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Lecture 7

Lecture 7--The History of the Canadian Labour Movement.doc

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MGMT 1030
Frank Miller

The History of the Canadian Labour Movement MGMT 1030 Schulich School of Business Canadian Labour Relations: A History 1) Repressive Era (to 1872)  Poor wages and working conditions  exploitation of women and children  no provision for sickness, injury, or old age  Weakness of labour organizations  laws prevented restraint of trade  small and ineffective craft unions  Toronto Typographical Union (founded 1832)  Trades Union Act (1872)  precipitated by a Toronto Typographical Union strike  political motives—John A. Macdonald  unions deemed legal—not “conspiracies in restraint of trade”  unions had to register and penalties for picketing (preventing others from going to business) or pressure (preventing others from taking your job) - Early on, workers had very little power in management and workplace - If you don’t have any skills, you cannot employers without conformity - Worker’s in crafts unions were skilled; had upper hand due to talents - Macdonald changed way labour system worker with Trade Unions Act o Legalization of Unions Canadian Labour Relations: A History 2) Containment Era (1872 to 1907)  Knights of Labour (founded 1869 in Philadelphia)  industrial unionism instead of craft unionism  utopian in outlook  first local Knights Assembly in Canada—1881  Haymarket Square riot—Chicago (1886)  long period of decline for Knights  American Federation of Labour (AFL) (1886)  Samuel Gompers  business unionism—‘bread and butter’ issues  1898-1902—700 AFL locals chartered in Canada  Trades and Labour Congress controlled by the AFL  Industrial Disputes Investigation Act (1907)  precipitated by coal strike in Alberta  federal government could intervene and appoint a tripartite board of investigation  all strike activity was suspended while investigation occurred  legislation favoured employers - Knights of labour encouraged widespread membership - Lawyers, bankers, gamblers, stock brokers; manipulate system - Some chapters of the Knights were militant - Were part of labour atmosphere that was confrontational - Samuel Gompers created American Federation of Labour - AFL organized based on peoples talents, believed in hierarchy of labour - AFL are pragmatic and are political; helped those that wanted to vote for narrowly defined labour changes in legislation - Wanted to make change surgically as opposed to over throwing society - Tended to represent elite of working class - Industrial Disputes Investigation Act started by coal strike in 1907, railways ran on coal; devastating to western and Canadian economy - Government would have investigating unit; have member of government and union; not effective because many times government would side with business Canadian Labour Relations: A History 3) Paternalism (1907 to 1948)  Development of labour radicalism  primarily in hinterland areas in marginalized sectors of the economy  International Workers of the World “Wobblies”—1906  Impact of World War I (1914-1918)  union membership increased from 166,000 in 1914 to 379,000 in 1919  widespread inflation  Imperial Munitions Board  de-skilling of labour force  Conscription  stridently opposed by unions and farmers  Post-war labour turmoil  Russian Revolution (October 1917)  fears of overthrow of capitalist system  demobilization of soldiers  economic recession  Winnipeg General Strike (1919)  15 May—30,000 workers strike  violence and disorder  strike ended on 25 June  Impact of the Great Depression (1929)  unemployment increased from 6% in 1929 to 25% in 1933  reduction in strike activity  government created relief camps in 1932 to address unemployment crisis  “On to Ottawa Trek” (1935)  Rise of militant “industrial unionism”  split within the American Federation of Labour  Congress of Industrial Organization (CIO)  industrial unionism  AFL and TLC expels CIO unions  CIO-ACCL merger in 1940—Canadian Congress of Labour (CCL)  Impact of World War II (1939-1945)  wage and price controls  PC 1003 (1944)  collective bargaining enshrined in Canadian law for the first time  Rand Decision (1946)  mandated automatic dues check-off to the bargaining unit  Industrial Relations and Disputes Investigation Act (1948)  formalized PC 1003 in law - Wobblies wanted to make change; radicals, wanted to attack and maybe even kill strike- breakers - WW1 brought greater industrial activity, union membership increases, War Measures acts constraints Unions power - Industrialization brought de-skilling of labour force - Equality of suffering and sacrifice brought into picture; government wanted to conscript people - Farmers and unions hated conscription - Unions wanted to have r
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