The Toronto Typographical Union takes up the cause of the "Nine-Hour Movement" and goes out on strike March 25, 1872, when its demands for a shorter work week are ignored.
At the time, union activity is still a criminal act under Canadian law. George Brown has police arrest and jail 24 members of the strike committee for conspiracy.
Sir John Alexander Macdonald
June 14, 1872
The arrests are much protested, and the prime minister, Sir John A. MacDonald, promises to repeal anti-union laws. The Trade Unions Act is passed by Parliament on June 14, 1872, legalizing unions.
July 23, 1894
The celebration is officially recognized on July 23, 1894 when Prime Minister John Thompson, makes Labour Day a national holiday.
The Conciliation Act of 1900 establishes voluntary conciliation of a labour dispute and results in the creation of the Labour Department.
Workmen's Compensation Act.
Ontario becomes the first province in Canada to introduce a state social insurance plan with the Workmen's Compensation Act.
Winnepeg General Strike
May 15, 1919
At 11:00 am on May 15, 1919, workers walked off the job and marched into the streets of Winnipeg, leading to one of the biggest labour actions Canada has ever seen. Strikers included both the private and public sectors, and ranged from garment workers to police officers.
Creation of EI
During the economic depression of 1929-39, young, unemployed men had to work in government work camps for paltry wages in isolated locations. Workers in Vancouver abandoned the camps, launching a strike. This epic strike captured the hearts and minds of Canadians and gave birth to unemployment insurance in 1940.
Canadian Labour Congress
By the 1950s, the time had come for a single, country-wide labour organization to help unions work together around common goals. That led to the creation of the CLC in 1956.
1960 - 1969
After the death of 5 workers working underground. Unions led the fight to get the Ontario government to take workplace health and safety seriously, leading to the passing of the Industrial Safety Act. The act was the foundation of the Canada Labour (Safety) Code that passed later that decade.