Tag Archives: labour

Let’s Not Romanticize Opponents of the Winnipeg General Strike

By Tom Mitchell Tumult was everywhere in 1919. In an autobiographical work published in 1966, Kingsley Martin, British journalist and long-time editor of The New Statesman, recalled that “the only time in my life when revolution in Britain seemed likely was in 1919.”  It is true that in Canada an influential current of labour radicalism celebrated the Russian revolution and… Read more »

The 1934 British Columbia Penitentiary Strike and Prisoners’ Wages in Canada    

By Jordan House The early 1930s were marked by considerable labour unrest in Canada. Over this period, workers developed new, more expansive forms of trade unionism, as well as new tactics such as sit-down strikes and flying pickets. In the context of the great depression, this unrest was not only evident in the country’s factories, mines, and ports; workers and… Read more »

Thinking about Labour and the Carceral State in Canada

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Kassandra Luciuk Early one morning in January 1917, the internees of Fort Henry awoke to find a call to arms pinned to a wall in the Lower Square of the Fort. “Comrades! The continual stream of harsh orders that descend to us day after day should bring us to our senses at last. Let us unite against the Commandant and… Read more »

Holiday Repost – ‘Tis the Season (for Social and Economic Change): Depression-Era Christian Socialism and an Alternative Meaning for Christmas

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 »

The Long Form Census is Back, but it is Far From Perfect

By Patricia Kmiec If you live in Canada, you have likely received your invitation to complete the 2016 Census of Population this week. The 2016 census is a celebration of sorts in Canada, with many historians, researchers, educators, policy-makers, and members of the public relieved to hear that this year’s census comprises a mandatory short-form (completed by the entire population) and a… Read more »

‘Tis the Season (for Social and Economic Change): Depression-Era Christian Socialism and an Alternative Meaning for Christmas

by Christo Aivalis If one peruses their televisions, computers, and streetscapes, they can’t help but forget that we have been in the throes of the Christmas season since November. But this form of Christmas celebration, tied so deeply with capitalism, belies the transformative optimism Christmas provided working-class socialists in the Depression, and still today. Much as Pope Francis’ criticisms of… Read more »

Lowered Expectations and The Historical Origins of the ‘Great Decoupling’ in Canada

by Christo Aivalis Recently many economists have emphasized that since the 1970s in western nations like Canada and the United States, high profits and productivity have been accompanied by stagnating wages, especially for lower income workers. These commentators, including Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman, MIT professors Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, The New York Times’ Steven Greenhouse, and UNIFOR economist Jim Stanford,… Read more »

A Fish Box and a Folk Festival

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By David Frank I keep my camping gear in an old wooden box that sits neatly in the back of my car. Nothing unusual about that. But when I packed up to go Canso for the Stan Rogers Folk Festival this summer, I realized this would be a kind of homecoming — for the box. Let me explain. The box… Read more »

Starbucks: Welfare Capitalism, Public Education, and the History and Possibility of American Social Democracy

By Jason Ellis Welfare capitalism is back in vogue. Earlier this month Starbucks announced that it will expand an existing company benefit program that offers university tuition coverage to Starbucks workers. The expansion of the program, a plan to extend these benefits to 23,000 workers over the next decade at a cost of $250 million, will target “opportunity youth,” i.e…. Read more »

Downsizing Flight Attendants in the Sky and the Deregulation and Privatization of Air Travel in Canada

By Bret Edwards Transport Canada recently announced a plan to change the number of flight attendants Canadian airlines are required to staff on specific commercial flights. The current national standard, developed in 1968, is one flight attendant for every forty passengers. If the regulation is changed, this ratio will drop to one in fifty. Airlines have led the push for… Read more »