The Trades Union Act

1872
Hamilton procession of Nine-Hour Movement Men. Source: Library and Archives Canada.Pinterest
Hamilton procession of Nine-Hour Movement Men. Source: Library and Archives Canada.

The rights of Canadian workers to organize and collectively bargain with their employers are now enshrined in Canadian constitutional law. Following the defeat of the 1872 Nine-Hour Movement protests in Hamilton, Ontario, which fought for a nine-hour work day for all employees (unionized or not), some small gains were made with the Trades Union Act. Passed later that year, the Trades Union Act was the first step towards the enshrinement of the fundamental right of workers to associate in trade unions.