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On the Line: Stories of BC Workers

Author: BC Labour Heritage Centre

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Canadian labour history storytelling podcast, produced by volunteers & staff of the BC Labour Heritage Centre on unceded xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), səl̓ílwətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) territories. Hosted by labour reporter & author Rod Mickleburgh, with new episodes released the first Monday of every month. Listen to our first episode release on Labour Day 2020.
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Ep. 7: Bea Zucco

Ep. 7: Bea Zucco

2021-04-0721:53

April 28th marks Canada's annual Day of Mourning. Of course, industrial accidents are not the only risk workers face; occupational diseases, brought on by hazardous workplace conditions, have also claimed a terrible toll. One of the worst has been silicosis, a coating of the lungs by deadly silica dust inhaled by generations of hard-rock miners. To mark this month's Day of Mourning, we bring you the story of Bea Zucco: a third generation pioneer from Grand Forks, BC and a miner's wife. Ordinary in so many ways, and yet absolutely extraordinary in her determination to see justice prevail and secure a WCB pension for her silicosis-stricken husband. This is her story.Learn more: labourheritagecentre.ca/zuccoFEATURED MUSIC: Theme song: "Hold the Fort" - Arranged & Performed by Tom Hawken & his band, 1992. Part of the "On to Ottawa" film produced by Sara Diamond."Silicosis is Killin' Me" - First recorded by Pinewood Tom, a pseudonym for Joshua White, February 26, 1936, on Conqueror #8673."Cold, Cold Heart" - Written and performed by Hank Williams.INTERVIEWS:Clips of Bea Zucco are from a recording conducted by Les Johnson on behalf of the Boundary Historical Society. It was one of a series of "Living Books" events that took place early in 2013, hosted by gallery 2, the art gallery in Grand Forks BC. VOICEOVERS:"1950's Bea" - Lucie MacNeil"WCB/journalist" - John MabbottRESEARCH:Research and script for this episode by Patricia Wejr and Rod Mickleburgh.
In 1974, years before other Canadian unions won maternity leave benefits in collective agreements, the Association of University & College Employees (AUCE) Local 1 at the University of BC (UBC) made history. In its first collective agreement, UBC clerical and library workers achieved contract language that provided fully funded maternity leave for its members. It was a breakthrough not just for workers at UBC, but for families across the country. This is their story.Guest host Bailey Garden (BC Labour Heritage Centre) tells the tale of this independent, feminist union in honor of Women's History Month.Learn more: labourheritagecentre.ca/AUCEFEATURED MUSIC: Theme song: "Hold the Fort" - Arranged & Performed by Tom Hawken & his band, 1992. Part of the "On to Ottawa" film produced by Sara Diamond."Union Maid" and "Bread and Roses" featured in clips from "A Union for Working Women at UBC - AUCE 1" video, produced by Julius Fisher, Working TV.  2018.INTERVIEWSJanet Judd, postal worker - Sara Diamond interview, 1979. Sara Diamond fonds, Women's Labour History Project. Archival clip used with permission of the Crista Dahl Media Library & Archives. Available online for research and reference: http://www.vivomediaarts.com/archive/janet-juddInterviews with AUCE 1 members, in order of appearance:Sussanne Lester; Jackie Ainsworth; Ian Mackenzie; Emerald Murphy; Jean Rands.Interviews conducted by Karen Ranalletta on behalf of CUPE 2950. Clips from "A Union for Working Women at UBC - AUCE 1" video, produced by Julius Fisher, Working TV.  2018. Used with permission of CUPE Local 2950.RESEARCH:Research and script for this episode by Bailey Garden. Honorée Newcombe, “Coming Up from Down Under: A Hopeful History of AUCE,” in AUCE & TSSU Memoirs of a Feminist Union, 1972–1993 (Burnaby, BC: Teaching Support Staff Union Publishing, 1994). “Kinesis.” Vancouver: Vancouver Status of Women. April 1977 and April/May 1979. Association of University and College Employees (AUCE) fonds. University of British Columbia Library Rare Books and Special Collections, Vancouver, Canada. Working TV, A union for working women at UBC - AUCE 1, filmed 2019, https://vimeo.com/336116722, 16:09. "Maternity & parental benefits". Canadian Labour Congress. No date.  Article retrieved online: https://canadianlabour.ca/who-we-are/history/maternity-parental-benefits/"Women's History in the Postal Unions". Canadian Union of Postal Workers, March 21, 2001. Article retrieved online: https://www.cupw.ca/en/campaign/resources/womens-history-postal-unionsBACKGROUND MUSIC:"Funky Fortune" - Ketsa"Over the Sea" - Lobo Loco"Thirds" - Crowander
