The longshoremen of Halifax 1900-1930; their lives and working conditions
Waite, Catherine Ann
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The longshoremen of Halifax have traditionally been one of the largest groups of labourers in the city. - During the period 1900 to 1930 they began to capitalize on their numerical strength and on the potential their job held for paralyzing the province's economy with a well-timed work stoppage. They became one of the strongest and most easily identifiable units of the proletariat, and during every stage of their evolution towards a cohesive work force they were representative of at least some of their fellow unskilled and semi-skilled workers. A study of the dockers' lives and work therefore makes possible the advancement of some speculative generalizations about the life of the Halifax proletarians. The thesis will attempt to convey the author's impressions of the longshoremen's position within the community and of their relationship to both the Halifax workers and the elite through a study of the importance of the port to Nova Scotia and the rest of Canada; the living conditions of the working class; the working conditions of the dockers along the waterfront; the stages of unionization; and a survey of the strikes during this period. Some parallels will also be drawn to the societies of longshoremen in other ports in Canada and the United States.