Macdonald consolidating strike

26-Feb-2020 00:31

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Industrial unions were spurred forward by the newly constructed Canadian Pacific Railway, which facilitated increased movement of people and ideas, while simultaneously putting hefty market pressures on the working class.One of the first international and industrial unions to operate in Canada was the Knights of Labour.With twelve or more hours at work being commonplace, the movement campaigned for their namesake: a nine-hour workday.Nine Hours groups engaged in strikes in early 1872 in order to draw greater attention to the cause, but co-ordinated action was the ultimate goal.British immigrants established local unions similar to the ones they left at home.The legal status of unions for most of the 1800s was unclear; even concerted efforts of legal archaeology have had difficulty pinning down how the law viewed unions.For many years, the law was inhospitable to unions, with the balance tilted in favour of employers and government.Since the mid-twentieth century, trade unions have notched some legal victories, but also accepted some serious concessions.

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Ultimately, the Knights of Labour collapsed in the United States and withered away in Canada shortly after.Not only were there divisions between craft unions and the umbrella organization, but the 1886 Chicago Haymarket riot caused public outrage against the Knights.

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