In this episode, we look back one hundred years to Valentine's Day, 1921. On that traditional day of romance, a group of courageous public school teachers in New Westminster, BC did the unthinkable: they went on strike. Their walkout had a lasting, positive impact on teachers across the province for years to come. There would not be another strike by a teachers local in the province for 53 years. This is their story.What led these teachers, most of them young women, to take their bold action was a familiar situation that continued to plague teachers for decades - a stubborn local school board, the right to arbitration, and recognition of their union.Learn more: https://www.labourheritagecentre.ca/bctfFEATURED MUSIC: Theme song: "Hold the Fort" - Arranged & Performed by Tom Hawken & his band, 1992. Part of the "On to Ottawa" film produced by Sara Diamond."Lament for Education" - Written by Christina Schut, 2002. "As Long As It Takes" - Written by Geoff Peters and Marion Runcie, October 2005.The songs in this episode were performed by a group of BCTF activists called More Than Just Pay performed a sampling of teacher "protest" or "folk" songs from major BCTF campaigns starting in the 1970s. The songs were created by teachers to inform, educate, motivate and entertain.  Used with permission of Geoff Peters. Part of the BCTF Online Museum's "History in Song" collection.  bctf.ca/history/ VOICEOVER:"William Plaxton" - Wayne AxfordINTERVIEWSKen Novakowski, past President of the BC Teachers' Federation & retired chair, BC Labour Heritage CentreSarah Wethered, President, New Westminster Teachers' Union & BC Labour Heritage Centre volunteerInterviews done by Patricia Wejr on behalf of On the Line, 2021.RESEARCH:Research and script for this episode by Patricia Wejr & Rod Mickleburgh.BC Federationist February 21, 1921BC Labour Heritage Centre pamphlet by Nicol, Janet New Westminster teachers deliver a special Valentine almost a century agoNorman, Steve The New Westminster Strike of 1921 The BC Teacher Jan-Feb 1984Novakowski, Ken and Wethered, Sarah Jan-Feb 2021 Teacher Magazine New Westminster teachers make BCTF history – 100 years agoVancouver Sun, February 1921
From the 1870's on, the coal miners of Vancouver Island had fought strike after strike to force the hardnosed coal barons to recognize a union. Thanks to strikebreakers, blacklists, anti-union courts and the forces of so-called law and order, they lost them all. Finally, in 1911, the miners invited in the tough, experienced and deep-pocketed United Mineworkers of America (UMWA) to make one last all-out attempt to bring the mine owners to heel.What started as a flare-up over safety quickly sparked into  a conflict that was the most protracted, violent and hard-fought strike in BC's long labour history. It lasted two years, from 1912 to 1914. This is the story of the Vancouver Island Coal Strike.Find resources, lesson plans and more: labourheritagecentre.ca/GreatCoalStrike FEATURED MUSIC: Theme song: "Hold the Fort" - Arranged & Performed by Tom Hawken & his band, 1992. Part of the "On to Ottawa" film produced by Sara Diamond. “Bowser's Seventy Twa" - Performed by Rika Ruebsaat and Jon Bartlett, used with permission of Jon Bartlett.  Our thanks to Simon Trevelyan for helping to provide an mp3 copy."Nanaimo Jail" - Performed by Jon Bartlett. Part of a series of Co-op radio reel-to-reel tapes, produced by the Boag Foundation, donated to the BC Labour Heritage Centre in 2019 by Allen Seager."Are You From Bevan?" Performed by Phil Thomas accompanied by Barry Hall (vocal, guitar) & Michael Thomas (mandolin), from Phil’s LP/CD Where the Fraser River Flows (1962). VOICEOVERS:"Mother Jones" - Lucie McNeill"Anonymous Voices 1 & 2" - Ann-Marie Zak"Ellen Greenwell" - Bailey Garden"Lempi Guthrie" - Katie Gartlan-Close RESEARCH:Research and Script for this episode by Rod Mickleburgh & Patricia Wejr. Anonymous Quote #1 published in the Vancouver Sun, 12 Feb 1913. BC Federationist 19 September 1913.Bowen, Lynne 1982 The Coal Mines of Vancouver Island Remember: Boss Whistle. Oolichan Books: Lantzville, BC.CBC Radio's "The Coal Miner" - (CBC Archives VR001601) Interview Transcriptions – Joseph Gold, Alex McKinnon & Mrs. Guthrie.Ellen Greenwell interview, AAAB4861, Royal BC Archives sound recordings.Hinde, John 1997 “Stout Ladies and Amazons: Women in British Columbia Coal-Mining Community of Ladysmith, 1912-1914.” BC Studies 114:33-57.Miners Clips from Howie Smith interview with Ben Horbury, Henry Gibson and Bob McAllister (with his son, Jack McAllister), 1975. Part of a series of Co-op radio reel-to-reel tapes, produced by the Boag Foundation, donated to the BC Labour Heritage Centre in 2019 by Allen Seager.Wejr, Patricia and Smith, Howie 1978 Sound Heritage Vol VII, Number 4 “Fighting for Labour: Four Decades of Work in British Columbia 1910-1950.Kavanagh, Jack 1914 The 1913 Vancouver Island Miners Strike. Socialist History Project.On the Line: A History of the BC Labour Movement by Rod Mickleburgh. BC Labour Heritage Society, Harbour Publishing, May 2018.  