LABRST 1A03 Lecture Notes - Lecture 8: Terence V. Powderly, Canadian Labour Congress, Craft Unionism

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Labour Studies
September 29, 2016
Lecture 8
Essay due Thursday October 6th
The second assignment will be posted during Reading Week
Early = Localized
Growth Within Trades
International Unionism
- All unions have a strike fund
- ITU as a whole has a strike fund of $300,000
- Large pool of resources backing you up, and intimidates the employer into seeing the
perception of the employee because they have the resources to essentially shut the
company down for a lengthy period of time
9 Hour Movement
- Limits the length of the workday
- Untilt he union movement came, you worked as long as your boss told you too
- The idea was to create laws, or get employers to agree that there would be limited
hours
- The idea that you would ask your employer for limits on work was radical due to the fact
that the employer’s rule was to be absolute
- Very few people would have more than one day a week off let alone a weekend
- First step was a 9-hour limit per day
- 1871 and 1872 rotating strikes by different craft unions in Quebec (the industrialised
part of Canada at the time)
- Big 1 day walk out for protest
Toronto Printer’s Strike
- Top 5 most important strikes in labour history in terms of long-term influence
- Important due to its political implications; it’s the first time a strike gained so much
notoriety
- “We want the 9-hour day”
George Brown
- Publisher of Toronto Globe
- Believer in classic liberalism or absolutely free markets with no limitation
- The strike turns very quickly into a huge confrontation
April 15 Rally
- Spring of 1872 and the biggest rally in Canadian history with 10,000 people and unions
from all over to support the workers
- Toronto has about 99,000 to 100,000 people (equivalent to about 400,000 people
showing up to a protest)
- 1 very big long-term consequence; gave people the idea to have one day to have a
parade to show how prominent labour is; thus Labour Day
Brown Again
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- When he saw the scale of the protest, he saw this as completely unacceptable
- It’s not good enough to say no concessions to the union
- He goes to the police and says that he wants the strike leaders arrested and the charge
should be criminal conspiracy
- Unions are conspiring against free trade and labour, and this is especially demonstrated
by the protest
- He succeeds and the leaders of the union are arrested for the same charge
Birth of the Labour Movement II
Sir John A. Macdonald
- An early rival of George Brown
- No a conservative, but rather practical, and believes in some government interferences
- Says the unions may have influence, and cleverly, wants the unions on his side
- Passes the trade union act
Political Showdown
Trade Union Act
- Legalises unions, following a similar act in Britain
- Unions no longer worry that their leaders will get arrested
Criminal Law Amendment Act
- Amends the existing criminal law
- Criminalizes some things that unions had practices to take away some of their power
- The basic idea of unions and the peaceful protest activity are now legal
- Before this, unions were acting in the shadow of the law
Political Lobbying
- Most of this is on the provincial level due to the Constitution
- Macdonald wanted to be a friend of labour, as did the provincial Liberal party
- Daniel O’Donoghue was a highly connected political Liberal who was a lobbyist for
Unions
Master and Servant Act
- Main law governing the relationship between one worker, and their boss
- The boss is the master, and the worker is the servant
- You could go to prison for quitting your job, and would have a criminal record for the
rest of your life affecting you in the long-term
Factory Acts
- State will intervene to regulate workplace conditions
- Safety measures put into places, including guards for saws
- Appointed 3 inspectors for 2000 factories
- No prohibitions on child labour until the Factory Acts
- Child labour went up during the Industrial Revolution
- If a child was found working in a factory, the parents were fined
- They found no point in fining the employers because they were to make as much profit
as possible, etc.
National Assemblies
- National organizations to represent unions
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