LABRST 1A03 Lecture Notes - Lecture 15: Producerism, Canadian Labour Congress, Consumerism

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LBRSTU October 20
Craft Unions and the AFL - Pt. 1
-Mixed Impacts of Boom
- Years where the economy grows considerably
- New jobs, cities are booming, people become displaced; more pressure on existing workers;
turn towards trade unions to protect them
- Calgary grows by 4x, Winnipeg grows by 6x
- Ranks of craft unions begin to grow; thinking changes
-Gompers Consumerism
- vs. Producerism; independent producers
- Bread & butter unionism
- Gompers: president of AFL; believes if we focus on producerism, there will be loss, will be
seen as a part of the past
- There needs to be a shift into consumerism (focusing on effectively achieving higher wages,
boosting economic spending power of members)
- Focused on what workers want from their union long term (which is higher wages)
- Higher wages = higher prices of goods
- Poor society: things are cheap, because wages are low
- Higher wages in a consumerism model is the ticket to an improved style of living
-Organizing Surge
- Trades and Labour Congress (National congress of trade unions in Canada) - important
- Stats: (Approximate total of international locals in Canada)
- Early 1890s - 350-400
- 1902 - over 1000
- Gompers higher a representative for each areas; to organize
-John Flett
- Gompers organizer
- Seen as the man to bring change to Canada
-Gompers & the TLC
- Pleased with the unions and organizing
- Not pleased with Trades of Labour Congress - very disorganized
- Gompers was big on lobbying (pick your issues), TLC was not effective on lobbying
-Berlin, 1902
- Gompers makes his move in Berlin (aka. Kitchener)
- TLC meeting in Berlin
- Gompers engineers a democratic takeover of the TLC - makes delegates appear to the
conference and vote in a new agenda
- New Agenda = similar to AFL philosophy
- AFL begins to control TLC
-Crisis of the Craftsman
- The trades are facing pressure
- Issues within the workplace
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Document Summary

New jobs, cities are booming, people become displaced; more pressure on existing workers; turn towards trade unions to protect them. Calgary grows by 4x, winnipeg grows by 6x. Ranks of craft unions begin to grow; thinking changes. Gompers: president of afl; believes if we focus on producerism, there will be loss, will be seen as a part of the past. There needs to be a shift into consumerism (focusing on effectively achieving higher wages, boosting economic spending power of members) Focused on what workers want from their union long term (which is higher wages) Higher wages = higher prices of goods. Poor society: things are cheap, because wages are low. Higher wages in a consumerism model is the ticket to an improved style of living. Trades and labour congress (national congress of trade unions in canada) - important. Stats: (approximate total of international locals in canada) Gomper"s higher a representative for each areas; to organize.

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