Founding PNLHA President Ross Rieder Remembered

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PNLHA remembers one of our founders and long-time president, Ross Rieder, who has been such a force for labor and for social justice for decades. He was the heart of our organization and his passion and organizing ability made the PNLHA the unique organization it is. Ross’s commitment to promoting the history and heritage of labor in the Pacific Northwest is a legacy that will continue to inspire and endure. He will be missed.

Obituary

Ross K. Rieder

Labor Historian

April 19, 1940-Dec. 14, 2021

Ross K. Rieder (81) was born in Yakima, WA to Frances and Rolla Rieder Sr. He Attended public schools in San Jose, CA, Damascus, Syria (9th grade) and Yakima, and in 1962 received his BA degree in Music Education from Linfield College in McMinnville, OR.

Ross began teaching general music and 8th grade chorus in 1962 at Evergreen Jr, High School in Everett, WA, where he served for 7 years and became a member of the Everett Federation of Teachers, Local 772 AFT. He was elected President of the Washington State Federation of Teachers (WSFT) in 1968, and served until 1975.

Ross’ passion and dedication to service was UNION LABOR, preserving the history of working people, notably in the Pacific NW. His career continued with IFPTE, Local 17 as a negotiator and organizer from 1977-79, the Washington State Labor Council from 1979 through 1986 as Political Action Coordinator and the Snohomish County Labor Council, 1992-97 as an organizer. He produced the PNLHA newsletter Urban Work, hosted Everett radio station KSER’s “Part of the Union” program from 2000-2012 and worked with the Wash. Federation of State Employees filming the monthly TV special “OUR VIEW” reflecting on labor history. 

Ross’s legacy was serving as President of the Pacific Northwest Labor History Association (PNLHA) from 1977 and retiring in 2015. Since the late 80’s, PNLHA has sponsored a Labor Stage at Folklife and presented periodic labor concerts and arts festivals over many decades. He helped sustain and grow PNLHA, oversaw annual conferences, produced the annual labor history wall calendar and created labor union walking tours in Seattle and Tacoma.

He was a charter member of the Washington Federation of Teachers Retiree Chapter, Local 8045R AFT, and served on its executive board from the chapter’s inception in 2003 until 2017. Ross was President for six years, from 2009 until 2015.

Ross enjoyed music and book collecting, piano playing, amateur photography and local and international travel. His passion for reading continued throughout his life. 

Ross is survived by his wife Brenda Doolittle, sons Stephen (Mary) Rieder and Michael Rieder, grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

Remembrances may be made in his name to the Alzheimer’s Association (www.act.alz.org) or the Pacific NW Labor History Association, P.O. Box 75662, Seattle, WA 98175.

Winter 2021-2022 Quarterly

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Welcome to the first edition of the Pacific Northwest Labor History Quarterly (formerly the Oregon Labor History Quarterly). This issue is packed with news and ideas from all of PNLHA’s territory. The expanded coverage area opens up new space for historians and commentators on labor history. PNLHA president Tom Lux is acting as editor with assistance from Ron Verzuh, but were looking for someone to take the reins. If you’re interested and have some writing and editing experience, email Tom at pnlha2@gmail.com.

Order Your 2022 PNLHA Labor History Calendar Today!

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Please consider joining the PNLHA in 2021 to reserve your calendar for 2022! Members who join in 2022 will receive the 2023 calendar.

Many 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

The 2022 calendar includes dozens of historical pictures as well as local union charter dates and major labor events.

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

To order your calendar, email: pnlha.calendar@gmail.com
In your email, let us know:

  • How many calendars you need
  • Your preferred delivery/shipping address
  • Any deadlines for delivery
  • Whether you want a generic calendar or a custom imprint with the logo, contact info, and/or motto of your organization
2022 Labor Calendar FLYER (2)

As always, each 2021 PNLHA dues paying member is mailed a complimentary calendar.

Preview Images of 2022 Labor History Calendar

2021 PNLHA Conference Videos Now Available

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YouTube Playlist of Most Sessions

Friday, June 25

Welcome and Introduction               
Tom Lux, PNLHA President               
Jo Blake, King County C.L.U.W. President                    
Keynote
Elise Bryant: We Did Not Come This Far To Turn Back Now                     
Video and Songs
Solidarity Notes Labour Choir 


Saturday, June 26              
 Welcome and Introduction               
Tom Lux, PNLHA President               
April Sims, Secretary-Treasurer, WSLC                     
Keynote
Bill Fletcher Jr. The Rattle from the Rightwing Populist Snake:Trump, Jan. 6, and the Implications for Organized Labor                  
Panel Discussion: Essential Voices of Frontline Workers
Jane Hopkins, SEIU 1199NW; Martha Elana Sonato, PCUN; UFCW Local 555; UNITE-HERE Local 8; Hospital Employees Union, BC; Conor Casey (mod.)                  

