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Edward Dunsworth

Edward Dunsworth

The Eugene A. Forsey Prize


Edward Dunsworth. “The Transnational Making of Ontario Tobacco Labour, 1925-1990” (PhD, University of Toronto, 2019).

Dunsworth situates tobacco workers’ labour within a transnational context while analyzing the changing nature of the labour force and work processes over time. Prior to WWII, thousands of workers from within Canada would swell the population of the tobacco towns during the short harvest season, many of them new immigrants to Canada. By the 1960s, government programs recruited seasonal workers from Europe, the Caribbean and Mexico.  As the labour process evolved, so too did working conditions: earlier geographical mobility gave way to a more restrictive system where social mobility and social protest became more difficult.  Yet, Dunsworth finds many instances in which tobacco workers organized for better working and living conditions.  To recover the history of this heterogeneous, transnational workforce, Dunsworth conducted research in Canada, the U.S., Jamaica and Barbados and the dissertation combines documentary and oral history source material. Th