Windsor May Day celebration remembers the 1945 Ford Blockade

Windsor, Ontario

May 1, 2013

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Windsor May Day celebration remembers the 1945 Ford Blockade
May 1, 2013

Windsor, Ontario
May 1, 2013

Chris Taylor
CAW Local 200 President

"The date was September 12, 1945 and the workers at Ford Windsor represented by Local 200 have gone on strike in reaction to a conciliation report that did not address the concerns of the union regarding security and union dues checkoff. The strike would last for ninety nine days and is now know as the famous Ford Blockade.

The strike will have many bitter moments, some that took place just down the road at the power house. A community of caring was born out of the strike and donations of food and money poured in from this area. Local 200 women's auxiliary volunteered their time and made sandwiches for the pickets. Soon the donations were pouring in from across the country. When the Mounties and OPP started showing up in Windsor it was quickly decided that the only way to defend was to stop them from getting to the pickets and a blockade of the area was setup from Monday November 5, 1945. Some two thousand vehicles parked on Riverside Drive and Drouillard Road and shut this city down for three days. The blockade was seen as a tipping point and lead to the appointment of an arbitrator Justice Ivan Rand to settle the dispute."

Chris Taylor
CAW Local 200

"Today, to me, really means that we recognize that the people before us fought this fight and it is time to honour those people and make sure that we are continuing that fight in their memory."

Roger Dzugan as Justice Ivan Rand

"Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. I bring you good news. Because of your efforts, the Supreme Court of Canada has handed down a decision which from now on will be know as the Rand Formula, and what that is: "Is a workplace situation where the payment of trade union dues is mandatory regardless of the worker's union status. This is dated January 29, 1946, congratulations.""

Roger Dzugan
CAW Local 200

"My grandfather was part of this blockade. I was asked to join a meeting and they were looking for volunteers and I thought I could play Judge Rand. I would be proud to do it, he is a hero in our eyes and I am very proud to play his part."

Cindy Leekok
Windsor Feminist Theatre

"Well we are dressed as a pretty familiar character in the workplace "Rosie the Riveter" and we have a few of our members who are dressed up this way today and taking part in the Mayday celebrations. "

Jada Malott
CAW Local 444 Daughter of Member

"I am going to be in a play and I am going to hold up a sign and a whole bunch of people are going to be watching."

Randy Emerson
CAW Local 444

"At this site we are going to be talking about the auto pact and free trade and how that affected the auto pact.

As a result of free trade agreements Canada has fallen from the forth largest auto producing nation in the world in 1999 to tenth place in 2013. Our history shows that laws can be created to help the economy for its citizens and business. These laws can be easily taken away by irresponsible governments. So let us learn from our history and demand an auto policy like the auto pact."

Dalton MacDonald
CAW Local 444

"Today I am playing Charlie Brooks. He was basically the founder of Local 444 UAW and now, of course, CAW. He was a prominent person in Windsor as well as the labour movement and brought in some fantastic things that really helped nurture and develop this city and we are really proud that he was a part of our local 444."

Dalton MacDonald as Charlie Brooks
CAW Local 444

"This is one of the many reasons why workers must be involved in politics, to make change that is good for all Canadians."

Jim Mitchell
CAW Local 200 Retiree

"I've been out to Mayday parades in the past but it has never been this big."

Melisa LaRue
Mayday Organizer

"Everyone seems to be having a great time so I feel that this May Day has been a success. In the process of planning this we did research on strikes and struggles and it was in this research that we learned we've dealt with this before, this is not a new issue. So we can look to the past to come-up with solutions for the future to continue the fightback and preserve the labour movement here in Windsor and across Canada."

Buzz Hargrove
CAW Former National President

"If we are prepared to fight and standup for the rights of our members and their families and participate within our communities to make sure people know that we are representative of the communities as well, then we will continue to make gains in spite of the Tim Hudaks of the world and the Harpers of the world."

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