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Distributed for Athabasca University Press

Working People in Alberta

A History

Distributed for Athabasca University Press

Working People in Alberta

A History

Working People in Alberta traces the history of labour in Alberta from the period of First Nations occupation to the present. Drawing on over two hundred interviews with labour leaders, activists, and ordinary working people, as well as on archival records, the volume gives voice to the people who have toiled in Alberta over the centuries. In so doing, it seeks to counter the view of Alberta as a one-class, one-party, one-ideology province, in which distinctions between those who work and those who own are irrelevant. 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. Their stories are set within a sequential analysis of provincial politics and economics, supplemented by chapters on women and the labour movement and on minority workers of colour and their quest for social justice.

360 pages

Table of Contents


Introduction: Those Who Built Alberta / Alvin Finkel

1          Millennia of Native Work / Alvin Finkel

2          The Fur Trade and Early European Settlement / Alvin Finkel

3          One Step Forward: Alberta Workers 1885–1914 / Jim Selby

4          War, Repression, and Depression, 1914–1939 / Eric Strikwerda and Alvin Finkel

5          Alberta Labour and Working-Class Life, 1940–1959 / James Muir

6          The Boomers Become the Workers: Alberta, 1960–1980 / Alvin Finkel

7          Alberta Labour in the 1980s / Winston Gereluk

8          Revolution, Retrenchment, and the New Normal: The 1990s and Beyond / Jason Foster

9          Women, Labour, and the Labour Movement / Joan Schiebelbein

10        Racialization and Work  / Jennifer Kelly and Dan Cui

Conclusion: A History to Build Upon / Alvin Finkel





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