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Industrial disputes in the commercial fisheries of British Columbia. Gladstone, Percy Henry 1959

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INDUSTRIAL DISPUTES IN THE COMMERCIAL FISHERIES OP BRITISH COLUMBIA  PERCY HENRY GLADSTONE B.A., University of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1949  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS  i n the Department of Economics and P o l i t i c a l Science  We accept this thesis as conforming to the requjjsed standard  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA September, 1959  li.  ABSTRACT The commercial  fisheries of B r i t i s h Columbia,  operating along  the province's 750-mile winding coastline and out into the North P a c i f i c , are extremely diverse.  Each of the many d i f f e r e n t species of  f i s h requires i t s own technique of catching and method of processing and marketing. a l l products.  Processors are concentrated into a few firms, handling Fishermen are a specialized, but nonetheless  competing,  labour force, divided by a v a r i e t y of gears used and wage payments received, and further s p l i t h i s t o r i c a l l y into various language and r a c i a l groups, often isolated i n close-knit communities. Characteristic of the industry i s i t s uncertainty of operation and income.  Lack of control of the supply of f i s h has been further  accentuated by variations i n conservation measures designed to perpetuate the f i s h e r i e s .  These r i g i d government controls have, i n  part, determined the nature of the f i e r c e competition and rapid technological changes which have occurred when fishermen and companies have attempted  to increase t h e i r share of the f i s h .  Another uncertainty  has been f l u c t u a t i n g market demand, e s p e c i a l l y i n those export markets which take the bulk of the catch. Focus of the tensions produced has been disputes between fishermen and companies over the price of raw f i s h .  Fish prices were the cause of  the f i r s t strikes and attempts at unionism i n the years 1893 to 1914. In t h i s period, while the companies organized a tight employers' organization, antagonism between fishermen, e s p e c i a l l y whites and Indians on the one hand,  iii. and Japanese on the other hand, often defeated t h e i r aims.  Unions that  did survive were r e s t r i c t e d to a single area, type of gear or language group.  In the second phase of unionism, much stress was  l a i d on  l e g i s l a t i v e action to r e s t r i c t f i s h i n g licences, e s p e c i a l l y to Japanese fishermen. Rapid changes i n technology have dominated the l a s t two  decades.  Mergers and consolidations have concentrated processing into a few multiphase plants.  The f i s h i n g f l e e t has become highly mobile, adaptable to  many f i s h e r i e s and increasingly owned by individual fishermen, though often with company financing.  Local i s o l a t i o n has broken down, com-  p e t i t i o n between groups has increased, and fishermen face an increasing need f o r co-operation to cut insecurity and r i s k .  Out of the struggles  against depression conditions i n the 1930's, scattered fishermen's unions were welded into a coast-wide organization. Joined with more recently s t a b i l i z e d unions of shoreworkers,  i t forms one industry-wide  union, e n r o l l i n g the bulk of the labour force. solution to these problems has been producers  1  had a limited success i n e n l i s t i n g independent  The other attempted co-operatives which have fishermen from some  f i s h e r i e s and areas. The industry today i s highly organized with c o l l e c t i v e agreements a l l processing operations and p r a c t i c a l l y a l l f i s h e r i e s .  One major union  negotiates with a single employers association, with independent owners and co-operatives playing a subsidiary r o l e .  vessel  Basic i n s e c u r i t i e s  iv. which produced past industrial disputes have not been eliminated, and the prospect is for continued c o n f l i c t , coupled with displacement of fishermen and shoreworkers from the industry as productivity and capital costs r i s e .  In p r e s e n t i n g the  this  thesis i n partial  r e q u i r e m e n t s f o r an a d v a n c e d d e g r e e a t t h e U n i v e r s i t y  of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that it  fulfilment of  freely  agree t h a t for  available  the Library  f o r r e f e r e n c e and s t u d y .  permission f o r extensive  make  I further  copying of t h i s  thesis  s c h o l a r l y p u r p o s e s may be g r a n t e d by t h e Head o f my  D e p a r t m e n t o r by h i s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . that  copying or p u b l i c a t i o n of t h i s  gain  shall  Department  I t i s understood  thesis  for financial  n o t be a l l o w e d w i t h o u t my w r i t t e n  o f Economics and P o l i t i c a l  The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Vancouver Canada. Date  shall  October 1. 1959.  Science  Columbia,  permission.  TABLE OF CONTENTS CBAPTER  PAGE  INTRODUCTION  1  PART I - BASIC FACTORS IN THE FISHING INDUSTRY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA I.  THE B.C. FISHERIES: MAJOR SPECIES AND TECHNIQUES  . .  Major and Minor Fisheries  II.  7  Characteristics of the Species  .  8  Methods of Commercial Fishing  .  14  Main Techniques i n Processing F i s h  29  Effects of Technology on Labour Relations-A Summary  38  GOVERNMENTAL CONTROL OF THE FISHING INDUSTRY Types o f Governmental Regulation  IV.  V.  MARKETING  . . . .  . . . . . . . .  E f f e c t s of Regulations on Labour Relations III.  7  . . . .  . . . . .  FISHING COMPANIES  42 42 46 64 82  Corporate Problems  82  Employer Organizations and Trade Associations . . .  99  LABOUR IN THE FISHING INDUSTRY  104  Determination of Fish Prices  107  Share Payments t o Fishermen  110  Wage Payments i n the Fishing Industry  112  Ethnic Composition of the Labour Force  116  vi. CHAPTER  PAGE PART I I - ORGANISATION AND CONFLICT  VI.  UNIONISM AND STRIKES Origins and E a r l y Disputes, 1893-1914  129  World War I and the Post-War Period  156  The Depressed Thirties and World War I I  169  Labour Relations i n the Halibut Industry VII.  VIII.  IX.  125  . . . . .  FISHERMEN'S CO-OPERATIVES  180 195  Development of the Co-operatives  196  Causes of Co-operative Failure  206  Labour and the Co-operatives  206  COLLECTIVE BARGAINING IN THE FISHING INDUSTRY SINCE WORLD WAR II  209  Status and Degree of Organization 1948  210  Agreements i n the Industry  214  SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS  APPENDIX A:  223  NATIVE INDIANS AND THE FISHING INDUSTRY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA  APPENDIX Bt  230  THE JAPANESE IN THE BRITISH COLUMBIA FISHING INDUSTRY  APPENDIX Ct THE CHINESE IN THE B.C. FISHING INDUSTRY APPENDIX D:  259 . . .  286  ORGANIZATIONS AND STRIKES OF FISHERMEN AND ALLIED WORKERS IN BRITISH COLUMBIA, 1893-1949  . . .  299  BIBLIOGRAPHY  311  MAPS  315  vii.  LIST OF TABLES TABLE I. II.  PAGE Salmon Catch by Species and by Gear, 1951 Fishing Gear Operated - Fraser River and Puget Sound, 1911-1917  III. IV.  15  .-  50  Canadian and American Sockeye Catches,•1935-1951  . •  Worth P a c i f i c Halibut Seasons and Percentage Divisions of Catch, 1933-1958  V. VI. VII. VIII. IX. X. XI. XII. XIII. XIV. XV.  54  57  Per Capita Consumption of Fish, 1951  67  Canadian Per Capita Consumption of Meat and Fish  . .  67  Per Capita Consumption of Fish by Provinces, 1951 . .  68  Increase i n Per Capita F i s h Consumption  69  •  R a i l Freight Rate Increases  69  Consumption of Canned Salmon - Canada  .  71  Decrease i n Canned Salmon Wholesale Prices  71  Prices Canned Salmon Shipment, Vancouver - Seattle. •  78  B r i t i s h Columbia Salmon Canneries  95  . . . . .  Number of Canneries and G i l l n e t s , 1912-1922  97  Net Licences Issued, 1898-1905  120  XVI.  Salmon Cannery Employees, 1898-1905  121  XVII.  Fishing Licences Issued, 1922-1933  121  Shoreworkers' A r b i t r a t i o n Award, 1920 . . . . . . . .  165  Shoreworkers* A r b i t r a t i o n Award, 1921  166  XVIII. XIX.  viii. TABLE XX.  PAGE Kyuquot T r o l l e r s  1  Co-operative Association  Membership, 1931-1948  198  XXI.  Fishery Licences, F i s c a l Year, 1951-1952 .  238  XXII.  Japanese Immigration t o Canada, 1899-1934  261  XXIII. XXIV. XXV. XXVI.  Fishing Licences Issued, 1922-1924  .  275  G i l l n e t Licences Issued t o Japanese, 1922-1931 . . . .  277  Ling Cod Licences Issued, 1923-1924  277  Salmon T r o l l i n g Licences Issued, 1922-1925  278  XXVII.  Male Chinese Immigration t o Canada, 1904-1912  . . . .  287  XXVIII.  Male Chinese Immigration t o Canada, 1913-1922  . . . .  288  . . . . .  289  . . . .  293  XXIX. XXX. XXXI.  Chinese Immigration into Canada, 1923-1934 Chinese Labour i n Salmon Canneries, 1879-1905 Wages of Chinese and White Labour i n Salmon Canneries, 1879-1900  XXXII.  . . . »  Organizations of Fishermen and A l l i e d Workers i n B r i t i s h Columbia, 1893-1949  XXXIII.  293  299  Strikes of Fishermen and A l l i e d Workers i n B r i t i s h Columbia, 1893-1949  304  ix.  LIST OF MAPS MAP IA.  PAGE Department of Fisheries S t a t i s t i c a l Map, Showing Areas of Catch f o r B r i t i s h Columbia Waters, 1957 (Southern Half)  IB.  315  Department of Fisheries S t a t i s t i c a l Map, Showing Areas of Catch for B r i t i s h Columbia Waters, 1957 (Northern Half)  2.  316  International P a c i f i c Halibut Commission Map, Showing P a c i f i c Halibut Fishery Regulatory Areas, 1959  317  X.  ACKKOTfLEDGMEMT In 1949 the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia made a researoh grant to the Department of Economics f o r a study of labour r e l a t i o n s i n the f i s h i n g industry of B r i t i s h Columbia.  Out of t h i s study the author,  i n c o l l a b o r a t i o n with Dr. Stuart Jamieson of the Department of Economics, wrote two a r t i c l e s on unionism i n the industry.  They were published i n  The Canadian Journal of Economics and P o l i t i c a l Science, February, 1950, and May, 1950. This thesis i s a continuation and enlargement of these two a r t i c l e s . In 1950 the author received a further f i n a n c i a l grant from the Department of Anthropology,  U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, f o r the  purpose of studying the r o l e of the native Indians i n the commercial f i s h e r i e s of B r i t i s h Columbia.  The r e s u l t s of t h i s study, "The Indians  i n the Commercial Fishing Industry of B r i t i s h Columbia", was also publ i s h e d i n The Canadian Journal of Economics and P o l i t i c a l Science. This a r t i c l e has been included as Appendix A of t h i s t h e s i s .  A summary  of the data i n the a r t i c l e i s contained i n Chapter V. A number of the quotations i n the study should not be regarded as faotual and aoourate statements.  Rather, they are used to indicate the  attitudes of the parties involved i n the disputes. as w e l l balanced as would be desired.  The thesis i s not  Some topios have been written up  at considerable length because f a c t u a l data about them were- available i n detail.  Other topios have been treated somewhat inadequately because  XI.  source material was fragmentary or lacking. A l l opinions expressed i n t h i s thesis are those of the author and are based on research and personal experience.  1.  INTRODUCTION The commeroial f i s h i n g industry of B r i t i s h Columbia i s characterized by the uncertainty of income and the inseourity of o a p i t a l investment.  A  consequenoe of t h i s inherent inseourity has been a long h i s t o r y of b i t t e r labour-management disputes. The primary purpose of t h i s thesis i s to traoe the h i s t o r y and development of trade unionism and labour disputes fishermen.  involving commercial  I t i s the writer*s b e l i e f that the reader should have some  knowledge of the factors and problems which may create labour-management tensions.  To give t h i s background several chapters are devoted t o i n d i -  cate the reasons f o r the inseourity and how they a f f e c t labour r e l a t i o n s . Two major problems a r i s e i n dealing with the subject of labour r e l a t i o n s i n the industry. found within the industry.  The f i r s t problem i s the wide d i v e r s i t i e s Eaoh species of f i s h requires i t s own  peculiar techniques of catohing, processing and marketing.  The seasonal  nature and the degree of governmental controls vary f o r the different types of f i s h i n g .  Technological developments are highly developed i n  some phases of the industry, while others are p r i m a r i l y manual labour. F i n a l l y , the degree of employer-employee r e l a t i o n s h i p varies from that an of/unhampered buyer-seller basis to a close r e l a t i o n s h i p involving contracts.  A consequence of the d i v e r s i t i e s i s the d i f f i c u l t y and even  i m p o s s i b i l i t y of generalized statements applicable t o a l l aspeots of the industry. The second factor i s that the inherent problems affeot both management and labour a l i k e , though the effects vary i n degree.  The  2. uncertainties and i n s e c u r i t i e s apply to both p a r t i e s .  In discussing tl»  disputes only the bare facts are given with only a minimum of discussion regarding the causes. The speoies of commercial f i s h with some pertinent charaoteristios are discussed i n Chapter I.  