LABRST 1A03 Lecture Notes - Lecture 8: Terence V. Powderly, Expulsion Of The Acadians, Factory Acts

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Lecture 8-Birth of the Labour Movement 2
Political Showdown
Trade Union Act, Sir John A. Macdonald passed this and legalized unions, up until this
point almost all union activity had a dark cloud above it -will I get arrested?
Criminal Law Amendment Act, this is the balance act, he Amends the criminal law to ban
a lot of the union activities that scare employers the most, ex. Violence on the picket line,
threatening people during protests.
He is trying to establish a trade union and make it friendly to him and make it
moderate
Political Lobbying
Master and Servant Act, main law governing the relationship between one employee
and employer. This criminalized quitting, you could not only be sued for breaking a
contract but you could also be arrested.
Factory Acts, first law that government working conditions in factories
Up until the act there was no implication as to what was safe and what was not
First act to recognize child labour and banned it for children under 12 and girls under
14
National Assemblies – give labour a voice on a bigger stage
Canadian Labour Union 1873-77
Trades and Labour Congress, 1883
Criminal Record – stays with you for life and makes it harder to find a job
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Rise and Fall of the Knights of Labour- Pt 1.
Different Kind of Organization
Union to some extent, but they want to represent the workers in more of a union
way, and address broader and bigger issues.
Believed that a broader based activity would not only create change but activate and
mobilize workers in a better way. To some it seemed hopeless and silly.
Rise and Fall
Early stages, 1869 Philadelphia Uriah Stephens, 1st president. Small, secretive
protestant society.
Terence Powderly –naming him as the leader was an open minded change, he was
a good leader and speaker and the movement starts to grow in places the labour
movement had never been before
Big turning point was the Great South-western Railway Strike in 1885, they defeated
one of the biggest companies in the US and forced them to make many concessions.
Great Upheaval – organization grew so fast in 1885-1886 that the Knights the ability
to keep track of any new members. This was never seen before. It scared many
people because the foundations were shaky.
Collapse – by 1889 the Knights movement was over
Structure
Broad and flexible
Not only taking hold in big cities but also in smaller towns and regions that
were not developed
They weren’t as focused on who you were just who you worked for and if they
could help you.
Mixed assemblies
Small town organizing
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Document Summary

Violence on the picket line, threatening people during protests. He is trying to establish a trade union and make it friendly to him and make it moderate. Political lobbying: master and servant act, main law governing the relationship between one employee and employer. This criminalized quitting, you could not only be sued for breaking a contract but you could also be arrested: factory acts, first law that government working conditions in factories. Up until the act there was no implication as to what was safe and what was not. First act to recognize child labour and banned it for children under 12 and girls under. National assemblies give labour a voice on a bigger stage: canadian labour union 1873-77, trades and labour congress, 1883. Criminal record stays with you for life and makes it harder to find a job. Rise and fall of the knights of labour- pt 1.

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