The BC Labour Oral History Project has been conducting audio and video interviews with working people involved in the history of British Columbia since March 2016. The Project has a short list of individuals which it is currently pursuing interviews with. Suggestions to the Project for potential future interview subjects are welcomed. As well, the BCLHC, through its partnership with the BC Teachers’ Federation on the Labour History Project, has been involved in conducting interviews of BCTF past presidents. To date, we have conducted 14 full-length oral history interviews with notable individuals in BC labour history, and 33 shorter interviews based on historic labour events in BC. These interviews are digitally archived and will be available to the public in future.
Full length interviews with notable BC labour activists
(Each interview is 1-2+ hours in length):
- John Jensen [former Vice President of the Construction Maintenance and Allied Workers of Canada] & George Kosoed (dual interview)
- Art Kube [former President, BC Federation of Labour]
- Ray Haynes [former Secretary-Treasurer, BC Federation of Labour]
- Sharon Yandle [former labour negotiator, BC Teacher’s Federation, Hospital Employees Union, BC Nurses Union]
- Nick Carr [former Local 1 president, United Fishermen and Allied Workers’ Union] (audio only)
- Bill Zander [former President, BC Provincial Council of Carpenters]
- Jeffrey Keighley [former national representative, Canadian Autoworkers Union]
- Clive Lytle [former staff, BC Federation of Labour, and labour educator]
- Kate Braid [labour poet, educator and first female member of the BC Carpenters Union]
- John Shields [former President, BC Government Employees Union, and labour educator]
- Muriel Overgaard [former and first female President, Canadian Union of Public Employees]
- Jackie Ainesworth [founding member, Service, Office and Retail Workers’ Union of Canada & Association of University and College Employees]
- Ken Bauder [former Secretary-Treasurer, International Longshore and Warehouse Union]
- Cathy Walker [former local 1 President and Health and Safety Director, Canadian Autoworkers Union/Canadian Association of Industrial, Mechanical and Allied Workers]
Short interviews on historic events in BC labour history
(Each interview is 10-30 minutes in length):
SERIES #1: Miner’s Memorial Weekend 2016
The BC Labour Oral History Project hosted a “Listening Booth” as part of the 31st Annual Miner’s Memorial Weekend in 2016. We captured the memories and stories of 19 individuals, who recalled their personal involvement with the labour movement and Cumberland’s Miner’s Memorial Weekend.
SERIES #2: Surrey Teachers’ Strike of 1974
On February 14th, 2017, the BC Labour Heritage Centre and the Surrey Teachers’ Association unveiled a bronze plaque in Surrey, BC commemorating the 1974 STA Walk-out & Strike, as a part of our Plaques Around the Province Project. 5 individuals who played a role in the historic 1974 walk-out were interviewed by the Oral History Project, and clips from these interviews were used to produce an 8 minute video describing the events.
SERIES #3: Kitimat Wildcat Strike of 1976
The BC Labour Heritage Centre and UNIFOR unveiled a bronze plaque commemorating the 1976 CAIMAW Wildcat Strike in Kitimat, BC on November 17, 2016, as a part of our Plaques Around the Province Project. The Oral History Project used this opportunity to interview a series of 5 individuals who were directly involved in the 1976 strike.
SERIES #4: Terrace Teachers’ Strike of 1981
The Terrace & District Teachers Union is commemorating their 1981 strike in a bronze plaque, to be unveiled in 2017 as a part of our Plaques Around the Province Project. In November 2016, we conducted short interviews with 4 individuals who participated in the 1981 job action.
THE WORKSHOP & GUIDE
The BCLHC Oral History Workshop is designed to provide unions, labour groups, and other groups of working people with the basic tools of oral history research. These workshops have been provided as a part of Cumberland’s Miner’s Memorial Weekend (2016), Maple Ridge Heritage Week (2017) and the Pacific Northwest Labour History Association Conference (2017), among many other participating events and groups.
Participants will receive a copy of our Oral History Guide. Digital copy available online here.
Groups interested in organizing a workshop can register through the Centre.