The history of the labour movement in Peterborough goes back as far as the 1880s when some of the earliest unions were locals of international craft unions. The colourful history is detailed in Tara DeBlois’ 2009 book Standing Strong, Facing Forward, which was initially conceived as an expanded edition of Janice Barry’s 2000 booklet United We Stand: The History of the Peterborough and District Labour Movement.

Local historian Elwood Jones has written much about the local labour movement in articles featured in the Peterborough Examiner, and former Labour Council Vice-President Dean Shewring is a wealth of information.

From the political action taken in 1919 to the action taken by the Auburn-Bonnerworth workers, the arrival of industrial unions, and the Tilco Strike in the 1960s, Peterborough has a wealth of labour history.

If you are interested in purchasing a copy of Standing Strong, Facing Forward, please contact the labour council.


The Peterborough and District Labour Council (PDLC) is the central body of union locals in the Peterborough area (Peterborough County plus Omemee) who are affiliated with the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC).

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