Trade Unions in Canada 1812-1902
Published: December 1982© 1982
616 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 x 1.00 in
We are apt to think of labour unions as a feature of a relatively advanced industrial society. It comes as a surprise to many to learn how long ago in Canadian history they actually appeared. Unions already existed in the predominantly rural British North America of the early nineteenth century. There were towns and cities with construction workers, foundry workers, tailors, shoemakers, and printers; there were employers and employees – and their interests were not the same.
From this beginning Dr Forsey traces the evolutions of trade unions in the early years and presents an important archival foundation for the study of Canadian labour. He presents profiles of all unions of the period – craft, industrial, local, regional, national, and international – as well as of the Knights of Labor and the local and national central organizations. He provides a complete account of unions and organizations in every province including their formation and function, time and place of operation, what they did or attempted to do (including their political activity), and their particular philosophies.
This volume will be of interest and value to those concerned with labour and union history, and those with a general interest in the history of Canada.