Tag Archives: labour history

It Inspires Us Still: A Century Later, the Winnipeg General Strike Still Matters

Christo Aivalis In just a few months, we will be in the midst of celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Winnipeg General Strike, where thousands of workers walked off the job, initially to support the traditional bargaining demands from some of the city’s established unions, but eventually to demonstrate a more systemic challenge to the social, political, and economic status… Read more »

The Mysteries of a Hobo’s Life: Uncovering a Forgotten Revolutionary

Saku Pinta An earlier version of this post appeared on the “Increasing Access to the Finnish Language Archives” project blog. This black and white photograph appears, at first glance, to be quite ordinary. An unidentified man poses in front of a tar paper shack, possibly at a logging camp, hands clasped behind his back. His stony gaze is contemplative, confident…. Read more »

Holiday Repost – Here We Come A-Picketing! Christmas Carols, Class Conflict, and the Eaton’s Strike, 1984-85

ActiveHistory.ca is on a hiatus for the winter break, and will return to daily posts in early January.  During the hiatus, we’re featuring some of our favourite seasonal posts. Thank you to all our contributors, guest editors, and readers for making 2018 a very successful year. Happy holidays to all and we look forward to continuing our work in 2019! The… Read more »

What Makes Oshawa So Special?

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Steven High Most mills and factories close with a whimper and not a bang. Few were therefore prepared for the media fire-storm sparked by General Motor’s (GM) decision to close its auto-assembly plant in Oshawa, putting 2,500 Canadians out of work. What makes this closure so special? For starters, there is the historic centrality of the auto industry in Southern… Read more »

From Trudeau to Trudeau:  A Violation of the Right to Strike and Bargain Collectively

by Christo Aivalis At the time of writing, Justin Trudeau’s federal Liberal government is quickly going through the procedural motions to legislate Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) members back to work. While the Liberals’ strong parliamentary majority—along with support from the Conservative opposition on this issue—means such legislation will likely pass, it may be delayed slightly by concerns in… Read more »

Revisiting the 1981 CUPW Strike for Maternity Leave

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Mikhail Bjorge and Kassandra Luciuk As co-instructors, we are currently teaching a course on the history of women and work. Our primary concern in this course is to have students think historically about women’s lived experiences under capitalism. We explore how things looked in the past, how they were transformed over time, and, in turn, why they look the way… Read more »

Not so Accidental: Farmworkers, Car Crashes, and Capitalist Agriculture

By Edward Dunsworth  Early last month, near the southern Italian city of Foggia, sixteen migrant farmworkers from various African countries were killed in two separate car accidents. In both cases, vans taking migrants back to camp after work collided with trucks carrying tomatoes from the very fields they had spent the day toiling in. The tragedy brought international media scrutiny… Read more »

History Slam 110: Blood, Sweat, and Fear

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http://activehistory.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/History-Slam-110.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadBy Sean Graham As far as I can remember, I’ve only been punched in the face once. It was in elementary school on the playground in the midst of an argument over something that I did. I was in the wrong in the situation, but that was the only time that I feel as… Read more »

Tim Hortons, Ontario’s Minimum Wage, and the Need for Demand-Side Economics

By Christo Aivalis On January 1st of this year, the Ontario government instituted a minimum wage increase to fourteen dollars an hour, with a pledge to increase it to fifteen dollars by January 2019. While 60% of Ontarians support the increase, numerous businesses have retaliated against their workers by retracting things like benefits and paid breaks. Many examples have come… Read more »

Community Engagement and Public History at the North Pacific Cannery

Benjamin Bryce In late August 2017, I taught an experiential and service learning course at the North Pacific Cannery in Port Edward, BC, a former salmon cannery and now a national historic site. Sixteen history majors from the University of Northern British Columbia travelled 700 km from Prince George in central BC to the north Pacific coast at mouth of… Read more »