Union Power
224 pages, 6 x 9
20 b&w photos
Release Date:01 May 2012

Union Power

Solidarity and Struggle in Niagara

Athabasca University Press

From factory workers in Welland to retail workers in St. Catharines,from hospitality workers in Niagara Falls to migrant farm workers inNiagara-on-the-Lake, Union Power showcases the role of workingpeople in the Niagara region. Early industrial development and theappalling working conditions of the often vulnerable common labourerprompted a movement toward worker protection. Charting the developmentof the region's labour movement from the early nineteenth centuryto the present, Patrias and Savage illustrate how workers from thishighly diversified economy struggled to improve their lives both insideand outside the workplace.

Patrias and Savage argue that union power – power not built onprofit, status, or prestige – relies on the twin concepts ofstruggle and solidarity: the solidarity of shared interests of theworking class and the struggle to achieve common goals. Includingextensive quotations from interviews, archival sources, and localnewspapers, the story unfolds in part through the voices of the peoplethemselves: the workers who fought for unions, the community memberswho supported them, and the employers who opposed them.
Carmela Patrias is a professor in the Department ofHistory at Brock University. Her publications include Patriots andProletarians: Politicizing Hungarian Immigrants in Canada;Discounted Labour: Women Workers in Canada, 1870–1939,co-authored with Ruth Frager; and Jobs and Justice: FightingDiscrimination in Wartime Canada, 1939–1945. LarrySavage is associate professor of labour studies and politicalscience and director of the Jobs and Justice Research Unit at BrockUniversity.
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