The Federal Ministers of Labour and Justice travelled to Winnipeg to meet with a citizens committee but refused to talk with the strikers. A special militia was created when police joined the strike. New laws were passed and the North West Mounted Police employed to finally crush + end the strike.
We must remember the long hard struggle to establish the many everyday workplace union rights and benefits we often take for granted today. We too must be always ready to arise to fight the good fight to protect our sacred trust. Win or loose, the fight for work rights is never over.
During the last century we have benefited greatly from the hard fought battles, sacrifice and resolve of other unionists who, as in the 1919 Winnipeg General Strike have come before us. To remain idle and not be ever vigilant should our hard fought rights + gains come under attack is too dangerous to risk. It can happen anytime. We have seen this over the last year with the OLP MOE's attack on teacher Collective Bargaining and the PC's threats of US style Right to Work for Less legislation. Don't give up the fight!
See the CBC archives on the Winnipeg General Strike @ Strike!
PS: If you teach history, civics or co-op why not add a lesson or unit on Canadian Labour History or the 1919 Winnipeg General Strike? It certainly is timely and relevant considering the students and our current concerns. I will look for links to other resources, or if you know of any good ones, please forward them to us using the Comments bar below!