An Account to Settle

Publisher:  The Bank Book Collective. Press Gang Publishers, Vancouver, Canada
Year Published:  1979
Resource Type:  Book
Cx Number:  CX1089

Press Gang Publishers is a feminist printing and publishing collective which was established in the Spring of 1974.

This book represents the story of the United Bank workers of ORWEC (The Service, Office And Retail Workers Union Of Canada). It is the story of a union drive in an industry long considered by organized labor as beyond the range of union activity and where over 80 per cent of the women employed are clerical workers while 80 per cent of the men hold management positions.

In 1976, a group of women bank workers, frustrated by low wages and poor working conditions decided to organize their workplace. Over the next two years, bank employees in western Canada were involved in a unionizing drive that challenged both the finance industry and organized labor.

The book is written by nine of the women bank workers who call themselves The Bank Book Collective. It details the collective and individual struggles of the women who took on the banks and big labor in their fight for union representation. While their campaign uncovered "the same old myths about women and unions", there were significant gains, e.g. many bank workers are now experienced union organizers; tellers' wages rose sharply; coffee breaks; overtime pay; growth in SORWUC's size and skill; clarification of legal issues around unionizing bank workers.

The book concludes with a nine-page appendix of 1977 correspondence between SORWUC and the Canadian Labor Congress, and a Glossary of terms and organizations.
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