BACKGROUND MUSIC:"Reville Variation; Drum Call; Slow Scotch; Quick Scotch; Yankee Doodle "(Montage) - Performed by The United States Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps
On July 19, 1983, members of the BC Government and Service Employees Union, better known as the BCGEU, learned that the large Tranquille Institution in Kamloops, British Columbia would be shut down. For the 600 BCGEU members at the site, many of whom had worked with the residents for years, this was simply unacceptable. They decided to take matters into their own hands.A hand-painted union flag was raised, locks were changed, managers evicted, and the workers took control. The unprecedented worker occupation lasted for 22 days. It was the first action to be taken under the banner of Operation Solidarity, the massive protest movement that brought the province to the brink of a General Strike. This is the story of the Occupation of Tranquille. Learn the story of the 1983 Solidarity Movement: www.labourheritagecentre.ca/VMCFEATURED MUSIC: Theme song: "Hold the Fort" - Arranged & Performed by Tom Hawken & his band, 1992. Part of the "On to Ottawa" film produced by Sara Diamond. “General Strike” - D.O.A. (War and Peace 25th Anniversary Anthology; Originally appeared on General Strike 7″ benefit single, 1983). Used with permission by Joe Keithley.  VOICEOVERS: “Anonymous Worker’s Poem” read by Danielle Lavallée.   RESEARCH: Research and Script for this episode by Bailey Garden. Clips from interview with Gary Steeves, conducted by Ken Novakowski in 2018, as part of the BC Labour Heritage Centre’s “Solidarity35” project. On the Line: A History of the BC Labour Movement by Rod Mickleburgh. BC Labour Heritage Society, Harbour Publishing, May 2018.  Tranquility Lost: The Occupation of Tranquille & Battle for Community Care in BC by Gary Steeves. Harbour Publishing, October 2020.  BACKGROUND MUSIC: “Suspect Located” – Scott Holmes. “Cinematic Trailer” – Scott Holmes. “Humanity” – Scott Holmes. “Battle Hymn of the Republic” – US Air Force Band. The labour song “Solidarity Forever” by R. Chaplin uses the tune of this song. “Epic Cinematic” – Scott Holmes. “Drift” – Scott Holmes.
Nearly 90 years ago, in the dark years of the Great Depression, union membership and the number of strikes in BC fell dramatically; but every now and then, against all odds, workers took a stand. It happened in Sept. 1931 at the Fraser Mills Lumber Plant on the shores of the Fraser River in Maillardville, now part of Coquitlam. A diverse group of rank-and-file workers set aside their racial divisions and came together to fight for better wages, better working conditions and basic respect as human beings. This is their story.FEATURED MUSIC:Theme song: "Hold the Fort" - Arranged & Performed by Tom Hawken & his band, 1992. Part of the "On to Ottawa" film produced by Sara Diamond."Everybody Works But Father" (1905) - Performed by Bill Murray, words and music by Jean Havez."Horsey, Keep Your Tail Up" (1924) HMV B Recording of The Savoy Orpheans, performing as The Romaine Orchestra. Original composed and performed by Melville Gideon, 1923."The Workman's Parade" (1929) Performed by Lacroix Quartette, based on the earlier song "Le Pauvre Ouvrier" composed by Lucien Delormel.  VOICEOVERS:"Bob Bouchette" played by John Mabbott."Worker from Quebec" played by Marc Gamelin.RESEARCH:Research and Script for this episode by Rod Mickleburgh. Rod would like to thank the author of the following thesis, which provided inspiration and valuable information for much of this episode.Ethnicity and Class Conflict at Maillardville/Fraser Mills: The Strike of 1931 by M. Jeanne Meyers Williams. B.A., Simon Fraser University, 1979. THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS In the Department of History © M. Jeanne Meyers Williams, 1982.BACKGROUND MUSIC:"Camp Fermin" - Blue Dot Sessions."Up Folk" - Ketsa."Dusty Hills" - Ketsa."Campfire Interlude" - Blue Dot Sessions.
Ep. 1: Joe Naylor

