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Manitoba History No. 90
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No. 90

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TimeLinks: The Western Labour News

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No Image Available The Western Labour News was the successor newspaper to the Voice, weekly that had been published by the Winnipeg Trades and Labour Council since the 1890s.

In 1918, the Trades and Labour Council withdrew its support (and funding) of The Voice. The Council was embroiled in a furious internal debate over industrial unionism, and the executive, led by R. B. Russell, one of the most vocal proponents of labour unionism, took issue with the moderate stand of the paper's editor, Arthur Puttee.

The paper re-appeared several week later under the editorship of William Ivens, a renegade Methodist minister who had been a regular contributor to The Voice. Under the leadership of Ivens, the paper became a strong proponent of industrial unionism, and in 1918 and 1919 its editorials commented favourably on the possibility of a new tool of industrial protest - the general sympathetic strike.

In May of 1919, three Unions of the Metal Trades Council struck the three largest contract shops in the city. Other unions, including those from the Building Trades Council joined in sympathy, and within days, Winnipeg was crippled by a General Strike.

The Strike shut down all three of Winnipeg's daily papers, and in their place, the Labour News published a daily Strike Bulletin, which played a vital role in keeping strikers informed and mobilized during the weeks of the Strike.

Page revised: 27 August 2009

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