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Union Power: Solidarity and Struggle in Niagara

Union Power: Solidarity and Struggle in Niagara (Paperback)

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From factory workers in Welland to retail workers in St. Catharines,

from hospitality workers in Niagara Falls to migrant farm workers in

Niagara-on-the-Lake, Union Power showcases the role of working

people in the Niagara region. Early industrial development and the

appalling working conditions of the often vulnerable common labourer

prompted a movement toward worker protection. Charting the development

of the region's labour movement from the early nineteenth century

to the present, Patrias and Savage illustrate how workers from this

highly diversified economy struggled to improve their lives both inside

and outside the workplace.

Patrias and Savage argue that union power - power not built on

profit, status, or prestige - relies on the twin concepts of

struggle and solidarity: the solidarity of shared interests of the

working class and the struggle to achieve common goals. Including

extensive quotations from interviews, archival sources, and local

newspapers, the story unfolds in part through the voices of the people

themselves: the workers who fought for unions, the community members

who supported them, and the employers who opposed them.

Carmela Patrias is a professor in the Department of History at Brock University. Her publications include Patriots and Proletarians: Politicizing Hungarian Immigrants in Canada; Discounted Labour: Women Workers in Canada, 1870-1939, co-authored with Ruth Frager; and Jobs and Justice: Fighting Discrimination in Wartime Canada, 1939-1945. Larry Savage is associate professor of labour studies and political science and director of the Jobs and Justice Research Unit at Brock University.

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