Themes in Saskatchewan''s Labour History
R-A129 to R-A132, R-A226 to R-A231, R-A286 to R-A295
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Summaries of interviews
Interviews conducted in 1973 under the "Towards a New Past Programme" of the Cultural Activities Branch of the Department of Culture and Youth. Many different people and associations have played a significant role in the labour movement in Saskatchewan. Those interviewed for this project include labourers and administrators, union representatives and civic politicians residing in Moose Jaw and Regina. Several are Ukrainian immigrants and this is shown to have had considerable effect on the development of their attitudes towards the labour movement. Most informants demonstrate concern that the welfare of the common worker is often neglected. They have seen poverty and injustice, particularly during the Depression, and hope that through their efforts, poor conditions will be rectified. Necessarily, there is some discussion of their political affiliations as these influenced the kind of stand they took on labour issues. Several were members of the Communist Party of Canada and one belonged to the Young Communists' League. Others were active in the organization of the Independent Labour Party and the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation. Specific associations often supported those pushing for changes. One individual worked with the Disabled Veterans' Organization and several others were active in the Unemployed Union. The Ukrainian Farm Labour Temple Association was one in which the Ukrainian immigrants were involved. As well as speaking of associations which took a stand for labour, informants describe the various unions they have belonged to through their work, i.e. the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, the International Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen and the Canadian Seamen's Union. Two excellent accounts of recent strikes are given, one, the B.A. oil workers's strike in Moose Jaw, 1965, and the other, the Moose Jaw Co-op Store strike, 1970. Most informants describe several strikes or union upheavals such as the On-to-Ottawa Trek and the Regina Riot, 1935, during the course of their interview. Other subjects mentioned in the tapes include conditions in the Dundurn relief camp, bootlegging in the 1920s and the Spanish Civil War. Sound quality is rather poor for most interviews.
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