Resources for Further Study and Collaboration

Resources for Further Study and Collaboration

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. If you are interested in learning more about labour history or would like to talk to the Centennial Project about teaching opportunities for your Local or area council, feel free to contact us.


Alberta Labour History Institute:

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.:


  • The 1919 Canadian Labour Revolt (_Labour/Le travail_, Spring 1984) by Gregory S. Kealy is a comprehensive study of the remarkable year that general strikes erupted across Canada, the conditions that led to such militancy amongst Canadian workers, and the immediate outcomes of the revolt.
  • Abella, Irvine (1973) "The Struggle for Industrial Unionism In Canada 1930-1956." University of Toronto Press.
  • Braverman, Harry (1974) "Labor and Monopoly Capital: The Degradation of Work in the Twentieth Century." Monthly Review Press.
  • Bright, David (2002) "Limists of Labour: Class Formation and the Labour Movement in Calgary, 1883-1929. Vancouver: UBC Press.
  • Caragata, Warren (1979) "Alberta Labour: A Heritage Untold." Toronto: Lorimer.
  • Heron, Craig (1989) "The Canadian Labour Movement : A Short History." Toronto: James Lorimer and CO.
  • Kealey, Gregory and Bryan Palmer (1985) "Dreaming of What Might Be: The Knight of Labour in Ontraio, 1880-1900. New York: Cambridge University Press.
  • Leier, Mark (1990) "Where the Fraser River Flows: The Industrial Workers of the World in British Columbia. Vancouver: New Star.
  • Morton, Desmond (2007) "Working People: An Illustrated History of the Canadian Labour Movement. Montreal: McGill-Queens Universit Press.
  • Palmer, Bryan (1983) Working Class Experience: The Rise and Reconstruction of Canadian Labour, 1800-1980, Toronto: Butterworth.
  • Sangster, Joan (2010). "Transforming Labour: Women and Work in Postwar Canada. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
  • Thompson, Edward Palmer (1963) "The Making of the English Working Class." London: Victor Gollancz.


AUPE - Introduction to Labour History: New from AUPE's education department. These award winning series of short videos are the centerpiece of AUPE's new "introduction to labour history" course. Using narrative, animation, and historical documents thees videos look at the major themes of union and working class history over the last 100 years.

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.