'REMEMBER KIRKLAND LAKE': THE GOLD MINERS' STRIKE OF 1941-42
Laurel Sefton MacDowell.
Volume 11 Number 4.
The decade prior to the Second World War was a time of turmoil for organized labour. The movement was gaining momentum, but its growth was erratic and uncertain. Stumbling blocks were continually being thrown up to try to stop the fledgling organizations. Battles were being won, and lost, by the unions when World War II emerged as a new element on the scene. It wa,s in this context that the gold miners' strike in Kirk-land Lake took place. The union was fighting for recognition and the companies struggled to prevent it. MacDowell argues that this labour confrontation had implications far wider than the boundaries of Kirkland Lake.
In tremendous detail, the author sets the scene in which the strike took place. She points out that it is essential to understand both the American and Canadian labour movements in order to establish the circumstances in which the miners acted. MacDowell then carefully outlines the events leading up to the strike, the conditions during the walkout and the forces that eventually lead to the miners returning to work without accomplishing their goal. This was a battle organized labour lost.
'Remember Kirkland Lake' is an impressive piece of research. The events are fully developed and documented in a strong academic style and presented in a readable fashion. However, this work is really not appropriate for secondary school students, in spite of its obvious quality, because of its difficult content, style, and reading level. It is highly recommended for those interested in the history of the labour movement in North America.
Graham A. Draper, Central Algoma S. S., Desbarats, ON.
1971-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1990 | 1991-1995
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