Bienfait: The Saskatchewan Miners' Struggle of '31
Against all odds, the miners of Bienfait, Saskatchewan attempted, in 1931, to change their miserable situation by organizing a union. Stephen Endicott focuses on the miners' tumultuous thirty-day strike to explore the social consequences of capitalist restructuring during the Great Depression. The miners' bid to gain union recognition with the aid of the Workers' Unity League of Canada failed, and Endicott's in'depth examination of the key factors and players attempts to explain why it did so, and why a similar union drive a decade later eventually succeeded.
Based on a large number of both oral and written primary resources, Bienfait offers a new interpretation of the role of the corporations, the government, the courts and the police and in the process 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. Endicott opens a new chapter in the history of Canadian labour relations which reveals much about Canadians and Canadian society during the Depression.
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The Bienfait Coalfields
John Billis and Family
Boruks Boarding House
August Gaining Momentum
September On Strike
Strikers versus the Strip Mine
Spreading of Seeds
Changing Organization of Capital in the BienfaitEstevan Coalfields
Proposed Contract Estevan District
History of Union Organization in BienfaitEstevan Coalfields
Sticking with the Union