In The Canadian Labour Movement, historian Craig Heron tells the story of Canada’s workers from the mid-nineteenth century through to today, painting a vivid picture of key developments such as the birth of craft unionism, the breakthroughs of the fifties and sixties, and the setbacks of the early twenty-first century.
This new edition has been completely updated, including a substantial new chapter that covers the period from 1995 to 2011. In this chapter, Heron describes the rise of globalization and the restructuring of the private sector that began in the nineties and continues today. The results have been catastrophic for Canadian working people as plants closed and union activities were curtailed. As the political right succeeded in dominating public debate during this period, workers suffered ever greater losses: fewer and more precarious jobs, rising unemployment, stagnating wages, and increases in poverty. Only with the crash of 2008 and the Occupy Wall Street movement has space for the political left and labour begun to open up once again.
The Canadian Labour Movement is the definitive book for anyone who is interested in understanding the origins, achievements, and challenges of labour and social justice movements in Canada.
CRAIG HERON is a professor in the Department of History at York University. He is the author of Booze in Canada: A History, which was shortlisted for the Sir John A. Macdonald Prize, and the author of Working in Steel: The Early Years in Canada, 1883-1935.