The value of each f i s h e r y , which i n turn  determines the price paid to the fishermen, i s discussed from the  stand-  point of consumer demand, the supply of f i s h for a given season, and natural supply of f i s h .  the  The seasonal nature of the d i f f e r e n t speoies  and the l o c a l i t i e s of the main f i s h i n g areas are also mentioned* In Chapter I  the main techniques of f i s h i n g and processing  are  discussed, with the main emphasis on technological developments and t h e i r effects on the industry.  The developments i n f i s h i n g techniques have  increased to a degree where r i g i d controls must be i n s t i t u t e d by the Department of Fisheries to ensure the perpetuity of f i s h  populations.  The developments i n processing have made possible volume production with s u b s t a n t i a l l y reduced unit costs.  The highly competitive  industry compels the development and acceptance of new  nature of the  ideas and methods.  Failure to do so would r e s u l t i n f a i l u r e or, at the best, marginal operation. Without some forms of controls there probably would not be a f i s h i n g industry.  Chapter II. deals w i t h the purpose and necessity of  government controls. conservation  The primary purpose of these regulations i s the  of the f i s h e r i e s .  The regulations do have the e f f e c t of  creating uncertainties through shortened seasons, closures, quotas, e t c . Consumer market demands for f i s h and f i s h products are constantly changing as indicated i n Chapter H I .  The conditions are r e f l e c t e d back  3. to fishermen i n changing p r i c e s .  Since f i s h prices have been the  cause of a majority of disputes i n the industry, then i t becomes obvious that market conditions are of utmost importance stable labour r e l a t i o n s .  i n maintaining  It should be noted that fishermen have no  d i f f i c u l t y i n disposing of their catch.  Problems arise when companies  t r y to market t h e i r products at prices which w i l l give a reasonable profit.  Market conditions are of importance t o t h i s study for t h e i r  effect on the prices paid t o fishermen.  Since conditions do change  the examples of market conditions can only be f o r a given year. The main point made i n Chapter V about labour relations between the companies and other employer groups and fishermen i s that, though they are subjected to the same problems as fishermen, companies have presented a u n i f i e d body through t h e i r Association which has always bargained with fishermen, whether organized or unorganized.  The  economics of the industry, plus rapid technological changes have resulted i n mergers and consolidations.  The r e s u l t of this i s that today  there are a r e l a t i v e l y few companies producing homogeneous products. The second employers group, the Pishing Vessel Owners Association, stands between oompanies and fishermen, at times co-operating with companies against the unions, and at other times with unions against the companies. Labour as shown i n Chapter V, i s divided into two wage earner and the fisherman.  groups—the  Reasons for unionism among the f i r s t  group are similar to those i n other industries, but the case of the f i s h e r men  i s rather complex.  Actually, the fisherman i s self-employed and on a  buyer-seller basis with the companies.  However, he has i d e n t i f i e d himself  with labour by organizing and using the t r a d i t i o n a l weapons of labour unions.  H i s t o r i c a l l y the fishermen have been a m i l i t a n t group operating  under militant leadership. A feature of the industry i s the d i v i s i o n into ethnic groups, with each s p e c i a l i z i n g i n a particular branch of the industry.  The r o l e s of  the Indians, Japanese and Chinese are given i n Appendices A, B and Chapter V  gives a resume of the roles of these three groups.  addition the role of the white fishermen discussed.  C.  In  i n the development of unions i s  The "whites" themselves are composed of Swedes, Norwegians,  Finns, Danes,  Yugoslavs, Greeks, Italians, S c o t t i s h , etc.  The discussion of wages and other payments i n Chapter V  is ~  necessarily generalized due to the v a r i a t i o n s . For a d e t a i l e d stvdy the reader i s referred to the current union agreements.  Generally,  payments to shore workers are monthly, hourly, or contract, depending on the type and c l a s s i f i c a t i o n of work.  It should be noted that  standardized wage rates and c l a s s i f i c a t i o n s of work are r e l a t i v e l y recent i n the industry.  Prior to World War  II a l l calmon cannery  labour, except the s k i l l e d white workers, worked under a Chinese contractor. The fishermen are paid on poundage or tonnage b a s i s . receive wages, commission, or are on/^.ay b a s i s .  Tendermen  The share divisions  for crew members are also given. Chapter VI. deals with the actual h i s t o r y of the disputes and the development of trade unionism among fishermen. into three phases.  The history i s divided  The f i r s t phase, 1893 t o 1930, was marked by the  development of unions i n l o c a l areas.  These had two aims.  F i r s t , there  was bargaining f o r f i s h prices, and secondly, the protection of native Indian and white fishermen against the increasing competition of the Japanese fishermen. The seoond phase began during the economic depression of the 1930» This was p a r t i c u l a r l y severe i n the f i s h i n g industry and was marked by a series of severe disputes and s t r i k e s . taken by the Unity League. occupational basis.  Leadership of the fishermen was  The fishermen were f i r s t organized on an  Then, through a series of well-planned moves, these  groups were united u n t i l , i n 1945, the present-day United Fishermen and A l l i e d Workers emerged as the bargaining representative of the majority of the fishermen and shoreworkers, and covering p r a c t i c a l l y every phase of the industry. The f i n a l phase may be dated 1945 t o the present day.  The d i s -  cussion here i s limited to the degree of organization among fishermen and  shoreworkers. Not a l l fishermen are organized into unions.  Many of the  independents, i . e . those fishermen who are not under f i n a n c i a l or contractual agreements with the companies, have organized marketing co-operatives. on the coast.  Chapter TH traces the development of these organizations The development of these co-operatives p a r a l l e l l e d the  development of the Unions i n the 1930's. Two current problems are omitted from this study. the problem of license l i m i t a t i o n s . licenses  The f i r s t i s  The purpose i s t o issue f i s h i n g  to bonafide fishermen only and refuse them t o part-time or  "holiday fishermen".  The question of i n t e r f e r i n g with the rights of  6. man  enters i n t o t h i s problem.  of f i s h versus power dams.  The second problem omitted i s the  question  The f i s h i n g industry i s of the opinion that  this problem can be solved to the s a t i s f a c t i o n of both p a r t i e s . development of one sector of  our economy may  The  have an adverse e f f e c t on  another seotor. The prospect  of "peace" i n the industry i s not b r i g h t , p a r t i c u l a r l y  during an economio recession. always be  present.  The factors contributing to i n s e c u r i t y w i l l  PART  I  BASIC FACTORS UJ THE FISHING INDUSTRY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA  7.  CHAPTER  THE B. C. FISHERIES:  MAJOR SPECIES AND TECHNIQUES  Topography of B r i t i s h Columbia. about 750 miles i n length.  I  B r i t i s h Columbia's coastline i s  When i t i s traced out along i t s innumerable  islands, i n l e t s and r i v e r s , i t measures some 13000 miles of navigable waters.  I t i s i n these l a t t e r waters that commercial f i s h i s found i n  abundance.  Certain areas y i e l d oertain species i n greater quantities  at various periods of the f i s h i n g season.  These periods provide the  main concentration and i n t e n s i t y of f i s h i n g . The coastal waters of B r i t i s h Columbia produce a wide v a r i e t y of f i s h .  In marketed value the province produoes the major share of  Canada's f i s h e r i e s .  This chapter i s concerned with the physical  c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the commercial species rather than with the b i o l o g i o a l or s c i e n t i f i c aspects.  I t i s the physical c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s  which determine consumer demand and thus the economic importance of 1 the f i s h .  Major and Minor F i s h e r i e s .  The commercial f i s h e r i e s are divided  into major or minor f i s h e r i e s depending on the marketed value which indioates i t s economic importance i n the industry. In B r i t i s h Columbia the major f i s h e r i e s ares  the salmon group  —sockeye, spring, chum, pinks and coho; h a l i b u t j herring; and bottom f i s h such as cod and sole.  1 See W.P. Clemens and G.U. Wilby, Fishes of the P a c i f i c Coast of Canada, B u l l e t i n 68, Fisheries Research Board of Canada, Ottawa, 1946, f o r more complete d e t a i l s .  8. Characteristics of the Species* The Salmon Group.  The five species of salmon and t h e i r products are the  are the most important i n terms of landed and marketed value. The salmon are anadromous i n that they return from the ocean to  spawn i n fresh water lakes and streams.  The migrations to the  spawning grounds occur at d e f i n i t e periods of the year with the different salmon species migrating at d i f f e r e n t times. followed by pinks and chums.  The sookeye appear f i r s t ,  It i s during t h i s b r i e f migration period  that they are fished commercially.  The spring and coho have a longer  and steadier migration period. A l l species of salmon cease to feed when they come i n oontact with the fresh waters of the r i v e r mouths and at this stage the storage of food by the salmon i s at the highest point.  For this reason the  salmon caught at r i v e r mouths are p a r t i c u l a r l y suited for canning purposes. Each species of salmon has a known l i f e cycle,with some species showing a d e f i n i t e cycle of s c a r c i t y and abundance.  From t h i s knowledge  of the l i f e cycle, i t i s possible by a study of the spawning conditions to estimate the s c a r c i t y or abundance of the next cycle. The Sockeye Salmon.  The sookeye i s the most important i n terms  of value of the f i v e salmon species.  The entire catch i s canned.  The  l i f e cycle of the sockeye i s from four to f i v e years, with most f i s h being four years o l d . The sockeye appears around July and by the end of August begins to deteriorate r a p i d l y for canning  purposes.  9. Commercial sookeye f i s h e r i e s are concentrated  c h i e f l y i n and  around the waters of the Nas3, Skeena, Nimkish, Rivers Inlet, Smiths Inlet and the Fraser R i v e r . every four years.  This l a s t area has a oycle of abundance  I t appears f i r s t a t Rivers Inlet area, then the  Nass and Skeena, followed by the Fraser River.  These periods may run  concurrently and c e r t a i n l y w i l l overlap.  Chum Salmon.  The chum salmon, sometimes oalled keta or dog  salmon, i s the l a s t salmon to appear during the season.  The species  travels i n schools and i t s l i f e cycle i s generally four years.  Chum  salmon is marketed i n canned, fresh, frozen and f i l l e t e d farms. Chum f i s h i n g ranges along the coast with the main concentration in the Queen Charlotte Islands, Johnstone S t r a i t s , the lower East Coast of Vancouver Island and Barkley Sound. Chum salmon is graded into the s i l v e r - b r i g h t dog appearing  .a early i n the season, and the l a t e r dark v a r i e t y .  There is/correspon-  ding price d i f f e r e n t i a l between the two grades with the former commanding the higher demand. Chum salmon were i n r e l a t i v e l y low demand p r i o r to World War I. However, wartime and post-war periods brought a sharp increase i n prices, due i n part t o demand i n the United States.  P r i o r to World  War I I a large quantity of ahum was used i n dry s a l t i n g for the Oriental trade. Pink Salmon.  The pink salmon, or humpback, i s the most abundant  of the salmon species.  This i s part of the reason f o r i t s consistently  low price i n comparison to the other salmon species.  The entire catoh  10. of pink salmon i 3 canned.  Like the chum, pink salmon t r a v e l  i n "schools".  Pink salmon f i s h e r i e s range along the entire B.C. coast.  Some  main areas are the Uass, Skeena, Queen Charlottes, B e l l a B e l l a , Johnstone S t r a i t s , Barclay Sound and Nitkiat, the l a s t two being on the west coast of Vancouver Island. In the pink salmon f i s h e r i e s there i s a two year cycle of abundance.  In the southern half of B.C. the cycle of abundance occurs i n  the odd years with the main concentration i n the Johnstone S t r a i t s area. In the northern p o r t i o n of the province i t occurs i n the even years.  In  the Queen Charlotte Islands pinks appear only i n even years.  Coho Salmon.  The coho salmon ranges along the whole coast, both  offshore and inshore. sometimes four.  The coho matures at the end of three years,  There i s no cycle of soarcity or abundance.  Coho  salmon are caught commercially by t r o l l i n g , g i l l n e t t i n g or seining. In t r o l l i n g the major areas are the Hecate S t r a i t s and the West Coast of Vancouver Island.  The coho i s marketed as canned, fresh, frozen,  or f i l l e t s .  