The winnipeg general strike of 1919 bargained for better working conditions

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The winnipeg general strike of 1919 bargained for better working conditions

One of the most important tasks women performed during the strike was the setting up of a food kitchen. These considerations must have proved important as the women served 1, to 1, free meals daily. These services were funded in part by the Relief Committee of which a Mrs.

Webbs was in charge.

The winnipeg general strike of 1919 bargained for better working conditions

A large portion of the funding came from collections taken at various meetings of the strikers throughout the city. Appeals were also made in the Western Labor News for donations of staples such as bread, tea, sugar and sandwiches.

Other funding came from organizations of workers who set up dances and performances for the benefit of the kitchen and Relief Fund. The creation of the kitchen and the thousands of meals served weekly provide strong evidence of the large number of women on strike, as well as pointing out that due to their lower wages, women were unlikely to be able to scrape through the strike without the support of other women.

Winnipeg Strike Committee, On May 14, the Winnipeg Tribune reported that the Y. On May 20, the Western Labor News announced an all-day organizational meeting for all women workers. A mass meeting of the strikers had been held the evening before at their headquarters, at which time a system of picketing was arranged.

On May 15, the members of the candy and confectionary workers not yet on strike stopped work and joined the mass of strikers. Although the workers rented space in the building, when they arrived for their meeting the building was found locked and all strike cards had been torn down.

Issues discussed at the meetings included the availability of food supplies, the maintenance of law and order, and the T.

Before the strike even began the company recruited a band of scab labour to come in from Toronto. In this particular instance the Western Labor News reprinted a sweetly written letter of gratitude the company sent its women employees. Helen Armstrong organized many of the wholesale and retail workers.

The Tribune reported that on May 26, at 5: She further announced her intention to keep up the drive until a settlement was achieved.

The Winnipeg General Strike, May 15 to June 25, , is Canada's best-known general strike. Massive unemployment and inflation, the success of the Russian Revolution (), a wave of strikes across Canada and rising revolutionary industrial unionism all contributed to postwar labour unrest. The Winnipeg General Strike was a landmark in North America. The strike officially began on May 15th, at AM and continued until late June, , and approximately 35, workers, basically the entire workforce of Winnipeg, walked off their jobs, risking their entire lives (Naylor, ). The Winnipeg General Strike of was one of the most influential strikes in Canadian history, and became the platform for future labour reforms. Massive unemployment and inflation, dismal wages and working conditions, and the success of the Russian Revolution all contributed to labour unrest at the time.

At this time, the union forwarded to the Manitoba Telephone Commission a request for salary increases of 15 - 40 per cent. A three hour strike was staged on May 1, and an investigatory board was called in to research the situation.

The operators agreed to stay on their jobs until the end of May at which time the board was to produce their findings.

The winnipeg general strike of 1919 bargained for better working conditions

This strike had begun in April when teamsters, electrical workers, water works employees, and office workers went to the city administration for wage increases.

The municipal authorities, not wanting to make up a new pay schedule which they believed would freeze the already inflated war-time rates at an artificially high level, offered instead a bonus until peacetime when new wages could be negotiated.

Although in dollars the bonus represented much the same increase that the workers were demanding, the creation of a new pay schedule became a matter of principle. On May 7,these workers went on strike and on May 16, the telephone operators joined in a sympathetic strike.

By May 24,the strike was over. The civic electricians, water works employees, teamsters and firemen all received higher wages.

All workers who had joined the sympathetic strike were reinstated without penalty. Further, the Fowler Amendment, which denied civic employees the right to strike but which actually inspired more walk-outs, was withdrawn. The role of the telephone operators in both the and strikes was mentioned in the Western Labor News.

This time they pulled all fuses including the P. The next day, in the column called Strikelets: Less than ten days after the strike began, the Winnipeg Citizen reported that volunteers were wanted to resume telephone service.

On June 19, George A. Watson, Telephone Commissioner, reported to the Citizen that applications had been received for permanent employment as telephone operators, 43 of which were from operators who had returned to duty.

Watson also reported that these 43 operators gave the required pledge not to participate in sympathetic strikes. The return of these women, especially under the degrading condition of the pledge, probably illustrates the absolute necessity of a regular wage for survival.

Watson, more than women and girls were operating telephone exchanges and more had been advertised for. We are giving permanent employment to young women who show aptitude for this work.In March , diverse labor leaders met in Calgary in Western Canada to discuss the creation of an industrial union to be called the One Big Union to work for higher wages, improved working conditions, official union recognition and collective bargaining.

The Winnipeg General Strike of was a landmark moment in North American working-class history. In May and June that year, over 30, workers ceased work for six weeks. The General Strike of was not only Winnipeg’s climactic event, but a watershed of some consequence in the evolution of Canada.

It stands, too, among the . In Winnipeg on May 15, when negotiations broke down between management and labour in the building and metal trades, the Winnipeg Trades and Labour Council (WTLC) called a general strike.

At stake was the principle of collective bargaining, better wages and . On May 1, , Winnipeg's building and metal workers went on strike for higher wages. Two weeks later, the Winnipeg Trades and Labour Council appealed for a general strike in support of the metal.

The Winnipeg strike of was one of the most influential strikes in Canadian history and became the platform for the future labour reforms. Massive unemployment, inflation, dismal wages, working conditions and the success of the Russian Revolution all contributed to labour unrest at the time.

On this day in Winnipeg workers cripple city in general strike | CTV News