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of the "specials" and the North-West Mounted Police, the Winnipeg General Strike came to a chaotic end after six weeks.Did You know?Conflict between workers and employers had been growing in Winnipeg and across Canada for about two years before the general strike. Labour disruptions and demonstrations took place across the country in 1918 and 1919, and the uprising in Russia in 1917 had inspired trade unionists in Winnipeg and elsewhere.Most returning veterans of the First World War supported the strike. Unemployment was growing and inflation had increased the cost of raising a family.The anti-strike Winnipeg Free Press published an editorial that compared striking milk truck drivers and bakers to German bombers, branding them "baby-killers" because of their participation.Among the workers permitted by the strike committee to remain on duty were police, firefighters, utilities employees, bakers and milk truck drivers.On June 21, "Bloody Saturday", chaos broke out after the city's mayor literally read the Riot Act to a crowd that had assembled to protest the arrest of the strike leaders. Police on horseback --
both militia and Mounties -- charged the protesters, swinging bats as they passed through the crowd. On a second charge they began firing their revolvers. Two strikers were killed and about 30 were wounded.The strike committee agreed to end the general strike on June 26. Though their demands for fairer wages and hours hadn't been met, workers did accomplish some of their goals. Legislation was enacted to allow collective bargaining, strikers were guaranteed their jobs back, and employers agreed to recognize unions.The Winnipeg General Strike was the inspiration for the stage musical Strike!, which debuted in Winnipeg in May 2005. Producer Danny Schur wrote and composed Strike!, telling the story through the experiences of four characters. "My interest was the ethnic background," Schur told CBC News. "The people who did the grunt jobs... the people who were needed, but not wanted." t is a sad irony that thousands of people dying on the battlefields of Europe and Asia was the catalyst needed to get Canadians back to work. By 1940 so many men and women had enlisted to fight fascism and had taken jobs in munition plants that near full employment had become a reality. Farm workers searching for steady work headed to the cities, and many women took paid labour in war-related industries. Remembering the crisis over what was believed to have been extensive corporate profiteering during World War I, the government quickly introduced a system of wage and price controls. The government also extended the Industrial Disputes Act to include all industries considered essential for the war effort (a definition so broad that it included much of what Canadians produced). The creation of the National Selective Service Agency to control workers' freedom to move from one job to another was the final element in the government's initial response to war-time conditions. One thing the Canadian