The troll-caught salmon i s used mostly for the f r e s h  f i s h trade.  In the Gulf of Georgia, the young, or immature coho, i s  known commercially as the blue back.  Spring Salmon.  The spring salmon i s the most important  salmon  i n the fresh f i s h trade with p r a c t i o a l l y the entire catch being sold this way.  It i s fished commercially along the whole of the B.C. Coast  with some concentration i n the Prince Rupert-Queen Charlotte area, and along the West Coast of Vancouver Island.  Fishing i s mainly by t r o l l i n g  with a lesser amount caught by g i l l n e t t i n g .  The spring matures i n three  to eight years, generally i n four to f i v e .  There i s no cycle of s c a r c i t y  or abundance.  11. The spring salmon i s bought from the fishermen i n three weight categoriesi  mild cure, with weights 16 pounds and over; medium, 12 to  16 poundsj and small, 6 to 12 pounds.  There i s a price d i f f e r e n t i a l  for the three grades, with the mild cure having the highest demand. Herring F i s h e r i e s . group i n marketed value.  Herring f i s h e r i e s rank next to the salmon The herring appear i n schools with concen-  trations i n d e f i n i t e areas along the coast.  These are the Lower and  Upper East Coast of Vancouver Island, Barclay Sound to Esperanza Inlet on the West Coast of the Island, central B.C. area, Ogden Channel i n the v i c i n i t y of Prince Rupert and the Southeast coast of the Queen Charlottes. The coast i s divided into areas and each area has a quota of herring to be fished.  The quota i s set by the Federal Department  of  Fisheries and may be altered depending on conservation and spawning conditi ons. The- main products are feed, and herring o i l .  herring meal, used as high protein animal  The o i l content of herring decreases w i t h the  season as the spring spawning approaches. canning and frozen b a i t .  A small portion i s used f o r  Dry s a l t i n g of herring, l i k e the dry s a l t i n g  of chum, was the basis of a major industry p r i o r to World War I I .  Halibut F i s h e r i e s . value of B.C. f i s h e r i e s .  The halibut f i s h e r i e s rank t h i r d i n marketed The history of t h i s f i s h e r i e s shows a steady  northward trend u n t i l today the main f i s h e r i e s extends from the Hecate S t r a i t s to the Bering Seas.  12. The halibut f i s h e r i e s i s supervised by the International Halibut Commission whose members are composed of representatives from Canada and the United States.  The coast of B r i t i s h Columbia as w e l l as Alaska i s  divided i n t o three main areas with some sub-divisions, with two areas providing the bulk of the catch.  Each area and sub-area has an opening 2 date and a quota of halibut t o be taken during a season. Halibut i s sold by the fishermen  i n three weight d i v i s i o n s :  large, over 68 pounds; medium, 11 to 68 pounds; and chicken, 6 t o 11 pounds.  Of the three, the medium enjoys the highest demand and thus  the highest p r i c e .  The price d i f f e r e n t i a l s f o r the three weight  divisions could alter with changing ideas of marketing.  Soles.  The nomenclature of the f l a t f i s h comprised of soles and  flounders has created some d i f f i c u l t i e s .  The present terms are agreed  to by representatives of the B i o l o g i c a l Board and the f i s h i n g industry 2a i n order t o ensure orderly marketing names and for s t a t i s t i c a l purposes, The lemon sole i s the most important, while of l e s s e r importance are the b r i l l and butter sole. The "Cods".  A l l soles are marketed i n f i l l e t e d form.  As i n the case of the soles, c o d  this group of f i s h e s .  M  n  i s a misnomer f o r  The grey cod i s the only true cod, and i n f a c t i s  oommonly c a l l e d the true cod.  Ling cod and the red cod are rockfishes.  Also of t h i s group i s the black cod, or sable f i s h .  A l l cods, except  black cod which i s smoked, are marketed i n f i l l e t e d form.  2 See Map 2. 2a  Clemens and Wilby, op. c i t . , p. 310.  During World  13. increase i n  War II there was a strong/demand for cod l i v e r s f o r pharmaceutical purposes.  An equally rapid decline i n demand came i n the post-war period  with the introduction o f synthetic products. Tuna.  The production of Tuna, or albacore,  offset f l u c t u a t i n g Canadian production,  i s uncertain, and to  tuna i s imported from Japan.  Some Main Changes i n Techniques of Fishing.  The f i sh ing indus t r y  of B.C. i s constantly undergoing tremendous technological changes.  Many  and varied developments have occurred i n f i s h i n g techniques, i n the transportation of f i s h and i n canning and other processing Fishing i 6 a highly competitive  industry and t h i s  techniqves. competitive  element, coupled w i t h increasingly short seasons and wider areas of fishing,requires maximum e f f o r t within a l i m i t e d time.  Thus a firm or  i n d i v i d u a l i s compelled to adopt these technological changes i n order to remain i n a competitive  position.  Failure t o do so would r e s u l t i n  economic f a i l u r e or at the best, a marginal operation.  One consequence  of the technological changes i s that e x i s t i n g oapital investments become obsolete and make necessary new and i n v a r i a b l y greater  Technology In Fishing Methods.  investments.  There are several areas of  technological developments that are common to a l l methods of f i s h i n g . The development of communications and electronics i s a case.  With a  radiophone the fishermen are able t o keep i n contact and have immediate knowledge of the more productive  f i s h i n g grounds.  The depth recorder i s  a navigational a i d as well as a means f o r l o c a t i n g herring and f i s h i n g banks.  The d i r e c t i o n finder i s also a navigational a i d which enables  14. the fishermen to "home" to productive areas and, i n the absence of landmarks, to remain i n s p e c i f i c areas by means of " f i x e s " . In discussing any new development i n f i s h i n g i t should be remembered, however, that the fundamental p r i n c i p l e s and methods have not changed.  Rather the changes have been mechanical with increased  e f f i c i e n c y at greatly reduced physical labour.  Methods of Commercial Fishing. Basis of Fishing Methods.  The various species of commercial f i s h  have known habits and c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s which determine -the methods of fishing.  Salmon and herring t r a v e l along known paths at s p e c i f i o periods  of the year on t h e i r annual migrations to the spawning areas.  Herring,  pink and chum salmon "school up" at, or near, the water surface. springs and sockeye t r a v e l at various depths.  Cohoes,  The f l a t , bottom feeding  f i s h e s — h a l i b u t and soles, remain r e l a t i v e l y stationary at known l o c a l i t i e s . A l l species of f i s h l i s t e d as cods are also bottom feeders.  Some species  feed on smaller f i s h as herring and lance, other species feed on crustaceans.  Salmon cease t o feed on coming i n contaot with the fresh  water of r i v e r mouths. On the basis of the knowledge of these habits ani c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s the commercial f i s h i n g can be divided into four basic methodsJ  entangle-  ment, using g i l l n e t s ; encirclement, with the purse seine and beam trawl; hook and l i n e , as i n long l i n i n g f o r bottom f i s h and i n salmon and tuna t r o l l i n g ; entrapment i n f i s h traps.  Each species i s fished mainly by  one only of these methods but there i s some overlapping, p a r t i c u l a r l y i n the salmon f i s h e r y .  Table 1 shows the proportion of salmon taken  by each method f o r the year  1951.  TABLE I SALMON CATCH BY SPECIES AND BY GEAR, 1951  Gillnot Mill Lbs.  Percent  Seine Mill Lbs.  Trollers  Percent  Mill Lbs.  Percent  Chums Pinks Coho  27.22 15.67 8.71  43.0 26.0 24.8  35.92 42.72 6.74  56.8 71.0 19.2  S ookeye  26.00  87.2  3.49  11.7  2.08  21.2  .33  3.4  7.15  1.46 .37  51.8 90.3  .11 .03  3.9 7.3  42.2 1.19 ±k  .15  53.6  .07  25.0  40.5  89.41  44.3  Red Spring White Spring Steelhead Jack Spring TOTAL  81.66  .14 1.08 19.51 .05  .06 29.18  Traps Mill Lbs.  .2 1.8 55.5  .02 .71 .18  .2  Percent  - 'J & 1.2i , . .5  Total Mill Lbs.  Percent  63.30 60.18 35.14  100.0 100.0 100.0  .28  .9  29.82  100.0  72.8  .26  2.6  9.82  100.0  -  .06 .01  2.1  2.82  100.0  2.4  .41  100.0  .28  100.0  21.4 14.5  1.52  -  .7  201.77  100.0  A Less than .005 percent fck Less than 5000 l b s . Source:  B r i t i s h Columbia Catch S t a t i s t i c s - By Area and Type o f Gear, Department of Fisheries of Canada - P a c i f i c Area, 1951.  The Salmon G i l l n e t .  G i l l n e t f i s h i n g i s the oldest and most  widely used method of commercial f i s h i n g .  The net i s e s s e n t i a l l y a  webbing of dyed l i n e n or nylon usually measuring 200 fathoms i n length and 60 meshes i n depth. j^The webbing i s hung from a "cork l i n e " which f l o a t s on the water's surface.  The bottom of the webbing i s weighted  with a "lead l i n e " to give the net a v e r t i c a l  position.^  The g i l l n e t i s set across the known or assumed path of the travelling fish. entangled.  The f i s h come i n oontact w i t h the net and become  Should the f i s h see the webbing the tendency w i l l be to  avoid i t . For t h i s reason the g i l l n e t i s most effective i n the muddy waters found at the mouth of a r i v e r .  G i l l n e t f i s h i n g i s generally  i d e n t i f i e d with sockeye f i s h i n g , but the method i s used f o r a l l species 3 of salmon.  The present day g i l l n e t boat i s owned and operated by an  individual fishermen. Variations o f the Salmon G i l l n e t . dogfish has a heavy lead l i n e . v e r t i c a l position.  The sunken net used t o take  Glass buoyancy b a l l s give the net the  A second v a r i a t i o n i s herring g i l l n e t t i n g .  This  i s centred i n the waters o f f Point Grey and the herring are sold on the fresh f i s h market of Vancouver. Technological Changes i n G i l l n e t t i n g . was a s k i f f , a small boat or a canoe.  The o r i g i n a l g i l l n e t boat  . It was  manned by a crew of  two, one man to handle the oars and the other the net.  3  See Table I, p. 15.  Later, a rather  17. specialized 26-foot boat, commonly known as the Columbia R i v e r boat, came into existence. This was s t i l l , as a r u l e , a two-man boat but with a s a i l f o r greater m o b i l i t y . M o b i l i t y was not a serious cojisi.der.ation-untll,_the_1920's. Fishingwas of a l o c a l g ^  u  r  9  i*  1  the v i c i n i t y o f the many_^anneries.  The f i s h i n g boats were merely towed to the grounds located near the home cannery.  With the beginning of centralized canning operations and  the increased f i s h i n g areas came a need to cover the increased distanoes. In addition, competition among the fishermen was increasing.  These  factors created a need for power but an order-in-oouncil prohibited the 4 use of power boats f o r g i l l n e t t i n g i n f i s h i n g Area 2. Main opposition t o powered g i l l n e t t e r s came from the canners. They had considerable investment i n the Columbia River boats and t o convert t o power would require an additional $800.00 a boat. Besides, 5 most boats were unsuitable for conversion to power. The a d v i s a b i l i t y o f t h e use of power g i l l n e t s i n Area 2 was 6 studied by a Commission on the f i s h e r i e s .  F i n a l l y , permission f o r the  use of powered g i l l n e t boats i n Area 2 was given i n 1923, but only t o Indians and whites.  The Japanese were given permission i n 1930.  G i l l n e t t i n g became a one man operation and the old type boat was obsolete.  The o r i g i n a l power boats were up to 30 feet i n length.  Engines ranged from four t o seven H.P.  It was not u n t i l World War I I  and the post-war period that the modern high-powered g i l l n e t boat came into existence.  4  D e t a i l s for D i s t . 1 are not known. See Map l b .  5  Vancouver Province, July 12, 1917, p. 14.  6  Ibid., J u l y 9, 1917, p. 14.  18. A second major development was the late 1920's. i n by hand.  the power r e e l or drum for nets i n  The g i l l n e t u n t i l then had been played out and hauled  Use of the power-operated drum to set and haul nets results  in a fast and e f f i c i e n t operation with a minimum of physical labour. the post World War nylon g i l l n e t .  In  II period another change saw the introduction of the  The increased e f f i c i e n c y of t h i s net p r a c t i c a l l y  eliminated the linen net. Today the modern g i l l n e t t e r i s around 38 feet, using gasoline or d i e s e l engines with up to 200 H.P. and requiring a c a p i t a l investment up to §20,000.00.  These boats can be adapted t o g i l l n e t t i n g , halibut  f i s h i n g or t r o l l i n g .  The majority of the boats are f i t t e d with the  latest mechanical and electronic a i d s . Purse Seining.  The purse seine embodies the p r i n c i p l e of e n c i r c l e -  ment and i s used mainly for the "schooling" species of f i s h r - p i n k s , chums and herring. It i s e s s e n t i a l l y a webbing of tarred cotton (now nylon) w i t h a lead l i n e and a cork l i n e , measuring 175 to 225 fathoms i n length. Brass rings are hung at regular intervals along the lead l i n e by means of " b r i d l e s " .  