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Labour — Travail

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Multiple Perspectives - perspectives multiple

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"Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration."
                                                                                          Abraham Lincoln, 1861

1872 Hamilton - Procession of Nine-Hour Movement Men. LAC, C-058640, Canadian Illustrated News, 8 June 1872





"Nature has her laws, and there is one – a fair day's wage for a fair day's work."
                                                                                              Benjamin Disraeli









"With all their fault, trades unions have done more for humanity than any other organization of men that ever existed. They have done more for democracy, for honesty, for education, for the betterment of the race, for the developing of character in man, than any other association of men."
                                                                                  Clarence S. Darrow, 1909


Rare Books and Special Collections UBC


"Where the Fraser River flows, each fellow worker knows,
They have bullied and oppressed us, but still our union grows.
And we're going to find way boys, for shorter hours and better pay, boys!
And we're going to wind the day, boys; where the River Fraser flows."

                                                                                 Joe Hill, Yale, 1912

Where the Fraser River Flows - to hear this song try the following link:

To hear Paul Robeson sing a song about Joe Hill visit:



A group of workers; Canadian, American, Swedish, Italian and Scots in a C.N.R. construction Camp. Groupe de travailleurs : Canadiens, Américains, Suédois, Italiens et Écossais dans un baraquement de chantier des Chemins de fer nationaux du Canada. Frontier College, LAC C-046150, Agabob, BC, 1913












"The working class and employing class have nothing in common. There can be no peace as long as hunger and want are found among millions of working people and the few, who make up the employing class, have all the good things of life."
                                               Preamble of the Industrial Workers of the World, 1918?









"These years should have hammered home to your inmost soul that under capitalism the working class has but two courses to follow: crawl or fight."
                                                                                        J. B. McLachlan

"[After two days in Glace Bay] nobody looked red to me. I think if I lived there long I would be a lot redder than anything I saw."
                                                                  Agnes Macphail, H of Cs, 30 March 1925

"My place is marching with the workers rather than riding with General Motors."
David A. Croll. Ontario Minister of Labour, letter of resignation, 14 April 1937


« This Is Our Strength - Labour and Management » :  Effort de guerre canadien et campagne de sensibilisation à la production. LAC, 1983-30-219, Charles Fainmel ca. 1943-44

Price Campaign. Candy bar boycott, Montreal. LAC PA-093691, Canadian Tribune, May 1947

Avrom Yanovsky, BC District Union News, 30 August 1948


"We want social peace but we don't want the crushing of the working class. We are attached to man more than to capital. That's why the clergy has decided to intervene [in the Asbestos Strike]. It wants to have justice and charity respected and desires that there shall cease to be a situation where more attention is paid to money interests than to the human element."
                                         Joseph Charbonneau, Archbishop of Montreal, 2 May 1949


See "Asbestos Strike" theme

"In the town of Springhill, Nova Scotia
          Down in the dark of the Cumberland Mine.
There's blood on the coal and the miners lie.
           In roads that never saw sun nor sky.
           In roads that never saw sun nor sky."
                          Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger, "The Springhill Mining Disaster", 1958

"That's all they ever think about . . . money."
Leonard Norris, The Vancouver Sun, 25 October 1961