Closing Sysco: Industrial Decline in Atlantic Canada’s Steel City
Closing Sysco is a history of deindustrialization and working-class resistance in the Cape Breton steel industry between 1945 and 2001. The Sydney Steel Works is at the heart of this study – having existed in tandem with Cape Breton’s larger coal operations since the early twentieth century. Chapters explore the multi-faceted nature of deindustrialization, the internal politics of the steelworkers’ union, successful efforts to nationalize the mill in 1967, the years in transition under public ownership, and confrontations over health, safety, and environmental degradation in the 1990s and 2000s. The book moves beyond the moment of closure to trace the cultural, historical, and political ramifications of deindustrialization as they continue to play out in post-industrial Cape Breton Island. This represents a significant intervention into the international literature on deindustrialization, pushing scholarship beyond the bounds of political economy and cultural change to begin tackling issues of bodily health, environment, and historical memory in post-industrial places.
The experiences of men and women who were displaced by the decline and closure of Sydney Steel are central to this book. Featuring interviews with former steelworkers, office employees, managers, politicians, and community activists, these one-on-one conversations are deeply integral to this study, and reveal both the human cost of industrial closure and the lingering aftereffects of deindustrialization.
- Series: Studies in Atlantic Canada History
- World Rights
- Page Count: 304 pages
- Illustrations: 27
- Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.0in x 9.0in
Author InformationLachlan MacKinnon is an assistant professor in the Department of Humanities at Cape Breton University.
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