Labor Archives of Washington


Cannery Worker Unionism

Cannery Workers
Ward's Cove Crew 1940 (Ketchikan, Alaska)

Labor Union History

Cannery Workers & Farm Laborers Union Local 7 Records is comprised of selected union correspondece, flyers, brochures and pamphlets, meeting minutes, resolutions, and annual reports from the 1930s through the 1950s. These records document the history and the business of union officers and members as they organized, bargained, negotiated, and administered their contract with employers. This segment also illustrates the elections of union officers, relationships between the union and other labor organizations, and the relationship between members and officers of the organization.

The Cannery Workers and Farm Laborers Union, Local 7 Photographs include over 200 photographs documenting union meetings, events, portraits of union officers and members--primarily from the 1930s-1950s. Photos dating from the 1970s chronicle the role of the union and its members in the Asian American activism and community organizing in Seattle, including images of rallies, demonstrations, parades, and community events in the International District. The photos illustrate discriminatory labor and housing conditions in Alaskan canneries that were key evidence in civil rights lawsuits against the canneries by the Alaska Cannery Workers Association.

Community History

Another group of family photographs from the Filipino American community can be found in the Chris Mensalvas and Silme Domingo Family Photograph Collection.

The Apolonio K. Buyagawan Interviews are a group of oral history interviews with members of the Seattle Filipino American community recording their experiences as workers, immigrants, and community members.

Potenciano Parin Columna Papers chronicle Columna's career as the first and Filipino American pilot and his subsequent service overseas during World War II. Columna was also a long-term member of the Caballeros de Dimas-Alang, a fraternal organization in the Filipino community and filled many important leadership roles. When Carlos Bulosan, a noted Filipino novelist, poet and labor activist, was ill with tuberculosis and receiving treatment at the Los Angeles County Sanitarium, Columna and the Caballeros raised funds to help cover Bulosan's medical costs and try to send Bulosan back to the Philippines to recover. Columna also acted as the manager of The Luau, a Polynesian restaurant in Beverly Hills where he frequently hired Filipino immigrants, often for their first jobs in the United States. He acted as a benefactor for several Filipino students as they made their way through college, continuing to be an important leader in the Los Angeles Filipino community until his death on January 7, 1997.

Caballeros de Dimas-Alang Photographs contain images of events and members of the Filipino American fraternal organization which filled many important leadership roles in the community.

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