A "purse seine" i s then passed through the r i n g s .  In making a "set", the seine boat makes a complete c i r c l e around the f i s h .  The two ends of the purse l i n e are hauled i n , or "pursed i n " ,  by means of a power winch. hauled on board the seiner.  On completion of the pursing, the rings are The net i s then hauled on the seine table,  forming a bag or packet, containing the f i s h . are " b r a i l e d " on the seiner. same.  From this bag the f i s h  The herring purse seine operation i s the  Heavier equipment i s used and power i s used f o r hauling or  19. " f l e e t i n g " i n the seine which measures 250 fathoms i n length and up to  =  35 " s t r i p s " . Salmon purse seine boats vary in length from 40 to 72 feet and carry crews of four to eight men.  For herring seining the larger boats  are used, averaging 72 feet and carrying a crew of nine Development i n Salmon and Herring Purse Seining. methods use the same boats so any new  men. The two f i s h i n g  developments w i l l apply t o both.  Actually, large scale herring f i s h e r i e s appeared a f t e r the larger seine boat was  an established u n i t .  One difference i n the two f i s h e r i e s i s the  use of depth recorders to locate the schools O r i g i n a l l y salmon purse seining was  of herring.  done by two large s k i f f s .  One  carried the net, the other the winch f o r the purse l i n e .  They were pro-  pelled by oars and a crew of around 16 men  The gas engine  seiner appeared i n the e a r l y 1900*s.  required.  The boats averaged around 35 to  feet with a crew of about seven or eight. the seiners increased  was  40  As i n the case of g i l l n e t t i n g ,  i n size to cope w i t h wider f i s h i n g areas.  The  gas  engine has been replaoed by the more economical d i e s e l engine. No r a d i c a l change appeared i n purse seining u n t i l after World War when the drum salmon seiner appeared.  Its seine i s reeled i n by power i n  a method similar t o that found i n g i l l n e t t i n g . salmon seiner requires f i v e or s i x men who In faot t h i s i s a double process. pursing operation.  The  conventional  table  haul i n the seine by hand.  seine i s hauled i n during  the  It i s then returned to the water and rehauled, p i l e d a  and made ready f o r the next set. oan be operated by four men labour  The  II  than the conventional  The drum seiner, on the other hand,  at a greater 3peed and with less physical table seiner.  20. The use of the drum seiner resulted i n the f i r s t opposition to seiners by the fishermen's union.  Owners of drum seiners f e l t  they  were e n t i t l e d to an increased boat share because of the smaller crew. The UFAWU opposed t h i s , using as one argument that i f the boat share was  increased, every seine boat would i n s t a l l a drum.  conceivably eliminate nearly h a l f the seine  This could  fishermen.  A second development has been the Puretic block, which hauls i n the seine by power and eliminates the need of manually hauling or " f l e e t i n g " the seine.  The blook has reduced the physical demands on  the crew and could be used to reduce the number of crew Hook and Line.  men.  The two main applications of hook and l i n e  f i s h i n g are to salmon and tuna t r o l l i n g , and long l i n e f i s h i n g for 7 halibut and black ood. by this method.  Table I  shows the proportion of salmon taken  T r o l l i n g for spring salmon, ooho and blue back i s  based on the habit of these species of feeding on lance, herring and other small t r a v e l l i n g f i s h .  To simulate this feed, t r o l l i n g "spoons"  of b r i g h t metal and p l a s t i c or wooden "plugs" are used as l u r e s . salmon are caught by the barbed hooks attached to the l u r e s . are set at varying depths determined by t r i a l and error. "dressed"; that i s , cleaned by the  The  The lures  The f i s h are  fishermen.  T r o l l i n g boats run from 25 to 50 feet i n length with an average of 36 f e e t .  Larger boats, 40 feet and over, pack i c e and d e l i v e r to  the processing plant.  These boats usually carry two men.  boats are owner-operated.  Tuna t r o l l i n g d i f f e r s from salmon t r o l l i n g  i n the use of feather lures and greater t r o l l i n g speeds.  7  See p. 15.  A l l trolling  In addition,  21. i t i s an off-shore operation and requires a orew of at least two men.  A  major technological change has teen the development of power-driven gurdies f o r hauling t r o l l i n g l i n e s , a task formerly done by hand. Entrapment.  Salmon traps are the most e f f i c i e n t method of f i s h i n g  from the standpoint of costs and the control of conservation. i s now  The method  of minor importance i n B r i t i s h Columbia, but i s important  Alaskan waters and u n t i l 1934 was the State of Washington.  important  in  i n the waters adjacent to  In B r i t i s h Columbia salmon traps are used by  one company at Sooke on southern Vanoouver Island under a p r i v i l e g e granted by the crown i n 1903. border was  The use of traps on the Alaska-B.C.  recommended i n 1929 by a Royal Commission, but was 8  not  approved by the Federal Government. As the name suggests, a salmon trap i s a means of entrapping f i s h t r a v e l l i n g along a known path.  A "lead" guides the f i s h into  a wire net trap having a series of compartments. from the last compartment or " s p i l l e r " . sites are company owned. and caretaking. 9  The f i s h are b r a i l e d  Traps as w e l l as the trap  Crews are hired p r i m a r i l y for maintenance  The proportion of salmon taken by the traps  i s given  i n Table I. Salmon traps have been a cause of intense controversy between Canadian and Amerioan a u t h o r i t i e s .  Fraser River salmon on t h e i r annual  migrations pass through American waters before entering the r i v e r . For many years, traps were allowed i n American waters but not i n Canadian.  As a r e s u l t , Americans were oatching a good portion of  8  P a c i f i c Fisherman, (May 1929), p. 14: (July 1929), p.  9  See p. 15.  30.  22. salmon destined f o r Canadian spawning  10 grounds.  Beam Trawling. Beam trawling i s used f o r bottom f i s h such as sole, l i n g cod, true cod, red cod and dog f i s h .  The beam trawl i s a  conical bag of heavy cotton (now nylon) webbing, held open by means of two "wing" boards. scoops up the f i s h .  It i s towed along the sea bottom and l i t e r a l l y  For t h i s reason i t i s the least selective method  of f i s h i n g . Beam trawlers measure from 40 feet to the same s i z e as the larger seiner and carry two to f i v e crewmen.  A number of halibut boats  and seiners enter t h i s f i s h e r i e s during t h e i r o f f seasons. Large-scale beam trawling f i r s t appeared during World War intensity.  I I , then decreased i n  The technological branch of the Department o f Fisheries  has done considerable experimental work aimed at improving the beam trawl, p a r t i c u l a r l y t r y i n g to adapt i t t o the herring f i s h e r i e s .  The Halibut F i s h e r i e s .  The development  of the halibut f i s h e r i e s shows a pattern o f  adjustment and adaptation of methods and techniques of f i s h i n g to rapid depletion and t o the move t o f i s h i n g areas more distant from the fishermen's home port.  In t u r n the changes i n methods and techniques  have brought a change i n ownership of boats and equipment and i n the methods of payment to the fishermen.  In addition, the whole labour 11 relations structure was to be affected by these changes.  10  See below, Chapter 2.  11  See Below, Chapter 9.  23. Methods of Halibut Fishing.  In long l i n i n g for halibut or black  cod, the l i n e with baited hooks i s l a i d on the bottom of the sea.  A  unit of gear, or "skate", oonsists of a main l i n e of tarred manila, with shorter l i n e s or "gangings" attached at regular intervals. are attached t o the gangings.  Barbed hooks  The skate i s set through a "chute", then  anchored at each end and marked by buoys.  The l i n e s are hauled i n by a  power winch, or "gurdy". The halibut f l e e t consists of the s p e c i a l i z e d halibut boat plus seiners and a "mosquito f l e e t " , mostly of t r o l l e r s and g i l l n e t t e r s . Crews vary from two men on the smaller boats to 15 on the larger boats, depending on the size of the boat and the amount o f gear handled. The hook and l i n e method i s also used i n a minor way, for hand l i n i n g or " j i g g i n g " for l i n g cod.  They are kept i n " l i v e w e l l s " f o r  delivery to t h e buyer. Early Fisheries.  The halibut f i s h e r i e s began i n the 1880's  with operations confined to the Gulf o f Georgia and markets i n V i c t o r i a , Vancouver and New Westminster, although some exports were made t o San Francisco.  The industry received an important stimulus about 1890 with  the introduction by the C.P.R. of refrigerated railway cars.  This  opened huge markets i n Eastern Canada and United States, g r e a t l y expanding the industry. E a r l y halibut f i s h i n g was carried on i n small boats which proved inadequate f o r the r a p i d l y expanding industry.  The halibut  steamer  was introduced.  It was a mother ship for f i s h i n g dories which delivered  to the steamer.  Halibut s a i l i n g schooners were used t o a lesser extent,  mainly by Americans, operating from San Francisoo. The f i s h e r i e s was  24. r e s t r i c t e d by t h e i r limited range, and by the end of the century, they were no longer used.  The steam halibut boats had more range but heavy  i n i t i a l investment and high operating costs made them increasingly uneconomical as the f i s h i n g area enlarged. A t y p i c a l halibut steamer at the turn of the century, described as the " f i n e s t f i s h i n g vessel i n the world" using "modern methods", had 12 dories, each with two men. Every dory fished with four skates, each 12 with 500 to 600 hooks. Another halibut steamer of t h i s period, operating out of Taooma, Washington, carried 30 men, 13  including 18 fishermen f o r  i t s nine dories. A l l boats and equipment were owned by the f i s h i n g companies. men were paid so much a f i s h , regardless of size.  The  In 1900 the arrangement  made by the companies was a payment of 25 cents a halibut with the companies supplying board, frozen herring f o r b a i t , dories, and l i n e s . A 14 t y p i c a l landing was 276 halibut, or $33.00 a fisherman. Halibut i n 15 that year was r e t a i l i n g for four t o f i v e cents a pound i n Vancouver. 25 cents a halibut was the p r e v a i l i n g price u n t i l 1902 or 1903 when i t rose to one cent a pound. U n t i l 1914 p r a c t i c a l l y a l l halibut f i s h e r i e s were conducted by company-owned steam vessels and dories.  With depletion of the f i s h i n g  banks and need t o t r a v e l to more distant grounds, the steamer became 12  Vancouver Province, August 20, 1900, p. 7j June 3, 1901, p. 5.  13  Vancouver World, October 28, 1898, p. 5.  14  Province, August 20, 1900, p. 7.  15  Ibid., September 20, 1900, p. 2.  16 uneconomical and was replaced by the privately-owned halibut schooner. At  t h i s point, the gasoline engine was introduced.  It brought  changes to the whol9 industry which were most evident at f i r s t i n halibut f i s h i n g , mainly because of the time f a c t o r . sohooner could cover a wider area of operation.  The gasoline-powered  While the f i r s t  specialised halibut boats were company-owned or company-financed, the trend was soon towards private ownership.  The f i r s t gasoline-powered  halibut boat arrived i n Prince Rupert i n the winter of 1913. The introduction of the d i e s e l engine, l i k e the gasoline engine, was to have the greatest impact on the halibut industry.  The d i e s e l ,  operating at far less expense, could compete with the steamers i n the more storm-3wept banks of Alaska now known as Area 3. The f i r s t d i e s e l 17 powered halibut boat appeared i n Seattle, i n 1916. Canadian owners followed suit and the l a s t halibut steamer was used i n 1918. The specialized halibut boats were strong and seaworthy, wi'th a deep d r a f t , high bow and stern, a f a i r l y low deok with high bulwarks and hatch combing. up to 15 men.  They measured up t o 100 feet and carried crews of  In 1914, with the appearance of the independent halibut  boat came the halibut " l i n e hauler system" (presumably the gurdy) and 18 the halibut chute.  16 N i c h o l l , J.W., " P a c i f i c Halibut Control", P a c i f i c Fisherman, (August, 1929), pp. 16-17. 17  Prince Rupert D a i l y News, A p r i l 29, 1916, p. 3.  18  P a c i f i c Fisherman, (August 1929), p. 16.  26. Depletion  of t he halibut f i s h e r i e s continued and  stringent measures were neoessary f or conservation  increasingly-  purposes.  The  halibut  season has become shorter and shorter u n t i l at present the quota f o r 18a Area 2 can be caught i n less than a month.  Thus the need f o r the  specialized halibut boat for halibut f i s h i n g alone decreased.  Today  though many are s t i l l i n use, the construction trend i s toward combination boats, suitable for halibut, salmon, herring and beam trawling. Techniques and Labour Relations  i n Halibut F i s h e r i e s .  The  trend  towards the privately-owned halibut boat had an important impact i n labour r e l a t i o n s .  The trend was  related to the fact ttiat the companies  were unwilling t o r i s k c a p i t a l investments i n boats i n the face of rapid depletion.  