Operation Solidarity exploded onto the scene in mid-1983 when the Social Credit government led by Bill Bennett introduced, in a single day, 26 pieces of restraint legislation allowing government to break collective agreements and dismiss employees without cause.
The weighty package of legislation had the ability to completely "recreate the economic and social contours of the province," said Maclean's magazine. Looking back, the result was a tipping point in BC history, a time when government had gone too far.
Marking the 25th anniversary of Operation Solidarity in 2008, Globe and Mail writer Rod Mickleburgh writes that "thousands of people who had never before been part of a union were galvanized to join the struggle, believing it was for social justice, not bread-and-butter labour issues. For the first time, unions, community groups and activist organizaitons set aside their many differences and banded together in common cause."