he breakthrough in union organizing that labour hoped for and management and governments generally feared did not materialize immediately following the Oshawa strike. As the dark clouds of World War II approached, business collaborated with governments to resist union pressure and maintain their "open shops."

The labour movement contributed to its own difficulties by becoming a house divided. In 1939, the TLC succumbed to pressure from its American-affiliated craft unions and expelled its Committee for Industrial Organizing (CIO) unions, as the American Federation of Labor (AFL) had done several years earlier. In 1940, the ousted CIO unions in Canada joined several other independent unions to form the Canadian Congress of Labour (CCL). The CCL established close fraternal and organizational ties with the CIO, now a completely independent labour federation. Fragile links between unions in English Canada and Quebec further weakened the movement. Catholic unions were becoming more militant and socially concerned, but did so largely in isolation from the national labour movement.

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