Historical Events

August 4, 1982

The Liberal government of Prime Minister Trudeau enacted the Public Sector Compensation Act (Bill C-124), legislation that limited federal public sector wage increases to six and five percent over two years. The "six" and five" program, as it became known, continued until December 1985 for some employees. By early 1983, no fewer than six provincial governments followed the federal government's example and used their legislative authority to deny collective bargaining for public sector workers and impose wage controls on them.

August 5, 1981

U.S President Ronald Reagan fire 11, 345 striking air traffic controllers who had ignored his back-to-work order and banned them from federal service for three years. They were replaced initially with military personnel. The strike received little support from the American labour mouvement, however, controllers in Canada walked out briefly in solidarity with PATCO before they themselves were threatened with huge fines and suspension. The srike and the ruthless response to it from the Reagan administration set an damaging tone for labour relations in the U.S. as well as Canada for a decade to come.

August 11, 1959

The first-ever NDP party - the Newfoundland Democratic Party - was formed by leaders of the province's Federation of Labour in response to ruthless tactics of the Smallwood government which crushed a six-week strike by loggers earlier that year, outlawed the logger' union - the international Woodworkers of America (IWA), and replaced it with the government -sponsored Newfoundland Brotherhood of Wood Workers. The Party ran 18 candidates in the provincial election that was called that month, none whom were elected, and disbanded after the election. The strike is remembered as one of the bitterest strikes in Canadian history with dozens of strikers jailed and a police officer killed on the picket line.

August 13, 1986

The only employment equity legislation that currenly exists in Canada, the federal Employment Equity Act was proclaimed , covering federally regulated companies with 100 or more employees (about five percent of the Canadian labour force). Ontario had a short lived Ontario Employment Equity Act,, which was repealed in 1995 by the Harris Conservative Government.