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Parrot, Jean-Claude (b. 1936)

David Bleakney

Subject Social History » Labor History
Sociology » Social Movements

Place Northern America » Canada

Period 1000 - 1999 » 1900-1999

Key-Topics bibliography, labor movements, labor unions, revolution, strikes

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405184649.2009.01161.x


Jean-Claude Parrot had a marked and influential history as a trade union leader. For 21 years he was a national officer of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) during a period of labor disputes and wildcat strikes. For IS of those years (1977–92) he was the national president. He spent 18 years as a chief negotiator, winning a series improvements for his membership that influenced the entire labor movement and society at large. The most notable was the achievement of paid maternity leave in 1981, the result of a 42-day strike. Today, most working Canadians are entitled to paid parental leave. The oldest of four children, Parrot was born in Montreal, Quebec to Gilles Parrot and Marie-Anne Boucher on July 24, 1936. Spending his youth in Montreal, he dropped out of school in the 10th grade, attended business college, and worked in a bank. He began working at the post office on July 24, 1954. In the early 1960s the Canadian post office was a place of paternalism, nepotism, discrimination, poor working conditions, and a top-down military approach to labor relations. Almost all (97 percent) of full-time jobs were held by men, and 97 percent of part-time jobs were held by women. Intimidation and harassment were rampant, and seniority was not given much consideration. Management had visual observation galleries from where they would monitor workers, even when they went to the washroom. ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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