On June 11, this year CUPE Nova Scotia executive joined the Davis Day celebration in New Waterford Nova Scotia. Davis Day originated in memory of William Davis, a coal miner who was killed during a protest near the town of New Waterford by striking miners.
The protest was in response to a decision by the mining company, British Empire Steel and Coal Company (BESCO), to shut down the drinking water supply and electricity to the town as a result of the strike, while miners were attempting to shut down electricity to the mine’s surface workings and pumps for removing seawater. Davis was shot and killed at approximately 11:00 AM on June 11, 1925 and many other miners were injured, when striking miners were charged by the company police force, whose officers fired over 300 shots.
In the weeks and months following Davis’ shooting, company facilities were looted and/or vandalized, despite the deployment of the provincial police force and 2,000 soldiers in what remains Canada’s second-largest military deployment for an internal conflict (after the Northwest Rebellion.
We can never forget the sacrifices these miners made and we must always remember them and the struggle fought for all workers. Pictured is CUPE Nova Scotia Vice president Mike McNeil with executive member Mary Jessome placing a wreath in memory of William Davis at the memorial service in New Waterford Nova Scotia on June 11, 2013.