The Notorious Mrs. Armstrong
ProducersBuffalo Gal Pictures Liz Jarvis
- Release Date 2001
- Running Time 44 minutes
- Closed Captions Yes
- Availability Canada, USA
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A working class mother, Helen Armstrong, breaks the constraints of sex and class to become a union organizer and leader for women workers during the most explosive labour confrontation in Canadian history - the Winnipeg General Strike of 1919.
The Notorious Mrs. Armstrong follows the political career of a lesser known yet extremely important figure in Canadian history, Helen Armstrong. History has largely ignored her groundbreaking women's movement activities which helped change labour legislation in favour of female workers. Armstrong, a working class mother, was well known in Winnipeg in the early 1900s where she was described as a radical agitator and often ended up in jail for her endeavours. "Outraged and outrageous" was one way to describe the woman who was notorious for her fight for equality for women in the workplace. Her in-destructible optimism carried her through very difficult times. She was one of the organizers of the historic 1919 Winnipeg General Strike, which saw 35,000 workers on the picket line for six weeks, until it ended in a volatile confrontation known as Bloody Saturday. Armstrong's continued actions as a union organizer helped persuade the government of Manitoba to institute the Minimum Wage Act and give livable wages to women.
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