Did you know going on strike was once considered a criminal conspiracy? That trade unions were illegal in Canada? That was the situation in 1872 when 24 leaders of the Toronto Typographical Union organized a strike campaign aimed at securing a nine-hour work day. These men were viewed by authorities as criminal collaborators bent on disrupting trade, and they were imprisoned.
At the time, the Toronto Trades Assembly was a large organization dedicated to pointing out mistreatment of workers and encouraging many workers to form their own trade unions. They organized a huge demonstration, a parade, to get the 24 men released. There was an overwhelming amount of public support which forced authorities to make concessions. When a similar parade was organized in Ottawa months later, Sir John Macdonald appeared before the gathering and promised to repeal Canadian laws against trade unions. That let to the founding of the Canadian Labour Congress in 1883.
Today, Labour Day is seen as a day when most businesses shut down, and as a last chance to go camping. But it’s important to remember the sacrifices Canadians before us as together they changed laws for the better and sculpted Canadian culture and history.
Enjoy your day!
On My Mind
I'm a contrarian. I guess that means I like to take aim at socially acceptable ideas and shake up the status quo.