| Agitating for a general strike, Mayday 2004.|
The most significant period of labor unrest in British Columbia since 1983 took place in late April and early May of 2004, as a result of the failed province-wide “General Strike” movement. During this period, dissatisfaction with government policies and ensuing legislation escalated into wildcat strikes, walkouts, and significant mass public support for the actions of labor unions, community groups, and students in opposition to the government.
Very little has been written on the attempted general strike from the perspective of those in British Columbia, and even less from those who were actually involved in the actions that took place around May Day of 2004. The lack of critical theory and analysis of what happened is unacceptable in light of the current situation, and the challenges faced not just by working people throughout the province, but also across the country. Without a thorough understanding of how the general strike movement operated, and how it failed, the labor movement in British Columbia will be sentenced to continual failure and decline.