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The Nine Hour Movement

  • Date Submitted: 03/30/2014 01:26 PM
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The Nine-Hour Movement

Name: sanmisola adereti
Course: HIST 303
Student ID: 201202787

The Industrial Revolution marks a major turning point in Canadian history; almost every aspect of daily life was influenced in some way. The increasing use of technology put a strain on working class society. In the days before Confederation if you were a working man, you were probably exploited.  You would be subjected to poor working conditions, low pay and long hours. In the mid-nineteenth century industrial workers laboured ten to twelve hours a day, six days a week. They had few employee rights; the employer held the upper hand over all action regarding the workplace, especially over the length of the workday. Inspired by British and American examples, Hamilton unionists launched a crusade for a shorter workday in January of 1872. The workingman, they argued, needed more time for family, leisure, education and civic life. Soon the Nine-Hour Movement had branches across central Canada. the immense growth of unionism   in Canada came in 1872 when printers in Toronto went on strike for a nine-hour-day in respects to the movement In Hamilton. Union activity was illegal throughout majority of the 1800s, and many prominent labour leaders were arrested for their involvement in the movement. Mass protests and political struggles ensued, resulting in the dropping of charges and the legalization of union activity. In Hamilton, Toronto, British Colombia, Quebec   and several other provinces, thousands of union and non-union workers walked off the job. Cheered on by large crowds, they paraded through the city and staged a demonstration. Resistance by employers ultimately defeated the movement, but workers learned the potential of large-scale mobilization and would eventually win a shorter workday. With the reduction of the workday became increasingly an issue of concern and the subject of demands for working people, pressure was places on the employers to make these working hours...

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