BCLHC Newsletter – May 2021

 In News

1935 Mothers’ Day Parade Protest

“Mothers pushing baby carriages, 300 women and 1400 hundred men” led a Mothers’ Day parade from Cambie Street to Stanley Park in Vancouver on May 12, 1935. At Malkin Memorial Shell they demanded abolition of the relief camp system. Members of the Relief Camp Workers’ Union had already walked out of the camps to protest conditions. After singing “The Red Flag” Matt Shaw, chairman of the strikers, addressed the assembly. The mothers formed the outline of a huge heart around the striking men and afterwards, the strikers were invited into their homes for Sunday dinner. – The Vancouver Sun, May 13, 1935

First Publicly Funded Childcare

The City of Vancouver subsidized child care as early as 1912. The crêche served working women, mostly domestic labour, who were single parents. City Aldermen were quick to complain that the service was being used primarily by women from other municipalities.
Children and supervisors at the City Crêche, c. 1916. City of Vancouver Archives, Bu P48

South Asian Women Excluded

South Asian immigration to British Columbia began in the early 1900s, but it was many decades before women arrived in significant numbers.
Mothers, grandmothers and children were prevented by exclusionary policies from joining male family members already working here.
Our South Asian Labour History Project in partnership with the University of the Fraser Valley|South Asian Studies Institute is exploring the historical effects of public policies on activism in the labour movement and participation in the workforce.

Karl Haspel photo, East Indian woman with three children c. 1936, City of Vancouver Archives 300-23.


Labour History Photo of the Month

September 13, 1985: Members of Independent Canadian Transit Union picket Loomis Armoured Car depot on Skeena Avenue in Vancouver after being locked out following company’s demand for wage cuts.
Dan Keeton photo, Pacific Tribune photo collection, Simon Fraser University, MSC 160-1205_36
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