There are many ways to engage with Labour history: books, articles, video, oral history, graphic novels, art and theater are all used by the Centennial Project to help AUPE members engage with working class history.
Alberta Labour History Institute (ALHI)
BC Labour Heritage Centre
The Canadian Enyclopedia - Working Class History
Canadian Museum of History
Labour and Working Class History Association
Pacific Northwest Labour History Association
Peoples History Museum Manchester
Workers Arts and Heritage Centre
B.C Knowledge Network - Working People: A History of Labour In B.C.
Description: Have you ever wondered why and how workers formed the first trade unions? This introductory course will help you see yourself in the past, to better understand yourself in the present. You will learn how history and activism are integrated, and gain access to the information, traditions, and knowledge that inform our union’s present struggles.Learn More
Introduction to Labour History: This series of five short videos (stitched together here for continuous watching) serve as introductions to the topics in AUPE's Introduction to Labour History course. The five topics are: The Origins of Unions; Industrial Unions; Public Sector Unions; Widening the Circle (Marginalized Workers and Unions); and Preserving and Sharing Our Stories.
AUPE - Our Story: Produced on the occasion of AUPE's 30th anniversary in 2006, this video looks back at our history--starting from the founding of our forerunner, the Civil Service Association of Alberta in 1919, through our transition into an independent trade union founded in 1976 and our growth into an established and respected voice for workers and the services that Albertans need and deserve.
Servants No Longer: This film was made after AUPE made the transition from operating as the Civil Service Association of Alberta to becoming an independent trade union in 1976/77, after many years of lobbying the government for the right to do so. It explains what a union is and why it is necessary for workers to organize themselves in unions to bargain collectively to improve compensation and working conditions.
Memory and Muscle:This historic documentary looks at the 1965 Canadian postal workers strike. In 1965 government employees had no collective bargaining rights and no right to strike. When postal workers staged this dramatic illegal walk out across the country they helped pave the way for other government workers to make the transition from servants to employees.
Union Maids: A clear-eyed documentary look at the rise of the Union movements in Chicago during the ’30s, combining archive material and contemporary interviews with three women union organisers. The women, two white, one black, talk separately with clarity and conviction about working conditions during the Depression and the need to organise into unions. In the ensuing battle between big businesses and an increasingly militant labour force, the police were frequently called upon to intervene brutally: ‘To us it was class warfare’ says one of the women. Problems of racial prejudice, problems of women organisers working alongside men, the decline of the unions into conservatism, current difficulties between the middle class women’s movement and its working class counterpart are all discussed.
Final Offer: This National Film Board production is a classic Canadian documentary which shows a rare glimpse of union mangament negotiations.
The filmmakers were given remarkable freedom to record the historic 1984 contract negotiations between the United Auto Workers and General Motors Corporation. Bob White, labour leader of the Canadian branch of the UAW, must also confront his American counterpart from Detroit and succeeds in arriving at a contract that is significantly Canadian.
“40 Years of Solidarity: Looking Back at the Events That Shaped Our Union,” was designed as a supplement to AUPE’s Direct Impact magazine. The booklet profiles four decades of activism and solidarity. Using a detailed timeline approach it describes the birth of AUPE in 1976 and gives descriptions of many of the important campaigns and job actions that helped galvanize AUPE member into a united front. The insert also celebrates many members who helped shape AUPE into the strong public defender of public services that it is today.Download PDF
Working People in Alberta traces the history of labour in Alberta from the period of First Nations occupation to the present. Workers from across the generations tell another tale, of an ongoing collective struggle to improve their economic and social circumstances in the face of a dominant, exploitative elite. (Athabasca Press) Copyright: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License (CC BY-NC-ND 2.5 CA).Download PDF
Throughout 2019, the Alberta Labour History Institute (ALHI) will be posting vignettes regarding the Great Labour Revolt of 1919. Events commemorating this centennial will be held throughout the province later in 2019 with a focus on what the events of 1919 mean today for the strategies of working people to create better lives in a society where they still exercise little real control over their workplaces and communities.Download PDF
Deposited records of the Civil Service Association of Alberta and the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees – including publications, minutes, photos, and convention proceedings can be found by searching two accession numbers: PR1978.0229 and PR1999.0623.Plan a visit
This report focuses on Indigenous people in Canada as active wage labourers and union members, and includes the history of labour on Alberta sugar beet farms.Download PDF
In 2016 the Alberta Labour History Institute (ALHI) began tracing the stories of Indigenous workers and in relating their work experiences to the larger history of Indigenous peoples in Alberta. While this project develops, ALHI has taken the initial step of posting video clips and transcripts for the First Nations and Métis interviews currently in the ALHI collection.Video clips and transcripts
The Winnipeg General Strike of 1919 was supported by workers around Canada. Sympathy strikes were called in many cities, including in Edmonton and Calgary. Labour union bulletins from the time covered the events. Alberta's legislature library has digitized the only remaining strike notices from the Calgary and Edmonton strike committees and the Edmonton Free Press. Search for all three digital bulletins here: librarysearch.assembly.ab.caRead the Calgary strike notice
The Graphic History Collective (GHC) have published a new graphic novel describing the sentiment of rebellious workers. "1919: A Graphic History of the Winnipeg General Strike" is available from Between the Lines books. And visit the GHC site for more resources: graphichistorycollective.comLearn more