The Fight for Nine Hours in Halifax, Nova Scotia

By: Joseph Burton

Joseph Burton

Contributing Historian

Joseph Burton is a PhD candidate in the Department of History at Simon Fraser University. His research explores the transmission of anarchist ideas in North America during the middle and latter twentieth century, focusing on the Industrial Workers of the World and linkages between democracy and revolutionary practice.  His writing has been published in the Canadian Historical Review and he has shared and discussed his work at academic conferences in Canada and the United States.  As an educator and sessional instructor, his teaching has focused on histories of work and working life in Canada.

Scholars have long acknowledged the Nine Hour Movement and the 1872 Trade Unions Act as seminal moments in the history of Canada labour. Less acknowledged, however, is that this movement was not the only struggle for the nine-hour day in the spring of 1872. Workers in Halifax, Nova Scotia, although not affiliated with the Nine Hour Movement, similarly fought to shorten the working day in the weeks before the passage of Prime Minister John A. Macdonald’s legislation.[1]

Much literature on the Nine Hour Movement alludes to the Halifax struggle in only a few sentences.  Similarly, writing on the Atlantic labour movement rarely discusses Halifax in the context of the Nine Hour Movement and what such a comparison might tell us about labour in Canada.  Rarely are the two struggles explored together, and even literature on the Maritimes which does mention the 1872 fight for nine hours limits its discussion to a few sentences.

This article will consider the Halifax workers and their struggle for nine hours, fought in 1872 by the shipwrights and caulkers of the city’s waterfront. It shall begin by situating these workers in the context of Canadian shipbuilding during the latter nineteenth century and the crisis in waterfront craftwork developing over this period. Subsequent sections will examine their union’s struggle for better wages and conditions in May 1872 and briefly consider the wider significance of this conflict for the history of labour organizing in Canada.

The Halifax conflict amounted to only a brief episode in the history of the working class, beginning and ending in the course of two days. But it reminds us that the Canadian labour movement, even when fighting for similar goals, was never a homogenous or one-dimensional body. It has always been a “movement of movements,” consisting of overlapping and sometimes exclusionary tendencies and admitting of many different and often incompatible strategies, tactics, and organizational forms.[2]

Movement of Movements

The expression “movement of movements” is most often associated with contemporary struggles against global capital, neoliberalism, and colonialism.

In the case of Halifax, the shipwrights’ and caulkers’ tactics and localized union form distinguished them from the Nine Hour Movement and reflected their unique structural position and advantages in a capitalist economy. For many years, including 1872, these advantages brought the union tangible victories and more immediate success than the Nine Hour pioneers. However, the Halifax union would not survive significant transformations in both the direction and scope of industrial economic development during the final years of the nineteenth century. It would thus be the Nine Hour Movement’s emphasis on larger and federated structures, not the shipwrights’ insularity, that characterized the trajectory of the Canadian labour movement for decades to come.

Shipping, Shipbuilding, and Maritime Craft Workers

During the middle and latter nineteenth century, few industrial economies boasted a larger or more active merchant navy than the fledgling Canadian state. Anchored at the crossroads of lucrative colonial trading routes, and reinforced by mercantilist protection and wartime demand early in the century, the Canadian merchant navy comprised 7,500 vessels by 1878, the overwhelming majority of which were built in the Atlantic region. Registering a carrying capacity of 1.3 million tons, this merchant fleet was likely the fourth largest in the world, surpassed only by the merchant navies of three other colonial powers: the United Kingdom, the United States, and Norway.[3]

Halifax Harbour became a dominant entrepôt for Atlantic shipping during the nineteenth century. After 1850, steamships like the ones portrayed in this painting threatened craft workers’ customary work practices. This piece, titled “The English and Newfoundland Mail Vessels in Halifax Harbour” was painted in 1861 by artist G.H. Andrews C. William. Image courtesy of the G.H. Andrews C. William Collection, Library and Archives Canada.

