Welcome to RonVerzuh.ca

Writer & Historian

Contact me at ron@ronverzuh.ca

Member Login
Lost your password?

Labour

New Orleans General Strike Remembered

0
November 8, 2012
New Orleans General Strike Remembered

One-hundred and fifteen years ago today on November 8, 1892, half the workers of New Orleans struck for ten-hour day and other rights. “In 1892 New Orleans was the scene of a general strike, the culmination of a decade’s growth and development of the city’s labor movement. New Orleans of that period has been...
Read More »

The Brothers Reuther – A Film Review

0
October 31, 2012
The Brothers Reuther – A Film Review

Brothers on the Line, directed by Sasha Reuther, 2012 There is a moment toward the end of Brothers on the Line when legendary American union leader Walter Reuther is making a speech to a rally of mostly black people fighting for their civil rights. “I think black is beautiful,” he says. There’s an appropriate...
Read More »

Steel Man

0
July 17, 2012
Steel Man

Williams, Lynn. One Day Longer – A Memoir, Toronto: University of Toronto Press/Ithaca, N.Y.: ILR-Cornell University Press, 2011, 320 pp., $39.95 (hard cover). Lynn Williams broke new ground in 1983 when he became the first Canadian to lead the 1.2-million member United Steel Workers of America. Now he shares his journey in a memoir...
Read More »

The Smelter Poets – A History Essay (Updated)

0
June 4, 2012
The Smelter Poets – A History Essay (Updated)

When celebrated Wobbly troubadour Joe Hill purportedly visited the Rossland Miners’ Hall in the early 1900s to lend his support to the first Canadian local of the rugged Western Federation of Miners (WFM), he no doubt shared some of his inspired verses with the mine workers who are said to have protected him. Claims...
Read More »

Mine-Mill vs. Steel

0
December 5, 2011
Mine-Mill vs. Steel

Stow, Rick. The Battle Within, New Liskeard, Ont., 1996 (revised 2010), DVD-CD ROM, $100 or $250 for institutional use. For copies: rstow@ntl.sympatico.ca. The promotional blurb for The Battle Within boasts that “Our tale is one of intrigue and subterfuge, with political forces striving to manipulate the outcome of events in which the rank-and-file workers...
Read More »

“New Labour History” pioneer dies

0
December 5, 2011
“New Labour History” pioneer dies

David Montgomery, the well-respected American labour historian blacklisted as a union organizer in the 1950s, died on Dec. 2, 2011. A founder of what became known in the 1970s as the New Labour History, Montgomery is perhaps best known for his 1987 book The Fall of the House of Labor, a critical appraisal of...
Read More »

Lefty’s Legacy, Margaret’s Hope – A Feature Article

0
November 14, 2011
Lefty’s Legacy, Margaret’s Hope – A Feature Article

SFU alumna Margaret Morgan (MA’76) and her husband, left-wing radical Richard Ernest “Lefty” Morgan, were life-long learners, educators, and activists, so it seems appropriate that SFU’s research centre for labour studies should be named the Morgan Centre for Labour Studies. Many alumni from SFU’s “bad old days” in the late 1960s would probably agree...
Read More »

Mine-Mill’s Peace Arch Concerts – A history essay

2
July 25, 2011
Mine-Mill’s Peace Arch Concerts – A history essay

When Harvey Murphy, the pugnacious western regional director of the International Union of Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers, learned that his friend and fellow leftist, American opera star Paul Robeson, was not going to be allowed to cross the Canada-United States border to sing at the Vancouver Mine-Mill convention on February 1, 1952, he...
Read More »

Red Rebels and Red Baiters – A history essay

0
May 19, 2011
Red Rebels and Red Baiters – A history essay

From the middle of the Great Depression through to the mid-1950s Cold War period and beyond, Canada’s labour movement fought a war with itself. The conflict cost workers dearly in the form of lost militancy, increasingly isolated forums for dissent and arguably its future as an effective opponent of rampant capitalism in the wake...
Read More »

Triangle Shirt Waist Fire killed 146

0
March 25, 2011
Triangle Shirt Waist Fire killed 146

Today, March 25, marks the 100th anniversary of the tragic Triangle Shirt Waist Factory fire in New York City that led to mass protests and some modest changes that were designed to create safer work conditions. The workplace tragedy killed 146 workers, many of them immigrant Jewish and Italian women, two only 14 years...
Read More »

Books