BCLHC – April 2021 Newsletter

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BCLHC – April 2021 Newsletter

Labour History Photo of the Month

On April 4, 1981, members of the Hospital Employees’ Union at Windermere Central Park Lodge, a private long-term care home in Vancouver, went on strike after 21 months of fruitless negotiations for a first contract and a ruling by the Labour Relations Board that the union could not seek arbitration to settle the dispute.

The local membership – almost entirely women of colour – voted 94% in favour of taking strike action, which resulted in 95 of 100 workers out on the line. The issue at hand was the owner’s refusal to pay the standard wages and benefits paid in the healthcare industry. The “prevailing standard” was a minimum of $8/hour; Windermere’s owner offered a measly $4.50.

Striking Windermere workers paid a visit to the downtown Vancouver headquarters of the corporate owners, openly accusing them of paying their non-white workers less than the standard rate paid to white workers.

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Bea Zucco’s Crusade

Produced in co-operation with BC’s Knowledge Network, Bea Zucco is a 3-minute video that describes Zucco’s 8-year crusade to have her husband’s silicosis recognized as a work-related illness and to receive full coverage under Workers’ Compensation.

Zucco’s story raises important questions about the effect of work-related injuries and illness on families and communities, the effectiveness of Workers Compensation insurance programs, and how individuals can affect a change in government policy.

A lesson plan for teachers and instructors has been produced by the BC Labour Heritage Centre’s Labour History Project to accompany the video.

Just released: Podcast Episode 7 tells the Bea Zucco story through music and archival recordings, with our knowledgeable host Rod Mickleburgh.

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COVID Chronicles: A Living History

We were excited to have our COVID Chronicles Project on the front page of the latest issue of Our Times Magazine. Our Times is an independent Canadian labour magazine. The story of our project is written by retired Vancouver teacher Janet Nicol with photographs by Joshua Berson.

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NEW BLOG POST:
110 years since the Battle of Kelly’s Cut

Learn what happened in Prince Rupert in 1911 when private contractors McInnis and Kelly managed to hire a scab roadwork crew after the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) called several hundred construction members out on strike. “The Battle of Kelly’s Cut” was researched and written by Rod Mickleburgh and Bailey Garden

Prince Rupert longshoremen enjoy their “Xmas Night Smoker” at the IWW Hall in 1911. The IWW was a powerful presence in the northern coastal community. ILWU 505 photo.

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