CanadaThe Great Depression: Canada vs.
"The Great Depression Hit Canada the Hardest." The Record.
The rise of the anti-union movement caused the NCF to draw back from its collective bargaining emphasis, but it continued to endorse collective bargaining as a principle even though it no longer pushed for it. At the same time, though, the organization began to put greater emphasis on urging employers to pay good wages and install welfare programs of the kind that had been tried by a few companies in earlier decades in an attempt to placate workers. "After 1905," says Weinstein (1968, p. 18), "welfare work increasingly was seen as a substitute for the recognition of unions." These widespread efforts were successful in many large corporations and were an important forerunner of the welfare-capitalism strategy to combat unions emphasized during the 1920s. In fact, the Welfare Department within the NCF played a large role in disseminating this perspective (Cyphers 2002). In present-day theorizing, these large-scale employers, many of them using advanced production technologies, were paying "efficiency wages" in an effort to increase profits through enhanced productivity and at the same time protect themselves against disruption, sabotage, and the destruction of equipment:
Great Depression in the United States - Wikipedia
Until the late 1880s and early 1890s, however, industrial companies were not part of this gradual corporatization. Instead, they were organized as partnerships among a few men or families. They tended to stand apart from the financial institutions and the stock market. Detailed historical and sociological studies of their shift to the corporate form reveal no economic efficiencies that might explain the relatively sudden incorporation of industrial companies. Instead, it is more likely that industrial companies adopted the corporate form of organization for a combination of economic, legal, and sociological reasons. The most important of these reasons were a need to (1) regulate the competition among industrial companies that was driving down profits, and (2) gain better legal protection against the middle-class reformers, populist farmers, and socialists who had mounted an unrelenting critique of "the trusts," meaning agreements among industrialists to fix prices, divide up markets, and/or share profits (Roy 1997). There were further pressures on industrialists due to a new depression in the early 1890s, which led to another round of wage cuts and then strikes by angry workers. Furthermore, the Sherman Anti-Trust Act of 1890 had outlawed their resort to trust arrangements to manage the vicious price competition among them that was bringing them to potential collective ruin. This combination of events set the stage for industrialists to take advantage of the increasing number of rights and privileges that legislatures and courts were gradually granting to the legal entity called a "corporation."