Militancy to passivism: the Calgary labour movement, 1919-1924

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This thesis examines the nature of the Calgary labour movement, and its behaviour on the industrial front, in the years following the First World War. In the opening section, the favourable urban and social environment that existed and the highly developed state of local labour organization are discussed. Then, an in-depth analysis of the mild form of labour radicalism that prevailed in Calgary in 1919 is provided. It was found that the majority of organized labour did not approve of the radical One Big Union movement or the local sympathy walkout in support of the Winnipeg General Strike. The unique combination of local conditions and the heavy influence of conservative American craft internationals largely ensured that Calgary labour did not adopt any extremely militant or revolutionary tendencies in 1919. Finally, this study reveals the Calgary labour movement's increasing passivity and its feeble retreat from the industrial arena during the 1920-24 period. Even when confronted with harsh wage rollbacks in the depression years of 1921-22, the organized labour force presented little industrial resistance. By 1924, Calgary labour were even more quiescent on the industrial battleground. The disruptive radical activities of 1919, followed by the depression and the massive wage-cutting drive had, in essence, served to quell the resistance of organized labour.
Bibliography: p. 158-164.
Damji, A. (1987). Militancy to passivism: the Calgary labour movement, 1919-1924 (Master's thesis, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada). Retrieved from doi:10.11575/PRISM/16985