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Labour History Moments – Taylorism Rebounds

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May 7, 2015
Labour History Moments – Taylorism Rebounds

If you work at a Safeway, a Starbucks, a courier service, or even as a freelance worker at a home computer your every move may be tracked to make sure your employer is maximizing his profits and minimizing your take-home pay. It’s all done with something called a workplace management system. A computer tracks...
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Labour History Moments – Remembering Salt

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May 7, 2015
Labour History Moments – Remembering Salt

Sixty years ago in December 1954, a movie called Salt of the Earth found its way into Canada, thanks to the International Union of Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers (now Steel). The film was blacklisted across the United States as the Cold War unleashed a widespread paranoia that became known as McCarthyism. But fear of...
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Labour History Moments –Violence on the Line

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April 8, 2015
Labour History Moments –Violence on the Line

Labour history is filled with accounts of murders, massacres and other attacks on workers and their unions over the years. In the United States, labor historians have long cited the Ludlow Massacre in Colorado, the Everett and Centralia Massacres in Washington State, and the lesser-known Italian Hall Tragedy in Michigan among many others. In...
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Canada’s Vietnam Vets – A Feature Article

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April 8, 2015
Canada’s Vietnam Vets – A Feature Article

“Allan M. was a quiet kid; a sissy, according to some of his school mates. He had few friends, wasn’t good at sports, least of all the potentially violent ones like football or hockey. He was a loner, not in the habit of opening up. As the yearbook put it: ‘This tall fair lad...
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A Cold Spring in Paris – Travel Essays

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March 29, 2015

Sometime in the early 2000, my daughter Alex and I travelled to Paris from Neuchatel, Switzerland, where she was studying to complete her high school diploma. I had been to Paris three or four times before, but she had not visited. For three days we roamed the great city, seeing the grand sites, searching...
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Hollywood Turncoat – A Memoir

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March 28, 2015
Hollywood Turncoat – A Memoir

Edward Dmytryk, the 1940s Hollywood movie director, was both famous and infamous in his time but few people may know that he has a Boundary region connection. The one-time Hollywood Ten member was born into a poor Ukrainian Catholic family in Grand Forks, B.C., on 4 September 1908. Not only did this vital statistic...
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Labour History Moments – The Importance of Lunch Breaks

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March 5, 2015
Labour History Moments – The Importance of Lunch Breaks

When can a lunch break save your life on the job? Ask a construction crew in Massachusetts that narrowly escaped being hurt or worse when a building collapsed. What saved them? The building crumbled when they were on their lunch break. Lunch breaks are now part of hours of work legislation in many jurisdictions. But...
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Italians join Local 480 – Immigrant Workers’ History

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February 5, 2015
Italians join Local 480 –  Immigrant Workers’ History

Arthur “Slim” Evans could see that there was a problem. So could his eventual replacement John “Noisy” McPeake. As union organizers, they knew that the largely immigrant workforce at the Trail smelter would not easily be persuaded to join Local 480 of the International Union of Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers (Mine-Mill). The arrival...
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Trail in 1937 – A Brief History

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February 5, 2015
Trail in 1937 – A Brief History

At the beginning of 1937, Trailites were promised that “Television is on its way toward widespread realization,” as noted in a Trail Daily Times editorial, but no one knew quite when. “The Company Store” continued to supply the local population with all its retail needs. Local cinemas offered movies like The Charge of the...
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Labour History Moments –Winning the Shorter Workday

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January 29, 2015
Labour History Moments –Winning the Shorter Workday

  About a hundred a fifty years ago, working people and their unions fought for the nine-hour workday, a struggle that was at the heart of the newly founded Canadian labour movement. Labour’s Nine-Hour Pioneers, as they were called, launched the fight back in the 1870s, and some went to jail for their attempts...
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Books

Radical Rag by Ron Verzuh Underground Times by Ron Verzuh Selling Labour Down Under by Ron Verzuh Changing Images by Ron Verzuh Feasting With Love by Ron Verzuh Tea Leaves by Ron Verzuh Remembering Salt by Ron Verzuh