Ep. 1: Joe Naylor

2020-09-0431:07

At the annual Miners Memorial Weekend held in Cumberland, British Columbia each June, participants lay roses at the grave of the famous labour martyr Ginger Goodwin. Nearby his distinctive headstone, almost unnoticed, is a simple metal plate affixed to a stone. This modest marker identifies the grave of coal miner Joe Naylor (1872-1946), an unsung hero of the labour movement and both comrade and mentor to Ginger: A socialist, pacifist, modest, principled leader and supporter of working class aspirations for a better world. This is his story. FEATURED MUSIC:Theme song: "Hold the Fort" - Arranged & Performed by Tom Hawken & his band, 1992. Part of the "On to Ottawa" film produced by Sara Diamond."Nanaimo Jail" - Performed by Jon Bartlett. Part of a series of Co-op radio reel-to-reel tapes donated to the BC Labour Heritage Centre in 2019 by Allen Seager.Butte Miners' Song - "I Once Was A Carman on the Great Mountain Con" performed by Jeff Burrows for the BC Labour Heritage Centre, 2020."Are You From Bevan?" Performed by Phil Thomas accompanied by Barry Hall (vocal, guitar) & Michael Thomas (mandolin), from Phil’s LP/CD Where the Fraser River Flows (1962).VOICEOVERS:"Joe Naylor" played by Jeff Burrows."Lester" played by Erik Jarvis.BACKGROUND MUSIC:"Ruy Blas Overture" (Mendelssohn) - Victor Herbert Orchestra (1913). "Maple Leaf Rag"  - Vess L. Ossman."Aguirre the Wrath of God" - Gary Lucas."Downfall" - Kai Engel."Homeroad" - Kai Engel."Bedroll" - Blue Dot Sessions."The Red Flag" - Ogg Vorbis.RESEARCH:Fighting for Dignity: The Ginger Goodwin Story by Roger Stonebanks. Canadian Committee on Labour History, AU Press, January 2004.A Crisis of Commitment: Socialist Internationalism in British Columbia during the Great War by Dale Michael McCartney. B.A., Simon Fraser University, 2004. THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS In the Department of History © Dale Michael McCartney 2010. BC Federationist – UBC Special Collections.Western Clarion – UBC Special Collections.The 1913 Vancouver Island Miners Strike by Jack Kavanagh.Socialist History Project: The Vancouver Island Strike issued by the B.C. Miners’ Liberation League, Vancouver, B.C.Seeing Reds: The Red Scare of 1918-19: Canada’s First War on Terror by Daniel Francis. Arsenal Pulp Press, 2010.Founded on Coal - A History of a Coal Mining Community: The Parish of St. Matthew, Highfield and Winstanley by Ray Winstanley and Derek Winstanley, 1981.When Toil Meant Trouble: Butte’s Labor Heritage by George Everett.www.butteamerica.com/labor.htmJoe Naylor, Staunch Trade Unionist, Dies. Canadian Mineworker Obituary, 1946.
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