Women in the labor movement--Canada--History



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  • LOC Subject Authorities.

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  • See also: Women labor union members

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Women in the labor movement--Canada--History

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Women in the labor movement--Canada--History

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Women in the labor movement--Canada--History

57 Archival description results for Women in the labor movement--Canada--History

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Alice Person interview

SUPPLIED TITLE OF TAPE(S): Alice Person : rank and file -- women's issues in the wood industry RECORDED: Coquitlam (B.C.), 1978-07-28 SUMMARY: Mrs. Person has been active in the IWA. She moved to Websters Corners from the prairies during the Depression; got a job in the wood industry during the war; and was active in organizing her plant. She became a member of the plant executive. She discusses relief; agricultural labour during the Depression; the Japanese internment; working conditions in wood; organizing the IWA and her plant; equal pay for equal work; attitudes to women workers; struggles against layoffs after the war. She and her sister were in the first group of women to be hired on at Hammond Cedar in 1942. Mrs. Person, although told by co-workers that "girls don't need as much", decided that equal pay was a woman's right, and this issue became a primary motivation for her and other women to join the union. She feels that many workers were inspired by the IWA leadership. Mrs. Person served as a steward and a warden on the executive.

Anita Andersen interview

SUPPLIED TITLE OF TAPE(S): Anita Andersen : the Trocadero strike RECORDED: New Westminster (B.C.), 1979-[09-03 & 12] SUMMARY: TRACK 1: Mrs. Andersen was born in Princeton, where she and her family experienced the collapse of the Princeton mines (the Granby Mines) and the disastrous economic consequences. She was subsequently orphaned and moved to Vancouver where, as a very young girl, she worked for several families as a domestic; this was one of the few alternatives for working class women who needed a place to live, food and work, and who were basically unskilled. Her sister also worked as a domestic, and they both began to radicalize, due to the influences of the longshoremen's strikes -- and for Mrs. Andersen, her interests in Yugoslavian cultural activities. She came a busgirl and organised for the HREU at the Trocadero Cafe. The Cafe was struck, and a contract was eventually achieved, but the central organisers were fired and blacklisted, including Mrs. Andersen. She continued to work for the union until she moved to the Yukon in the 1940s. TRACK 2: Returning to BC, she worked for the Jubilee Summer Camp; as a cultural organiser the Yugoslavian community; and with consumer organisations.

Anna Arthur interview

SUPPLIED TITLE OF TAPE(S): Anna Arthur : lower mainland BCGEA RECORDED: Coquitlam (B.C.), 1979-07-25 SUMMARY: Mrs. Arthur was born in Victoria BC; she graduated as a teacher during the Depression, but was unable to find work (early 1930s); she married and returned to the workforce in 1943. She began to work at the Boys' Industrial School as a special education teacher; the staff began to organise into the BC Government Employees Association, in order to have a say in teaching policy, wages and hours or work. They linked up with workers at nearby Essondale. Part of the demands made by women were for equal pay for equal work; this issue really involved Mrs. Arthur. The BCGEA workers faced many setbacks, including the hostility of employers and a refusal by the government to institute a check-off system. Anna Arthur was involved in organising the union, and was elected to the provincial executive in the later 1940s, representing the Essondale branch (1947-1949). Many of the issues concerned working conditions -- for example, the lack of decent housing for student nurses. Later, while working for the federal government, she became the local president of PSAC, organising for equal pensions for women and equal insurance benefits in the local.

Anne Marshall interview

SUPPLIED TITLE OF TAPE(S): Anne Marshall : garment industry conditions in Vancouver - the ILGWU RECORDED: Vancouver (B.C.), 1979-06-11 SUMMARY: TRACK 1: Anne Marshall was born in Regina, Saskatchewan in 1907. At the age of 14, she left there to come to BC and find work after her father died. She worked as a waitress and became sympathetic to trade unionism in 1924, during the Longshoremen's strike, through her contact with strike supporters at work. She then became a babysitter for the owner of Sweet 16 dress shops. He taught her to sew, and she began to work in ladies' ready-to-wear. She married in 1928 and stayed home until WWII when she re-entered the workforce. The organization of the industry had begun by then. Working at Jantzen, she was exposed to the Bideau piecework system for the first time, and became angered by the conditions which they imposed. She was laid off, but in the meantime was approached by the unions to organize the shop. The VTLC was spearheading the campaign at that time. The workers were organized into the United Garment Workers. Later she helped to lead the local over to the International Ladies' Garment Workers Union which she felt had better shops. TRACK 2: She became a full-time organizer for the ILGWU in 1946/47 and stayed in that position for 16 years. Central issues in her union were the protection and integration of immigrant workers; equal pensions for women; piecework; racism; wages and hours of work; policing the contract, insuring that people got lunch hours and breaks.

