Labour Studies Index

Bienfait: The Saskatchewan miners' struggle of '31

Document type Book
Author Endicott, Stephen Lyon
Publisher University of Toronto Press; Toronto
Date 2002
ISBN 978-0-8020-3593-6
Pages 180 pages, [48] pages of plates : illustrations, maps


Against all odds, the miners of Bienfait, Saskatchewan, attempted, in 1931, to change their miserable situation by organizing a union. Exploring the social consequences of capitalist restructuring during the Great Depression, Stephen Endicott focuses on the miners' tumultuous thirty-day strike. Their bid to gain union recognition with the aid of the Workers' Unity League of Canada ultimately failed, and Endicott's in-depth examination of the key factors and players attempts to explain why this was the case and why a similar union drive a decade later succeeded." "Based on a large number of both oral and written primary resources, Bienfait offers a new interpretation of the role of corporations, governments, courts, and the police in the events surrounding the strike. In the process, Endicott demonstrates how a militant union leadership helped the workers gain the strength and unity of purpose to challenge the powers of wealth and deep-seated prejudice. Bienfait opens a new chapter in the history of Canadian labour relations that reveals much about Canadian and Canadian society during the Depression. --Publisher's description