The Winnipeg General Strike

Topics: Socialist Party USA, Strike action, Trade union Pages: 9 (1454 words) Published: September 20, 2014


Labor Relation 4330

Assignment 1

The Winnipeg General Strike
Table of Contents

1.0 Executive Summary
The main purpose of this report is to analyze how the environment factors have effect on the goals, strategies, value and power of the actors in Winnipeg General Strikes. By the Industrial Relations System model in Canada, the internal factors of the actors in this strike will be intertwined with outputs of the Winnipeg General Strike and itself. Through the analysis by the industrial relation, the issue of this conflict will be clarified.

The Winnipeg General Strike happened in 1919 was finally ended without substantial payback to the strikers, but experts still approved the invisible positive effects in long term of run. 2.0 Introduction

The first year in Canada after the World War I was accompanied with high levels of unemployment and inflation. Led by the outrage of the situation, workers from sorts of industries and trade started the labor movement which is called Winnipeg General Strike. In this memorable strike, interventions from employers and government had led to several key events, including the birth of Citizens’Committee of One Thousand, the amendment of the Immigration Act and the Criminal Act, the death and the injured on Bloody Saturday. The strike finally ended on June 26, which is the fifth day after the bloody events happened, and the strikers did not receive any wage increases or working environment improvement. In the next year of the strike, labor candidates won eleven which including four strike leaders. Besides that, as an independent labor, James Woodsworth was elected as the Member of Parliament and later the form of Co-operative Commonwealth Federation which become into the New Democratic Party today which related closely to him was deemed by experts to the impacts from the Winnipeg General Strike. 3.0 Situational Analysis

3.1 External Subsystems
3.1.1 Political Factors and Legal Factors
Just before two years of the strike in 1917, the federal election in Canada was called the “most corrupt in Canadian history” that manipulation on suffrage was openly made to ensure the party in power would remain and the ethnic wasstill in weak position (Francis,1984). Basing on the Borden government, a series of regulations issued in 1918 for suppressing foreign language publications, outlawing radical political organizations, and banning strikes in certain sectors of the economy. Francis, D. called the nervous at all the labor turmoil and the suspicion on the immigrants of Bolshevist political views. Actually, the Bolshevist views catalyzed by Russian Revolution in 1917 did indeed lead to an increase in socialist and labor ideas among Canadian workers, and that is the reason why the fear on the part of those in Borden government for revolution show obviously. 3.1.2 Economic Factors

At end of the World War I, soldiers from the war were falling to unemployment and the wages also falling far behind. War-time inflation resulted in the falling of real wages and the returning soldiers who actually contribute to the polarization of Winnipeg society resulted in the surplus in labor market which caused the high levels of unemployment(Brammel&McCormack 1979), all these factors crippled the wages. 3.1.3 Sociocultural Factors

Since 1900, the Winnipeg had grown rapidly with immigration about equally divided between industrial British and the new immigrants, mainly Slavs and Jews. Then by January in 1919 when mobs of returning soldiers wrecked the local offices of the Socialist Party of Canada, terrorized immigrants on the streets, the confrontation between returned soldier and enemy alien which labeled on immigrants by Canadian government through Alien Investigation Board had taken off (Bumsted, 1994). The confrontation between returned soldiers and the immigrants was caused by the highly unemployment and the returned soldiers considered that...
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