Barbara Stewart interview

SUPPLIED TITLE OF TAPE(S): Barbara Stewart : organizing restaurant workers during the Depression RECORDED: Vancouver (B.C.), 1979-06-17 SUMMARY: TRACK 1: Barbara Stewart first radicalized during the Depression. She was present in Regina in 1935 at a citizens' meeting called to protest the lack of jobs and support the On to Ottawa Trek. She was swept into the streets with many of the crowd by the attacks of the police and RCMP. She came to Vancouver in 1936 without a job, and was placed as a domestic by the YWCA. She moved on to waitress at Kennedy's, where she was laid off for her union sympathies. She then worked at the Melrose and then Love's Cafe. Waitresses worked four-way split shifts at that time. She participated in job actions like the following: waitresses wore their aprons for six weeks without washing them, to establish employer responsibility for laundry. TRACK 2: Restaurant work was very hard; it required physical labour and long hours of work. Women faced sexual harassment on the job. Some restaurants even tried to exploit waitresses as prostitutes. Most women who worked did so out of economic necessity rather than choice. Bill Stewart was the business agent of Local 28 during the 1930s and early 1940s. Mrs. Stewart later took over as business agent, traveling all over the city for twenty dollars a month. A major struggle of the union was to change the laws so that employers would have to provide transportation for waitresses after dark. Mrs. Stewart as business agent was also a delegate to the VDLC; She went into houses to organize them, and worked on the White Lunch and Trocedero strikes.

Bertha Souderholm interview

SUPPLIED TITLE OF TAPE(S): Bertha Souderholm : fruit and vegetable workers organize at Websters Corners RECORDED: Maple Ridge (B.C.), 1979-08 SUMMARY: TRACK 1: Mrs. Souderholm was active with Finnish community organizations in the Maple Ridge area during the war. The tape describes that community during the Depression; the cooperative movement; women's organization in the community; work and organizing at Berryland; women in the war industries; conditions in the fish canneries. Websters Corners, where she lived, had a long history of progressive organizing. Women in the Finnish community traditionally had their own organizations. Men in Websters Corners worked in industry, while women built and maintained the community. The Women's Defense League organized a defense of political prisoners during the 1930s. Later organizations gathered clothing for Finnish war relief. The unions in the 1940s established old age pensions and unemployment insurance; workmen's compensation, family allowance and medicare. The labour at Berryland was very difficult as there was little automation. Women were called in to work and received only an hour's pay if little fruit was available. TRACK 2: Women worked at Berryland on a seasonal basis, without the benefit of seniority to supplement their household income and pay taxes. Women tried to organise and several women were fired. A wildcat strike occurred later on and the union was established. This created a seniority system and year-round work.

Bill White interview

SUPPLIED TITLE OF TAPE(S): Bill White : women in the shipyards in World War II RECORDED: Vancouver (B.C.), 1978-08 SUMMARY: Bill White was president of the Boilermakers local in Prince Rupert during the war at the shipyards. Many women from the community entered the shipyards in 1941-42. Mr. White was active in defending women's rights to a job at the end of the war. In this interview, he describes conditions in Prince Rupert; the growth of the shipyards; battles between soldiers, workers and Native people; racism in Prince Rupert; response to the entry of women into the yards; attitudes towards the Japanese; anti-war sentiments; the no-strike pledge and the Labour Progressive Party. Mr. White was a member of the Trotskyist organisation at this time (1943). Women were brought into the Prince Rupert shipyards as helpers or improvers, after taking a several-months-long training course in welding. The helpers strung the burners' hoses, and the women were soon proficiently stringing their own hoses and cables. The shift would get off and drink at the Savoy Hotel; it became clear that women had been accepted into the yards when the crew accepted the women buying rounds of drinks. Women served as stewards in the union.

