Call for Presentations, Workshops, and Displays 2020 PNLHA Conference.

Call for Presentations, Workshops, and Displays

Newcomers: The impacts of 250 years of immigration on indigenous economies, the labour movement and work

52nd Annual Conference of the Pacific Northwest Labour History Association

with the BC Labour Heritage Centre and the Labour Studies Program at SFU

Friday night May 8 – Sunday noon May 10, 2020

Simon Fraser University – Downtown Harbour Centre, Vancouver, British Columbia

Indigenous peoples in the lands now known as the Pacific Northwest enjoyed strong and diverse relations of trade and exchange before contact with Europeans. Despite the vital role of Indigenous workers in early resource industries, ongoing colonization and commercialization eventually resulted in the systematic exclusion of First Nations from fishing, logging, trapping and other economic activity on their lands.

Immigration enabled these processes, but was also highly stratified. This conference will examine the methods and impacts of those measures, and how successive waves of migrants have been received through a lens of labour history, racism & exclusion, reconciliation and new forms of organizing.

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • First Nation economies – then and now
  • Why they came – opportunities and broken promises
  • Exclusion and attraction – political determinations around immigration and refugees
  • The role of organized labour in giving welcome or advocating exclusion, and advancing equity
  • Continued racism and discrimination – Farm workers, domestic workers, temporary foreign workers
  • Reconciliation and de-colonization
  • The connection between attacks on unions and precarious work
  • Music, theatre, poetry, film, memorabilia and visual arts

We invite proposals for panels, individual presentations, academic research, workshops and other forms of presentation.  Interactive sessions are preferred, and the reading of papers is discouraged.

Please send a short (1 -2 page) proposal to Joey Hartman at

  • Summary of your workshop or presentation
  • Anticipated duration (typically 30, 60 or 90 minutes)
  • Presenter(s) name(s) and contact information, plus a short bio and vitae of presenter(s)
  • Audio / Visual requirements

DEADLINE:  December 2, 2019. We will respond by January 10, 2020.                                                      

For more information:  1-778-870-0703

Vote Now in the 2019 PNLHA Election April 15-April 25, 2019

  • Every two years we nominate and elect our officers and trustees. The elections are held in relation to our annual conference, which this year is May 3 – 5 in Portland.
  • The officers of PNLHA are: President, Oregon Vice-president, Washington Vice-president, British Columbia Vice-president, Secretary, Treasurer USA, and Treasurer Canada.
  • Nominations for these officers were held between 60 and 30 days before our general membership meeting which will be held May 5th immediately after the conference and are now closed.
  • There are three or more trustees for each of our three areas. Nominations for trustees will continue up to the membership meeting at which time we will have that election.

RSVP Now: Seattle General Strike Bus Tour

Saturday, February 9, 2019, 9:30 AM-12:30 PM

Join the Pacific Northwest Labor History Association (PNLHA) on a bus tour of the important 1919 General Strike Sites. Space is limited, reserve a seat by calling (206) 367-0288 or emailing
Cost: Event is free for PNLHA members. $25 for non-members (ticket cost includes PNLHA membership and 2020 PNLHA Calendar)




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SAVE THE DATE: Pacific Northwest Labor History Association Annual Conference May 3-5, 2019 Portland, Oregon

Call for Papers, Presentations and Performances

General Strike 1919-2019 – Radicalism, Repression, and Solidarity

2019 marks the 100th anniversary of a watershed year in American and Canadian labor history, especially in the West. The year was defined by the Seattle and Winnipeg General Strikes, the Centralia Massacre, and the wave of state sponsored repression of immigrant workers during the Palmer Raids. Reflecting on these events a century later encourages us to consider the significance of radicalism as well as ways that organized labor has both enforced and overcome racial and gendered barriers to solidarity.

The Pacific Northwest Labor History Association seeks presentations performances, and papers that examine labor history of the past 100 years, especially related to:

  • Labor Radicalism
  • Patriarchy and Feminism
  • Employer and State Repression
  • Racism, including White Supremacy
  • Immigrant Workers and Xenophobia

We encourage proposals that illustrate how the events of 1919 demonstrate strategies and tactics of workers, employers, and the State, and how they are relevant to today’s labor struggles. Specific examples might include:

  • Labor and Race
  • Women in the Labor Movement
  • Labor and trade policy in historical perspective
  • The open shop movement in history:  The American Plan to the Janus decision
  • Right Wing populism and the working class

The PNLHA values intersectional approaches to working class history.  We especially encourage exhibits and performances of art and music that reflect working class culture and history, and non-traditional, popular education approaches.  Presentations should be addressed to a broad range of conference participants includng academics, students, workers and community members.