This period of immense growth in shipping and shipbuilding is often described nostalgically as an era of “wooden ships and iron men,” distinguished for some writers by the nautical prowess of sailors and the grandeur of the Atlantic fleet. As historians Eric W. Sager and Gerald E. Panting have noted, there is much truth to this perspective. For them, the achievements and sophistication of the shipping industry were undoubtedly significant and indicative not of “modest regional success but … successful participation in the international markets of nineteenth-century capitalism.”[4]

Despite the nautical grandeur of the shipping industry, however, Canadian shipyards were characterized as much by conflict and struggle as they were by the precision of the vessels and their crews.[5] Over the course of Canada’s industrial revolution, the workers who built the merchant navy struggled to control their customary work practices as they confronted two interrelated threats. First, employers regularly attempted to circumvent or saturate craft apprenticeship programs, hiring journeymen carpenters to work alongside trained and accredited shipwrights, riggers, and other builders. Second, although shipbuilding could not be mechanized in the same fashion as other goods, the waterfront crafts were existentially threatened by the spread of steamships after 1850, which jeopardized the relevance of the shipbuilders’ trades and exerted greater pressure on employers to lower their costs.[6]

These trends stimulated greater organizing efforts and conflict across the industry. One prominent site of struggle was Halifax, which between 1840 and 1870 doubled in population and had become a dominant entrepôt for the fisheries and West Indies and coastal trading, as well as a hub for shipbuilding.[7] Much of the waterfront workforce was organized by the early 1870s, and among the most active and militant were the shipwrights and caulkers. As Ian McKay has written, these workers “believed the skill demanded by their work separated them out from other manual labourers.” Shipwrights were expected to perfect “all the skills demanded by general carpentry,” and to “work with a wider range of angles, to lay the plank in complex patterns requiring skill and forethought, and to use joints peculiarly adapted for shipbuilding.” Caulkers in turn made the hulls seaworthy and watertight, first by pushing the fibres from old rope, known as oakum, “down between the seams” of the planks and closing those seams with hot tar or “pitch.”[8]

As McKay notes, the shipwrights and caulkers organized their union in 1864. The sailmakers did so in 1871 and the coopers in 1870.

Both crafts required years of diligent training and careful oversight. To protect the dignity of their trades and the well-being of craftworkers and their families, both groups incorporated the Shipwrights and Caulkers Association of Halifax and Dartmouth in 1864. According to the Statutes of Nova Scotia, the new association would assist members “in case of sickness or death in their families” and help “carr[y] out their several trades more advantageously for the mercantile communities of Halifax and Dartmouth.”[9]

Today, the idea that employers can and should maintain exclusive control over hiring is often understood to be common sense. But this was not always the case. During the middle and latter nineteenth century, when waged labour was only starting to become a permanent feature of many workers’ lives, skilled craftsmen sought to restrict the employer’s power to hire, train, and fire at will. For them, acceding the ability to determine who could and could not work their craft risked jeopardizing the quality and dignity of their trade, because they would not be able to guarantee the maintenance of adequate standards. After all, most workers took great pride in their labour. But it would also diminish the value of their labour and reduce their ability to control other facets of the workplace, from hours to wages and the pace of work. For if they struck to protest poor conditions, the employer would simply hire other labourers. This is why employers introduced mechanization and other automated procedures during Canada’s industrial revolution. It was not only to introduce “efficiency,” but to take workers’ power to pass down their knowledge away from them and thus diminish the leverage they might have over workplace conditions

In practice, this provision meant imposing tougher restrictions on apprenticeships and carefully demarcating the duties of shipwrights and caulkers from other workers. Such restrictions would make it far more difficult for employers to undermine workers’ control by training and employing anyone they chose.[10] But much like in other industrial centres, the shipbuilders also shut out a growing population of landless workers who were forced to work for wages, generating barriers to solidarity just as employers were becoming more coordinated and powerful than ever before. For emerging unions like the Noble and Holy Order of the Knights of Labor, formed in Philadelphia in 1869, these were barriers the working class could scarcely afford to build, much less retrench and widen.[11]

