Friday, March 16, 2012

Raising the Workers' Flag: The Workers' Unity League of Canada, 1930-1936


By Stephen L. Endicott
University of Toronto Press
480 Pages
Available July 2012

During the Great Depression, the conflicting interests of capital and labour became clearer than ever before. Radical Canadian workers, encouraged by the Red International of Labour Unions, responded by building the Workers' Unity League – an organization that greatly advanced the cause of unions in Canada, and boasted 40,000 members at its height. In Raising the Workers' Flag, the first full-length study of this robust group, Stephen L. Endicott brings its passionate efforts to light in memorable detail.

Raising the Workers' Flag is based on newly available or previously untapped sources, including documents from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police's Security Service and the Communist Party's archives. Using these impressive finds, Endicott gives an intimate sense of the raging debates of the labour movement of the 1930s. A gripping account of the League's dreams and daring, Raising the Workers' Flag enlivens some of the most dramatic struggles of Canadian labour history.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Workers in Canada's Second Industrial Revolution
Chapter 2 The Red International
Chapter 3 Getting Started
Chapter 4 Going to 'Mecca'
Chapter 5 1931: Trial by Fire
Chapter 6 Red Blairmore
Chapter 7 1932: Confronting the Prime Minister
Chapter 8 The First Congress of the Workers' Unity League 1932
Chapter 9 Women of the Workers' Unity League
Chapter 10 Hard Rock Miners: Anyox - Flin Flon - Noranda
Chapter 11 1933: Gaining Momentum
Chapter 12 Sweatshops and Militancy in the Needle Trades
Chapter 13 Woodsmen of the West
Chapter 14 Fishers in the Salish Sea
Chapter 15 Not Hot Cakes or Foremen - On to Ottawa!
Chapter 16 Changing Times: the final convention of the WUL
Chapter 17 Afterword

Stephen L. Endicott is a professor emeritus in the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies at York University.

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