The Education of Everett Richardson: The Nova Scotia Fishermen's Strike, 1970-71

The Education of Everett Richardson: The Nova Scotia Fishermen's Strike, 1970-71

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In 1970, a band of 250 fishermen in the tiny ports of Canso, Mulgrave and Petit de Grat went on strike. They wanted a union.

Incredible as it seems, Canadian fishermen were then considered "co-adventurers" with the multi-national food companies which owned the ships they worked on. They had no right to organize, no right to bargain over pay or working conditions, no benefits, no job security. Their pay could be as little as $2.01 for a nine-day trip in the midwinter Atlantic. But when the fishermen struck for the right to unionize, they found themselves bitterly opposed not only by the companies, but also by the provincial and federal governments, the justice system, the media, the churches and even the establishment within the labour movement itself.

Fighting on alone, they precipitated a crisis which split the province apart, brought it to the verge of a general strike - and changed its character forever. Stan Rogers called this book "a classic," and many readers have said that it reads like a novel.