Labor Unions in Canada Ask That Country Be Opened to Refugees; Score Anti-semitism
Menu JTA Search

Labor Unions in Canada Ask That Country Be Opened to Refugees; Score Anti-semitism

Download PDF for this date

The Canadian Government was called upon “to offer the sanctuary of Canada to all refugees of religious or political persecution without regard to race, creed or financial condition,” in a resolution adopted here at the closing session of the convention of the Canadian Congress of Labor, which was attended by 529 delegates.

The resolution urges the Government “to take immediate steps to facilitate the entry into Canada of refugees, especially those stranded in Portugal whom it is still possible to rescue.” The resolution was sponsored by the delegation of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers Union of America.

Another resolution adopted by the convention of the unions, most of which are affiliated with the C.I.O., condemns anti-Semitism as subversive and against the interests of national unity. Similar resolutions were adopted by the convention of the Canadian Trades and Labor Congress which is affiliated with the American Federation of Labor.


The resolution on the admittance of refugees adopted by the Canadian Trades and Labor Congress denies that organized labor in Canada is opposed to the rescue of persons in Nazi lands.

“The labor movement of Canada,” the resolution reads, “has observed with great sympathy the hardships and sufferings which are the lot of those men and women who have fallen under the shadow of the enemy. We are at one with those who ask that all measures which can be taken without prejudice to the prosecution of the war shall be taken for the release and rescue of those who can still be saved. We disavow the libel circulated that it is the working men of this country who obstruct measures for the salvation of the victims of Nazi tyranny.

“We urge our Government and our representatives in Parliament to urge our Government to facilitate a rescue program so that Canada may, to its undying glory, help to rescue those who are in need of salvation,” the resolution concludes.


In the resolution against anti-Semitism, the Canadian Trade and Labor Congress points out that there are “divisive elements” in Canada which exploit differences of creed “for their own vicious ends” and constitute a menace to labor institutions.

“Men of all racial origins and of all religious persuasions have cooperated to build the international labor movement of Canada,” the resolution declares. “And men of all faiths and origins are fighting side by side in the present war against fascism and race hatred. We are determined that we of the Labor Movement shall not permit the filthy head of anti-Semitism or racialism to rear itself, but shall extend the comradely tradition of tolerance and fairness which is the pride of Canadian organized labor. This great comradeship and this vision of humanity must be the goal to which labor movement must stride and it will not allow it to be shattered by narrow group prejudices or racial animosities.”

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund