Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Socials 11: Labour and the 1919 Winnipeg General Strike

Today, we started by debriefing Ex 5 "Labor Relations." That allowed us to have a deep discussion on labor relations, unions, and inflation. We also discussed the idea of the cost of living and saw how workers who get raises can actually be worse off over time if the cost of living is rising faster than their wage increases (if, for example they are getting a 1.5% wage increase but the cost of living is rising at a rate of 2%).  We also spoke in more detail about the Winnipeg General Strike. Specifically, we talked about the role of the veterans and other groups and discussed what were their wants and their fears. It is important to remember that the immigrant workers especially, were at a terrible risk in this time when there was little protection from the excesses of government and business owners. In a general sense, we can see how our modern Charter of Rights and Freedoms would have provided more protection for the workers in this case.  In the end, we see that the strikers made few immediate gains. However, this was a battle that helped in the long-term improvement of working conditions and worker rights.  If you want to view the CBC documentary on the Strike, use this link.

I had some difficulty with the computer when I try to show the People's History episode on the strike and so we will begin tomorrow's lesson by finishing that. For homework, I asked that you complete Ex 7, "Women's Rights." Please take responsibility and come to class tomorrow prepared.
Could you use this table to write a summary of the players
during the Strike.

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