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 email@example.com.
Echoes of the 1917 Russian Revolution: Decades of Radicalism and Red Scares in the Labour Movements of the Pacific Northwest
May 26 – 28
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.
Register online with PayPal or
download instructions for registration by mail with check.
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call Joey Hartman at 778-870-0703
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 workers 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.
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.
Know 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.
– 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
“Many lives were saved [at Ludlow] because the Greeks were armed,” said one person interviewed for the film. “They knew how to use rifles. They knew how to fight. They knew how to engage in guerrilla combat,” said another.
See a film trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=meNu7XCkW-8
The British Columbia Labour Heritage Centre has developed a new online map of places associated with the history of working people in BC that includes information from 143 locations so far.
The map features plaques remembering workers killed on the job, geographic location names, recognition of individuals who championed the rights of working people and the union movement, says a BCLHC call for new additions. “Each point contains photos, locations, descriptions, and further links for people to learn more of our shared past, and new sites are added every week.”
Go to http://www.labourheritagecentre.ca/workermemorialmap/ to view what is said to be the first such inventory in BC. If you know of a dedication, memorial, or commemoration to any working person or people that is not included in the map, contact email@example.com.
PNLHA members who attended the 2014 conference in Cumberland, BC, will recall the excellent music and presentations on Miners Memorial Weekend. This year the annual celebration of workers and their families is set for June 16-18, 2016, and you’re invited.
The event pays tribute “to those injured and killed while at work, those who have fought to improve the safety and quality of life of workers everywhere, and the history of resistance and activism from workers and their families,” says BC PNLHA VP Brian Carleton.
Some of the highlights: a screening of the newly released documentary Goodwin’s Way, an oral history workshop, a book reading by Richard Somerset Mackie, a plaque dedication in honor of organizer Joe Naylor, a presentation of Ginger Goodwin: A Worker’s Friend by graphic novelist Laura Ellyn, the ceremony at Goodwin’s graveside, and the community supper with guest speakers and performers.
To register for the Oral History Workshop, or to find out more about participation in the Listening Booth oral history project, click here. For more, go to www.cumberlandmuseum.ca/events. Search ‘31st Annual Miners Memorial Weekend’ on Facebook for on-going updates.
The Canadian Association of Work and Labour Studies (CAWLS) has issued a call for proposals for its June 1-2, 2016 conference at the University of Calgary. The theme: “Re-energizing Communities: Building Worker Solidarity and Social Justice.”
The conference, part of the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, invites proposals for single papers, multiple paper panels, roundtables and/or workshops. “The participation of researchers in union and community settings is encouraged,” the CFP says.
Organizers “seek to engage our collective interest in how communities are organized, how they respond to social change and how we build alliances with like-minded groups. In both the developed and developing worlds, “energizing communities” includes examining workers in the commodity sectors, the role of the environment within the class struggle, and how labour builds alliances with other groups, including Indigenous communities.”
Send submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org. All panel and section proposals are due by December 1, 2015. All paper proposals are due by January 15, 2016For more information go to www.cawls.ca . For the complete CFP go to http://cawls.ca/en/call-for-papers-cawls-2016-conference/ .
Project goals: identify and catalogue existing memorials and install a new series of cast bronze plaques documenting events, actions, episodes, movements, experiences, groups, individuals or places that have not been recognized to date.
“This is an exciting project that will increase public awareness of the history of working people in British Columbia in a permanent way,” LHC chair Ken Novakowski said.
The LHC is reaching out to as many labour and community groups as possible to fulfill these goals. The focus is on BC regions outside the urban centers and anyone can submit a nomination.
View the project website: www.labourheritagecentre.ca/patp . Contact project manager Donna Sacuta: email@example.com .
The Labor and Working Class History Association (LAWCHA) is accepting applications for its annual Herbert Gutman Dissertation Prize, honoring the late Herbert G. Gutman, a pioneering American labor historian.
“LAWCHA hopes that the spirit of Gutman’s inquiry into the many facets of labor and working-class history will live on through this prize,” says a letter inviting applications from members and non-members.
Entries must be in English, concerned with U.S. labor and working-class history broadly conceived, and defended in the academic year 2014-15 (September 1, 2014-August 31, 2015). The winner will receive $500 cash, up to $500 in travel expenses to attend the awards ceremony, and a publishing contract with the University of Illinois Press. The UIP was the co-creator of the prize.