The 1919 Workers’ Revolt in Calgary

Contents (files are large PDFs that will open in a new window and may take a few moments to download):

All of the below together as one publication.

  1. Introduction
  2. Seeds of Conflict
  3. Workers Organize
  4. Freight Handlers
  5. Working Class Life
  6. Labour Conference
  7. Winnipeg Strike
  8. Coal Towns
  9. Edmonton Strike
  10. Strike Begins
  11. Women Strike
  12. Capital Strikes Back
  13. Lessons and Legacies


Don Bouzek
Sean Carleton
Jason Devine
Alvin Finkel
Winston Gereluk
Kate Jacobson
Tom Langford
Tom MacGrath
Karen Jeane Mills
Kirk Niergarth
Julia Smith


We would like to acknowledge the many people who helped us to produce this project. Our thanks to the Alberta Labour History Institute (ALHI) for their support. ALHI ensured that the graphic designer, Karen Mills, received compensation for her work. We thank Sharon Reilly for help with photographs. We also thank all of the authors listed in the further reading section for their scholarship, which helped us better understand the workers’ revolt in Canada and the 1919 Calgary strike in particular

Further reading

Bercuson, David Jay. Confrontation at Winnipeg: Labour, Industrial Relations, and the General Strike. Rev. ed. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1990.

Bright, David. The Limits of Labour: Class Formation and the Labour Movement in Calgary, 1883–1929. Vancouver: UBC Press, 1998.

Bright, David. “‘We Are All Kin’: Reconsidering Labour and Class in Calgary, 1919.” Labour/Le Travail 29 (Spring 1992): 59–80.

Bumsted, J.M. The Winnipeg General Strike of 1919: An Illustrated History. Winnipeg: Watson and Dwyer, 1994.

Caragata, Warren. Alberta Labour: A Heritage Untold. Toronto: Lorimer, 1979.

Damji, Alimohamed. “Militancy to Passivism: The Calgary Labour Movement, 1919–1924.” MA thesis, University of Calgary, 1987.

Finkel, Alvin. “The Great Labour Revolt, 1919.” Alberta Labour History Institute.

Finkel, Alvin. Working People in Alberta: A History. Edmonton: AU Press, 2011.

Friesen, Gerald. “‘Yours in Revolt’: The Socialist Party of Canada and the Western Canadian Labour Movement.” Labour/Le Travail 1 (January 1976): 139–57.

Heron, Craig, ed. The Workers’ Revolt in Canada, 1917–1925. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1998.

Horrall, S.W. “The Royal North-West Mounted Police and Labour Unrest in Western Canada, 1919.” Canadian Historical Review 61, no. 2 (June 1980): 169–90.

Kealey, Gregory S. “1919: The Canadian Labour Revolt” Labour/Le Travail, 13 (1984): 11–44.

Kealey, Linda. “No Special Protection – No Sympathy: Women’s Activism in the Canadian Labour Revolt of 1919.” In Class, Community and the Labour Movement: Wales and Canada, 1850–1930, edited by Deian Hopkin and Gregory S. Kealey, 134–59. St. John’s, NL: Llfaur/Canadian Committee on Labour History, 1989.

Plawiuk, Eugene. “The Edmonton General Strike of 1919 – Eugene Plawiuk.” Posted September 21, 2007.

Seager, Charles Allen. “A Proletariat in Wild Rose Country: The Alberta Coal Miners, 1905–1945.” PhD diss., York University, 1982.

Taraska, Elizabeth. “The Calgary Craft Union Movement, 1900–1920.” MA thesis, University of Calgary, 1975.

The Winnipeg Defence Committee. Winnipeg 1919: The Strikers’ Own History of the General Strike, edited by Norman Penner, introduction by Christo Aivalis. Toronto: Lorimer, 2019.