The Battle for Nine Hours

As with the Toronto Typographical Union (TTU) and other craft organizations, the immediate leverage granted by the Association’s restrictions, codified in documents like its Supplementary Rules (1867), yielded slow but tangible membership growth during the 1860s and 1870s. The union rebuffed early attempts by the dockyard Storekeeper, or the senior administrator responsible for maintaining supply levels and general stock in the entrepôt, to blacklist all members of the new union, and the workers even found support among some members of the local political establishment. In 1866, the provincial government’s committee on trade and manufactures rejected employers’ petitions to limit the Association’s activities based on an 1864 anti-union statute. According to the Debates and Proceedings of the Legislative House of Assembly, Halifax representative John Tobin met with members of the union, and he was persuaded “that their transactions had been entirely of a useful and creditable character.”[12]

By the 1870s, the union had recruited enough of the local workforce to secure higher wages and better conditions. From at least 1864, when it likely represented only a fraction of its prospective membership, the union fought unsuccessfully for $2.50 per day to keep pace with rising prices in the city. By 1872, however, its ranks had grown to 88 members and likely represented over three-quarters of all shipwrights and caulkers in Halifax.[13] With the leverage to grind shipbuilding in the city to a halt, the Association met on April 29 to publicly demand their higher rates. According to the Morning Chronicle, members argued “that their wages [had] remained stationary for eighteen years, while the cost of living has largely increased.”[14]

The evidence suggests employers were willing to accede to these wage demands, and they prepared to meet with the union two days later, on May 1. However, when the day arrived to discuss terms, the employers were informed by the union that in addition to $2.50 per day, the members were also demanding “a reduction in the day’s work from ten to nine hours.” If both demands were not met, the shipwrights and caulkers said they were prepared to strike imminently. The employers were “surprised to learn that the workmen did not confine themselves to the terms of their published resolution,” and they were unwilling to grant such concessions. However, the Morning Chronicle reported on May 2 — one day after workers issued their demands for better wages and the nine-hour day — that “necessities compelled [the employers] to yield, and so the men got all they wanted.”[15]

Of Halifax and Toronto

How should we explain this sudden resolution? What compelled employers to capitulate so quickly, when employers elsewhere in Canada, even at that very moment, were holding out against shorter hours for weeks and months at a time? Thousands of workers in Ontario and Quebec were also struggling for the nine-hour day, after all, and the TTU was in the throes of a protracted strike with the owner of the Globe newspaper, George Brown, and most other publishers in Toronto, with no end in sight. Unlike the shipwrights and caulkers, many of those central-Canadian workers would either fail to win their shorter day or would see their hours return to the standard ten-hour shift when the Nine Hour Movement collapsed in June of that year.[16]

Shipowners, who in the Atlantic provinces were also often the shipbuilders, invested large sums into the construction of vessels and could recoup those investments with high freight rates and frequent passages.  Those rates could undergo yearly and indeed monthly fluctuations according to the commodity, and thus missing out on a moment of high demand could result in considerable lost income, especially if freight rates did not rebound for an extended period of time (as this article proceeds to note, however, those rates often did rebound, not falling steadily and regularly until after 1873).

Accounting for such differences is one of the tasks of the labour historian, and one factor we might first investigate is the timing of labour action. As a small, localized association, without a remote officialdom to tell them when they could and could not walk off the job, the shipwrights’ union could threaten strike action when it most suited the members, allowing them to take their employers by surprise. Tactics like this were especially effective in the shipping industry. Longshoreman could shut down entire waterfronts with a carefully timed strike. Shipowners, who were also often the shipbuilders in Atlantic Canada, risked losing out on favourable freight rates if confronted with a sudden and unexpected work stoppage.[17] Such disruptive opportunities also existed for skilled printers and engineers, but the Nine Hour leaders were more interested in coordinating disparate groups of workers through publicly advertised strike dates than by catching the bosses off-guard. The upshot of their strategy, then, was affording employers more time to prepare.[18]

As Battye notes, the Central Committee of the Nine Hour League in Hamilton determined “to submit memorials requesting the nine-hour day to all the employers in the city. The League gave the three months notice promised at the mass meeting [on 13 February], which meant that the nine-hour day was to come into operation on 15 May.”  James Ryan, one of the movement leaders, instigated a plan of action that would see workers in Hamilton and Toronto strike on 15 May and 1 June, respectively, if the demands were not met.  Although the TTU struck prematurely, on March 18, they still gave employers one week’s notice.

