PNLHA joins Portland JwJ, attends meetings

JwJ logoOur affiliate membership to Portland Jobs with Justice was unanimously approved by the steering committee at its August 3 meeting, reports trustee Ryan Wisnor, our representative at JwJ.

Oregon trustees had agreed to the affiliation and a $100 financial contribution at their June meeting, but before the decision was made to accept our affiliation, Ryan attended three JwJ meetings as a guest.

On August 3, some JwJ members complimented the PNLHA on the June 11 Bloody Wednesday event, while others asked how the PNLHA could help members look into their union’s history.

Ryan has agreed to continue attending steering committee meetings and will provide a short report each month for Oregon Update on JwJ happenings. He also plans to arrange a meeting between Oregon PNLHA trustees and JwJ committee members.

For more on the Portland JwJ, ryanwisnor@gmail.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

PNLHA Oregon hosts historic event

Justice for all logoPNLHA Oregon will host the 1934 ILWU Remembrance Event in St Johns Portland on July 11, as agreed at the Oregon trustees’ meeting in Salem on June 6, 2015.

The meeting also agreed that PNLHA Oregon become an institutional member of Portland Jobs with Justice with an $85 donation from the trustees. Portland trustee Ryan Wisnor will be the PNLHA representative at the JwJ meetings.

The meeting also voted to have PNLHA Oregon become an institutional member of HealthCare of Oregon. McMinnville trustee Mike Sullivan will represent us at HCO meetings.