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The Winnipeg General Strike
 

The Winnipeg General Strike

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Grade 10 History class

Grade 10 History class

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    The Winnipeg General Strike The Winnipeg General Strike Presentation Transcript

    • The Winnipeg General Strike The Labour Movement in Canada
    • Readings
      • From William Lyon Mackenzie King: The loner who kept Canada together , read page 17, the sections on ‘Willie invents the company union’
    • WWI and employment
      • During the First World War, as young Canadian men went overseas, it became more and more difficult to find workers back in Canada
      • For those who remained, this meant that you could get high wages
      • Leads to inflation
      • When the war ends, 500 000 men return from overseas and come looking for work
      • Meanwhile companies and owners are looking to reverse gains made by employees
      • Radical labour groups form, inspired by the Communist movement
      • Governments oppose these labour groups and the creation of unions
    • One Big Union
      • In 1919, workers in Western Canada form a group called the One Big Union (OBU)
      • Looking for better wages, a five-day work week, and legal recognition of the union
      • By the end of 1919, had 50 000 people as members
    • Winnipeg General Strike
      • In May 1919, negotiations break down between employers and men working in building and metal trades
      • Workers go on strike, and call for a city wide strike
      • Within hours 30 000 workers had gone on strike, as 94 of 96 unions agree to go on strike
      • City comes to a halt
    • Citizens Committee of 1000
      • Made up of manufacturers, bankers and politicians (Winnipeg’s elite)
      • Formed to oppose the strike
      • Got support of government and the military
      • Portrayed the strike leaders as “alien scum”
    • Bloody Saturday
      • June 17 th – special police arrest strike leaders
      • June 21 st – protests turn into riots, and police and military attack protesters
      • 1 killed, at least 20 wounded
    • Lingering Effects
      • By June 25 th the strike is over
      • Bitterness remains in Winnipeg for decades afterwards
      • Conservative Party loses election of 1921
      • Leads to much improved working conditions