The prize recognizes the best article in labour history



Lisa Pasolli and Julia Smith, “The Labor Relations of Love: Workers, Childcare, and the State in 1970s Vancouver, British Columbia,” Labor: Studies in Working-Class History, volume 14, issue 4, pp: 39-60.

lisa_pasolli_copy.jpgjulia_smith.jpgThis article on activism among women working in childcare in 1970s Vancouver sheds light on the unique ways in women were shaping unions at the grassroots level during a decade in which Canadian labour began to face new challenges.  This analysis by Pasolli and Smith links labour activism to wider issues of gender and employment, and to public policy.  It is a welcome addition to the existing literature on work, labour, and gender in the 1970s.   



Joan Sangster & Julia Smith, “Beards and Bloomers: Flight Attendants, Grievances and Embodied Labour in the Canadian Airline Industry, 1960s–1980s.” Gender, Work & Organization, Vol. 23, no 2, pp. 183-199.

joan_sangster_and_julia_smith_photo[1]_copy.jpgThis article by Joan Sangster and Julia Smith examines union grievances dealing with the body, appearance and demeanour fought by the Canadian Air Line Flight Attendants Association, on behalf of its female and male members over a 30-year period. Taking a historical, materialist-feminist approach, they examine how workers used the grievance system to resist regulations they believed contradicted their right to dignified labour.  Sangster and Smith’s article is a valuable addition to the literature on labour struggles in the airline industry.  They skillfully integrate gender into their analysis and show how workers used the Fordist labour relations system to challenge corporate efforts to shape aesthetic and emotional labour.  


Magda Fahrni, "Glimpsing Working-Class Childhood through the Laurier Palace Fire of 1927: The Ordinary, the Tragic, and the Historian's Gaze". The Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth 8, 3 (Fall 2015): 426-50.

magda_fahrni.jpgMagda Fahrni’s article focuses on working-class childhood through a case study of the 1927 Laurier Palace fire in Montréal. The Laurier Palace was a cinema in the Hochelaga area of the city, and 250 children were present when the fire began. Hochelaga was predominantly francophone, and 78 children died during the catastrophe. Fahrni’s use of this tragic case reveals much about the nature of childhood in 1920 francophone Québec, particularly family relations, while also raising important questions about the relationship between empathy and historical practice.  It is a fine contribution to our understanding of working-class life during the inter-war period.



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