1005: Political Life in a Union Local

Today the giant Stelco steel mills in Hamilton are shut down, but in Canada’s turbulent labour history it was a place of protracted conflict between the stubborn, anti-union management of the company and the equally stubborn and militant Local 1005 of the Steelworkers Union.

The story is a fascinating one – a microcosm of the larger labour/management struggles in Canada. Among the events the book explores includes:

  • The battle from 1919 to 1944 to establish a union in the face of hostile management

  • The struggle for supremacy at 1005 between Communist and CCF factions

  • The 1946 strike for union recognition which became the post war showdown in Canada between unions and management

  • The chaotic 1966 wildcat strike that tore the union apart

The book tells the story of Local 1005 and at the same time explores the nature of political life in a local union, and the social and economic forces that shaped the politics of the local.

This is a book that describes how working people struggled to improve their lives, and in the process changed the history of the trade union movement and the nature of Canadian political life.