PNLHA Annual Awards              
Labor History Person of the Year               
Labor History Maker of the Year

Session 1.1: Working in the Woods: Archives, Labour, and Forestry in British Columbia
Henry John, Dave Lang, Claire Williams

Session 1.2: Love & Solidarity: James Lawson and Nonviolence in the Search for Workers’ Rights
Michael Honey
Session 1.3 Educating Young Workers to Build Activism
Ephraim Weisstein
Session 1.4 A Century of Radical Labor History in the Pacific Northwest
Kim England, Aaron Goings, James Gregory
                      
Workshops/Panels/Production
Session 2.1: Racialized Bodies: South Asian Labour and the Activities of the BC Organization to Fight Racism
Anushay Malik, Bailey Garden
Session 2.2: Striking Switchmen: Railroad Worker Unrest and Unionism in the United States and Canada, 1888 – 1917
Kevin Kipers
Session 2.3: March of the Innocents
TheatreWorks
Session 2.4: Red, Green and International
Rosalinda Guillen, Michael Schulze-Oechtering, Cindy Domingo

Summer 2021 Oregon Labor History Quarterly

This edition covers the Amazon drive, the new labor secretary, a national first in new bargaining units, an update on Working Oregon, plus book previews, a labor economics quiz, and much more. Send feedback and suggestions to Ron Verzuh at rverzuh@shaw.ca.

Register for the 2021 PNLHA Conference Now!

A Pacific Northwest Tradition for Over 50 Years

The 2021 PNLHA Labor History Conference is here! Here is a link to the final conference program that you will need to attend the sessions.This program contains Zoom links to all conference sessions, session descriptions, and speaker bios. This program also contains links to the PNLHA general membership and business meetings.
https://tinyurl.com/PNLHA-2021-Dignity

Friday, June 25

5:00 PM (Pacific Time)                   Welcome and Introduction               
Tom Lux, PNLHA President               
Jo Blake, King County C.L.U.W. President

5:15 – 6:00 PM  (PT)                      
Keynote
Elise Bryant: We Did Not Come This Far To Turn Back Now

6:00 – 7:00 PM  (PT)                      
Video and Songs
Solidarity Notes Labour Choir 

7:00 PM and on (PT)                    
Zoom Social

Saturday, June 26
9:30 AM (PT)                    
 Welcome and Introduction               
Tom Lux, PNLHA President               
April Sims, Secretary-Treasurer, WSLC

9:40 – 10:30 AM (PT)                      
Keynote
Bill Fletcher Jr. The Rattle from the Rightwing Populist Snake:Trump, Jan. 6, and the Implications for Organized Labor 

10:30 – 11:15 AM (PT)                  
Panel Discussion: Essential Voices of Frontline Workers
Jane Hopkins, SEIU 1199NW; Martha Elana Sonato, PCUN; UFCW Local 555; UNITE-HERE Local 8; Hospital Employees Union, BC; Conor Casey (mod.)
11:15 – 11:30 AM (PT)                   

PNLHA Annual Awards              
Labor History Person of the Year               
Labor History Maker of the Year

11:30 – Noon (PT)                           

BREAK
Noon – 1:00 PM (PT)                    
Workshops/Panels/Videos1) Working in the Woods: Archives, Labour, and Forestry in British Columbia
Henry John, Dave Lang, Claire Williams

2) Love & Solidarity: James Lawson and Nonviolence in the Search for Workers’ Rights
Michael Honey
3) Educating Young Workers to Build Activism
Ephraim Weisstein
4) A Century of Radical Labor History in the Pacific Northwest
Kim England, Aaron Goings, James Gregory

1:00 – 1:15 PM (PT)                        BREAK

1:15 – 2:15 PM (PT)                        
Workshops/Panels/Production
1) Racialized Bodies: South Asian Labour and the Activities of the BC Organization to Fight Racism
Anushay Malik, Bailey Garden
2) Striking Switchmen: Railroad Worker Unrest and Unionism in the United States and Canada, 1888 – 1917
Kevin Kipers
3) March of the Innocents
TheatreWorks
4) Red, Green and International
Rosalinda Guillen, Michael Schulze-Oechtering, Cindy Domingo

2:15 – 2:30 PM (PT)                        BREAK

2:30 – 4:00 PM (PT)                      
PNLHA Annual General Membership and Business Meeting

Register for the PNLHA 2021 Conference here! https://tinyurl.com/PNLHA2021-Register

Download Conference Program here!

 This conference is free to participants and open to all. 

Register now for the 2021
PNLHA Labor History Conference

Colorado Labor History Group Sponsors Online Discussion

The Colorado Labor Education Collaborative is sponsoring an online talk on “Building Worker Power in the Covid-19 Era.” Join in Thursday, May 6, 2021, 6:30 p.m. MDT.

The CLEC is the newest affiliate to the North American Labor History Network of which the PNLHA is a founder.

New Video History of Bend Labor

Central Oregonizing: An Audio-Visual Labor History Of Central Oregon

May 1st is International Workers’ Day—a worldwide holiday born right here in the U.S. in Chicago labor’s 1886 campaign for the eight-hour workday.

Spouse of Bend Bulletin striker pickets

We can celebrate by learning some of Central Oregon’s labor history.

Michael Funke, host of KPOV’s Radical Songbook, narrates a half-hour presentation—“Central Oregonizing”— that covers more than 100 years of local labor history below.

“This is not a complete history by any means,” says Funke. “It is a work in progress developed over several months of research and conversations with local and national union activists and historians.”

KPOV listeners are encouraged to watch the presentation and send comments, questions, and suggestions for more avenues of research to Michael at funkeredfinn24@gmail.com.

Farmworker’s union leader Dolores Heurta visits Bend