More significant than the timing of the strike, however, was the varying rates of employer control over the labour process itself. For even if shipbuilders refused to grant the nine-hour day and provoked strike action in May 1872, there was very little they could have done to get their workshops going again without hiring those same workers back at higher rates, barring a total shutdown of production and protracted battle to starve their workers into submission. As noted above, the skills of the shipwrights and the caulkers still required years of diligent training; those techniques could not be broken down into different stages in the way other trades could, such as cobbling or shoemaking. So, the owners could not replicate and reconfigure those skills into simpler tasks for more workers to learn and undercut their workers’ leverage — only the shipwrights and the caulkers could pass down their knowledge and train more shipwrights and caulkers. The result was that while shipbuilders might bolster their ranks with journeymen carpenters, they could not jettison the services of their skilled workers without seriously risking the integrity of their ships and the value of the goods inside.[19]

The same was not true of skilled printers, among many other workers in late nineteenth-century Canada. Although typesetting remained virtually unchanged until the 1890s, the introduction of steam-powered rotary presses and folding machines gave employers tremendous power over much of the printing process. This reduced workers’ control over the pace of work and training procedures and bifurcated the former position of “all around” printer into the more specialized, and more isolated, skilled compositor and the machine-tending pressman, both of whom George Brown had sought to replace in the past with non-union, journeymen printers and even untrained boys.[20]


Much as they had always done, the compositor would “compose” the text of the document — in the case of the Globe, a newspaper — by inserting single letters into a composing stick, which would then be inserted into a large metal sheet known as a galley.  Early in the eighteenth century, those same workers would then proof the text and pull a hand-operated wooden press to ink the paper.  However, by the 1850s and 1860s, the second component of this job, the inking and pressing, would be conducted by machine tenders who rolled the paper into mechanized rotary and cylinder presses.

However, the shipbuilders had something George Brown and the printers did not: flexibility. In 1872, that is, shipbuilders were capable of absorbing marginally higher labour rates. Raw materials for building ships could be easily sourced at very low costs, whether because of a plentiful local supply — timber, especially — or because merchant capitalists had ensured materials like iron bolts and bars, rigging, and tin plates were exempt from high import duties and thus cheaply available. Further, although freight rates fluctuated month by month, they did not begin to drop precipitously and regularly until 1873, meaning shipbuilders could readily pass their additional costs on to shipowners in the form of higher prices, who themselves might expect to recoup those costs by extracting high freight rates from the shippers, whose goods were transported in their vessels.[21]

Such flexibility was not available to employers like George Brown. Unlike shipbuilding, importing goods to maintain or expand the production process, such as new and more sophisticated presses, was normally very expensive, rendering input costs already very high. Such costs also could not be as easily recouped at the point of sale — they had no equivalent figure to the shipowner, to whom they might pass on their additional charges and who could themselves expect plentiful returns in a subsequent transaction. Brown and company could only recoup such expenses in the short term by raises prices on their newspapers, directly undercutting their competitiveness in the market. As good capitalists, they were not wont to do this.[22]

Battye notes that while some of the printers and railway engineers did win the nine hour day, widespread adoption of this system was deeply uneven.

