Deal By . [7] Increased employment, especially of unskilled workers and women, triggered fears in craft unions of labour dilution: If greater numbers of non-skilled workers entered the workforce, the craft unions might lose their influence in labour unions. Canada’s labour movement has a long history of improving workers’ everyday lives. Before the outbreak of the First World War, economic depression had shaken the Canadian economy, leading to rampant unemployment. With wide public support in the province, the producers win union recognition. For a good example of this more traditional view, see Auger, Martin: On the Brink of Civil War. Labor > Strikes: Countries Compared Map. [34] The local and provincial governments did little to try to end the strike, but feared that the Bolsheviks had wormed their way into the organizations. On 15 May 1919, between 25,000 and 30,000 workers left their workplaces at eleven o’clock in the morning. The four-day strike is broken by the use of scabs and militia. The ‘radical’ West and the conservative East have become sorry shibboleths of Canadian historiography. McKay, Ian / Morton, Suzanne: The Maritimes. Ontario Wanted: stories, memories and tales from the Inco strike of 1958 2020-09-22 [CBC] Ontario Tories Must Address Long-Term Care Staffing Crisis As Cases Surge: Unions 2020-09-22 [Huffington Post] Ontario Q&A: UFCW Canada’s Kevin Shimmin on the Indigo union vote 2020-09-22 [Quill and Quire] The Canadian Labour Revolt, in: Bercuson, David J. Under such conditions, strikes occurred, but rarely succeeded in achieving workers’ goals. Conflict was not constrained to workers and employers, but also occurred between labour groups. As the war progressed, conscription became a necessity after the high casualties Canada suffered at Vimy Ridge, Hill 70, and Passchendaele. Canada Post- Strikes begin in labour dispute By Marc Montgomery | english@rcinet.ca Posted: Monday, October 22, 2018 08:55 Last Updated: Monday, October 22, 2018 09:06 Cook, Tim: Warlords. Naylor, James: Southern Ontario. This comes after breakdowns in negotiations over the postal worker’s collective agreement that dictates working conditions. Between the arrests of the strike leaders and the violence, support was waning, and by 25 June, the strike was called off. Gregory S. Kealey argues that “the revolt was national in character and that its seeds were not rooted in any unique regional fermentation. [30] Farmers had initially been promised exemption from conscription, and when this protection was removed, they organised against conscription. Striking at the Ballot Box, in: Heron, Craig (ed. 2384, issued on 25 September 1918, declared several political groups and unions illegal, including the International Workers of the World (IWW), the Russian Social Democratic Party, the Russian Revolutionary Group, the Russian Social Revolutionists, the Russian Workers Union, the Ukrainian Revolutionary Group, the Ukrainian Social Democratic Party, the Social Democratic Party, the Social Labour Party, the Group of Social Democrats of Bolsheviki, the Group of Social Democrats of Anarchists, the Workers International Industrial Union, the Chinese Nationalist League, and the Chinese Labour Association. CM Dixon/Print Collector/Getty Images McCalla, Douglas: The Economic Impact of the Great War, in: Mackenzie, David (ed. Borden had first recommended a voluntary information-gathering scheme, where men submitted information about themselves to allow the government to gauge the human resources available for the Canadian war effort. The Unionist party, made up of Conservatives and pro-conscription Liberals, represented conscription, while the opposition Liberals were against it. Conscription and the perceived dismissal of their concerns of depopulation by both the provincial and federal government prompted farmers to stand for and win the Ontario provincial election in October 1919. A famous labour law professor told me once that sometimes you write decisions or public commission reports with an eye to the future. Desmond Morton argues that the economic downturn was caused by overproduction, dismissing the common explanation of insufficient manufacturing ability. This page was last edited on 10 September 2020, at 15:05. [5] Labour militancy was divided along regional lines in and shied away from extremism, largely due to the economic conditions and the conservative nature of trade unionism. [28] This particular outbreak of protests followed the harassment of men who had received exemptions from conscription. These organizational weaknesses opened Canadian labour to outside influence, particularly from American-based international unions, which led to a division between craft and industrial unions. A: Section 155 of the Labour Relations Code protects pension rights and benefits during a strike or lockout. Violence broke out when the crowd threw bottles and snowballs at the troops, mostly conscripts themselves, who had been sent to restore order on 1 April 1918. 