Glory Days: A Play and History of the '46 Stelco Strike
Glory Days began as a play produced by Theatre Aquarius, a professional theatre company in Hamilton. It was originally produced in 1988 and remounted in 2006. The book, brought out by Playwrights Canada Press, contains the script of the play and an extensive introduction that gives the historical background and some of the dramatic events of the 1946 Stelco strike.
This description from the introduction of the book, captures the background that shaped the strike.
“Stelco in the 1930s and early ’40s was rank with discrimination and favouritism. The workers lived under a form of tyranny where the boss was king and their needs and wishes were simply disregarded. …the common belief of management of the day was that workers needed to be disciplined and tough foremen were an absolute necessity if companies were to survive. Under that system, workers had no power and no means to be able to struggle against that tyranny. The greatest achievement of unions is that they gave workers the means to challenge this system, and this led to a change of attitudes to the point where today no company, unionized or non-unionized, would dare treat their workforce in such autocratic and discriminatory ways.”
But it is the play that describes the intense emotion that workers experienced as they prepared for the strike and lived through those dramatic days. The strikers were not only pitted against the company, that tried to continue production with scab labour, but there were deep divisions within the union ranks. Glory Days dramatizes the events and conflicts of this classic labour struggle.
Glory Days was most recently performed by Central High School, Keller, Texas, as part of the Keller Independent Schools District Fine Arts Department. Keller IDS has an 84-year history of performing one act plays. Glory Days went on to become a finalist in the 2010 Texas State Theatre Competition in Austin, Texas.
Glory Days is an ideal play for high school performances because of the labour history it describes, the large cast and the use of music.
The script can be purchased from Playwrights Press Canada
215 Spadina Avenue, Suite 230, Toronto, Ontario M5T 2C7
Fax:416-408-3402 Tel: 416-703-0013
Publisher: Playwrights Canada Press
Glory Days is available from Playwrights Canada Press
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