Registration Now Open for the May 26 – 28, 2017 Conference

Echoes of the 1917 Russian Revolution: Decades of Radicalism and Red Scares in the Labour Movements of the Pacific Northwest
May 26 – 28

Early Bird Registration Now Open

Presented in collaboration with the BC Labour Heritage Centre

The PNLHA and BC LHC welcome trade unionists, students, academics and others interested in labour history and worker’s heritage to this conference.

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Location:
The Nest – 6133 University Blvd Vancouver, BC Canada (University of British Columbia campus)

Program:
2017 Conference Program (PDF color)
2017 Conference Program (PDF b/w)

Registration Details:
Register online with PayPal or
download instructions for registration by mail with check.

Hotel Accommodations:
Registrants are responsible for booking your own accommodation. A limited block of rooms has been secured at the Ponderosa Suites – 2017 W. Mall. This is a new student residence 5 minutes walk from the conference site. (Shuttle for those requiring).

There are 2 options, both offer daily housekeeping:

A) Ponderosa Studio Suite: double bed, full kitchen, private bath @ $120.00 per room/night + 13% taxes; or

B) Ponderosa Premium Single: a single bed within a 4-bedroom unit with 2 full bathrooms, kitchen, dining and sitting area @ $56.00 per person/night + 13% taxes

Make reservations by APRIL 25th directly with UBC Accommodations. Indicate you are with the “PNLHA Labour History Conference” for the reduced rate.

Tel (604) 822-1000 | Toll Free 1-888-822-1030 | Fax (604) 822-1001
Email: reservations@housing.ubc.ca

Subject to availability, these rates are extended 3 days before and 3 days after the conference for those wishing an extended stay in Vancouver. Cancellation charges will apply.

Note: Parking is an additional $16/day or $35/wk.  Transit express bus to downtown 20 minutes.

Questions? Email pnlha@shaw.ca or call Joey Hartman at 778-870-0703

2017 PNLHA Conference – Call for Papers

Echoes of the 1917 Russian Revolution; Decades of Radicalism and Red Scares in the Labour Movements of the Pacific NorthwestCFP

May 26 – 28, 2017
Labour History Conference
Vancouver, British Columbia

Sponsors: Pacific Northwest Labour History Association & BC Labour Heritage Centre

The Russian Revolution was one of the most significant events of its decade. As described in Oregonian John Reed’s book, there were events leading to and flowing from those “Ten Days That Shook the World” in October 1917.

In Canada and the US, many 20170453269_95b7cbaa22_oworkers saw an opportunity for class war, believing that socialism could overcome capitalism as the dominant political reality. In the Pacific Northwest, new forms of industrial organizing were bolstered by aspirations of a new world order, and the labour movement briefly swelled with enthusiastic members who were eager to be part of the change.

Communists and socialists developed as key leaders in the labour movement, and in organizing the unemployed and disenfranchised. General strikes in Vancouver, Seattle, and Winnipeg, the OBU, On-to-Ottawa Trek, and jobless sit-down strikes, and new unions of woodworkers, miners, shipyard workers, and fishers were all communist and socialist-led.

21835627452_062d9964f9_oBut capitalism held firm and enjoyed the resources and political clout of the wealthy. Activists were tagged as Bolsheviks and foreign-born agitators risked deportation for their activism.

The cold-war politics lasted decades, with “red-led” unions subject to purges and disbandment. Many individuals suffered personal consequences, including losing their livelihood.

This conference will explore the impacts and lasting influences of this history on contemporary labour.

Continue reading

Sandy Ellis – Oregon Oral History Program – Featured Interview

S.Ellis

Sandy Ellis (1987)

Sandy Ellis taught school for fifteen years before being elected President of the Oregon Education Association (OEA) at the age of 36. She led the OEA through important changes including implementation of affirmative action and a merger with classified employees. Ellis provided leadership at both the local and state level.

Now listen to excerpts from her oral history conducted by the Oregon Labor Oral History Program.

