A Small Spark, a Big Flame: Two Wildcat Vignettes from the Summer of ’66

Today’s Air Canada wildcat strikes, which led to widespread delays and cancellations at Toronto’s Pearson and Montreal’s Dorval airports, surprised many Canadians. That it could all begin with a seemingly minor issue – the suspension of a number of workers who sarcastically applauded Labour Minister Lisa Raitt as she debarked from a flight last night – is, however, familiar when compared to the “wildcat wave” that was in full swing throughout the summer of 1966.

Indeed, the events of the last 36 hours are reminiscent of several large events that swept the Canadian industrial scene throughout that hot summer of labour unrest. In this post, I’ll take us back to that wild summer of unrest, and help show that the Air Canada wildcat strike is hardly a unique phenomenon.
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