Together, such trends help to explain the differing scope and duration of these two battles for nine hours. With greater leverage and more pressing need to hold out, George Brown and other employers in the print industry had both significant incentive and opportunity to combat the Nine Hour pioneers for as long as they did and to obstruct a wider implementation of the nine hour day, which they and other central-Canadian employers accomplished successfully.[23] Similarly, it was because of their greater vulnerability that Toronto printers and other skilled craftsmen in the Nine Hour Movement were compelled to augment their power by organizing across localities and provinces, while shipwrights and caulkers, whose structural position in the capitalist economy afforded them greater leverage, were content to preserve their insularity in Halifax. Indeed, the waterfront craftsmen did not join the Canadian Labor Union, formed in 1873 in the wake of the Nine Hour Movement, and the caulkers even broke from the shipwrights in 1882 to form an independent union of their own: the Caulkers Association of Halifax and Dartmouth.[24]

Iron, Steam, and the Coming of Monopoly Capitalism

Such insularity would not help them for long. Although shipwrights and caulkers managed to carve out spaces for independence into the 1870s and 1880s, the foundations of their livelihood were gradually slipping from beneath their feet. Faced with declining freight rates and greater competition from steamships during the 1880s, the Atlantic shipowners and merchant capitalists slowly withdrew from the shipbuilding industry, focusing instead on investments they had made further inland which had already occupied their attention for decades.[25] By 1890, although they still found employment, the shipwrights and caulkers were by and large no longer producing new wooden sailing ships. Instead, they spent their time repairing older vessels the owners hoped could make faster and more regular voyages to recoup what little profit still remained. By the first years of the new century, even this productive activity all but disappeared, along with the presence of the union. As McKay notes, there is no evidence of either the shipwrights or caulkers association carrying on after 1912.[26]

Although the shipwrights and caulkers of Halifax could not preserve their customary work practices, Halifax Harbour remained a vital site of employment and class struggle in the twentieth century, and it remains so today. “Female Workers at Halifax Shipyards, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada,” September 1943. Photographer: Gilbert Alexander Milne. Image courtesy of the Department of National Defence Fonds, Library and Archives Canada.

Admittedly, there was little these workers might have done to preserve their trade and independence, even if they had established greater connections in the city or province. For even if Atlantic merchant capitalists had sustained their interest in maritime shipping, their investment almost certainly would have been redirected towards steamships and away from wooden vessels, as eventually did transpire during the early twentieth century.[27]

However, the same cannot be said of all craftworkers, who, during the latter nineteenth century, experienced comparable assaults on their trade in the form of greater divisions of labour and mechanization, which diminished their control over their customary work practices and indeed their working lives. For Canadian workers, there would be no respite from such assaults. By 1890 and beyond, these attacks were instead augmented, as fewer and fewer corporations consolidated ever greater control over manufacturing, in what historians have since termed the era of monopoly capitalism.[28]

One solution to this problem was to combine the local craft unions into a larger federated body and to coordinate strike action against employers, as the Nine Hour pioneers would attempt. As alluded to above, however, other organizations like the Noble and Holy Order of the Knights of Labor began to establish an alternative model, organizing not according to craft or trade but according to industry, thus eroding divisions between those deemed “skilled” and “unskilled.” The Knights and later union movements, like the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), also began to confront the union movement’s entrenched marginalization of women, immigrants, and workers of colour, practices that deeply afflicted the Nine Hour Movement.[29]

As subsequent articles published by Defining Moments Canada will demonstrate, these intersecting conflicts and frontiers defined the union movement in Canada and beyond for decades to come. Such conflicts yielded movement alternatives that were not only more inclusive and militant, but also more revolutionary and committed to developing a more just economic system than the one which had, by the 1880s, expanded to cover most of the North American continent, and which more and more workers by the turn of the century came to believe was not only unjust but wholly inefficient and destructive at its core: capitalism.

[1] See, for example: John Battye, “The Nine Hour Pioneers: The Genesis of the Canadian Labour Movement,” Labour/Le Travail 4 (1979): 40; K.G. Pyke, “Labour and Politics: Nova Scotia at Confederation,” Social History 3, no. 6 (1970): 38.

[2] See Tom Mertes eds. A Movement of Movements: Is Another World Really Possible?” (London: Verso, 2004).

