Canadian Labour History

Canada’s labour movement has a long history of improving workers’ everyday lives. We fought for and won many of the rights enjoyed by all workers today – minimum wages, overtime pay, workplace safety standards, maternity and parental leave, vacation pay, and protection from discrimination and harassment.

Today unions work hard every day to protect the rights we’ve won, and to win new rights for all workers. We are social unions, focused not just on the gains we can make in bargaining, but the gains we can make for society as a whole, like fighting to end child labour, or to win workers compensation, public pensions and social programs that help people keep working, like health care and child care.

Some highlights:

1872: The Fight for a shorter work-week

1919: The Winnipeg General Strike 

The Birth of E.I. 

1945: Windsor’s Ford Strike

The Rand Decision 

1956: Beginning of C.L.C

1965: Workers win Bargaining Rights

The Right to Safe  Work 

Maternity and Parental Benefits 

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