For more information about sponsoring an oral history or to volunteer for interviewing, research, or transcribing contact former Oregon PNLHA VP Carolyn Matthews matthews.carolyn.k@comcast.net or trustee Jim Strassmaier strassj@spiritone.com.

Know Your City – May Day Inspired People’s History of Portland Tour

KYCKnow Your City invites you to its May Day inspired People’s History of Portland walking tour. A People’s History of Portland highlights the roots of Portland’s downtown immigrant and working class communities, and celebrates the ongoing decades of social justice leaders and grassroots movements.

Date: Saturday, April 30
Time: 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Complete details and RSVP

Before Portland was known for Portlandia, the foundation of the city was built by immigrant labor. This tour tells Portland’s story from the viewpoint of Chinese people, Japanese people, African American people, Jewish people, and LGBTQ communities, whose histories are often left out of the mainstream. A People’s History of Portland tour challenges you to take a closer look at Portland and how we got to where we are today.

Our special May Day themed tour includes new sites of significance that are important places for labor activism and direct action; and will be led by local historian Ryan Wisnor, whose work focuses on labor and working-class history as documented through oral histories. He also serves as a Trustee for the Pacific Northwest Labor History Association (PNLHA) and is a Masters student in History at Portland State University.

Tour Highlights:
– Portland’s “Old” and “New” Chinatowns
– The site of Portland’s first African American community
– “Nihonmachi,” Portland’s Japantown
– LGBTQ roots in Old Town
– Marie Equi in Portland and early Portland women’s history

Early Registration Deadline for Conference Extended to May 1st

PNLHA 2016 brochure cover panelThe deadline to receive the early registration discount has been extended to May 1st.

Labor, Justice and the Environment: Historical Insights, Alliances and Challenges
Portland, Ore.
May 20 – May 22
Printable Conference Brochure

Register Online Now:
U.S. registration link
Canadian registration link

Register By Mail:
Download and Printable Registration Form

 

2016 PNLHA Conference Program & Early Registration

Labor, Justice and the Environment: Historical Insights, Alliances and Challenges
Portland, Ore.
May 20 – May 22
Printable Conference Brochure

Labor environmentalism and climate change headline program

Registration & Lodging

Registration & Lodging

Labor historians, students, environmental activists, politicians and trade unionists will gather at the Portland State University Conference Center in Portland on May 20-22 to share views on “Labor, Justice and the Environment.” See program brochure for complete details on how to register and list of panels.

Schedule of Plenaries, Workshops, & Panels

Schedule of Plenaries, Workshops, & Panels

Washington AFL-CIO president Jeff Johnson will update the conference on the Paris Climate Change Conference with author Jeremy Brecher joining him via Skype.

Register Online Now:
U.S. registration link
Canadian registration link

Preview:
More than 20 workshops, presentations, films and displays will bring labor history to life. Among the topics to be addressed:

  • A historic coal strike in Depression-era Washington and the 1980s canning strike in Watsonville, California
  • Fighting to save the Canadian and US postal services and longshore workers in the Pacific Northwest
  • Labor environmentalism and building coalitions to tackle climate change
  • Conscientious war objectors on the Oregon coast and making labor history digital style
  • Chinese and Indian workers in Astoria, Oregon, and the history of Oregon’s African-American loggers
  • Canadian women’s march against poverty, the living wage fight, and retirement security
  • US premiere of Goodwin’s Way and a film about the Denver Romero Theatre Troupe
  • The literature of labor, and preserving historical labor records
Photo Credit: Creative Commons – Stuart Seeger

Photo Credit: Creative Commons – Stuart Seeger

Conference participants will also enjoy musical interludes provided by the Portland band General Strike, Washington State environmental singer-songwriter Dana Lyons, and Eugene’s roots duo Monday Morning Denial. Exhibitor display tables will also be available.

 

Contact:
Ron Verzuh, Oregon Vice-President, Pacific Northwest Labor History Association.

