Oshawa – A History of CAW Local 222 (1982-83) a history of the first major industrial union organized in Canada in 1937, focusing on the role played by women in the union. Oshawa 1938 – 1945 is one section of a large work on the history of Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) (*1) Local 222, whose members work at the General Motors plant in Oshawa, Ontario. It covers the history of the union from its founding in 1937 up to the beginning of the ‘post-industrial’ era in the mid 1980′s. A major focus of the work is the changing role played by women in the workplace and the union.
The section shown here covers the period of the Second World War when married women were first allowed into the plant and women first entered non-traditional jobs on the line. At the end of the war, married women were forced back into the home and single women returned to the traditional jobs in the upholstery and electric wiring departments. The series also focuses on the home as a site of production indicating the double workload faced by these women.
*1: The CAW broke away from the United Auto Workers (UAW), a US based ‘international’ union, in 1985.