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The labour movement also healed some old sores. In the mid 1950s craft and industrial unions in both Canada and the United States merged to form one umbrella organization - in Canada it was called the Canadian Labour Congress. In Hamilton, the two councils joined hands in 1956 to form the Hamilton and District Trades and Labour Council.

The labour movement gained new strength in the 1960s and 1970s when hundreds of thousands of municipal, provincial and federal workers became union members. Nurses and teachers also raised the union banner in struggles they had with hospitals, school boards and the governments that funded them. Yet, new membership has also meant new tensions. Union women have called for measures that would allow them to participate and hold union office. They have also pressured their unions to push for financial and employment equality in collective agreements.