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History of Canadian Labor - Essay Example

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Compared to global standards, Canada is a late admission to the labor history scene. While we could get relevant research entropies on labor history for the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia from the 1960s, we had to wait till 1971 to lay hands to the Committee on Canadian Labour History, a publication journal dedicated at chronicling the events that highlighted the course of labor movements in Canada…
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History of Canadian Labor
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Download file to see previous pages While plenty of research works paved the way for jotting down crucial historical components related to labor history in other countries, there wasn't too much of study materials for the historians to trace the labor history of Canada. However, with the publication of the Committee on Canadian Labour History, the history of Canadian labor, especially the changing context in the working class section, has assumed an important dimension. Historically, the working class people in Canada, despite their contribution to the economic growth and development of the country, and despite the fact that Canada has always depended more on factory production than service sectors, has remained in the shadows of negligence. The formation of trade unions in the 1880s and the working class revolt in the beginning of the twentieth century have played an important role in shaping the future of Canadian workers. Even today, majority of Canadians earn their livelihood from factory wages. But the changing scenario is best reflected in the fact that most labors are not registered to unions in modern day Canada. It might be noted however that labor unions, at present or in the past, have been devising effective strategies to take the workers' issues to the respective higher authorities, and this draws the working class into joining unions in large numbers. This paper is going to critically examine the changing situations in the labor history of Canada, especially between 1940 and 1975.
Systemization of labor was a major area of focus in Canadian history. This was important because bulk of nation's revenues came from large-scale production. In the 1870s, the living environment of labors in Canada was not at all healthy and conducive to profitable outcomes. So it was important to build a foundation that could lead to prosperity of the workers for the greater welfare of the nation. Incepted in 1869 by Philadelphia garment cutters, the Knights of Labor was one of the prominent labor reformist organizations in the late nineteenth century. The main objective of this secret organization was to launch a campaign for cooperation and education among the working class fraternity, without gender or racial bias. The idea of maximizing the potential of skilled labors was given foremost priority. The age of rapid industrialization required deployment of efficient workers to get optimum output. While the experience and competency of veteran labors was an asset to the management, the youthful exuberance of the young working class brigade was nothing less an important area of contention.
The integration of Canadian capitalism in the twentieth century brought a new era in working class history. Diversification of unions, the impending threat of a cold war, gender biases at workplaces, inconsistent wage structures and frequent workouts did not augur well for the overall economic growth of the country. Most workers lived a life of perpetual struggle for food, clothing and shelter. New managerial machinery, so to speak, was introduced to downsize excess workers. It sparked the labor unrest all the more as skilled labors did not appreciate the new rules. Earlier in the nineteenth century, majority of workers in Canada enjoyed supremacy at their workplaces. But ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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