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Stratford Strike 1933

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Chok Ying

on 6 December 2013

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Transcript of Stratford Strike 1933

Stratford Strike 1933
located in Stratford Ontario
September 14 - November 4, 1933
Largest furniture industry
Women at Swift's plant (Sept 21, 1933)
Plucking chickens at 2 cents per chicken

Kroehler Manufacturing Company
Preston-Noelting Company
McLagan Furniture Company
Stratford Chair Company
C.A Moore Manufacturing Company
Imperial Rattan Company
Farguharson-Gifford Company
Communist Workers’ Unity League (WUL)

Created in 1929
First Victory in Toronto
Success brought them to Stratford
Dissolved in the winter of 1935-36
30,000-40,000 members
what is the settlement?
Recognized the union
Organize the Swift's women employees
All the traditional rural suspicions of trade-union activity
Accepted shop committees
A 44 - 50 work hours week
A 10% increase in wages
"Strike duty"
government interventions
Before 1930’s use of militia was common

Steady decline before 1930’s due to:
Financial requirement
Experience of unwieldiness
Inevitable delays
Last large military deployment before Stratford Strike was during the 1925 Cape Breton coal miners strike

Afterwards most provinces now had the services of the RCMP and provincial police

Stratford Strike of 1933 was the next incident requiring the use of Canadian Military

Before the militia was called there was extensive use of both RCMP and local police
September 27th
November 4th
September 26th
First company of troops arrive in Stratford (4 officers & 56 men)
Troops left Stratford!
Police were needed at the Swift’s Plant.
First sign of violence

Local police and a detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police were needed
Provincial Government took action and called in military reinforcements.

Military reinforcements drew attention to the strike

An onslaught of massive unemployment brought forth from the Great Depression

30% of the labour force in Canada was out of work

Over 70% was dependent on government assistance

The majority of Canadians lost their jobs and didn’t have the ability to feed themselves, pay their rent, or take care of their families.

Political Context
Canadians brought in Richard Bennett (1930-1935), a conservative, hoping that he could make a difference

Bennett put $20 million towards emergency relief and raised the tariffs on imports to 50%

Bennett’s reign came to a bitter end when his initiatives offered Canadians no concrete ways to return to work

September 18th
September 21
November 4th
September 27th
September 14th
September 13th
First sign of violence.
Strike began at Swift.
Armed troops arrived in Stratford.
All workers back to work.
Union proposed to the employers and requested a reply by 6p.m.
Furniture workers went on strike.
Full transcript