The Baby Boomers Become the Workers, 1960-1980
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The focus would be on the young labour force of this period, changing social values, and the impact on working-class lives and on trade unionism. The switch from company unionism in the provincial civil service to AUPE, the combative unionism of the UNA and other public sector unions, and the successes of the construction unions in extracting good contracts from employers before the boom ended will be featured here. The AFL materials will focus on its efforts—successes and failures-- to get better occupational health and safety legislation and various social insurance programs, while combating legislation that limited workers’ rights to organize and to strike, including the 1977 legislation outlawing strikes in the civil service and other government sectors. Labour’s role in creating the NDP and in working with various community groups will also be highlighted. The challenge to the labour movement’s masculine views of everything in the latter years of this period as well as its traditional anti-immigration stance will be yet another focus. The social history materials would also deal with the large group of workers who remained quite poor and marginalized throughout the boom, and debunk the new mythology that Peter Lougheed was a Red Tory who was looking out for everyone. The prevalence of women and minorities among this poor in the midst of plenty will also be discussed.