Four days after he pushed  a law through the Ontario legislature outlawing labor’s right to strike, the governor was forced to announce its repeal. The humiliating retreat by the governor, Doug Ford was the result of a general strike call announced by the Canadian province’s labor movement set to begin Nov. 14.

Ford had rammed through the law in the face of stalled negotiations with the union which represents school employees other than teachers – education assistants, library workers, administrative assistants, custodians, early childhood educators, cafeteria workers, safety monitors, and social workers. In October after  months of fruitless talks, the union, the Ontario School Board Council of Unions, voted 96.5 percent in favor of a strike. The strike took place anyway, amid threats that it was illegal and the unionbusting law would be enforced.

In response, the threat of a general strike against the law spread through the province rapidly as people rallied to the side of the union. Thousands joined the pickets Members of other unions were calling on their unions to join the strike. A committee was formed to plan a general strike. And finally Ford collapsed. He announced that the law would be repealed.

What a lesson in worker solidarity.

Labor Notes, 11/1