Submit one-page proposals electronically, by January 7, to the Conference Program Committee Coordinator, Nikki Mandell:


Well-Attended PNLHA 50th Anniversary Conference Looks at Intersections of Labor and Social Justice

Over a hundred attendees were at the Pacific Northwest Labor History Association’s 50th Anniversary celebration in 2018 on April 6 – 8, 2018 at the Hilton Seattle Airport & Conference Center in SeaTac, WA.

Highlights included a myriad of workshops and keynote speeches by Nikkita Oliver, Bill Fletcher, Jr., and Kent Wong.

The PNLHA brings a history of struggle for labor and human rights to the forefront of our consciousness. Over fifty years, we have explored regional, national, and international issues, and used music, drama, and re-enactments, talks and papers to highlight labor history. In this era of disaster capitalism, we especially need to remember what working people and unions have done to make the world a better place. All photographs by Garet Munger. See more of this event and Garet’s other photos at


PNLHA 2018 Conference Schedule (Link to downloadable PDF schedule at bottom)

PNLHA brochure 2018_Page_1PNLHA brochure 2018_Page_2


The Hilton has offered to lower the guest room rates from $149 + taxes to $113 + taxes.  Take advantage of this new lower rate for the Labor History Conference before March 16th.  If you have already booked your room your rate will be decreased to $113 + taxes.

PNLHA brochure 2018

Register Now for the 2018 PNLHA Conference! Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of PNLHA

SELRES_1c17eae8-88d1-40ac-bfb4-de760f579754SELRES_1f4bf0a0-4583-4d32-a7a2-c63da1a76700The Hilton SeaTac has agreed to a new, lower price for guest rooms for the PNLHA Labor History Conference.  The original rate was $149 + tax and now is $113 + tax per night.  Please reserve your room before March 16 to ensure the reduced rate.  If you have already booked your room at the original rate you will be charged only the new $113 + tax rate.

50th Annual Conference:
Preserving the History and Heritage of Workers in the Pacific Northwest
“Honoring Our Past, Creating Our Future”

PNLHA postcard US Final Draft

You are invited to the Pacific Northwest Labor History Association’s Annual Conference and 50th Anniversary celebration!  Our conference will be April 6 – 8, 2018 at the Hilton Seattle Airport & Conference Center in SeaTac, WA.

Registration includes a Friday night social and movie co-sponsored with the United Association of Labor Educators (UALE). This year’s conference promises to be one of our best.  We have two dynamic keynote speakers in Bill Fletcher Jr. and Kent Wong.  Saturday evening we have our Annual Awards Banquet where we honor our own who are making labor history today.  The featured speaker will be Nikkita Oliver, organizer, educator, teaching-artist, social justice activist.

We have sixteen excellent workshops as well as three movies: we are collaborating with UALE in premiering the new film 9to5/925 Legacy which looks at the 40 year history of the National Association of Working Women and its sister union, SEIU 925 based in Seattle; Witness to Revolution on the 1919 Seattle General Strike; and the just-released Verona which explores the events surrounding the Everett Massacre.

The PNLHA brings a history of struggle for labor and human rights to the forefront of our consciousness.  For fifty years, we have explored regional, national, and international issues, and used music, drama and re-enactments, talks and papers to highlight labor history.  In this era of disaster capitalism, we especially need to remember what working people and unions have done, and need to do, to make the world a better place.


Hilton Seattle Airport & Conference Center
17620 International Blvd.
Seattle, WA 98188
Room Rate: $113 + taxes before March 16
Reservation Link:



You may register by printing this form and mail with your check made payable to PNLHA to:


27920 – 68th Ave. E

Graham, WA 98338


Phone: Tom Lux, 206-551-1371

PNLHA Labor History Conference is part of WSLC MayWorks 2018

Conference Fees:

Registration fees include all workshops and plenaries.  They do not include accommodations, meals or transportation.  Conference attendees are expected to pay registration fees.  Some Youth Scholarships may be available.