Buster Foster interview

SUPPLIED TITLE OF TAPE(S): Harold (Buster) Foster : The IAM and union women in World War II RECORDED: Vancouver (B.C.), 1979-06-06 SUMMARY: TRACK 1: Buster Foster was an engineer; burned in an accident in the early 1930s, he was forced onto relief. Social workers harassed relief recipients throughout the Depression. During both world wars, he worked in the shipyards. He participated in the 1919 solidarity strike with the OBU in BC. During World War II he supervised thirty-five to forty women in the shipyards as steward for the union. There were few grievances filed by the women. TRACK 2: After the war, he voiced his concern that two people in a family should not be working when there were only adequate numbers of jobs for one family member. Despite the no-strike pledge, the International Association of Machinists, which he represented, went out on a seven-day job action during the war, resulting in the Richards Commission. Conflicts existed in the IAM over Canadian autonomy and control by the International over Canadian funds and policy.

Chris Waddell interview

SUPPLIED TITLE OF TAPE(S): Chris Waddell : breaking the chains -- Aristocratic Restaurant workers organize in Vancouver RECORDED: Vancouver (B.C.), 1979-08-17 SUMMARY: Mrs. Waddell worked for the YWCA during the Depression as a dietician, and later worked in the British Embassy in Washington, D.C. She moved to Vancouver in 1947-48, and worked in the dining room of the Aristocratic Restaurant at Granville and Broadway. She was already sympathetic to trade unionism, as her father had been the leader of the OBU Streetrailwaymen in Winnipeg. She was asked to join the union (the HREU) and did so. A janitor was the main organizer, and he was later fired. Others were transferred out of the restaurant to other locations in the chain. Despite this, the application went to the LRB, which ruled that the certification was all right. As well, the union used the tactic of informational picketing. Mrs. Waddell took up the union campaign and soon signed up the new workers in the restaurant, and finally an agreement was signed. The Aristocratic workers were so enthused by their new contract that they became very active in the union, and soon made up half of the executive. TRACK 2: Flo Allen, a longtime member of the union, then suggested that Mrs. Waddell run for business agent. She did so and took the position, working for the union for twelve years.

Daisy Brown interview

SUPPLIED TITLE OF TAPE(S): Daisy Brown : on staff for the HREU, 1945-1949 RECORDED: Vancouver (B.C.), 1979-07-13 SUMMARY: TRACK 1: Daisy Brown was born in Saskatoon and came to BC in 1944. She found a part-time job with the Hotel and Restaurant Employees Union in 1945 as an office worker, and then as business agent. In 1946-47, a joint campaign led by both the hotel union and building service union organised Vancouver hotels. Many women worked in the industry because they needed an income as single parents or deserted wives. The union in the restaurant and hotel area was weak relative to industrial unions or skilled craft unions, where workers were not isolated from each other and could stand together. Problems in organising included the transient nature of the work, and the continuous shifts. TRACK 2: Issues which came up included overtime, shift changes, uniforms and seniority. The union set a precedent in establishing a forty-hour week. The Only Fish And Chips and Love's Cafe were particularly militant restaurants. The hotel drive organised all but the Alcazar and Grosvenor hotels. The campaign included leafleting the hotels. The HREU staff was organised into the OTEU but later were shifted to the HREU. Mrs. Brown was active for a time in the OTEU. In 1948, the HREU leadership was deposed and were barred from office and membership in the union because of their left leanings. Mrs. Brown has held both staff and elected positions with the union.

Edra McLeod interview

SUPPLIED TITLE OF TAPE(S): Edra McLeod : women drive for BC Electric RECORDED: Vancouver (B.C.), 1979-08-23 SUMMARY: Edra McLeod worked at Boeing during the war to help with the war effort. While the plant was being unionized, she questioned whether or not to join the union. A management lock-out in retaliation for a sit-down by the workers resulted in a victory; one five-minute break each day. Mrs. McLeod's husband was overseas for the duration of the war. She left the aircraft industry to find work with BC Hydro [actually BC Electric] in 1944. Only women whose husbands were overseas and who were under 25 to be hired, as conductors. After the war it took five years for women to be allowed to drive. Out of thirty women drivers, eight stayed on, two for many years. From the beginning women received equal wages to men drivers. Only one woman was heavily involved in the union, but all of the women supported it. Mrs. McLeod consistently pushed for other women to be hired as drivers, participated in the fight for better wages and conditions, and was active on the sick committee. She describes the trauma which many young women experienced during the war as a result of separation from their newlywed husbands.