The p r i v a t e l y owned boats were free to s e l l t o the  highest  bidder with the proceeds divided on a " l a y " basis, that i s , 20 percent of the gross to the boat and the net proceeds divided equally among the crew.  Furthermore, with ihe change i n status whereby the crews were  self-employed i n the true sense of the word, the incidence of labour 19 management disputes was minimized. The Transportation  of F i s h .  The method of transportation of f i s h from the f i s h i n g areas to the processing  plants varies and has caused some c o n f l i c t between labour  and management.  Size of vessel v a r i e s considerably  l o c a l oollector t o the coastwise packer. differs.  19  from the  small  Manual labour entailed also  For instance, i n packing troll-oaught salmon, each f i s h must  See below, Chapter 9.  18a. But see Table IV, p.  57.  be iced.  In general, hours of work are long but the type of labour  needed varies as does the number of crew. The modern pacter, with i t s large oarrying capacity and i t s long range i s able to t r a v e l the entire coast l i n e . an important  Thus i t has been  factor i n c e n t r a l i z i n g canning and processing operations  at Prince Rupert, Mamu and i n ihe  Van: ouver-New Westminster d i s t r i c t .  With radio telephones, packers can be directed t o more productive f i s h i n g grounds.  Contact with the home plant means a r r i v a l times are  known and the processing crews can be ready. Larger packers have not only been a factor i n centralized operations but have considerably reduced competition and eliminated the need for smaller packers.  The l a t t e r are now mostly used f o r c o l l e c t i n g  from g i l l n e t t e r s and t r a n s f e r r i n g f i s h t o larger paokers.  A further  step i n e f f i c i e n c y might be attained by r i v a l companies packing for each o-ttier, p a r t i c u l a r l y i n long runs t o less productive areas.  This  would ensure capacity loads and thus a minimum unit-production cost. An important  development in f i s h transportation has been brine  r e f r i g e r a t i o n , developed by the technological branch of the F i s h e r i e s Department.  This system ensures top q u a l i t y f i s h , yet eliminates the  physical labour of i c i n g f i s h .  The process i s s t i l l new  and as yet has  not had wide acceptance, possibly because of r e l a t i v e l y high i n i t i a l cost.  Effects of Techniques i n Fishing on Labour R e l a t i o n s .  A f i s h i n g vessel is designed p r i m a r i l y for a p a r t i c u l a r type of f i s h i n g , and each fisherman i s u s u a l l y a s p e c i a l i s t i n one irathod.  28.  However, r i s i n g costs of boats, equipment and general operations, as w e l l as increasing competition at a time when f i s h i n g periods are being cont i n u a l l y r e s t r i c t e d , have meant a decline i n value of catch per boat. Therefore, for a number of years, the trend has been to adapt equipment and gear for a variety of major f i s h i n g operations.  An added incentive  to d i v e r s i f i e d operations has been the r i s e , i n prices of a l l v a r i e t i e s of f i s h .  ^ .  Examples of d i v e r s i f i e d operations are numerous. boat i s used f o r t r o l l i n g and halibut f i s h i n g .  The  gillnet  The seine boat is used  for salmon, herring, halibut, beam trawling and packing of f i s h .  The  specialized halibut boat, confronted with a short season, has been used for beam trawling, salmon and tuna t r o l l i n g , herring and salmon packing. In the e a r l i e r days of f i s h i n g the fishermen followed one method of f i s h i n g , remained i n a r e l a t i v e l y r e s t r i c t e d area and had l i t t l e contact with fishermen from other areas.  The trend towards consolidation  and c e n t r a l i z a t i o n of processing operations^ plus the wider areas of f i s h i n g operations, meant closer contacts. organization.  This was  a f a c t o r i n union  At t h i s stage, however, the fishermen were s t i l l  r e l a t i v e l y specialized and any group action was  on occupational l i n e s —  that i s , each group, whether g i l l n e t t e r s , seiners or t r o l l e r s , took up i t s own special problems. But with d i v e r s i f i c a t i o n and overlapping, of occupations, the fishermen came into contact with several types of f i s h i n g and so had common i n t e r e s t s — a prerequisite for group action on a coastwise b a s i s . The movement of the f l e e t from one productive ground to another led to increasing competition.  At the same time i t resulted i n some  antagonism by l o c a l fishermen against the "intruding" fishermen. Competition i n f i s h i n g operations oompels a search f o r new and innovations.  The o r i g i n a l users of new  ideas  ideas maintain an advantage  u n t i l they become widely adopted and the search i s renewed f o r further improvements. investments  The end result i s increased productivity, increased  and decreased physical labour.  The present-day f i s h i n g f l e e t has reached such a degree of e f f i c i e n c y as to become a matter of prime ooncern t o •the f i s h e r i e s authorities.  To cope with t h i s high degree of e f f i c i e n c y , i n c r e a s i n g l y  stronger conservation measures must be i n s t i t u t e d to ensure perpetuity of f i s h populations.  Resultant shorter f i s h i n g seasons, quotas and  other regulations mean that fishermen and companies must r e a l i z e returns on their labour and investment  during a b r i e f e r period.  This tends to  promote tension and c o n f l i o t i n labour management r e l a t i o n s . Main Techniques i n Processing Fish. Processed f i s h products are marketed i n competition with several other protein food products.  So they must be sold at competitive p r i c e s .  In the e a r l y stages of salmon canning, the operators r e a l i z e d that one way to reduce production costs was by use of mechanical devices. early as 1878,  i t was  As  reported that "many ingenious devices, with labour  saving devices of diverse kinds, are eagerly adopted as necessity suggest It i s of course only by an organized system of action and the minute subdivision of labour that the operation of the industry, from the outting up of the t i n plates, the shaping, the soldering up to the f i n a l l a b e l l i n g of the cans, after the i n s e r t i o n and cooking of the contents,  30. 20 can be p r o f i t a b l y or successfully carried on". There i s a paradox i n present-day processing of f i s h .  The canning  and reduction sections are highly mechanized but in fresh f i s h sections, where raw f i s h prices and production costs are high, manual labour s t i l l predominates. Techniques of Salmon Canning. Salmon canning follows this pattern. the  The salmon i s unloaded from  boats by conveyor into separate bins, according to species or areas  of o r i g i n a t i o n .  The salmon then pass through an "Iron Chink" where heads,  t a i l s , f i n s and v i s c e r a are removed.  The salmon then pass through tanks  where they get a f i n a l cleaning and inspection. operation.  This l a s t i s a manual  From the tanks they pass to a set of c i r c u l a r "gang" knives  where the f i s h are cut into correct lengths f o r the f i l l i n g machines, or to the hand f i l l e r s . for  l/4 l b . cans.)  f i l l i n g machine.  (In some plants, h a n d f i l l i n g i s s t i l l done, e s p e c i a l l y A l t e r n a t i v e l y , they may pass t o a combined cutting and  From the f i l l i n g machine, the oans pass through an  automatic weighing machine where a l l underweight cans are rejected.  At  t h i s point, salt i s added mechanically. The cans then pass through a double seamer where l i d s are added and the cans p a r t i a l l y closed.  The  next stage i s the vacuum machine where the a i r i s exhausted, the cans sealed and made ready for cooking i n r e t o r t s .  The cans are cooled,  washed i n lye tanks and then passed to the l a b e l l i n g machines. then ready f o r the consumer market.  20 Report of Commissioner Fisheries, 1878, p. 297.  They are  As can be seen, the modern salmon  of F i s h e r i e s , Department of Marine and  31. cannery i s a highly mechanized operation, but i t s t i l l requires a fluctuating and seasonal labour force, 21 Major Technological Changes i n Salmon Canning.  The f i s h i n g  industry showed advanced thinking about mechanization at a very e a r l y period.  At the 1898 New Westminster A g r i c u l t u r a l F a i r i t was reported  that."the v i s i t o r w i l l be able t o note the evolution i n the science of salmon 'canning.  They w i l l see a machine that oaps and solders the t i n i n  one motion, also which cuts up the f i s h , inserts i t i n the cans and sends i t along t o the capping machine.  There is also a mechanical idea which  proposes to do away with both nets and fishermen, which when perfected i s expected to secure the f i s h as he runs without the a i d of the a n t i quated mesh nets, divide the shoals into departments of exact uniform size, s p l i t the f i s h into required s l i c e s , cut them to the one  hundredth  part of an ounce i n weight and land them i n one pound t i n s ready f o r capping.  This invention which i s not yet patented, but which, a l l the  same, bids f a i r to revolutionize the P a c i f i c canning trade, w i l l at the same time s e t t l e the Chinese labour and fishermens* s t r i k e s .  This  invention w i l l also do away with trap nets without the a i d of the 22 internat ional commissi on". By 1907 reports were that never before i n the h i s t o r y of the canneries was there suoh a great rush to i n s t a l l new machinery. usual operation now was  The  sending the f i s h t o the cannery by conveyors,  then to the "Iron Chink" and outters where the f i s h was cut into proper 21 The dates given f o r these changes are those applicable t o Alaskan and American canneries. Canadian changes would presumably be about the same. £?3 22  The Vancouver World, August 9, 1898, p. 1. I_ ? j  size f o r canning.  The cans were hand f i l l e d , then placed on belts where  the l i d s were hand soldered.  From here they passed through a steam box. 25a The l i d s were then sealed, and the cans were ready for the r e t o r t s . In the intervening 50 years the technological developments have 23 increased the speed of salmon canning by 400 percent.  The o r i g i n a l  canneries were sheds where a l l stages of salmon canning and processing, except the actual cooking, were manual operations. F i r s t requirement i n canning was the cans, each of which had to be i n d i v i d u a l l y shaped and soldered by hand, before the automatic soldering machines were introduced. At one stage, a hole was l e f t on the top of cans to exhaust the a i r .  It was then covered and soldered by hand.  F i n a l l y , each can was tested for leakage. 24 In the 1890 6 an attempt at can manufacture was made. But the ,  manufactured  can, or "sanitary can", did not appear i n salmon canning  u n t i l 1905 and then was not w i d e l y used u n t i l 1912 with the introduction 25 of the "double seamer", a device f o r sealing l i d s .  Soldering of l i d s  became obsolete. By then canneries were obtaining t h e i r supplies from can manufacturers. The next stage of can manufacture was the introduction of the oollapsed can, r e s u l t i n g i n space and f r e i g h t savings to upcoast plants.  23 P a c i f i c Fisherman, August 1952, p. 66. The reader is r e f e r r e d to t h i s issue for a history of technological developments i n the industry. 24 This was the Automatic Can Co., believed t o have been a subsidiary of B e l l - I r v i n g i n t e r e s t s , and sold to the American Can Co. i n 1897. 25  Ibid., August, 1952, p. 6 and February 1929, pp.  25a Vancouver Province, July 9, 1907, p. 10. £ ?D  8-9.  33. 26 The plants merely reshaped or reformed the collapsed cans.  Their success  in Alaska was immediate, and witttin a few years the can making phase of the  Alaska cannery had disappeared i n favour of the reformed can.  Other  reports have "collapsed cans were pioneered i n 1924, but i t was not u n t i l 1925 and 1926 that t h i s development and i t s economies swept throughout 27 the  Alaska industry." Salmon cans, both empty and f u l l , were f i r s t shipped i n wooden  boxes manually made from pre-cut lumber.  In 1918 the f i b r e box was 28  duced and gradually replaced the wooden box.  intro-  Today an operator merely  empties a large paper carton, or bag of cans into a machine which autom a t i c a l l y uprights and feeds the cans into the f i l l i n g machine. The "Iron Chink". U n t i l 1904 heads, t a i l s , f i n s and v i s c e r a were removed by Chinese labourers.  In that year the "Iron Chink"was invented.  The f i r s t machines handled 60 f i s h per minute and replaced 56 Chinese 29 labourers.  Today the machine can handle 120 f i s h per minute with one  operator and three or four assistants. F i l l i n g Machine. the  The mechanical f i l l i n g machines began to replace  hand f i l l e r s i n the e a r l y 1900's.  This machine was gradually im30 proved u n t i l 1928 when the high speed f i l l e r appeared. The modern  26 The year of the introduction of the collapsed can i s uncertain. One report states " i t was i n 1918 that the American Can Co. f i r s t offered c o l lapsed cans to..the salmon industry...." P a c i f i c Fisherman, Aug. 1952, p. 30. 27  P a c i f i c Fisherman, August 1952, pp. 30, 41.  28  Ibid., p. 30.  