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The Winnipeg General Strike • In May 1919 workers went on strike in Winnipeg • They wanted $0.85/hour and a reduced work week of 44 hours instead of the current 60 hour week • Firefighters, streetcar drivers, telephone operators, sales clerks, garbage collectors, and street cleaners left their jobs
The Winnipeg General Strike • Winnipeg ground to a stop with over 30 000 workers on strike • Some people feared it was a communist plot to overthrow the government • Communism – Economic and political system where the state owns all property and business and run everything for the common good, rather than for individual profit
The Winnipeg General Strike • On June 17 the government arrested the strike leaders • Protests erupted across Canada, a rally was planned for June 21 • The Mayor forbade the rally – it happened anyway
The Winnipeg General Strike • The RCMP tried to break up the rally – a riot started • Two people died in the riot – called “Bloody Saturday” • The federal government responded to the riot by sending in the army
The Winnipeg General Strike • The strike ended without the workers gaining anything • 7 strike leaders were jailed for 2 years, 4 immigrants were deported • Although unsuccessful this protest began a new movement of workers fighting for their rights in Canada
PAGE 138-141 • When the Winnipeg General Strike ended, both sides described the events in different ways. Work with a partner. One of you writes a news report describing the reasons and events of the strike from a striker’s point of view. The other writes the report from the point of view of a member of the Citizens’ Committee of One Thousand. Compare your reports. What are the differences? Explain.