Effie Jones interview : [Diamond, 1979]

CALL NUMBER: T3588:0001 SUPPLIED TITLE OF TAPE(S): Effie Jones : The Housewives' League RECORDED: Vancouver (B.C.), 1979-07-31 SUMMARY: TRACK 1: Effie Jones was born in England and spent years of her youth in Wales, where she came into contact with the miners' struggles of the early 20th century. She came to Canada in 1919 and married, settling with her husband in Vancouver. Mr. Jones worked for BC Telephone. The Jones' home was the only one in the neighbourhood with a telephone during the Depression, and became a centre for people looking for work. They also had a vegetable garden and many chickens, as well as steady work, and helped to support many of their less fortunate friends and neighbours. Mrs. Jones began her political work with the CCF as a local executive member. Her experience with the CCF left her disillusioned and she left the CCF for the more active Communist Party. She worked in the Housewives' League, transforming it from a Liberal club into an organisation with branches across Canada. TRACK 2: The League worked on support for the Post Office occupation in 1938 -- the defense of the men arrested in the occupation, fighting evictions, and mobilizing to put people's belongings back into their homes. CALL NUMBER: T3588:0002 RECORDED: Vancouver (B.C.), 1979 SUMMARY: TRACK 1: When the war began, the Housewives League fought for soldiers' wives to receive an adequate and regular allowance. Effie Jones almost won the mayoral race in 1947. She ran for civic positions in later elections as well. She celebrated her 90th birthday in 1979. [TRACK 2: blank?]

Eileen Sufrin interview

SUPPLIED TITLE OF TAPE(S): Eileen Sufrin : steel workers organize in B.C. and Ontario RECORDED: White Rock (B.C.), 1978-08 SUMMARY: TRACK 1: Mrs. Sufrin's interest in unions began with her involvement as a CCF youth activist during the Depression. She began to organize with the CCYM's trade union committee in Ontario. She was involved in the 1940-41 organizing in the banks, which reached workers as far as BC and culminated in the strike in Montreal. This strike was defeated and the drive collapsed. She continued as an organizer for the steel workers, coming to Vancouver in 1943 to train officers of the union and initiate "Steel", the union's western press. She was involved in political struggles with the LPP leadership in the unions, worked for a CCF perspective in the labour movement, and was active on the Vancouver and District Labour Council. TRACK 2: She later returned to Ontario where she led a campaign to organize Eaton's 9,600 person workforce. The drive was only defeated by 600 votes, and this because of a delay by the Labour Relations Board in certification. She returned to the USWA and worked with their office workers department. She participated in numerous campaigns, including Continental Can. Issues that were important to women in the campaigns she led included: equal pay and job classification; unionization; job ghettos; childcare and maternity leave. She always encouraged women to be active union members and officers.

Ellen Barber interview : [Diamond, 1979]

CALL NUMBER: T3607:0001 SUPPLIED TITLE OF TAPE(S): Ellen Barber : early union organization in the laundries, 1914-1918 : [tape 1] RECORDED: Port Moody (B.C.), 1979-08 SUMMARY: TRACK 1: Mrs. Barber was one of the first women active in the Vancouver Trades and Labour Congress (an affiliate of the Trades and Labour Congress). She was involved in organising laundry and communication workers during the First World War period. In this interview, she describes union organisation during World War One; working conditions in the laundries; bargaining procedures; organising the unions; the laundry strike and its defeat; the formation of the Minimum Wage Board; the telephone workers strike. TRACK 2: Attitudes to women within the unions; working in the war industry in WWII; post-war layoffs of women workers; piecework; CCF involvement in the unions; her family's roots, and her decision to become a unionist; women's suffrage and its effects on working women; Oriental workers and parallel attitudes to women; the Shirt, Waist and Laundry Workers' International Union in the 1940s; the streetcar strike of 1918.;

CALL NUMBER: T3607:0002 SUPPLIED TITLE OF TAPE(S): Ellen Barber : early union organization in the laundries, 1914-1918 : [tape 2] RECORDED: Port Moody (B.C.), 1979-08 SUMMARY: TRACK 1: Depression use of female labour; the impact of the Russian Revolution on the labour movement; shipyard conditions; accidents in the laundries; women's organisations in the 1930s. [TRACK 2: blank.];

