A Struggle to Remember: Fighting for Our Families

A Struggle to Remember: Fighting for Our Families explores how Canadian feminists, unionists, and political activists built a potent coalition, mobilized public opinion, and achieved vast improvements in maternity leave and other family leave benefits.

The 20-minute documentary shows how it became accepted that women be able to return to their jobs after maternity leave and how men and women gained real and enforceable work?

A 20-minute bilingual documentary with subtitles.

Cost: Free

 Watch on YouTube

Cal Best: Simply the Best

See an interesting documentary on the life and times of Cal Best, a major figure in 20th century Canadian Black history. In interviews and images, we see his progress from early years in New Glasgow, N.S. to being a union founder and leader, senior government official and Canada’s first Black High Commissioner (ambassador). A man who changed the world for the better.

A 20-minute bilingual documentary with subtitles.

Cost: $10 plus $5 shipping and handling

The Almonte Train Wreck: A Story of People

On a snowy December night in 1942 in the town of Almonte, Ontario’s Christmas celebrations were cut short when a train transporting Canadian troops rear-ended an Ottawa-bound passenger train that was waiting at the station platform. It is considered one of the worst train wrecks in Canadian history.

Ottawa Storytellers Donna Stewart and Ruth Stewart-Verger tell stories of the people and events surrounding the Almonte Train Wreck. Johnny Spinks, a local Almonte singer accompanied by Bradley Scott, sang Mac Beattie’s song “Train Wreck at Almonte” courtesy of the Beattie family and his own song “Rust on the Rails”.

This is a story celebrating the people who rode and worked on the trains of the Ottawa Valley and, specifically, those who came to the aid of No. 550 Pembroke Local, during the foul weather of December 27, 1942.

The 50-minute video is in English only.

Cost: $10 plus $5 shipping and handling

The Rand Formula

This documentary video covers the historic compromise in 1946 that ended a 99-day strike by the United Auto Workers Local 200 in Windsor, ON. Mr Justice Ivan Rand of the Supreme Court of Canada arbitrated the dispute. His creative award instituted a new form of union security: union dues are collected from every member of the bargaining unit whether or not they belong to the union when a majority have voted to join the union.

This award included a price for unions: it outlawed strikes during the life of a collective agreement and insisted on a secret ballot prior to strike action.

This documentary traces the evolution of this uniquely Canadian approach, generally known as the Rand Formula, to modern Canadian Labour law.

Cost: $10 plus $5 shipping and handling

50 Years of the Union of Taxation Employees

This 100-minute video, 50 years of the Union of Taxation Employees, is a celebration of the achievements of a labour organization and their members on their 50th anniversary. The organization began as the Dominion Income Tax Staff Association in the 1940s. It became the Taxation Component of the Public Service Alliance in 1966 and was then renamed the Union of Taxation Employees in 1987. Over the years, the union became known for its militancy and effectiveness, but also, for establishing good relations at every level with their employer, the Canada Revenue Agency. Definitely something to celebrate.

Cost: $15 plus $5 shipping and handling

PSAC - Public Service Alliance of Canada

Fifty years ago, the leaders of many different, often competing, associations came together at a convention to formally establish a union for federal government workers. This represented the culmination of years of struggle to achieve what other workers outside the federal public sector had enjoyed for decades. It was the first step to bringing about real change in our members’ workplaces. It helped families and built communities.

In 50 years, our membership has grown to include public sector workers in the north, university teaching and research assistants, workers in Indigenous communities and more. From the beginning, PSAC recognized the need to reach out to the broader labour movement, working in Canada and internationally to build solidarity with the struggles of working people around the world. As we celebrate our first 50 years, the work of building our union goes on.

Cost: $15 plus $5 shipping and handling