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Winnipeg Strike & National Contours.docx

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McMaster University
Labour Studies
David Goutor

History of the Winnipeg General Strike 10/27/2013 6:34:00 AM Article Notes  Included 8 men  These men were arrested last by police on belief they were trying to create a soviet union gov’t  The strike spontaneously erupted from “iron masters” refusal of the Trades council & “builders exchange” refusal of the Trades council and to pay men a living wage  Conspiracy was an attempt by the Crown to railroad active leaders of the working class to jail  If the Crown succeeded, gov’t would pass laws, making workers lives tougher and lowering the conditions & standard of living Industrial Unionism  The question behind this resolution, which needed all union organizations involved, was: o Reorganizing workers in Canada on the basis of industrial organization instead of craft unionism Industrial Committee  Representatives elected by industry, in a Central Industrial Committee for Western disputes 30 Hour Week  the idea that to cure unemployment, shorter work hours would deduce this  Proposed for 6 hour work days, 5 day weeks The resolution proposed in front of the Convention  Aim of the labour movement is improving social & economic conditions of society, and the working class  Cons of the present system: o Production for profit should be abolished as it counteracts the goals of the Resolution Committee What came out of the resolution  A policy committee with representatives from the five provinces was appointed  The committee be called “The One Big Union” o Coming together of industrial unions & getting rid of craft unions Cause & Development of the General Sympathetic Strike  Workers must work on a living wage, if they don’t have a living wage, they cannot live (only way to achieve this is to either starve, or strike for higher wages)  Wages were 18% higher in 1914, but cost of living went up 80%  When the strike was smashed, and workers put into jail: o Employers exceeded the demands of the strike, for example, the request for 20cents more increased to 30cents more per/hr.  Men in finance (bankers & brokers) controlled the higher cost of living, and the refusal of providing living wages for workers  One leading cause to the strike was prices skyrocketing, making it impossible to live on the wages offered  COST OF LIVING WAS A HUGE CAUSE 3 Reasons WHY the Strike Started  Collective Bargaining
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