Cracked Part 3: The great book review

Cracked Part 3: The great book review

Posted on June 17 by Joan Roberts
Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on Pinterest

Every author needs them and every author dreads them, but when I saw the review in the April 2016 edition of the Literary Review of Canada, I was delighted.

Sara Mojtehedzadeh is a reporter for the Toronto Star, where she writes about labour issues and precarious work. She entitled her review Hello Girls: A strike by women workers that energized Canada’s labour movement.

She got a few details mixed up as it was another grassroots leader - Irene Anderson who said it was cool to be a telephone operator and not me.  However, she got my message that the campaigns and strike were amazing!


"Spanning more than two months, the "Crack Bell Campaign" was extraordinary not least because it was powered largely by low-income women who were the principal breadwinners in their families and who therefore took an enormous risk to maintain a picket line. The women's militancy (which resulted in multiple assault charges against strikers including the author) in the face of the company's hiring of strikebreakers mobilized the entire labour movement. The strike garnered national and international support, and caught the public imagination.

“Suddenly it was cool to be a telephone operator. Strangers told them they admired their guts and courage,” Roberts recalls.

More importantly, the strike had a transformative effect on the women themselves, with its protagonists ultimately finding a deep sense of personal fulfillment and liberation through collective action. For some, the experience disrupted the traditional balance of power not just within the workplace, but at home as well.”


Click here to read the full review.

Joan Roberts

Posted by admin on March 10, 2015
Joan Roberts photo

Joan Roberts

Joan Roberts served as a union organizer for the phone operators at Bell Canada. She later worked as a development consultant for the Labour Council Development Foundation. She has also served as a city councillor. Currently, she runs a training and consulting practice. She lives in Toronto.