This month in labour history
29-08-1907 Seventy-five men, many of them First Nations workers from Kahnawake, are killed in the collapse of a huge cantilever bridge under construction across the St. Lawrence River at Quebec City. Before the disaster, supervisors ignore flaws in the design.
12-08-1909 Freight handlers at Fort William, Ontario take part in a gun battle with Canadian Pacific Railway police. The seven-day strike is settled, but the CPR later fires most of its Greek and Italian immigrant workers.
2-08-1918 In British Columbia, Vancouver workers go out on strike to protest the shooting of union organizer Ginger Goodwin on 27 July. This is often considered to be the first use of a general strike in Canadian history
1-08-1928 Ten workers are killed in the collapse of a gate on the Welland Ship Canal. They are among the 137 men who died during the completion of this shipping link between Lake Erie and Lake Ontario.
20-08-1937 Millworkers and longshoremen on the Miramichi River in New Brunswick strike for better wages and hours and for recognition of the New Brunswick Farmer-Labour Union. Their success helps bring about new labour laws in the province.
22-08-1950 More than 100,000 railway workers go on strike, shutting down the Canadian National and Canadian Pacific railway lines. A week later an emergency session of Parliament passes a law to end the strike, the first use of back-to-work legislation in Canada.
10-08-1966 Nine workers die and 55 are injured when a span on the Heron Bridge in Ottawa collapses during construction. Fifty years later, the bridge is renamed the Heron Road Workers Memorial Bridge.
10-08-1970 Nova Scotia fishermen and supporters march across the Canso Causeway, holding up traffic on the Trans Canada Highway. Their seven-month strike wins them the right to a union, but the fish plants refuse to recognize the United Fishermen and Allied Workers.
19-08-1998 The McDonald's in Squamish, British Columbia is the first outlet of the fast-food giant in North America to be unionized. The union fails to win a contract and in 1999 workers vote to decertify.
31-08-2001 A McDonald's restaurant in Montreal closes after the workers there organize and before a first contract is negotiated. This is later documented in the film Maxime, McDuff & McDo.
1-08-2009 At Voisey's Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador, United Steelworkers Local 9508 begins an 18-month strike against Vale Inco. The main issue is pay equity with workers at the multinational's other operations in Canada.
31-08-2013 A merger of the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers brings 300,000 members together in Unifor, now Canada's largest private sector union. There are high expectations for new organizing work, especially among young people.