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Nicole Fortin is on the cusp of realizing a long-held dream when her life takes a sudden turn. Instead of participating in the Olympic Games, she finds herself struggling to master the challenging physical demands of her job in an aerospace plant and win the confidence of her male colleagues.
As her involvement in union activity deepens, she is drawn into the centre of a bitter labour battle that pits her workmates against their employer.
In the midst of this escalating confrontation, incidents from Nicole’s past threaten to destroy her credibility with her coworkers and her relationship with her daughter. Workplace and family ties become tangled and stretched to the breaking point.
Maker is working-class literature in the tradition of Theodore Dreiser, John Dos Passos and from Baraka Books Mick Lowe and The Nickel Range Trilogy.
Jim Upton worked for twenty-five years in unionized jobs at an aerospace plant. During this time, he participated in several sets of contract negotiations as a union activist, including one as a member of the union negotiating committee. He lives in Montreal. Maker is his first novel.
“There are precious few Canadian novels about workers and work, and fewer still about industrial work in particular. Fictional accounts of strikes, viewed from the inside, are yet harder to find. In Maker, Jim Upton has crafted a fast-paced portrait of a woman who rises to lead her union through a hard-fought battle against a multinational determined to increase its profits on the backs of Quebec workers.” Elise Moser, author of What Milly Did: the Remarkable Pioneer of Plastics Recycling
“Maker is the inside story of life in the skilled trades from the point of view of a real person. It’s not the story of the company as told in the business section. It’s about the struggle for fairness by flesh and blood unionized people who work on the shop floor.” Anne Lagacé Dowson
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