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Canadian Strikes

This subject guide is meant to assist students 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

Image credit: Lum, F. (2013). Various photos taken in and around Yellowknife, capital of the Northwest Territories. Sitting unsed on the outskirts of town is this Giant Mine site. [Photograph]. The Globe and Mail. 
Union: Canadian Association of Smelter and Allied Workers. Local 4.
Employer: Royal Oak Mines Incorporated

Summary of Events

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.

Sources and related resources

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