Weekend Video: The Winnipeg General Strike of 1919

WinnipegGeneralStrikeMuralcrThis week it was announced a room devoted to the 1919 Winnipeg General Strike will be excluded from the renovated Canadian Museum of History. To fight this erasure of working class history by the Harper regime, RankandFile.ca brings you a video about the Winnipeg general strike.

On May 1, 1919, Winnipeg’s building and metal workers went on strike for higher wages.

Two weeks later, the Winnipeg Trades and Labour Council appealed for a general strike in support of the metal workers. The response was overwhelming. The first to walk out were the “Hello Girls,” Winnipegs telephone operators. By 11 a.m., 30,000 union and non-union workers had walked off the job. A strike committee was formed and for six weeks, it virtually ran Winnipeg. Elevators shut down, trams stopped, postal and telephone communications came to a halt, and nothing moved without approval from the strike committee. Sympathy strikes broke out across the country.

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