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This month in labour history

10/01/2019

LabourStart Canada

This month in labour history

1-10-1741 Workers at the Royal Shipyard in Québec organize the first recorded strike in Canadian history. 

8-10-1906 At Buckingham, Québec, workers locked out for organizing a union at the MacLaren pulp mill are attacked by company police. Union officers Thomas Bélanger and François Thériault are shot dead. 

18-10-1935 Farm labourer Nicholas Schaack, 51, dies in hospital following head injuries received on Market Square in Regina on Dominion Day, when the Royal Canadian Mounted Police brought the On to Ottawa Trek of unemployed workers to a violent end. 

13-10-1944 The Trades and Labour Congress charters Federal Labour Union 180 at Vancouver General Hospital. This is the beginning of the Hospital Employees' Union of British Columbia, now the province's largest health care union. 

23-10-1958 At Springhill, Nova Scotia, 75 men are killed in a mine disaster and 81 miners are rescued the next day. A group of twelve miners are rescued on 30 October and a final group of seven are located and brought to the surface on 1 November. 

16-10-1963 More than 200 nurses start an illegal strike at the Hôpital Sainte-Justine in Montréal. They are seeking an end to overwork and recognition of their role in the health system. The thirty-day strike achieves a settlement that encourages unionization. 

30-10-1971 A protest against a lockout at the daily La Presse in Montréal ends in a street battle between thousands of workers and police. When tear gas is used, student activist Michèle Gauthier, an expectant mother, dies of suffocation

12-10-1975 Grace Hartman is elected National President of the Canadian Union of Public Employees after six years as Secretary-Treasurer. She becomes the first woman in North American history to lead a major union. 

14-10-1976 In Canada's first country-wide general strike, one million workers join a Day of Protest against the federal government's wage controls policy. 

19-10-1996 When General Motors tries to break a Canadian Autoworkers strike by removing equipment, union members occupy the Oshawa plants. 

27-10-1997 More than 125,000 Ontario teachers walk out to protest the province's plans to cut school budgets and centralize control over education. The two-week protest affects two million students and is the largest teachers’ strike in North American history. 

6-10-2011 The first H&M retail outlet in Canada is organized in Mississauga, Ontario, where workers vote to be represented by the United Food and Commercial Workers.