Department of Labour, Economics and Research Branch : Strikes and lockout files

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Document Record

Canada. Dept. of Labour.
Department of Labour, Economics and Research Branch : Strikes and lockout files
RG 27 D 2
Document source
Library and Archives Canada / Bibliothèque et Archives Canada
The Department of Labour was created in the year 1900. The original objectives of the Department were the preparation and publication of the "Labour Gazette", settlement of industrial disputes, promotion of fair wage payment and proper conditions, and administration of the Alien Labour Acts. Initially, the administration of the Department was the responsibility of the Postmaster General until 1909 when the Office of the Minister of Labour was established under a separate Cabinet portfolio. Additional responsibilities have been added to the Department over the years. It was involved in the creation of a system of national employment offices after 1918, and after 1926, in the implementation of Canada's first old age pension plan. In 1940, the Department began to administer unemployment insurance. After 1945, it became increasingly involved in the creation, planning, and administration of the Canada Labour Code. In 1954 the Department created the Women's Bureau, the first federal government unit to be devoted to the interests of women in the workforce. The department was relieved of some of its functions in 1966 with the creation of the Departments of Manpower and Immigration and Regional Economic Expansion. In 1975, the Department of Labour was officially renamed Labour Canada. In 1996, Human Resources Development Canada took over the services of Labour Canada. Since 2003, Human Resources and Social Development Canada has handled the portfolio. Labour initiatives are overseen in the present day by the he Minister of Labour and Housing.
According to the Department of Labour Annual Report from 1953 and 1954, the Economics and Research Branch "serves as the central federal agency for economic analysis and research in the field of labour ... including (such subjects as) wages, hours, working conditions, unions, collective bargaining, manpower utilization, employment and unemployment, productivity, occupational and other special studies". In 1966, responsibility for those divisions in the Economics and Research Branch devoted to labour market, employment and manpower resources research were transferred to the Department of Citizenship and Immigration (soon to be the Department of Manpower and Immigration). During a departmental reorganization carried out in 1975 and 1976, the Labour Data Branch was created out of the former Economics and Research Branch. By 1984, as a result of various departmental reorganizations, the Legislative Research Branch had become the Legislative Analysis and Research Division within the Economics and Industrial Relations Branch.
This collection of files related to strikes and lockouts created and maintained by the Economics and Research Branch and its predecessors. These files contain departmental forms returned by the employer and the union involved in each dispute listing the causes of the dispute, the number of workers affected and its duration. Also included are newspapers clippings and any correspondence pertinent to the dispute. This collection also contains some research material on strikes and lockouts in Canada compiled by the Economics and Research Branch for use in its ongoing publications programme on this topic, as well as files on some key Canadian strikes which were separated (at some time) out of the regular series of files collected chronologically. These volumes include, therefore, the following kinds of material: Trade Disputes Press Clippings, 1937-1954, 1957-1962, including both Canadian and foreign disputes; Trade Dispute Records, 1900-1944; Indexes and statistical analysis of strikes and lockouts in Canada, 1900-1945; Weekly Strike Lists, 1953- 1959; Clippings on key strikes in Canadian labour history including Winnipeg, 1919; Stratford, 1933; Relief Workers, Vancouver, 1938-1939; Windsor (Ford), 1945; CPR Strikes, 1957; Woodworkers, Newfoundland, 1958; CBC producers, Montreal, 1959. As well, strikes and lockouts on railroads exclusively, 1907-1937, are kept separately.