Nine-Hour Movement, The

In the mid-nineteenth century, industrial workers laboured ten to twelve hours a day, six days a week. Inspired by British and American examples, Hamilton unionists launched a crusade for a shorter workday in January of 1872. The workingman, they argued, needed more time for family, leisure, education and civic life. Soon the Nine-Hour Movement had branches across central Canada. In Hamilton on May 15, thousands of union and non-union workers walked off the job. Cheered on by large crowds, they paraded through the city and staged a demonstration here at the Crystal Palace grounds. Resistance by employers ultimately defeated the movement, but workers learned the potential of large-scale mobilization and would eventually win a shorter workday.


In Victoria Park, King Street West and Locke Street North, Hamilton

Region: Southwestern Ontario

County/District: City of Hamilton (District)

Municipality: City of Hamilton