[3] Eric W. Sager and Lewis R. Fischer, Shipping and Shipbuilding in Atlantic Canada:1820 – 1914 (Ottawa: Canadian Historical Association, Historical Booklet No. 42, 1986), 3; Eric W. Sager, with Gerald E. Panting, Maritime Capital: The Shipping Industry in Atlantic Canada: 1820-1914 (Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1990), 4, 24-29. Sager and Panting note that “official figures sometimes invite skepticism.” Drawing from nineteenth-century observers, especially MP Joseph Tasse, they explain that “many vessels registered in Canada were not owned in Canada and that a large proportion of our registered tonnage consisted of coastal vessels of a kind often not included in the official totals of other shipping nations.” For these reasons, it is not possible to say for certain that Canada operated the fourth largest merchant fleet. Sager and Panting, Maritime Capital, 4, 224 en. 6.

[4] Sager and Panting, Maritime Capital, 3. As Sager and Panting note, historians like Frederick William Wallace, while pioneering a nostalgic and idealized vision of Maritime history, nonetheless offered invaluable chronicles of the industry, including first-hand accounts of the lives and experiences of workers themselves.

[5] Sager and Fischer similarly note that among other perspectives “vessels must be understood as machines, as units of production in a transportation industry, and as places where men and women worked.” Sager and Fischer, Shipping and Shipbuilding, 4.

[6] Ian McKay, “Class Struggle and Merchant Capital: Craftsmen and Labourers on the Halifax Waterfront, 1850-1902, in The Character of Class Struggle: Essays in Working Class History, ed. Bryan D. Palmer (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1988), 23.

[7] Susan Buggey, “Building Halifax 1841-1871, Acadiensis 10, no. 1 (1980): 90; Sager and Fischer, Shipping and Shipbuilding, 7.

[8] McKay, “Class Struggle and Merchant Capital,” 22, 25. As Sager and Panting note, drawing on the works of Richard Rice and Eugene Forsey, shipwrights were engaged in organizing and forms of collective bargaining as early as 1799, and they note that “there is evidence of ship carpenters’ organizations in the 1830s and 1840s.” Sager and Panting, Maritime Capital, 273 en. 44.

[9] The Statutes of Nova Scotia (Halifax: Alpin Grant, 1864), 50.

[10] For an accessible discussion of this, see “Bryan Palmer,” “The Culture of Control,” in A Culture in Conflict: Skilled Workers and Industrial Capitalism in Hamilton Ontario, 1860 – 1914 (Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1979), 71-95.

[11] McKay, “Class Struggle and Merchant Capital,” 23-26; Bryan D. Palmer and Gregory S. Kealey, Dreaming of What Might Be: The Knights of Labor in Ontario, 1880-1900 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982), 142-143.

[12] Debates and Proceedings of the House of Assembly (Halifax: Croskill and Bourinot, 1866), 148; Pyke, “Labour and Politics,” 38.

[13] For membership numbers of the association in 1864, see The Statutes of Nova Scotia, cited above. This documents lists seven members in the Act to Incorporate the Association. It is possible that other members were organized in the union as well, but the best explanation for the union’s failure to win $2.50 per day in the almost ten years between its founding and its conflict in May 1872, is that too few of the shipwrights and caulkers were organized in the union. For the number of members in the union in 1872, and for reference to the union’s almost decade-long struggle for $2.50, see McKay, “Class Struggle and Merchant Capital,” 28. References to the workers’ stagnant wages can also be found in reports from members of the union themselves. See, for example, the Morning Chronicle 1 May 1872. My estimation that the union had organized over three quarters of all shipwrights and caulkers is based on Canadian census records. The census for 1871 — the year before the strike — lists 142 “shipbuilders” in Halifax. The census features separate categories for Sailmakers, Riggers, and Coopers, but none for mast makers, shipwrights, or caulkers, which are listed in McKay’s book, on page 20, as three separate crafts on the Halifax waterfront and almost certainly all calculated in the census as “shipbuilders.” Because the disparity between the number of workers in the union (88) and the total number of shipbuilders (142, in 1871) may be in part accounted for by the mast makers, it is more than reasonable to estimate that the union had organized over three quarters of all shipwrights and caulkers by 1872. See Census of Canada 1870-71: Volume II (Ottawa: I.B. Taylor, 1873), 343.

[14] Morning Chronicle 1 May 1872.

[15] Morning Chronicle 2 May 1872.

