Wednesday, 31 August 2011

We Have A Logo!

Have a look at the new official logo of the Workers History Museum which debuted for the first time on Colonel By Day.

The Workers History Museum would like to thank Eric Schallenberg who volunteered his time and talent to design the logo. Eric has been in the marketing and communications industry for over 15 years and has worked at some of the city's biggest agencies on several branding initiatives for clients ranging from the federal government to Carleton University, the University of Ottawa Heart Institute, the Museum of Civilization and the War Museum. In his own time, he does a lot of work for social and cultural organizations including the Mayworks Festival and the Writers Festival. He welcomes any and all interesting projects and can be reached at

We would also like to thank André Mersereau who is the Creative Director at Chapter One Studio and his associate Bronwyn Hammell for their outstanding designs on our promotional products and for donating the printing of the materials. In addition to producing a pamphlet and banner for the museum, they are also working on some design concepts for the WHM's upcoming website. Check out some of their work here.

It was a pleasure working with such a highly talented team of individuals and we look forward to future projects with them.

Monday, 15 August 2011

CUPW and the Fight for Workers' Rights

One significant example is the family leave campaign, which is being examined as part of a current Workers’ History Museum project. When CUPW included a demand for fully paid maternity leave in its 1977 bargaining proposals, the union ended up on strike, the government passed back to work legislation and CUPW President Jean-Claude Parrot was jailed. But the union persevered and in 1981, under Parrot’s leadership, the union became the first in the federal public sector to win paid maternity leave. Other employers and unions took notice and the fight for paid family leave spread throughout the country.

Fast-forward to the most recent negotiations between CUPW and their employer.

Canada Post offered current workers improved wages and the option of keeping their benefits and pensions. All they needed to do in return was agree to a lower starting salary, reduced benefits, and a defined contribution pension for future employees of Canada Post. Improved wages was one thing, but selling out the future generations of workers was not an option for CUPW. They started rotating strikes to get their message across without inconveniencing large numbers of the public. These actions had barely started when Canada Post shut down postal service completely with a nation-wide lockout.

The current conservative government forced through back to work legislation while imposing a wage settlement that was lower than the employer’s last offer, claiming to be supporting the interests of Canadians by restoring postal service. But when you remember that CUPW was locked out by their employer, a crown corporation, and then forced back to work by the federal government, the situation starts to look grim. The federal government, who should be lauding a group for fighting for the rights of future generations of Canadians, instead rewarded them with a wage decrease.

Does this seem odd to anyone?

For more information about the CUPW and the recient postal workers lockout please see Aalya Ahmad and Geoff Bickerton's well -written analysis at:

It’s worth a read.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Col By Day

Kids and parents typing together on an old typewriter, (did you know that the typewriter keyboard was the same as a computer? The kids were amazed at that fact).

Children happily painting images of what people do for “work”. And the public enjoying workers' tools of days gone by.

This was all part of our participation in Col By Day held at the Ottawa locks on August 1st long weekend. Several thousand citizens, and visitors to our fair city, enjoyed the best Ottawa
museums and heritage groups had to offer about the City's history.

This was also the day that we launched our new museum banner and leaflet. It was the first time we got to show off our new logo in public. We’re very proud of it and hope you like it as much as we do.

Thanks go to our volunteers on the day, Pat, Arthur, Erika, Barb, Virginia, Evert, Bob, Barry, and Ken.