Kate Jacobson is a student and organizer living in Calgary. She researches British and Canadian labour history, and is currently working on a project about pirate radio during the 1984-85 miners’ strike.
Aaron Doncaster was fired from his job as a dishwasher at Calgary’s Hilton Garden Inn for organizing a union. But in Alberta, workers have new protection against union-busting bosses.
“Hell’s Hole,” “the Devil’s Row,” and “the Western Front” – these were the nicknames for the coal mines of the Drumheller valley. In 1919, around 6,500 Drumheller coal miners walked off the job after voting to join the radical and militant One Big Union. Nearly a hundred years later, the 1919 Drumheller strike remains one of the most famous examples of workers’ power on the Prairies.