It is Christmas Eve, 1970. In the shipping room of a Montreal dress factory, the workers get drunk and decide to go on strike.
“So many of the guys I knew on the street are gone dead or crazy, man. There’s no escape. This whole country is just one big factory, one big jail, Billy … Either you’re a good nigger or ya die. Know what I mean? … Black, yellow, white. We’re all niggers down on Rockefeller’s Plantation, man.”
“Punks, Billy. All we get now is punks … I used to have this shipping room running like a new machine, remember, Billy? … No trouble, no fuss, ’cause everybody did their job and knew their place, but now … In the last five years, the kids been getting more and more like that Gary Boyce. Shit disturbers. They all got that look in their eye. Know what I mean? Like they don’t give a damn.”
On the Job is David Fennario’s post-mortem on the ’60s and a look at the Canadian class structure. The play was first performed at Centaur Theatre, Montreal. Subsequently, it has been performed at the National Arts Centre, Ottawa; been revived by Centaur Theatre; and been staged at the Arts Club Theatre, Vancouver.