Historical Events

October 2, 1991

The government of Brian Mulroney passed the Public Sector Compensation Act ending a strike by members of the Public Service Alliance of Canada. This was the first of three pieces of back-to-work legislation that the federal government passed in October 1991. The other two laws ended a nation-wide strike of postal workers and a strike by grain handlers in Thunder Bay.

October 17, 1986

Fraser March, the President of the National Union's Newfoundland and Labrador Component, NAPE, and the provincial NDP leader, Peter Fenwinck, were sentenced to four months in jail for disobeying an anti-picketing injunction stemming from a political strike of NAPE members against the Public Service (Collective Bargaining) Amendment Act (Bill 59), essential services legislation designed to severely weaken the right to strike of public employees.

October 14, 1976

The Canadian Labour Congress marked the first anniversary of the Trudeau government's wage and price controls legislation with a national Day of protest. Over a million workers walked off the job to join demonstrations across the country.

October 24, 1972

Saskatchewan government proclaimed the Occupational Health Act, considered the first legislation of its kind in North America. The Act set the framework for future legislation, enshrining three important rights for workers: the right to know about hazards and dangers in the workplace; the right to participate in health and safety issues through a workplace committee; and the right to refuse unsafe work.

October 19, 1919

The International Labour Organization's (ILO) first international conference was held in Washington. The first six ILO Conventions were adopted dealing with hours of work in industry, unemployment, maternity protection, night work for women, minimum wage and night work for young people in industry.

October 12, 2009

The International Labour Organization celebrates the 60th anniversary of Convention No. 98 on Collective Bargaining and the Right to Organize. Canada remains one of only 23 countries in the world that have failed to ratify this Convention -- despite the fact that the Supreme Court of Canada has recognized these rights for all Canadians.