In this remarkable video from 1974, The Strength of the Many, we see the beginnings of what will eventually become OCHU (the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions).
In the 1970s, hospital workers in Ontario were facing two major threats. One was compulsory arbitration, in place since the 1960s. The second was government-imposed ceilings to funding increases to hospital budgets. Both these factors were keeping wages down, often below a living wage. CUPE put great efforts to bring coordinated bargaining to the Metro Toronto CUPE locals.
The unions were fully ready to launch an illegal strike on Wednesday, May 1, 1974. Just a few hours before the strike was set to begin, a tentative agreement was reached with the Ontario government.