29  Ibid., p. 67.  30  Ibid., p. 43  Also Marine L i f e , June 1909, p. 8.  34. f i l l i n g machine w i l l take dressed f i s h and can at rates up to 240 cans a minute compared to an average production of 270 l / 4 pound cans an hour 31 f i l l e d by hand. Only l/4 pound cans are hand f i l l e d today.  The Vacuum Machine.  The vacuum machine was f i r s t  introduced i n 1913  but  was not successful, and i t was not u n t i l 1926 that i t became widely 32 used. This machine replaced the cumbersome steam box through whioh oans  were passed back and f o r t h for 7 or 8 minutes t o exhaust the a i r from the and  oans.  The modern vacuum machines combine the function of exhausting 32 sealing the cans at the same r a t e of speed as the f i l l i n g machines. By 1928, with the use o f the vacuum maohine and the high speed  f i l l i n g machine, the speed of a salmon oanning l i n e had increased by 34 300 percent.  The compact one-line oannery common on Campbell Avenue  docks i n Vancouver was now possible. Another development common to a l l phases of processing i s the use of towmotors.  This has eliminated hand truoks and p i l i n g of cans by hand.  L a b e l l i n g and Boxing.  The modern l a b e l l i n g machine' labels the  oans, boxes them and then glues the boxes, ready f o r the market. It replaced the machine which lacquered the cans which were put by hand into wooden boxes.  31  Author's estimates.  32  Paoifio Fisherman, August 1952, p. 43.  33 The exact functions of the double seamers and steam boxes as given here may not be accurately described because of lack of research material giving exact d e t a i l s , and the author's lack o f personal knowledge. Some of the statements are reconstructions based on a few known f a c t s . The same applies to the techniques of hand soldering of cans. 34  Ibid.,, p. 43  35. Main Teohniques i n Fish Reduction. Main steps i n f i s h reduction, whether of salmon o f f a l , herring or other f i s h , are as follows.  The f i s h i s unloaded into bins from  which i t passes through a pre-cooking stage t o presses.  Here the l i q u i d s ,  that i s the f i s h o i l s , are pressed from the pre-cooked f i s h .  The solids  are then passed through rotary d r i e r s t o be cooked and dried.  Finally  the  meal i s ground and sacked ready f o r the market as f i s h meal. The l i q u i d s from the press are pumped into tanks and heated to  around 180 degrees F.  The o i l "breaks" t o the top and i s run o f f .  The  remaining l i q u i d s , or "stickwater", are passed through agitator tanks at 210 degrees F. and then to separators f o r further extraction of o i l s . The stickwater from t h e separators i s stored i n tanks where acid i s added to obtain the correct pH factor.  The l i q u i d i s then run through  a second series of separators, and then passed through "baskets" where a further extraction of o i l i s obtained by centrifugal action of the baskets.  The stickwater i s f i n a l l y passed to an "evaporation" plant  where the remaining solids are recovered t o obtain "solubles".  Theo-  r e t i c a l l y , and i n actual practice, nothing i s lost i n the reduction operation.  Technological Development.  The basic processes of f i s h  reduction were known when herring production was permitted i n the early 1930's.  By the end of the 1930's the separator had been added and the  evaporator was added i n the 1940's.  36. Techniques i n Fresh F i s h Processing. For years f r e s h f i s h was  sold i n f r e s h and frozen state without  the aids of consumer appeals l i k e packages. With the r i s e of supermarkets and the competition  of other packaged frozen foods, the f i s h industry was  compelled to change some of i t s methods of processing.  The r e s u l t  been the development of many types of packaged f i s h products, to the sale of whole fresh and frozen f i s h .  has  in addition  But the main processes i n  preparing fresh f i s h have remained unchanged. Salmon i s dressed, washed, glazed and stored i n cold  storage.  Dressed springs, chums and coho are marketed whole i n fresh or frozen state.  A small amount i s f i l l e t t e d and packaged, while large springs  are mild cured. The cods and bottom f i s h are f i l l e t t e d — b o n e s and skin are removed— and packaged. products,  An increasing amount i s being used far recently developed  such as f i s h sticks and pre-cooked frozen f i s h and chips.  The  demand f o r packaged f i s h opened up a b i g market for these lower priced species.  Large-scale beam trawling to meet this need began i n the e a r l y  1940's. Dressed halibut i s glazed and frozen. f i l l e t t e d and f l i t c h e d  for halibut steaks.  About the same quantity i s Packaging halibut has cut the  premium p r i c e that medium halibut used t o have over large.  Technological Developments i n Fresh F i s h Processing. processing i s p r i m a r i l y a manual operation and very operation can be mechanized. mechanically,  Fresh f i s h  l i t t l e of the  In f i l l e t t i n g , the wrapping i s done  and, at present, mechanical skinning machines and f i l l e t t i n g  37. machines are being  introduced, but as yet the c a p i t a l costs are high.  A major technological development that made packaged food possible was 35 the introduction of quick freezing i n 1930. are flozen between plates under continuous  In t h i s system, packages  pressure.  Technological Developments i n Fish Processing and Labour Relations. Great technological changes i n f i s h processing, p a r t i c u l a r l y i n salmon canning, were a v i t a l f a c t o r i n the series of mergers, c o n s o l i dations and c e n t r a l i z a t i o n of operations begun i n the 1920*s.  With the  speed of salmon canning increased by 300 percent, and a highly mobile f i s h i n g and packing f l e e t , a l e s s e r number of salmon canneries trend required.  was  This/created some unemployment, p a r t i c u l a r l y among the native  Indians. In past periods, the natives had migrated to the canneries in family units.  The fishermen were hired by the native contractor acting  as the agent f o r the canners. One consideration i n the h i r i n g was the available labour i n the fisherman's family f o r hand f i l l i n g and f i s h washing.  However, i n these many canning units, the work was highly  seasonal, the season r e l a t i v e l y short, and the supply of f i s h  unpredictable.  Therefore work was intermittent and income l i m i t e d . Against t h i s must be balanced some o f the advantages to labour of the technological developments. comprising operations. employees, 35  Centralized plants are integrated units  salmon cannery, reduction plant, cold storage and fresh f i s h The trend f o r t h e employees, e s p e c i a l l y male is  a  longer  period  of  employment.  P a c i f i c Fisherman, August 1952, p. 45  38. Today the period of employment i s p r a c t i c a l l y year round with halibut, salmon and herring operations following one another. i s maintenance work i n the slack seasons. the many packaged and specialty products  In addition there  Also s k i l l s needed to make increase the trend toward a  permanent labour f o r c e . Technological developments have d e f i n i t e l y created an increased labour force i n c e r t a i n areas.  Fresh f i s h f i l l e t t i n g and developments  i n reduction plants have enlarged these operations.  Advancing technology  has widened the scope of these operations, b u i l d i n g a permanent labour force with increased incomes.  The growing permanent labour force, i n  contrast to the e a r l i e r transient workers, requires more job s e c u r i t y and t h i s has been a factor i n union organizing.  E f f e c t s of Technology on Labour R e l a t i o n s — A Summary. The B r i t i s h Columbia f i s h i n g industry has undergone immense and rapid technological changes i n catching, transporting and processing. These rapid changes, i f adopted by only one company, would obviously mean an economic advantage f o r the user.  Thus the very forces of  competition compel the wide adoption of any new technological development.  In consequence the technological changes have been adopted i n  sudden surges, beoause f a i l u r e to adopt new techniques can mean economic f a i l u r e . The rapid rate and extent o f technological changes, the pattern of sudden spurts, are a l l conducive t o tension and c o n f l i c t .  Large  f i s h packers equipped with radiophone and high speed canneries have been a factor i n the centralized processing operations that have replaced the many canneries that once dotted the coast near the f i s h i n g grounds.  39. A few large d i e s e l packers replaced many smaller salmon c o l l e c t o r s . few canneries now  replacedthe many.  A  In t h i s way much c a p i t a l investment  in plants and boats became obsolete.  The workers who worked i n plants  near t h e i r homes became unemployed and had t o t r a v e l to distant plants, or find alternative employment. In a similar way  the gas engine replaced the oar-propelled boat,  larger engines replaced the e a r l y smaller engines, and f i n a l l y the economical d i e s e l engine replaced the larger gas engine. the pattern remains the same—existing  In each case,  c a p i t a l investment becomes  obsolete only to be replaced by a greater investment. Technological developments have increased e f f i c i e n c y and reduced physical labour per unit of output.  At the same time, they have caused  organized c o n f l i o t among fishermen and, t o a minor extent, i n processing. The introduction of any new  development i n f i s h i n g or processing i s of  benefit t o labour and proprietor a l i k e , but i t tends t o create c o n f l i c t over the question of sharing the b e n e f i t s , or the costs, of the  new  development. The introduction of the power "drum", i n place of iiie handoperated  "table", i n purse seining during the 1950» s i s one example of  o o n f l i c t r e s u l t i n g from improved technology.  The drum seiner i s con-  sidered to be highly e f f i c i e n t and c e r t a i n l y labour saving. boats and smaller cr8ws can be used.  Smaller  I f he uses a drum, the boat owner  bears the t o t a l cost of the drum and the cost of any a l t e r a t i o n s .  Since  the smaller crew could increase t h e i r earnings through increased e f f i c i e n c y , the boat owners f e l t they were e n t i t l e d to a greater share of the catch than the crew.  The attempt to increase t h e i r share from the e x i s t i n g 7 / l l  40. of the catch was unsuccessful. displaced.  One argument was that fishermen would be  Another d i f f i c u l t y was that a larger boat share might induce  many smaller boats to convert t o purse seiners. The above c o n f l i c t may have been f o r e s t a l l e d by the introduction of the Puretic block for r e e l i n g i n purse seines. and labour saving, yet beoause of organized  This too i s e f f i c i e n t  opposition the crew, p a r t i c -  u l a r l y i n herring seining, has not been reduced. In processing there has been very l i t t l e opposition t o technological development.  The disputes that have resulted are generally over the  c l a s s i f i c a t i o n of the type of work created. These i l l u s t r a t i o n s show that new developments w i l l and do create tensions that result i n organized c o n f l i c t and organized a c t i o n . D i v e r s i t y of Methods. considerably.  The methods of commercial f i s h i n g vary  Each method requires i t s own peculiar type of boat and  f i s h i n g equipment.  There are wide variations i n the requirements f o r  oapital investment i n boats and gear, i n crew complements, i n the d i v i s i o n of share earnings and i n actual individual earnings.  In addition,  some ethnic groups with common interests have tended to s p e c i a l i z e i n certain types of f i s h i n g . An outstanding  feature i n commercial f i s h i n g i s the,high degree of  competition, not only between method, but within eaoh.  In salmon f i s h i n g ,  the g i l l n e t t e r and purse seiner are competing for sockeye, pinks and chums.  The g i l l n e t t e r and salmon purse seiner compete with the  specialized halibut boat i n halibut f i s h i n g . This competition has resulted i n some antagonism and was a cont r i b u t i n g factor i n group action taken by the d i f f e r e n t gears.  As w i l l  41. be shown below, g i l l n e t t e r s and salmon purse seiners, though engaged i n the same f i s h e r i e s , organized into separate groups.  Lack of co-ordinated  aotion by these d i f f e r i n g groups, meant that each group might arrive at a separate agreement with management—an agreement that might be against the interests of the other group. Mutual understanding or, i n other cases, enforced regulations have lessened competition i n c e r t a i n areas.  For instance, specified f i s h i n g  areas are open f o r g i l l n e t t e r s and closed t o purse seiners, or v i c e versa. Again, different times are imposed when each type of f i s h i n g i s allowed, e.g. g i l l n e t t i n g at night and purse seining during the day.  42.  CHAPTER II GOVERNMENTAL CONTROL OF THE FISHING INDUSTRY The degree of governmental oontrol and regulation of the  B.C.  f i s h e r i e s i s unmatched in any other p r i v a t e l y owned or p r i v a t e l y operated industry.  There are several reasons for t h i s .  The supplies  of f i s h are limited by natural forces and are s t i l l beyond the control of man.  