Emily Nuttall interview

SUPPLIED TITLE OF TAPE(S): Emily Nuttall : organizing hotels in the 1940s RECORDED: Toronto (Ont.), 1979-12-31 SUMMARY: TRACK 1: Emily Nuttall (nee Watts?) was born in Winnipeg in 1913. She worked in the trade union movement in Winnipeg and then Toronto before coming to Vancouver in 1944. This interview covers her career as a union organizer and president until 1946. She describes working in the restaurant industry in the 1930s; working in the Bartenders Union office; launching the organizing drive in the war industry canteens, restaurants and hotels; support from the Boilermakers and Machinists; winning cab fare for women working late shifts in restaurants; effect of the legalization of unions on conditions; for organisation during the war; the Georgia Hotel drive (a one-day blitz wins a contract); winning a BC master agreement; establishing shifts and hours through the first contract; thrown out of the Belmont Hotel while organising; servicing restaurants; sexual harassment; women were the best union members -- "give me a picket line of good dedicated women and they will out-picket any man". TRACK 2: Women's issues include dressing rooms; broken shifts; sexual harassment; childcare not an issue; no-strike pledge and industrial action; negotiations. Winnipeg childhood; mother was a women's rights activist, father was a trade unionist. Skills needed by organisers -- empathy. HREU International and conservative leadership; defeat of Progressives in 1946; Cold War; local under trusteeship for refusing to clean out "Reds"; Ms. Watts loses position as organiser; chauvinism towards women in the trade unions; women not taken seriously; women participate during the war; after trusteeship, male leadership.

Eva Vaselenek interview : [Diamond, 1979]

SUPPLIED TITLE OF TAPE(S): Eva Vaselenek : organizing cannery workers for the UFAWU RECORDED: [location unknown], 1979-06-18 SUMMARY: Mrs. Vaselenek was born in Hardwick, Vermont, her father a granite cutter. She moved to Richmond in 1943 and got a job at the cannery to support her ill daughter. She first washed fish and then packed it into the cans. The conditions were very bad: the canneries were cold, with the wind coming in the cracks in the floor, and the work was both hourly and piecework. Many different nationalities worked in the canneries: Natives, Japanese, Chinese and Whites. The different races and nationalities worked on different aspects of the canning operation at BC Packers. She was asked by the workers to help them organize, as she was vocal in protesting conditions. She contacted the Fishermen's union; it took from 1944 to 1946 to completely sign the plant up. The forelady and management harassed the union militants. She was elected as a steward, put onto the bylaw committee, and then elected as a paid organizer. She was an effective organizer and signed up both fishermen and cannery workers, brought the membership out to meetings, spoke to workers on their lunch hours, and signed up all different ethnic and religious groups. She worked in the plants to start organizing campaigns, moving from the canneries into fresh fish. The union fought for equal pay for women and for the various nationalities; fought against harassment by the supervisors; fought for seniority by job category, and for uniform wages and working conditions across the province.

Gladys Hilland interview

CALL NUMBER: T3593:0001 SUPPLIED TITLE OF TAPE(S): Gladys Hilland : IWA officer, Local 1-217 - World War II RECORDED: Surrey (B.C.), 1979-07-17 SUMMARY: TRACK 1: Mrs. Hilland grew up in Saskatchewan where she participated with her brother in the Farmers Unity League, an organisation of farmers allied with the Workers Unity League, which fought farm foreclosures. She married and moved to BC with her husband to look for work, becoming a waitress and a domestic. She took a job with a BC Forest Products sawmill as soon as women were hired, and worked at Sitka, piling lumber and as a sawyer. She was active in unionising the plant, arguing for the workers to leave the company union and join the IWA. She was elected secretary-treasurer of Local 1-217 of the IWA and served in that capacity until the split in 1948. She was one of the most prominent women in the labour movement in that position. As secretary-treasurer, she continued to organize for the union, speaking to IWA workers and helping them organize in their plants. TRACK 2: She was involved in the 1946 march to Victoria during the strike, and participated in numerous labour lobbies to Victoria. The post-war period and the Cold War led to hostility to the LPP leadership of the IWA. The leadership, dissatisfied with the drain of dues into the International, led a breakaway, forming the WIUC. Mrs. Hilland went with the WIUC. CALL NUMBER: T3593:0001 [cont'd] RECORDED: Surrey (B.C.), 1979-07-17 SUMMARY: During her term as an IWA officer, she fought for the payment of workers according to the job performed, not according to race or sex. Her own experience confirmed a belief that women were competent at all physical and intellectual tasks.

