PNLHA mini-conference set for Astoria

Local labor history, contemporary workers’ issues, and music to be featured

Low Tide Drifters

Members of Low Tide Drifters to perform at mini-conference in Astoria March 14, 2015. Photo by Brian Halbrook Photography.

ASTORIA, OR – The coastal city’s vibrant and sometimes volatile labor history will be revisited on 14 March at a day-long mini-conference at the maritime museum sponsored by the Oregon Pacific Northwest Labor History Association (PNLHA).

“Several of our Oregon members identified Astoria as playing an important role in the labor history of the Beaver state,” said Ron Verzuh, the PNLHA’s Oregon vice-president, “and they wanted to know more about it.”

The Finnish community of radical trade unionists is part of the city’s heritage as are the histories of other ethnic communities, Verzuh said. The celebrated Astoria Labor Temple, also speaks to the richness of the region’s labor history.

There will be two panel discussions, one on local labor history and the other on the low-wage workers and the growing minimum wage movement represented by groups like $15NOW.

Nathan Moore and Kate Downing of the Eugene-based Low Tide Drifters will play a noon-hour concert featuring fisher poet Mary Garvey and banjo-playing folklorist Joe Seamons.

The day will finish with a discussion about the future of labor history in the Pacific Northwest guided by historian and labor educator Norm Diamond, a past president of the Pacific Northwest Labor College.

Those who wish to attend the conference should email Verzuh at the address below. There is no registration fee, but participants will be asked to complete a registration form. Participants who wish to join the PNLHA may do so at registration table and are encouraged to do so.

Contact: Ron Verzuh, Oregon PNLHA Vice-President, 541-852-5540,

Registration form – Oregon PNLHA mini-conference – Astoria – 14 March 2015

Draft agenda – Oregon PNLHA mini-conference – Astoria – 14 March 2015

Eat-Drink-Play-Stay – Oregon PNLHA mini-conference – Astoria – 14 March 2015