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Labour History Can Inspire Workers – An Op-Ed Article

April 18, 2019
By

Lessons of 1919 General Strikes Still Resonate With Workers

“Marches, rallies, sit-ins – it all matters. It toughens people. It creates solidarity. That why it’s important to know the history of unions, co-op organizers, and civil-rights fighters. When you realize there are a lot of people who came before you, you don’t feel alone. You’re standing on their shoulders even though they’re no longer around.”

– David Barsamian, “The Great Work: Ralph Nader on Taking Back Power From the Corporate State,” The Sun, May 2019

Poster for a new movie musical about the Winnipeg General Strike to premier October 2019.

When I was 18 years old I joined my first union. I worked in a large industrial factory, a truly horrible place to work – filthy, unsafe, unhealthy and generally dangerous – but the pay was good and I didn’t think much about being a union member. Then I learned about the 1919 general strikes from my union, the now defunct International Union of Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers (Mine-Mill).

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