abour's pressure in the workplace and in the political arena forced the government's hand. In early 1944, the ruling Liberal government passed an emergency Order-in-Council, P.C. 1003, that protected the workers' right to organize and required employers to recognize unions chosen by a majority of workers. This emergency law was extended by two years after the war's end to ensure labour stability in the transition to a peacetime economy. This pivotal change in our labour laws had far-reaching effects on industrial relations in Canada. It meant that employers now had to bargain with legally certified organizations of their employees.

Labour responded quickly to its newly won legal status. Union locals across the country pressed employers to negotiate and sign binding contracts. The national labour federations, the Canadian Congress of Labour (CCL) and the Trades and Labor Congress (TLC), co-operated in a campaign to convert the emergency provisions of P.C. 1003 into permanent legislation at the end of the war. Such co-operation between the two major labour federations reflected the TLC's own gradual acceptance of industrial unionism. It also represented tacit recognition by the CCL and TLC that internal feuding weakened their political power.

The growing alliance between the CCL and TLC, however, did not mean that the labour movement was completely united. A majority of Quebec unionists still remained outside the national labour bodies. On the political front, unlike after World War I, the conclusion of World War II was not accompanied by broad coalition of progressive labour forces. Instead, the divisions of the inter-war years between the communists, socialists, and other progressives continued to deepen.

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