Abstract

This study explores employers ’ anti-union strategies in the Niagara Peninsula from the mid-1940s to the mid-1960s in order to enhance our understanding of the nature of relations between labour and capital during the period generally described as that of the postwar compromise. Relying on such unexplored archival collections as the papers of the St. Catharines firm, Ontario Editorial Bureau, as well as the collections of the Archives of Ontario and Library and Archives Canada, the study focuses on four main union-avoidance strategies: the establishment of company-dominated unions, anti-union public relations campaigns, corporate welfarism, and company relocation. By illustrating the depth and endurance of Niagara employers’ opposition to unions during the period of supposed compromise between employers, workers and the state the study demonstrates that there was greater continuity than we have supposed between management views of workers’ rights during the period of the postwar compromise and the neoliberalism that characterized subsequent decades.

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