This month in labour history
23-09-1873 The Canadian Labour Union is founded in Toronto. This first attempt to organize a Canadian labour central finds limited support, mainly from skilled workers in Ontario.
1-09-1879 Coal miners in Springhill, Nova Scotia organize Pioneer Lodge of the Provincial Miners' Association, later known as the Provincial Workmen's Association. Under the leadership of Robert Drummond, the PWA becomes an influential force in the province.
8-09-1886 The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, Saskatchewan Division No. 322, is formed in Medicine Hat. It is the first union chartered in what later becomes Alberta.
26-09-1888 Canada's first independent labour Member of Parliament is returned in a by-election in Montréal. A printer by trade, Alphonse-Télesphore Lépine is a leading figure in the Montréal Trades and Labour Council and the Knights of Labor.
3-09-1894 Labour Day is observed for the first time as a statutory public holiday, under a law introduced that year by the Conservative prime minister Sir John Thompson.
16-09-1912 Vancouver Island coal miners begin what becomes a two-year strike for workplace safety and union recognition. To defeat the miners' union, the companies bring in strikebreakers and the province calls out the militia.
16-09-1913 The New Brunswick Federation of Labour is organized at Saint John, New Brunswick, with James L. Sugrue as president. Today it is the provincial federation in Canada with the second longest continuous history.
11-09-1916 A second disaster strikes the huge cantilever bridge under construction at Quebec City. Another 13 lives are lost in addition to the 75 deaths in the first collapse in 1907. The bridge, completed in 1917, is still standing today.
29-09-1931 A strike by coal miners from Bienfait, Saskatchewan comes comes to a head when police shoot three strikers dead during a protest on the main street in Estevan.
15-09-1933 A general strike begins in the factories in Stratford, Ontario and spreads across the city. Troops and armoured cars are called out.
12-09-1945 In Windsor, Ontario, the United Auto Workers begin their historic strike against the Ford Motor Company. It lasts for 99 days and leads to the Rand Formula for union security.
24-09-1963 The Canadian Union of Public Employees, now Canada's largest union, is founded in Winnipeg through a merger of two earlier organizations. The union goes on to break new ground in building the labour movement.
15-09-1978 Workers at International Nickel in Sudbury, Ontario go on strike against pay cuts and layoffs. With strong community support, in June 1979 the 10,000 miners win a victory that includes improved pension benefits.
9-09-1991 More than 100,000 members of the Public Service Alliance of Canada launch a general strike to defend job security for federal public service workers.
25-09-1995 Unions supporting the Liverpool Dockers Solidarity Campaign participate in national actions using the internet. This is believed to be the first time the net was used to organize an international labour solidarity action.