Toronto, Ontario – The 1945 strike at the Ford Motor Company in Windsor, Ontario has been named Canada’s “most underrated rebellion” by political journal This Magazine. Jessica Johnston, the magazine’s editor, presented the award at the Canadian Auto Workers Union (CAW) Collective Bargaining Convention.
This Magazine writer Craig Saunders came up with the idea for the contest; the 1945 strike won based on results from an online poll. “This was a critical juncture in Canadian labour history,” said Saunders, who added that the challenges labour faces today will require the same creative thinking.
The 99-day strike, led by the Canadian division of the United Auto Workers and UAW Local 200, saw 14,000 Ford workers and thousands of community supporters blockade the Windsor complex in the face of a police attack. The strike resulted in the Rand Formula, for automatic union dues check-off in exchange for a prohibition on strike activity during the life of a collective agreement.
The Ford strike nomination was submitted by CAW economist Jim Stanford. Of 89 possible selections, the strike was shortlisted alongside the 1858 Fraser Canyon War, the 1990 Oka land dispute and the 1970 Abortion Caravan.