Skip to main content

Canadian Strikes

This subject guide is meant to assist students, particularly those enrolled in IRE1611, with research papers and assignments.

Northwest Territories - A Selection of Notable Strikes (click on the tab, then scroll down for information on the strike)

Giant Mine Strike 1992-1993

Yellowknife, Northwest Territories.

Union: Canadian Association of Smelter and Allied Workers. Local 4.

Employer: Royal Oak Mines Incorporated

In May 1992 at Giant Mine, near Yellowknife, Royal Oak Mines locked out Local 4 of the Canadian Association of Smelter and Allied Workers (which eventually joined the Canadian Auto Workers) and the union went on strike at midnight. With the declining price of gold, the company demanded paycuts and the CASAW refused, resulting in a protracted and violent dispute which lasted eighteen months. The company flew in replacement workers and hired Pinkerton Security to protect them and mine property from the strikers. Royal Canadian Mounted Police reacted to the rising threat of violence by bringing in extra officers, including a riot squad.

In September 1992, during ongoing labour unrest, a deliberately-set explosion underground killed nine miners (strikebreakers/replacement workers). Union member and dismissed miner Roger Warren later confessed to and was convicted by a jury of nine counts of second degree murder, being sentenced to life imprisonment. There was also a civil suit (see Fullowka v. Royal Oak Ventures Inc. below) and a Canada Labour Relations Board decision (see below).

The striking miners eventually returned to work in December 1993.

CBC Digital Archives Nine Killed in Giant Mine Explosion

Singh, P., Zinni, D.M. & Jain, H.C. (2005). The effects of the use of striker replacement workers in Canada: An analysis of four cases. Labor Studies Journal, 30(2), 61-85.

Pohl, H., Sutton, A., Bulgutch, M., Harrison, M., Murphy, M., & Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. (1993). CBC news in review: [April 1993]. Toronto, Ont: CBC News.

Selleck, L., & Thompson, F. (1997). Dying for gold: The true story of the Giant mine murders. Toronto: HarperCollins.

Staples, D., & Owens, G. (1995). The third suspect. Red Deer, Alta: Red Deer College Press.

Giant Mine (Film 1996)

Civil suit (Fullowka v. Royal Oak Ventures Inc.):

CBC Giant Mine widows' claim rejected by top court, February 18, 2010

Fullowka v. Pinkerton's of Canada Ltd., 2010 SCC 5, [2010] 1 SCR 132

Fullowka v. Royal Oak Ventures Inc., 2008 NWTCA 10

Fullowka v. Royal Oak Ventures Inc., 2008 NWTCA 9

Fullowka v. Royal Oak Ventures Inc., 2008 NWTCA 4

Fullowka v. Royal Oak Ventures Inc., 2005 NWTSC 60

Fullowka et al v. Royal Oak Ventures Inc. et al, 2004 NWTSC 66

Fullowka v. Royal Oak Ventures Inc., 2003 NWTSC 32

Fullowka v. Royal Oak Ventures Inc., 2002 NWTSC 14


Royal Oak Mines Inc. v. Canada (Labour Relations Board), 1996 CanLII 220 (SCC), [1996] 1 SCR 369

In the CLRB decision Royal Oak Mines was compelled to return to the bargaining table on the basis that its refusal to discuss grievance arbitration with the union constituted an unreasonable limitation on the bargaining process and thereby represented a lack of good faith.

Loading ...