Continuing on with the topic of the Winnipeg General Strike, we interview Tom Mitchell, a retired archivist at Brandon University and co-author of When The State Trembled: How A. J. Andrews and The Citizens’ Committee Broke The Winnipeg General Strike.
Our conversation focuses on how a group of prominent Winnipeg lawyers and elites, known as the Citizens' Committee of One Thousand, conspired with the Federal government to undermine the labour movement and the strikers, and how it set the tone for how the strike would ultimately be remembered.
The 1919 Winnipeg General Strike is an event most of us learned about, at least briefly, in elementary school. In Manitoba the strike is often referenced, however abstractly, as a culminating moment in labour history. Unions and political parties, such as the NDP, are often associated with the strike, connecting their own histories and timelines back to the mass movement that reached a boiling point in the spring of 1919.
How is the General Strike remembered today? In which ways has the legacy of the strike been distorted by the factions that held power in the subsequent years? What did the labour movement look like during the inter-war period between the first and second World Wars?
We attempt to get to the heart of these questions in our interview with James Naylor, professor and labour historian at Brandon University.