[16] For an accessible and informative exploration of the Nine Hour Movement, see Matthew Barrett’s illustrated history, created for Defining Moments Canada. Matthew Barrett, Parts 1 – 5, “All for 9 and 9 For All,” Defining Moments Canada: All for 9:

[17] Historian Keith Matthews has demonstrated the volatility of these rates. For example, in his analysis of the highest and lowest annual freight rates for passages between Saint John and Liverpool, Matthews shows that in 1857 the period between January and June saw higher rates than between June and September. In 1860, however, rates skyrocketed in the month of August, which saw the highest average annual rate until it was surpassed in July of 1873. See Keith Matthews, “The Canadian Deep Sea Merchant Marine and the American Export Trade, 1850 – 1890,” in Volumes Not Values: Canadian Sailing Ships and World Trades eds. David Alexander and Rosemary Ommer (St. John’s: Maritime History Group, 1979), 241. See also See Sager and Panting, Maritime Capital, 48, 110-111, who note that “In the Maritimes the consumer of ships, the shipowner, was also sometimes a producer of ships — a shipbuilder.”

[18] Battye, “The Nine Hour Pioneers,” 35, 41, 43-44.

[19] As Sager and Panting note, the shipbuilding industry “involved a dependence on skilled labour that capital could do little to avoid.” Sager and Panting, Maritime Capital, 187. See also McKay, “Class Struggle and Merchant Capital,” 22-23, who notes that “the small, often precariously marginal producer clearly continue to dominate these trades, and they never truly became industries. Craftsmen clearly faced no revolution in production that would have suddenly undermined their status.”

[20] Gregory S. Kealey, “Work Control, The Labour Process, and Nineteenth-Century Canadian Printers,” in On the Job, Confronting the Labour Process in Canada eds. Craig Heron and Robert H. Storey (Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1986), 76-79, 80-81. See also Christina Burr, “Defending the ‘Art Preservative’: Class and Gender Relations in the Printing Trades Unions, 1850 – 1914,” Labour/Le Travail 31 (1993): 51-52.

[21] Sager and Panting, Maritime Capital, 97, 120; Sager and Panting provide much good evidence to illustrate the shipowners’ substantial expectations for realizing a profit prior to the mid 1870s. See, for example, page 128, where they quote from Nova Scotian investor and businessman John Dickie, who went as far as to say that it was “hard to lose money” as a shipowner.

[22] Kealey, “Work Control,” 78.

[23] By June 1872, when support for the movement began to seriously wane, many of those same shops reimplemented the 10 hour day. Battye, “The Nine Hour Pioneers,” 49.

[24] As McKay argues, the shipwrights, caulkers, and other waterfront workers constituted a “defensive ‘labour aristocracy’ protecting their own immediate interests but structurally incapable of a more all-inclusive class consciousness.” McKay, “Class Struggle and Merchant Capital,” 19. See also page 25 for the separation of the shipwrights and caulkers’ union.

[25] For a very accessible discussion of the decline of the shipping industry in Atlantic Canada, see Sager and Fischer, Shipping and Shipbuilding, 15-18

[26] McKay, “Class Struggle and Merchant Capital,” 20, 29, 206 fn. 41.

[27] For a discussion of the emergence of steamship manufacturing in Halifax and the class struggle which attended this, see Suzanne Morton, “Labourism and Economic Action: The Halifax Shipyards Strike of 1920,” Labour/Le Travail 22 (1988): 67-98.

[28] For Craig Heron, for example, the “Consolidation of Monopoly Capitalism” began in 1890. Craig Heron, Working Lives: Essays in Canadian Working Class History (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2018), 13.

[29] Palmer and Kealey, Dreaming of What Might Be, 142-144. For a recent and instructive account of the role of women in the IWW, see Heather Mayer, Beyond the Rebel Girl: Women and the Industrial Workers of the World in the Pacific Northwest, 1905-1924 (Corvallis: Oregon State University Press: 2018); Matthew Barrett, Part 4, “All for 9 and 9 For All,” Defining Moments Canada: All for 9: