Radio·Audio

How the 1919 Winnipeg General Strike resonates today

Through archival tape and their own interviews, the CBC's Marcy Markusa and Kim Kaschor explore a pivotal moment in Canadian labour history that still resonates with the labour market today.

CBC’s Marcy Markusa, Kim Kaschor explore the pivotal point in labour history

A streetcar is overturned in Winnipeg on June 21, 1919, which became known as Bloody Saturday during the 1919 general strike. The old city hall can be seen in the background. (L.B. Foote collection/Archives of Manitoba)
Listen to the full episode54:00

The 1919 Winnipeg General Strike for labour rights conjures up images of emboldened demonstrators overturning a streetcar, marching through city streets and the violent response from police on Bloody Saturday.

"Beyond the iconic image of the workers who set that streetcar on fire and tipped it on its side, what we found was a point in history that still resonates today with a labour market that's stretching itself in new ways and a gig economy that's redefining industry and the definition of workers rights altogether," says CBC Manitoba's Marcy Markusa.

Markusa and Kim Kaschor's holiday special, 1919: Let Us Rise, brings together archival interviews from the time of the strike with voices from today to paint a picture of the pivotal labour event and how it impacted society.