TORIES: Calgary Laundry Workers vs Ralph Klein

A few short years into Alberta PC Premier Ralph Klein’s deficit-slashing austerity regime, Calgary’s hospital laundry workers were given devastating news: they were going to be fired. Having been pushed to the brink, they took to the streets the next day on a wildcat strike. Soon, the city would be galvanized by the strike, with sympathy strikes soon forcing Klein’s government to cancel health spending cuts and talk of a general strike in the air. 

Our episode ends with an excerpt from Yvette Lynch, laundry worker and CUPE 8 member. 

Listen to our previous episode on TORIES: Peter Lougheed, and check out our two-part series on why Ralph Klein sucked: Part 1, Part 2.

Further Reading:

Chambers, Allan. Fighting Back: The 1995 Calgary Laundry Workers Strike. Edmonton: Alberta Federation of Labour and Alberta Labour History Institute, 2012..

Foster, Jason. “Revolution, Retrenchment, and the New Normal: The 1990s and Beyond.” In Working People in Alberta: A History, edited by Alvin Finkel, 205–241. Edmonton: AU Press, 2012.

Reshef, Yonaton, and Sandra Rastin. Unions in the Time of Revolution: Government Restructuring in Alberta and Ontario. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2003.

Taylor, Jeff. “Labour in the Klein Revolution.” In The Trojan Horse: Alberta and the Future of Canada, edited by Gordon Laxer and Trevor Harrison, 301–313. Montreal: Black Rose Books, 1995.

Building a Community Movement for Better Transit feat. James Wilt: Saturday, March 18th | University of Alberta. RSVP:

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