Labour Studies Index

Updated: 2022-05-16

The General Strike in Amherst, Nova Scotia, 1919

Document type Article
Author Reilly, Nolan
Journal Acadiensis
Volume 9
Date 1980
Pages 56-77


,,,The Amherst general strike resulted from the interaction of two broad historical processes which began prior to the First World War. First, the impact of the de-industrialization that accompanied the centralization of power and wealth in central Canada affected Amherst's working class in immediate terms as working conditions, wages, and living standards fell behind those of other Canadian workers. Particularly ominous for local workers were the signs pointing toward the complete economic collapse of the town. Second, the local labour movement, partly because of previous failures, began to move toward a more radical response to these economic developments. In 1919, the merging of these two forces forged a new working class solidarity in Amherst, which found expression in the rise of the Amherst Federation of Labor, the renewed interest in socialist ideas and, of course, the three week general strike. --From introduction