We thank these Co-Sponsors for their support:
Amalgamated Transit Union Local 757
BC Government Employees Union
International Association of Machinists District W24
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Credit Union
Labor’s Community Service Agency, Inc.
Labor Education and Research Center
Marion-Yamhill Central Labor Council
Northwest Oregon Labor Council
Oregon AFL-CIO
Oregon Historical Society
Oregon School Employees Association
Portland Federation of School Professionals
Service Employees International Union Local 49
International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 206
United Steel Workers District 12
Marcus Widenor

2016 PNLHA Labor History Calendar

The 2016 Labor History Calendar is now available. The PNLHA Labor History wall calendar in its 36th edition is the only regional labor calendar in the United States and we are extremely proud of that!

Last year over 8,000 calendars were distributed and with your help we can accomplish this again.

2016 PNLHA CalendarMany of our local unions buy the calendars and give as a “thank you’” to shop stewards, e-board members & the membership at-large. Some buy and resell to help fund educational or labor history committees. These calendars also make great gifts for family, friends and co-workers! There are many ways to spread the word about LABOR HISTORY.

The 2016 calendar includes over 40 historical pictures as well as local union charter dates and major labor events.

A large number of the union’s custom imprint their calendars advertising local union information, meeting dates, website/phone number

As always, each 2015 PNLHA dues paying member is mailed a complimentary calendar.

Download the rate sheet here.

Place an order for your calendar by emailing pnlha1@aol.com

Commemorating Portland’s Bloody Wednesday

Longshore Workers, Historians, and the Community Remember How Pier Park’s Trees Saved the Lives of Strikers from Police Bullets

PORTLAND — Pier Park in St. Johns is typically a destination for disc golfers on a sunny Saturday afternoon, but on July 11th seventy-five people turned out to the park for a guided historical walking tour commemorating Portland’s “Bloody Wednesday.” Eighty-one years ago on this day Portland police fired upon unarmed strikers during the 1934 Maritime Strike wounding four men, hitting several trees, and infuriating the general public.

The event was hosted by the Pacific Northwest Labor History Association (PNLHA) and received support from three International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) locals, Portland State University’s Department of History, Portland Jobs with Justice, and community groups of the St. Johns neighborhood. Portland State University master’s student of public history Ryan Wisnor organized the event based upon his research on how the labor community accredited the trees of Pier Park for shielding the workers during the shooting.

“Fortunately the trees saved them,” were the words chosen by 1934 strike organizer Matthew Meehan in an oral history conducted before his death in 1977. Current longshoreman Matt Tyson of ILWU Local 8 read a passage from Meehan’s history to an audience of union members, labor activists, and St. Johns residents at the believed scene of the shooting — at the northern edge of Pier Park where Swift Blvd. once intersected with the railroad tracks. Continue reading

Commemorating Portland’s “Bloody Wednesday”

PORTLAND – On Saturday, July 11, the Pacific Northwest Labor History Association (PNLHA) will host a Commemoration of Portland’s “Bloody Wednesday,” the day when BloodyWednesdayPoster (2)police fired upon picketers near Pier Park during the 1934 West Coast Longshore Strike. The event features a guided walk through the park as local historians join union members and the community to discuss what happened that day, the meaning it had for those who were there, and reflect on the strike’s role in Portland’s history.

On the morning of July 11, 1934, a hundred policemen piled aboard a train headed to Terminal No. 4 with the intent of forcefully breaking the picket lines of striking longshoremen. Near the intersection of what is now Columbia Blvd. on the edge of Pier Park, picketers blocked the train’s passage with their bodies and makeshift barricades. Chief of police Burton K. Lawson ordered the officers to open fire upon the unarmed workers using pistols and shotguns. Four men were wounded in this incident, but the picket line held firm and the strikers won their demands a few weeks later.

Also see story in the latest NW Labor Press at nwlaborpress.org.  

Pier Park & Bloody Wednesday Podcast Episode

Continue reading