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View MaryAnn Mihychuk Profile
Lib. (MB)
Mr. Speaker, 100 years ago, the Winnipeg General Strike was the largest labour action ever seen, lasting six weeks as thousands walked off the job demanding better working conditions. Thirty thousand civilians left their jobs on May 15, including veterans who six months earlier had fought in World War I. First out were the 500 telephone operators known as the “Hello Girls”.
A courageous young woman named Helen Armstrong played a big role in the movement. She held soup kitchens for strikers and their families, free for women. For her involvement, she was imprisoned three times and called a female Bolshevik. In commemoration, we held a soup kitchen in the Ukrainian Labour Temple to honour the strong women and men who took part in fighting for workers' rights.
It is because of these courageous strikers that the next prime minister, a Liberal, brought in major labour reforms. One hundred years later, I am proud to stand here today to celebrate what they achieved for women and Canadian workers across the nation.
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