THIS MONTH IN LABOUR HISTORY

6-04-1980 The Canadian Farmworkers Union holds its Founding Convention at Douglas College and delegates elect FWOC President Raj Chouhan as CFU president. The CFU is Canada's first agricultural workers union. [more]

8-04-1937 In Oshawa, Ontario, 4,000 workers go on strike at the General Motors plant for recognition of the United Auto Workers. They win major concessions, and the strike is often considered the birth of industrial unionism in Canada. [more]

11-04-1972 More than 200,000 public sector workers, organized in the Québec Common Front, begin a ten-day strike. Three leaders are jailed, but the Common Front ultimately succeeds in winning a $100 minimum weekly wage for public employees. [more]

15-04-1903 British Columbia union organizer Frank Rogers, a longshoreman, dies after he is shot while supporting clerical workers on strike against the Canadian Pacific Railway in Vancouver. [more]

18-04-1872 The first issue of the Ontario Workman appears, with the slogan “The equalization of all elements of society in the social scale should be the true aim of civilization.” It also publishes an excerpt on "the normal working day" from Karl Marx's Capital. [more]

18-04-1872 Prime Minister Sir John A. Macdonald announces a Trade Union Act stating that unions are legal. This is two days after leaders of the Toronto printers, with strong public support in their strike for a nine-hour day, are arrested for common conspiracy. [more]

19-04-1974 In a targeted campaign for pay equity, postal workers begin a seven-day illegal strike that wins women postal code machine operators the same pay as male postal clerks. [more]

23-04-1956 More than 1600 delegates attend the founding convention of the Canadian Labour Congress, a merger of the Trades and Labour Congress and the Canadian Congress of Labour. They call for a national health plan, full employment and a guaranteed annual wage.[more]

26-04-1918 After years of agitation by reformers and unions, the New Brunswick Workmen’s Compensation Act receives Royal Assent. [more]

27-04-1983 As part of its anti-labour agenda, the Alberta government brings in legislation denying firefighters and healthcare workers the right to strike. [more]

28-04-1984 The Canadian Labour Congress establishes the first National Day of Mourning for workers killed or injured on the job. The idea of a Workers' Memorial Day is adopted by more than 100 countries around the world. [more]

29-04-1903 After the militia are called out to patrol the docks, thousands of people rally to support striking longshoremen in Montréal. They win wage increases and recognition of the International Longshoremen’s Association. [more]

29-04-1903 A sudden rock slide at Turtle Mountain kills more than 76 men, women and children in and around the town of Frank in the Crowsnest Pass. From inside the mine, 17 coal miners dig their way to safety. [more]