32-33. / Bright, David (eds. Labour reacted to the outbreak of war with enthusiasm, like the rest of Canada. They are affected by a number of factors, including labour organizations, collective bargaining, labour market, government policy, the structure of the economy, labour law and technological change. Rioting broke out, resulting in two deaths, numerous injuries, and dozens of arrests. These radical groups were in the minority, and no substantial protests developed. Sandrine Rastello. Transit workers were denied salary or compensation increases, due to a reported $3M deficit. They had complex demands across many different industries and threatened to hold massive city wide strikes if their demands were not met. Kealey, State Repression of Labour 1992, p. 314. The issue of farm labour and conscription is not often presented as being a concern in Quebec; however, Jatinder Mann argues that concerns over maintaining farm labour were a factor in French-Canadian opposition to conscription, in addition to not having an emotional connection to the British Empire. In the early years of the 20th century, many people had moved from rural farms and communities into larger cities seeking better wages. Ian McKay links conscription opposition to labour by stating that the 1918 Easter anti-conscription riots in Quebec City took place in the working-class suburbs and was therefore part of the political left’s protest efforts. ): Canada and the First World War. 29-12-1876 Grand Trunk Railway workers in eastern Ontario go on strike in support of fired co-workers. The TLC had opposed all of these elements. It generally involves quitting of work by a group of workers for the purpose of bringing the pressure on their employer so that their demands get accepted. It began in earnest when metal trades and building workers walked off the job in early May, demanding wage increases and the right to collective bargaining. So is how union workers think when they want to get their points across. The economic depression that racked the country in 1914 did not end until 1916, as the war orders helped to bolster the Canadian economy. Leftists and the People’s Enlightenment in Canada, 1890-1920, Toronto 2008, p. 433. Interesting observations about … This is a timeline of labour issues and events in Canada. They blamed farmers, who they thought were growing rich off urban suffering. Farmers, particularly in Ontario and the Prairie provinces, became involved in the labour revolt because of conscription. A strike usually takes place in response to employee grievances. Some historians claim the labour revolt began in 1916, while others place it in late 1917 with the election of the Union government, the introduction of conscription, and the orders in council that curbed the civil liberties of labour and trade unions. The exact impact of the war on women in the workforce is still debated. That led to a new round of violence, which broke out on 21 June when strikers defied the ban on parades and gathered at the intersection of Portage and Main in downtown Winnipeg. [9] Instead, Sangster contends, women largely replaced men in clerical work, a trend that had begun before the war. If a union and an employer are unable to reach agreement through the bargaining process, there are a number of options available. Unions opened their ranks to new members because of the war. In response to conscription and a lack of workers’ rights, labour engaged in a revolt against employers, the war, and the federal government. Expanding the Circle of Resistance, in: Heron, Craig (ed. A Short History, Toronto 2012, pp. A popular myth, challenged by Joan Sangster, is that women rushed to munitions plants in large numbers to fill jobs left by men who had gone to war. It has been estimated 350,000 wage-earners struck from 1917-1920. Attesting to labour’s weakness and in contrast to most other belligerent countries, the federal government under Prime Minister Robert Borden (1854-1937) did not seek the opinion of labour leaders. Many men from the traditional ranks of organised skilled labour rushed to the colours. [3] Based primarily in the more industrialised Eastern part of the country, the TLC’s narrow definition of trade unionism, which precluded many workers from joining, prevented the development of working-class solidarity on a nation-wide basis.