Pay Cheques & Picket Lines
All About Unions in Canada

MacKay, Claire; Illustrated by Peters, Eric
Publisher:  Kids Can Press Ltd., Toronto, Canada
Year Published:  1987
Pages:  104pp   ISBN:  ISBN 0-921103-32-8
Library of Congress Number:  HD6524.M24 1987   Dewey:  331.88'0971
Resource Type:  Book
Cx Number:  CX3385

A children's book which explains what unions are, how they came to be, and why they exist.

Claire Mackay is the winner of two major Canadian awards for children's fiction, with six novels for young readers already published. One of them, One Proud Summer, is about the Quebec textile workers' strike in 1946. Her interest in the labour movement continues in this new non-fiction book about unions which is addressed to readers aged 10 to 14. Ms. Mackay aims to help young people, growing up in a world of established "big unions," understand the struggles that went into winning the right of working people to have some say over their conditions of work.

To answer the question "Why Did Unions Start?," she begins by telling about the lives of child labourers a hundred years ago and about sweatshop workers who sewed for stores like Eaton's. The section "How Did Unions Grow?" gives a sketch of the history of unions in Canada. "What Do Unions Do?" explains the kinds of benefits, now taken for granted, that unions fought bitter battles to establish.

The book is charmingly illustrated by Eric Peters and visually attractive throughout. Unions and their members will be glad to have a book like this available for their children, as would anyone interested in Canadian social history.

Table of Contents

Section One: What is A Union?
Section Two: How Did Unions Grow?
Section Three: What Do Unions Do?
Section Four: The Strike
Section Five: The Future
What Happened When..

Subject Headings

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