Astoria mini-conference report – Overview

Astoria meet lively and informative

Participants learn about Astoria's rich local labor history

Participants learn about Astoria’s rich local labor history

The first-ever PNLHA mini-conference to be held in Astoria, Oregon, on March 14, 2015, was warmly welcomed with about 45 participants enjoying six presentations from local historians and advocates for a higher minimum wage.

Local trade unionists and historians as well as PNLHA members from Washington State and as far south as Ashland, OR, engaged in lively and informed discussion about the history of the fishing, cannery and timber trade. Higher wage advocates provided both statistical and personal accounts stating the case for $15 Now.

Participants came from Washington State and as far south as Ashland, Oregon.

Participants came from Washington State and as far south as Ashland, Oregon.

“The panel discussions and the music and poetry were all excellent,” reported one participant. “A Herculean effort,” said another. A third noted that it was “a good event, done well.” In spite of the difficult acoustics encountered in the Barbey Maritime Centre situated in the historic old railroad station, many participants rated the event 4 out of 5.

Several participants also commented on the high quality of the music and poetry presented by Kate Downing and PNLHA member Nathan Moore of Eugene’s Low Tide Drifters, Joe Seamons, a Seattle-based banjo player, Mary Garvey, a local poet who writes about fishing.

Barbey Maritime Centre was historic railroad station.

Barbey Maritime Centre was historic railroad station.

Six new members join our ranks on the spot and another half dozen are considering membership as a result of their experience at the Astoria mini-conference. Some plan to attend the May 1-3 conference in Seattle after hearing about it in Astoria.

Watch for more posts on the mini-conference and the planned first edition of “PNLHA Labor History Online,” a podcast that provides more details on mini-conference discussions.