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ETFO Union History

This wiki was developed for ETFO members as a result of a motion passed at the 2012 ETFO Annual Meeting that requested training resources on union history,the impact of unions on workers, and the role that unions have played in society. It has been developed by a team of ETFO members: Wes Delve (York Region Teacher Local), Ryan Geick (Renfrew County Occasional Teacher Local), Laurel Liddicoat-Newton (Lambton Kent Teacher Local), and Krista Pedersen (Upper Grand Teacher Local). The participants in the ETFO Union School contribute materials, resources, and suggestions for the Wiki.


Labour unions in Canada are organizations that represent workers thereby making sure that their rights are respected and working conditions improved. Most often labour unions engage in collective bargaining with employers to determine wages, terms and conditions of employment, worker safety and security. It is important to remember that unions forced the sharing of wealth within society - through the process of collective bargaining they required the transfer of wealth from business owners to the workers who generated the wealth through their toil. Through this process unions helped to create the middle class.



Unions have generally been at the forefront of the organized line of defence against the broad right-wing assault on social programs and government regulations.