Interviewed by Phil Legg
Brian Nasu, born in Tofino, B.C. and raised in East Vancouver, grew up in a family deeply connected to the fishing industry. As a young person, Brian started working at an IGA grocery store that was in the process of organizing. Brian signed up to join the union and, despite employer resistance, the drive was successful.
Brian recalls what it was like to be one of the very few people of colour in the UFCW (Union of Food and Commercial Workers) at the time. He was eventually elected to an executive board position, was involved in shutting down the store for the Operation Solidarity one-day strike and participated in a march to Victoria. He worked on a number of elections at all levels and was elected himself to the Community Savings Credit Union. Brian also worked with the Vancity Foundation and the then-new Union of BC Performers.
In this interview Brian discusses the changes that have happened over the years in the food and retail industry, connecting labour conditions to political and technological shifts. He describes his belief that the future of labour is reliant on connecting with people of colour, and getting everyone rallied in a single direction.
Fishing industry; grocery; food retail; organizing drives; certification campaigns; UFCW (United Food and Commercial Workers); UFCW Local 247; UFCW Local 1518; IGA; Operation Solidarity; election campaigns; Community Savings Credit Union; Vancity Foundation; Union Label; BC Federation of Labour; United Way Lower Mainland; NDP (New Democratic Party); UBCP (Union of BC Performers); 2017 Federal Election; Minimum wage; Digital organizing; union communication; Dave Wilson; Gordon Larkin; Gordon Campbell; Brooke Sundin