In Their Words : The Story of BC Packers
Striking UFAWU members, Imperial Cannery
Striking UFAWU members, Imperial Cannery, circa 1960.
University of British Columbia Special Collections, 1352/316/9 FPS fonds
Striking UFAWU members, Imperial Cannery A UFAWU picket line, Imperial Cannery UFAWU protest meeting at BCP Imperial Cannery Shop steward Eric Hunter supervising ballots at Namu shoreworkers strike vote.

United Fishermen and Allied Workers Union [UFAWU]

Since its formation in 1945, the UFAWU has sought to strengthen the bargaining position of its members and to improve wages and working conditions within the West Coast fishing industry.

As a new union, the UFAWU focused on making gains for fishermen and cannery workers. It fought for a per pound price for salmon and a uniform coast-wide price for sockeye. It also battled for equal pay rates for women and an eight-hour working day with overtime pay. Over the years, many of the gains made by fishing industry workers were earned through hard-fought strikes. One of British Columbia’s great fishermen was Homer Stevens of Greek, First Nation and Croatian ancestry. He grew up in Port Guichon and became an influential leader of the United Fishermen and Allied Workers’ Union.

The UFAWU is the largest fishing union on the BC Coast, representing over 4,000 members. The Union protects its members' interests in dealing with fish companies and governments. It bargains directly with fish companies to establish fish prices and cannery wages. It also lobbies governments for favourable fishing policies. Through representation on industry and advisory committees, the Union's voice is heard on issues such as safety, fish habitat protection, pollution control, aboriginal fishing rights, and licensing.

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