Unions & Labour | The Canadian Encyclopedia

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  • Article


    The Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists, better known as ACTRA, is the union that represents performers in Canada’s English-language radio, television and film industries. Through its Performers’ Rights Society, it secures and disburses use fees, royalties, residuals and all other forms of performers’ compensation. Some of ACTRA's other activities include administering health insurance and retirement plans for its 22,000 members, negotiating and administering collective agreements, minimum rates and working conditions, lobbying for Canadian content and a strong Canadian production industry, and promoting and celebrating Canadian talent.

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  • Article


    The American Federation of Labor (established 1886) consisted of skilled craft unions that disagreed with the reform policies and organization of the Knights of Labor.

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  • Article

    Alberta Wheat Pool

     During the first years of operation, companies like Alberta Pacific Grain and United Grain Growers agreed to process the first Pool deliveries through their own facilities.

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  • Article

    All-Canadian Congress of Labour

    This national trade union federation was formed in 1926 as a rival to the Trades and Labor Congress, which was dominated by Canadian affiliates of American craft unions.

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  • Article

    Anti-Reciprocity Movement

    A number of organizations were formed to oppose the reciprocity agreement of January 1911 between Canada and the US. Most prominent was the Canadian National League, headed by Toronto lawyer Zebulon Lash.

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  • Article

    Asbestos Strike of 1949

    The Asbestos Strike began on 14 February 1949 and paralyzed major asbestos mines in Quebec for almost five months. The Quebec government sided with the main employer, an American-owned company, against the 5,000 unionized mine workers. From the start, the strike created conflicts between the provincial government and the Roman Catholic Church, which usually sided with the government (see Catholicism in Canada). One of the longest and most violent labour conflicts in Quebec history, it helped lay the groundwork for the Quiet Revolution.

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  • Editorial

    Asbestos Strike: Turning Point in Quebec History

    The following article is an editorial written by The Canadian Encyclopedia staff. Editorials are not usually updated. The strike that began on 14 February 1949 in Asbestos, Quebec, is one of those events that resonate beyond the immediate and define history. It was, as Pierre Trudeau later wrote, “a violent announcement that a new era had begun.”

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  • Article

    Canadian Congress of Labour

    Canadian Congress of Labour, founded fall 1940 as a merger of the All-Canadian Congress of Labour and the Canadian section of the Congress of Industrial Organizations. For 16 years the CCL was in the forefront of Canadian union activity and organization.

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  • Article

    Canadian Federation of Labour

     The Canadian Federation of Labour (National Trades and Labor Congress until 1908) was founded in 1902 as a solely Canadian body dedicated to national organization.

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  • Article

    Canadian Labor Union

    Founded in 1873 on the initiative of the Toronto Trades Assembly, the Canadian Labor Union represented organized labour's first attempt at a national federation. Moderate in ideology and practice, the CLU would only extend support to striking members who had sought arbitration first.

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  • Article

    Canadian Labour Congress

    The Canadian Labour Congress is a national Union central founded on 23 April 1956 from the merger of the Canadian Congress of Labour and the Trades and Labor Congress of Canada.

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  • Article

    Canadian Manufacturers' Association

    Canadian Manufacturers' Association, founded 1871, incorporated by Act of Parliament 1902 "to promote Canadian industries and to further the interests of Canadian manufacturers and exporters.

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  • Article

    Canadian Seaman's Union

    Canadian Seaman's Union, established 1936 to improve the archaic working conditions and wages for ordinary commercial seamen.

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  • Article

    Canadian Union of Public Employees

    The Canadian Union of Public Employees, founded 1963 with 86 000 members, is a merger of the National Union of Public Employees and the National Union of Public Service Employees.

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  • Article

    Cape Breton Strikes 1920s

    The CAPE BRETON labour wars of the early 1920s represented an intense local episode of class conflict similar to the WINNIPEG GENERAL STRIKE (1919).

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