There i s intense competition for t h i s limited supply by f i s h e r -  men and processors. per man  Technological changes inorease the catch of f i s h  or per man hour.  problem of depletion.  The end r e s u l t o f these factors i s a continual Hence more numerous and stringent regulations  must be introduced to conserve the supplies of f i s h . Types of Gover nmental Regulat ions. The purpose of governmental regulation of the f i s h i n g industry i s to sustain or increase present y i e l d s and to ensure the perpetuation of the f i s h populations.  The main method o f control of the f i s h e r i e s i s  through conservation measures. Without s t r i c t conservation, there can be no f i s h e r i e s . In salmon fisheries the method of conservation is by closed a week seasons.  For sometime the closure was  f o r 48 hours^  Lately, with i n -  creased f i s h i n g pressures, the closed season has been increasing, and conversely, the f i s h i n g periods decreasing.  In addition, conservation  measures w i l l c l o s e f i s h i n g areas f o r s p e c i f i e d periods or f o r whole seasons, or even years.  The B.C.  coast i s sub-divided into f i s h i n g areas.  Many of these are " a l l o t t e d " a c e r t a i n number of g i l l n e t t e r s or seiners. As 1  See Maps 1A and  IB.  43. the number of boats increases so does the length of the weekly f i s h i n g closures.  Again, c e r t a i n f i s h i n g areas are available only to seiners,  others to g i l l n e t t e r s .  A l t e r n a t e l y , seiners may be permitted to f i s h  only during specified hours during the day, and g i l l n e t t e r s during the night.  Further, regulations control the size of mesh i n g i l l n e t s to  provide for selective f i s h i n g . • The lengths of seines and g i l l n e t s are l i m i t e d and vary for different f i s h i n g areas.  F i n a l l y , r i v e r mouths  are marked and no f i s h i n g i s permitted beyond these markers.  In recent  years the markers have been moved farther out towards the r i v e r mouths. On the Skeena, f o r example, f i s h i n g i s now  i n open waters.  In addition to regulations for conservation there have been other measures such as l i m i t a t i o n of licences to Japanese fishermen and company control of f i s h i n g l i c e n c e s . The effect of government regulations on technological development has been varied.  In some oases increased e f f i c i e n c y of f i s h i n g has been  controlled by specifying the length of nets and the s i z e of mesh i n the nets.  In some cases regulations have l i m i t e d technological developments.  The most effective method of f i s h i n g i s by f i s h traps.  Location of  these at strategic points along the coast y i e l d maximum catches, yet allow a controlled escapement for optimum spawning conditions.  However,  the adverse effect on the a n c i l l a r y industries and on employment i s obvious, p a r t i c u l a r l y i n cca s t a l communities where f i s h i n g i s the main source of income.  To take another example, u n t i l 1917,  governmental  regulations delayed technological changes i n g i l l n e t t e r s i n D i s t r i c t 2 by p r o h i b i t i n g the use of powered g i l l n e t boats i n D i s t r i c t 2. of such boats could increase mobility from one area to another.  The  use  I f power  44. la was permitted i t was feared by the eanners that the boat-rating system 2 which limited boats i n the d i s t r i c t would be upset. A Dominion Fisheries Commission was established i n 1917 t o study and report on the problems of r e s t r i c t i o n s of f i s h i n g licences and number of boats i n D i s t r i c t 2.  It was empowered t o decide what numbers  of boats should be allowed and whether c e r t a i n companies should be given a quota of boats, as i n the past. In t h e i r statement before the Com« that mission, the eanners maintained/the number of cannery licences should depend upon the supply of f i s h , motor boats ought not to be permitted since the majority of boats i n use were not adapted for power and would have t o be scrapped, there would be an increased investment of $800.00 3 a boat for engines.  An additional argument against power boats was  made by the fishermen who feared that the engine noise would drive away the salmon. In 1922 another Commission on f i s h e r i e s included on i t s agenda the question of whether powered boats should be permitted for salmon 4 d r i f t nets. The report of the Commission was favourable and i n 1923 powered g i l l n e t boats were allowed to operate i n a l l the f i s h i n g 5 areas of B.C. right u n t i l  l  a  Excluded were the Japanese who  did not receive t h i s  1930.  See below, p. 58 et seq.  2  Vancouver Province, July 10, 1917, p. -1.  3  Ibid., July 12, 1917, p. 14.  4  Ibid., July 11, 1922, p. 17.  5 Report of the Fisheries Branch of the Department of Marine and Fisheries, 1923-24, p. 53.  45.  Another aspect  of governmental regulations i s that they have  often set up a chain reaction.  Regulations  have encouraged technological  developments to the point where these regulations must be further intens i f i e d and increased to curb the greater output made possible by technological e f f i c i e n c y . the degree of competition.  greater  The shorter the f i s h i n g season i s , the The  greater  increased competition r e s u l t s i n develop-  ing ways and means of increasing e f f i c i e n c y .  Thus a highly mobile and  e f f i c i e n t f i s h i n g f l e e t i s encountering more and more government regulations. As stated e a r l i e r , government conservation to be e f f e c t i v e must be uncompromising.  However, t h i s has not discouraged  attempts to influence government p o l i c i e s .  organizations from  The UFAWTJ has  continuously  attempted t o reopen closed areas and lengthen f i s h i n g seasons.  The  camners i n the past made s i m i l a r attempts to influence p o l i c y but have i n recent years refrained.  In a similar way  attempts have been made to  persuade government p o l i c y to l i m i t the number of f i shing licences issued.  In t h i s way the f i s h e r i e s would not be overcrowded by  "holiday  6 fishermen", since only bonafjde fishermen would be issued l i c e n c e s . Another organized attempt to influence policy has sought a l t e r a t i o n of the opening of the halibut f i s h e r i e s i n such a way as to r e s t r i c t i t to the f u l l - t i m e halibut fishermen and eliminate the salmon seiners and g i l l n e t t e r s .  This would be done by postponing the opening day to  a date approximating the salmon season.  An alternative plan was  to  6 The p a r t i c u l a r case of government p o l i c y which denied Japanese the r i g h t to f i s h i s discussed l a t e r .  46. to s p l i t the season into two parts.  A l l these controversies o h i e f l y  6a a f f e c t halibut Area 2. Few,  i f any, of these pressure groups have been successful.  However, a group of fishermen were successful i n getting protection i n a specified f i s h i n g area between the New "Westminster Bridge and Mission. In or about 1905,  s e t t l e r s i n t h i s area were permitted t o f i s h i n any  part of the Fraser R i v e r . Residents below the bridge were not permitted to f i s h above the bridge.  Ostensibly the purpose was  to encourage  s e t t l i n g of the area, but i n actual f a c t the purpose was to prohibit the entry of Japanese fishermen.  Obviously that purpose of the order  no longer exists. In 1954 the Federal government proposed to repeal t h i s order but backed down i n face of the protests of the union. protest was  One reason for the  that the fishermen concerned had been a p r i v i l e g e d group,  had f a i l e d to keep pace with technological developments and had boats whioh were therefore unsuitable f o r outside competition. Effects of Regulations on Labour R e l a t i o n s . As can be seen, the effect of governmental regulations from year to year i s to create further tensions through shortened seasons, closures, control of gear and areas to be fished, and to increase insecurity i n an industry whioh h i s t o r i c a l l y has been uncertain. The regulations l i m i t i n g f i s h i n g time put pressure on both labour and management.  To r e a l i z e maximum returns on t h e i r labour and invest-  ment, fishermen demand increased prices f o r salmon, while management, offers a minimum.  These o o n f l i c t s frequently lead to s t r i k e s .  But the  regulations also put pressure on both parties to reach an agreement 6a  See Map  2.  before the opening date f o r salmon f i s h i n g . neither party can afford to lose time.  When the season i s short  Regulations have the e f f e c t of  creating c o n f l i c t between different groups of fishermen as i n the example mentioned for the halibut f i s h e r i e s .  In a d d i t i o n , the short  halibut season compels halibut fishermen t o enter other f i s h e r i e s i n the same way that salmon fishermen enter halibut f i s h e r i e s .  Fishermen  who enter more than one f i s h e r i e s are interested i n the whole f i s h e r i e s picture.  This i s a factor i n producing one coastwise organization l i k e  the United Fishermen and A l l i e d Workers Union.  The Deep Sea Fishermen's  Union, devoted s o l e l y t o halibut f i s h e r i e s , has, on the oiher hand, 7 declined i n strength.  Governmental Regulations on Salmon. i6 closure.  The main conservation method  Attempts at a r t i f i c i a l propagation i n hatcheries have had  a long history, f i r s t being suggested i n 1875. Hatcheries were closed 8 as f a i l u r e s i n 1936.  They, however, i n no way affected labour  relations i n the industry. International Sockeye Commission.  The protection of the sockeye  run on the Fraser River presents a special problem because ihe sockeye in t h e i r annual migration to the spawning areas of the Fraser River pass through American waters.  U n t i l 1934,  salmon traps were permitted i n the  waters off the State of Washington, but not i n Canadian waters with the  7  The roles of the D.S.F.U. is elaborated below.  See Chapter  6.  8 Report of Commissioner of Fisheries, Department of Marine and Fisheries, 1875, p. 219, and subsequent reports.  exception of the Sooke area of Southern Vancouver Island.  Thus the  American eanners enjoyed a competitive advantage i n catching salmon destined for Canadian waters.  The controversy over the equitable catch  of sockeye raged for years and did not o f f i c i a l l y end u n t i l 1937 when a joint United States-Canada International Sockeye Commission was  formed  to protect and r e h a b i l i t a t e the Fraser River sockeye through s c i e n t i f i c 9 study. Main advantages of salmon traps over g i l l n e t f i s h i n g determined the nature of the controversy between Canadians and Americans over their 10 use.  B a s i c a l l y , trap caught f i s h were lower i n cost.  Traps were  placed at s t r a t e g i c places along the salmon migration routes and thus were able t o catch more salmon.  They operated  24 hours d a i l y f o r the  f u l l seven days a week, while salmon g i l l n e t t i n g was weekly closure period. days i n the trap.  r e s t r i c t e d by a  Trap-caught salmon could be held for several  The t r a p served as a reservoir allowing the canning  plants to operate at capacity, or at least on a  planned schedule.  g i l l n e t f i s h e r i e s the plants operated as salmon were landed  a  In  t the plant,  with the landings f l u c t u a t i n g from day to day. Salmon traps, used extensively i n the waters o f f the State of Washington since 1892,  caught the salmon as they t r a v e l l e d toward the  Fraser River, p a r t i c u l a r l y at Point Roberts.  The American eanners,  through the use of these traps, were i n a more favourable p o s i t i o n i n the i n i t i a l cost of t he raw f i s h , and consequently their  production  9 "Rebuilding the Sockeye Runs of the Fraser River", P a c i f i c Fisherman, August 1943, pp. 33-40. 10 For traps t o operate successfully, they need a monoply p o s i t i o n and r i g i d control of offshore f i s h i n g . Otherwise the maximum catch would be caught before the f i s h reached the traps.  49. costs of canning were lower than those of the Canadian oanners.  The  latter  protested against this inequality, arguing that the Americans were entrapping salmon destined for Canadian r i v e r s . i n Canadian waters was  legalized i n 1894,  The use of salmon traps  presumably to offset the  American operations, but were never used extensively except i n Southern 11 Vancouver Island. The B.C.  Fisheries authorities attributed the low seasonal catch  on the Fraser River to "what might be expected from the damaging of Puget Sound by the slaughter pens along the natural course of the salmon to the natural spawning grounds i n the streams of B.C.  What at present  i s an object lesson i s the f a c t that the traps are f u l l of salmon and the nets i n the r i v e r are p r a c t i c a l l y empty.  The trap licences allowed  by the American authorities are simply d e l e t i n g the r i v e r of valuablB f i s h , and i f the traps are permitted to continue t h e i r  exterminating  operations, i t i s only a matter of a few seasons u n t i l the Eraser repeats the experience of the Columbia River.  They are ' k i l l i n g the 12  goose that l a i d the golden egg*. By 1899,  What w i l l the Fraser be without  salmon?"  