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Labour

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Labour Day, or the end of the summer holidays as most students know it as, is more than that, although most Canadians forget the fact. It is a day to celebrate how far we have moved from before the Toronto Typographical Union Strike, to today’s average day white picket fence working man’s 9-5, and all of the history, heartbreak and “striking” facts in between. The history of Labour Day started with the Toronto Typographical Union when in March 1872 they went on strike when its demands for a shorter work week were ignored. A couple of weeks later a parade was organized in downtown Toronto to support them with ten thousand participants. George Brown hit them with a lawsuit because at this time union activity was under the criminal code. 24 union members were locked up, much to the distaste of Canada, who protested so strongly even Prime Minister Sir John A McDonald spoke out saying how he would repeal the barbarous anti-union laws. The Trades Union Act was passed by Parliament on June 14, 1872, and as one can imagine, parades went on in the later weeks. Every year this happened until the celebration was recognized by Prime Minister John Thompson, making Labour Day a Federal National holiday. In 1889, it started to become well known about many workers getting hurt on the job, so after many protests and less than pleasant letters, the federal government established the Royal Commission on the Relations of Labour and Capital, which ended up condemning the oppressive working conditions in the industries. Also, the commission made several recommendations to the federal government, but they did not act upon it. Subsequently, The Conciliation Act of 1900 established a voluntary conciliation of a labor dispute and resulted in the creation of the Labor Department. This idea was to assist and minimize in the trade disputes. Before this, matters would be dealt with by...

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