IWA Women's Auxiliary of Lake Cowichan

CALL NUMBER: T3604:0001 SUPPLIED TITLE OF TAPE(S): IWA Women's Auxiliary of Lake Cowichan : [tape 1] RECORDED: Lake Cowichan (B.C.), 1979-08-09 SUMMARY: TRACK 1: This is a composite tape [i.e., a group interview] with five former members of the Lake Cowichan Women's Auxiliary of the IWA: Eva Wilson, Lori Belin, Lil Godfrey, June Olsen and Mary Greenwell, who were active in the Women's Auxiliary during the 1930s and 1940s. The women tell of their family and work backgrounds and their subsequent involvement with the union auxiliary. The women come out of very different backgrounds, some with strong trade union families (Nanaimo miners), and others from anti-union backgrounds. Most came to Lake Cowichan as young women who had married loggers. June Olsen, however, came as a teenager, grew up in Lake Cowichan, and joined her friends in the auxiliary. Conditions in the 1930s were primitive; couples lived in shacks without plumbing or electricity, the hospital was in Chemainus, and the road was terrible. TRACK 2: The Women's Auxiliary was pulled together in the 1930's by Edna Brown with the help of some of the organisers for the union. It helped to cut across the isolation that many of the young wives experienced, and to draw them into the struggle to organise the woods. The organiser went from home to home and to isolated logging camps, organising the auxiliary. Women were concerned with safety (because logging was and is an extremely dangerous business), as well as getting a better road to the hospital, and protecting and providing funds and cover for the union organisers. CALL NUMBER: T3604:0002 SUPPLIED TITLE OF TAPE(S): IWA Women's Auxiliary of Lake Cowichan : [tape 2] RECORDED: Lake Cowichan (B.C.), 1979-08-09 SUMMARY: TRACK 1: As the auxiliary developed, its functions expanded and it became the central instrument in creating a community at Lake Cowichan; providing social events, education, and political involvement; establishing the P.T.A., Red Cross, swimming lessons, theatre group, doing war support work, getting fresh milk into the town, organising a children's parade, Dominion Day and Labour Day events, a Lady of the Lake contest, and coordinating with other women's groups, as well as supporting the union's activities. The members attended conventions of the union and federated auxiliary in Vancouver and Eugene (Ore.), and were instrumental in forming auxiliary policy across the IWA because of the large numbers and success of their organisation. TRACK 2: In 1946, during the march to Victoria during the strike, the Lake Cowichan women marched in the front of the trekkers. In Victoria, they organised food and lodgings with other auxiliaries. In 1948, the Lake Cowichan Auxiliary split; the majority of its members went with the WIUC. These years saw some violent confrontations, for example at Iron River, where the IWA crossed WIUC picket lines. The women and their husbands were excluded from the new IWA auxiliary at Lake Cowichan after the WIUC collapsed, and some of them became involved in the co-op, while others later did support work for the IWA when their husbands re-entered the IWA.

Jack Atkinson interview : [Diamond, 1979]

SUPPLIED TITLE OF TAPE(S): Jack Atkinson : The Ladysmith IWA & women RECORDED: Ladysmith (B.C.), 1979-06-28 SUMMARY: TRACK 1: Jack Atkinson was active in Local 1-80 of the International Woodworkers of America in the Ladysmith sub-local. He describes the Ladysmith Women's Auxiliary, which followed the pattern of Local 1-80, and was a sub-local of the larger local. Other sub-locals existed in Lake Cowichan and Youbou. Both the sub-local and the local met regularly. The prime objective of the women's auxiliary was to educate wives of woodworkers about the benefits of unionism, and provide a group of supporters for the union. Men initially called the women's auxiliary meetings, bringing together a nucleus of women The women's auxiliary in Ladysmith prioritized organizing social functions. Not all women in the town supported the union; some opposed their husbands becoming members, for fear of strikes and loss of pay. Few women came into the Ladysmith mills as workers, and few men supported women working in the industry. The issue of equal pay was posed in relation to the different nationalities working in the industry.

