Canadian History: The Ginger Goodwin General Strike of 1918
When pacifist union organizer and worker’s rights activist Ginger Goodwin was killed by a single police bullet 100 years ago, it marked the beginning of Canada’s first general strike, and a blood-drenched birth to B.C.’s modern labour movement.
By Rod Mickleburgh
At 12 o’clock sharp on Aug. 2, 1918 – one hundred years ago today – Vancouver transit operators stopped their streetcars in mid-route, drove them to the barns and walked home. The city’s normally bustling waterfront fell silent, as 2,000 burly stevedores and shipyard workers streamed from the docks. Construction workers refused to pound another nail or lift another brick. They joined textile and other union workers across Vancouver who were also leaving their jobs. It was the start of Canada’s first general strike and the beginning of one of the most memorable 24 hours in the city’s history.
(Okay, I could have photo-shopped this a bit ...