Janet Judd interview

SUPPLIED TITLE OF TAPE(S): Janet Judd : women postal workers, 1950s-1960s RECORDED: Vancouver (B.C.), 1979-07-17 SUMMARY: TRACK 1: Janet Judd was hired as a part-time postal clerk and then became full-time in 1960. She was one of the first women to achieve this position. The conditions at that time in the post office were "horrifying"; no air conditioning; working for hours while standing; loss of hearing due to noise; mandatory examinations to determine wage increases. When she applied for work in the post office, she resisted placement in a clerical position and fought to become a clerk. Later, she fought to become the first woman dispatcher. Mrs. Judd was the sole support for eight children, and was pregnant when she began to work at the post office. Her case helped to establish both the principle of maternity leave for postal workers, and through this the recognition by the post office that women were a permanent part of the workforce there. TRACK 2: With other women clerks, she resisted male co-workers who harassed women clerks. She became active in the association as a steward. Some of the issues which came up consistently were: racist attitudes towards herself and other non-white workers; discrimination and patronage in hiring; the establishment of mirror surveillance systems in the bathrooms; establishing union recognition and the right to strike; shift changes and services for women with children. During the 1965 strike, management tried to bring scabs in through an old CPR tunnel; the union stopped this. Mrs. Judd had been a student at Strathcona School, and was deeply affected by the Japanese internment, as many of her closest friends were interned. She has been active in many Black organisations, including the Negro Citizens' League, and other civil rights groups.

Jean Scott interview

SUPPLIED TITLE OF TAPE(S): Jean Scott : Office and Technical workers organize RECORDED: Victoria (B.C.), 1979-06-26 SUMMARY: TRACK 1: Mrs. Scott first worked as a housemaid in Manitoba. As she worked for several employers, she began to make a connection between the bad treatment of domestic workers and the oppression of women. In 1946, she began working for the Retail Wholesale and Department Store and Packinghouse Union as an office worker. In this position she also put out organising leaflets. She remembers the union contract establishing different pay rates for men and women doing the same work. She helped organise support for the union in the 1947 strike of meat workers and jam factory workers. She later worked for the IWA and assisted the White Bloc in the struggle for leadership of the union. She participated in a campaign to organise office workers which was able only to sign union offices and the BC Co-op. TRACK 2: She felt that the unions organised their staff only under pressure and through the examples set by the Steelworkers and the VDLC. For a while, she served as President of Local 15, OTEU and acted as contract negotiator. The BCFL had a position calling for equal pay for women. She believes that it was difficult for women to become trade union leaders and win adequate recognition for their work. OTEU supported childcare and maternity leave. Their contracts acted as models for other unions in the BCFL on these questions.

Jeanne Ouellette interview

SUPPLIED TITLE OF TAPE(S): Jeanne Ouellette : the Ladysmith IWA Women's Auxiliary RECORDED: Ladysmith (B.C.), 1979-08-08 SUMMARY: Jeanne Ouellette came from a strong trade union family rooted in the coal miners' struggles on Vancouver Island. She actively supported the trade unions in 1935 during the longshoremens' strike. Her husband was a longshoreman in Chemainus. With the other strikers, they moved to Ladysmith where it was possible to secure low-cost accommodation. The women supported the men on the picket line and built whist drives to raise money for the six month strike. The police brought in strikebreakers to break up the picket line. After the strike, her husband became a logger and she became active in Local 1-92 Auxiliary. Her auxiliary was CCF in its political leanings. It concerned itself with wages, building a community, support for the 1946 strike and the march to Victoria. When the IWA leadership led the split in 1948, the Ladysmith Auxiliary attended the meeting in Duncan and were firm in the their decision to stay with the IWA and maintain control of their own finances. After the break, the IWA reorganized the auxiliaries, making them more centralized, and dismantling the sub-local structure. The Ladysmith Women's Auxiliary lost some of its continuity, and interest waned in it.

Joan Gillatt interview

SUPPLIED TITLE OF TAPE(S): Joan Gillatt : organizing the BCGEA - the early years RECORDED: Duncan (B.C.), 1979-07-02 SUMMARY: Mrs. Gillatt was born in 1929. She completed university in the early 1940s, working her way through school. She was first a bank clerk for sixty-five dollars a month, and then became a wartime replacement worker for the provincial government as a lab assistant. Women played an important role in the war effort; their employment, however, was seen as a temporary phenomenon. Working in the government, she became a steward for a new association, the BCGEA, and then the vice president of the Victoria branch after she transferred into a file clerk's job. The jobs that women held were dead-end, and discrimination against both women and non-white workers was a problem. Issues facing government workers included the service nature of the job, political patronage, establishing collective bargaining, and union recognition. TRACK 2: Opportunity was the central issue women faced in the civil service. Mrs. Gillatt was the vice-president and then acting president of the association. She was a skillful negotiator with the government. She was the only woman on the executive for a number of years and fought hard to establish women's equality in the leadership field.

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