there were 19 American salmon canneries operating i n the  Puget Sound area, using 159 salmon traps, 365 g i l l n e t s , 330 set nets, drag seines and 72 purse seines.  A l l these were in d a i l y use.  125  Compared  to t h i s , the Canadian canners were operating 3,405 g i l l n e t boats i n the 13 Fraser River area, subject to a weekly closure system.  The year  1899  was reported to have been a record year for c a p i t a l investment and value 11 Dominion and B.C. 1905-1907, p. 33. 12 "13  Fisheries Commission, Reports and Recommendations,  The Vanoouver World, August 5, 1898,  p. 1.  Dept; of .Marine. andl'Eisheries, Annual Report, 1903,  p. 2.  50. of output  i n Puget Sound.  Capital invested and c a p i t a l employed i n -  creased 110 percent, employment showed the same increase, while of employees rose by 300 percent. 14  earnings  Value of output of the plants i n -  creased by a l i k e amount. The Canadian objections to the Puget Sound salmon traps  continued  u n t i l 1934 when the traps were declared i l l e g a l in the State of Washington.  The only traps now  allowed are those w i t h i n the boundaries of  Indian reservations since these have had l i t t l e or no e f f e c t on the salmon migrations along the approaches to the Fraser R i v e r .  TABLE II FISHING GEAR OPERATED —  Fraser River Gillnets Traps  Year  FRASER RIVER AND  Gillnets  15 PUGET SOUND, 1911-1917  Puget Sound Drag Seines Purse Seines  J  1;443 2,560 2,656 2,614 2,606  1911 1913 1914 1915 1917  300 311  459 170  137 252  268 274  509 394  137 411  112  In discussing salmon traps on the Fraser i t would be well to point out that Canadian protests were also directed at salmon traps used i n Alaska. 1907 was  It was  charged that the low salmon pack on the Nass River i n  a d i r e c t result of the Alaska traps intercepting the Nass  14 Report of the Fisheries Commissioner f o r the State of Washington, c i t e d i n Canada, Dept. of Marine & F i s h e r i e s , Annual Report, 1903, p. 3. 15 Canada, Dept. of Marine & F i s h e r i e s , Annual Report, 1915, and Annual Report, 1917, p. 9.  p. 16,  51. 16 salmon run.  S i m i l a r l y , 1919,  i t was  stated that the 14 traps located  between Cape Fox and Tongas i n Southeastern Alaska were a f f e c t i n g the 17 Nass run. A f i s h e r i e s commission studying the effects of Alaska traps on the Canadian oatch d i d recommend the use of traps by Cara dians on the B.C.-Alaska boundary.  This recommendation, though made i n 1922,  was  not carried out. To return to the Fraser River sockeye, there was i s known today, that overfishing prevented  evidence,  as  s u f f i c i e n t escapement to the  spawning grounds to perpetuate the sockeye population.  But the industry  s t i l l hoped to remedy t h i s by a r t i f i c i a l propagation i n hatcheries. Meanwhile, Canada and the United States s t i l l sought agreement on joint control of the sockeye f i s h e r i e s .  In 1908,  B r i t a i n , aoting for  Canada, and the United States did sign a t r e a t y covering the Fraser River sockeye s i t u a t i o n but the United States Senate refused to r a t i f y 13 it. In 1913,  the well-known Hell's Gate s l i d e blocked migration of  salmon to the spawning grounds.  The r e s u l t was  600,000 cases of sockeye i n 1917  compared to 2,401,488 for the previous  cycle year of 1913.  a pack of less than  This drop lent weight to the b e l i e f that the key  to sustained yields i s a suffient escapement of salmon to the spawning areas.  16  rcanada, .Dept. of Marine & F i s h e r i e s , Annual Report, 1917,  17  Ibid., 1919,  18  P a c i f i c Fisherman, August 1943,  p. 11. p.  34.  p.  10.  52. Continued decline i n the Fraser River sockeye production led Canada i n 1918 to re-open negotiations with United States.  An i n t e r -  national committee was established to study the f i s h e r i e s .  It recommended  "regulation of the f i s h e r i e s i n respect to the times, seasons and methods of sockeye f i s h i n g , and the conduct of investigations into the l i f e h i s t o r y of the salmon, hatchery methods, spawning ground conditions and other related matters by an international f i s h e r i e s commission t o consist 19 of four persons, two to be named by each of the high contracting p a r t i e s . " A Canadian commission appointed as a r e s u l t found the reasons f o r the drop i n production t o be over f i s h i n g by the Americans, too many B.C. g i l l n e t t e r s , improper f i s h i n g i n the River i t s e l f , Indian f i s h i n g upstream, long-distance administration from Ottawa, the Hell's Gate 20 blockade,  and p o l i t i c a l influence.  The 1918 recommendations were agreed to by Canadian authorities but again the United States Senate f a i l e d t o r a t i f y the t r e a t y . In 1929 and again i n 1930 the Canadians signed t r e a t i e s covering Fraser River sockeye, but each time they were rejected by United States. Progress towards treaty was accelerated i n 1934 when salmon traps were declared i l l e g a l i n the waters o f f the State of Washington, with the exception of those i n waters o f f Indian reservations. Also putting pressure on the U.S. was the fact that i n 1936, for the f i r s t time, the Canadian catch of sockeye exceeded that of the 21 United States. F i n a l l y , i n 1937, a treaty establishing an Inter-  19  P a c i f i c Fisherman, August 1943, p. 34.  20  Ibid., August 1952, p. 27.  21  Ibid., August 1943, p. 34.  53. national P a c i f i c Salmon Fisheries Commission was r a t i f i e d w i t h a provision 22 that the United States and Canada would share the sockeye catch equally. The c o n t r o l l i n g authority, therefore, on the most important salmon r i v e r i s the International P a c i f i c Salmon Fisheries Commission. lations of this Commission have oaused c o n f l i c t , as noted above.  ReguHowever,  the remarkable r e h a b i l i t a t i o n of the sockeye salmon and the economic benefit of a l l who are engaged i n t h i s f i s h e r i e s offset any arguments against i t s control. A similar treaty covering the pink salmon f i s h e r i e s of the Fraser River has been signed.  Some delays i n negotiations were encountered but  the issue was soon s e t t l e d when the Canadians began t o use larger seiners off the waters of Juan de Fuca.  These boats, 72 to 84 feet, were bought  i n the United States f o r the express purpose of outfishing the Americans. When the Americans lost the edge they formerly had i n catches of pink salmon, i t was t o their advantage t o sign the t r e a t y . Conservation and R e h a b i l i t a t i o n of the Halibut F i s h e r i e s .  Follow-  ing 1915, due to increased intensity of f i s h i n g , the e x p l o i t a t i o n of new f i s h i n g grounds and the inoreased area of f i s h i n g , annual production of halibut showed a decline. apparent.  The need for conservation measures became  American and Canadian fishermen i n the industry were competing  wiih each other i n e x t r a - t e r r i t o r i a l waters.  Any conservation measures  had to be undertaken j o i n t l y by American and Canadian a u t h o r i t i e s . Control has been brought about amicably i n contrast to the long wrangle over the Fraser River sockeye.  22  The d i v i s i o n of the catch for the 1935-51 period i s shown i n Table I I I .  54.  TABLE III CANADIAN- AND 1AMERICAN SOCKEYE CATCHES, 1935-1951  Year 1935 1936 1937 1938 1939 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 1946 1947 1948 1949 1950 1951  22a  Fraser River Peroenfc U.S. 47 25 38 42 44.5 37.5 39.3 37.2 37.42 29.77 39.9 43.9 16.6 59.7 49.95 57.7 46.78  22a  Fraser River Percent Canada 53 75 62 58 55.5 62.5 60.7 62.8 62.58 70.23 60.1 56.1 83.4 40.3 50.02 42.3 63.22  British Columbia, Department of Fisheries, Report, 1951, p. 9.  In 1913 t o 1915 the P r o v i n c i a l Department of Fisheries undertook the investigation of the decline of halibut f i s h e r i e s .  The results of  this investigation l a i d the foundation of future investigations and 23 co-operation between Canada and U.S.A.  Negotiations between the two  countries proceeded and, by 1917, i t was reported that the U.S.A. had agreed to a three months closed season but that Canada had not taken a 24 d e f i n i t e stand. In 1923 the terns of a halibut treaty were agreed upon, with the object of a joint and uniform regulation of the f i s h e r i e s . r a t i f i e d October 21, 1924, established the International  The treaty,  Halibut 25  Commission with two representatives  from U.S.A. and two from Canada.  The treaty controlled the fishermen of Canada, Alaska and the continental U.S.A.  The primary function of the Commission was to conduct  investigations into the decline of the halibut f i s h e r i e s and t o recommend means of preserving and r e h a b i l i t a t i n g i t .  The f i r s t step was t o  enforce a closed season o f three months. Further regulations were required and a new t r e a t y signed i n 1930, and revised i n 1937, stands to the present day. This prescribed, among other things, a closed season from November 30th t i l l A p r i l 30th, control of incidently-caught  halibut i n areas closed to halibut f i s h i n g ,  the control of types and size of gear (dories were prohibited), c o l l e c t i o n of s t a t i s t i c s t o show trends, and closing of c e r t a i n areas for spawning purposes. 23  Report of Commissioner of Fisheries, December 31, 1924, pp. 55-59.  24  Vancouver Province, July 6, 1917, p. 14.  25  ;• jbld..,  December 31, 1924, p. 16.  Most additions i n the present t r e a t y were divisions into areas of 25a the  f i s h i n g banks along the whole P a c i f i c Coast.  Special regulations  apply to each area i n accordance with the degree o f depletion, the growth rate and age factors of the halibut populations. Areas 2 and 3 are the most important.  For commercial purposes  Each area has a quota of halibut  to be taken, set by the Commission i n accordance with the oondition and abundance of the halibut.  The quota must be consistent with the best  conservation knowledge. The Commission sets the opening date of the halibut season and the quota f o r each area. When the quota i s f i l l e d , the Commission sets a closing date.  During the season, individual boats work t o obtain a  maximum share of the quota. In 1951, a modified s p l i t  season went into effect when two sub-  areas were created by the International Halibut Commission.  These sub-  areas are closed during the regular halibut season but are opened f o r a ten day period a f t e r the closure of Areas 2 and 3. No quotas are set for  these sub-areas. The quota system, as stated e a r l i e r , d i d arouse c o n f l i c t .  In  fact, the fishermen f e l t i t might be impossible to operate f o r such shortened f i s h i n g periods.  Despite the early fears, the Canadian  share of the quota has been s t e a d i l y increasing regardless of the 26 decreasing f i s h i n g periods.  Another factor i s that the majority of the  regular halibut boats continue f i s h i n g i n Area 3 after Area .2.-.has. closed while other boats r i g out for other f i s h e r i e s .  C o n f l i c t has thus been  reduced as the fishermen grow accustomed t o the short f i s h i n g season. 25a See Map 2. 26 See Table IV  TABLE IV  57.  NORTH PACIFIC HALIBUT SEASONS AND PERCENTAGE DIVISIONS OF CATCH, 1833 - 1958 ARE A Year  Opened  Closed  1933 1954 1935 1936 1937 1938 1939 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944ii 1945 1946 1947iii 1948 1949 1950 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958  Feb. 1 Mar. 1 Mar. 1 Mar. 16 Mar. 16 Apr. 1 Apr. 1 Apr. 1 Apr. 1 Apr. 16 Apr. 16 Apr. 16 May1 May 1 May 1 May 1 May 1 May 1 May 1 May 14 May '•LIT May 16 May 12 May 20 May 1 May 4  Aug. 25 Aug. 19 Sept., 6 Aug. 10 July 28 July 29 July 29 July 13 June 30 June 29 June 20 July 9 June 15 June 11 June 8 June 1 June 3 June 1 May 28 June 8 June 9 June 5 June 4 June 26 June 17 July 2  1  ARE A  2 Percentage Fishing of Catch Days Can. Amer. 206 172 159 148 135 120 120 104 91 75 66 51 46 . 42 39 32 34 32 28 26 24 21 24 38 48 59 i  v  i v i v  i v i v  i v  33.9 40.2 40.8 38.8 42.6 41.3 44.8 43.5 44.2 39.0 44.5 42.7 47.0 50.7 62.3 51.7 51.4 52.7 53.9 56.1 55.8 47.6 45.5 42.6 46.3 49.6  Note: A l l dates given are f o r the l e g a l c e r t a i n years f o r delays i n f i s h i n g due to i. Fleet tied-up v o l u n t a r i l y u n t i l A p r i l i i . Fleet tied-up u n t i l May 20 i n protest Source:  66.1 59.8 59.2 61.2 57.4 58.7 55.2 56.5 55.8 61.0 55.5 57.3 53.0 49.3 37.7 48.3 48.6 47.3 46.1 43.9 44.2 52.4 54.5 57.4 53.7 50.4  Opened  Closed  Feb. Mar. Mar. Mar. Liar. Apr. Apr. Apr. Apr. Apr. Apr. Apr. May May May May May May May May May May May May May May  Oct. 26 Oct. 27 Dec. 26 Nov. 3 Oct. 19 Oct. 29 Oct. 28 Sept.26 Sept.14 Sept.25 Sept. 8 Nov. 30 Sept.24 Aug. 19 Aug. 17 July 11 July 12 July 5 June 25 July 12 July 7 July 12 Aug. 4 Aug. 23 Sept.22 Aug. 31  1 1 1 16 16 1 1 1 1 16 16 16 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 14 17 16 12 20 1 4  3  Fishing Days 268 241 270 233 218 212 211 179 167 163 146 194 147 111 109 72 73 66 56 58 52 58 84 97 144 119  Percentage of Catch Amer. Can. 2.7 3.0 5.3 7.0 7.5 10.4 10.0 5.9 8.4 7.7 5.8 8.2 12.2 13.0 25.3 18.0 17.9 15.6 19.6 24.2 28.0 29.9 30.8 33.5 34.7 40.6  97.3 97.0 94.7 93.0 92.5 89.6 90.0 94.1 91.6 92.3 94.2 91.8 87.8 87.0 74.6 82.0 82.1 84.4 80.4 75.8 72.0 70.1 69.2 66.5 65.3 59.4  ALL AREAS Percentage of Catoh Amer. Can.  Year  17.7 20.5 21.3 21.7 23.8 24.7 26.5 23.8 24.7 22.2 24.1 25.0 28.0 30.7 43.7 33.6 33.7 32.8 38.0 39.6 42.9 38.9 37.6 38.1 40.3 44.8  1933 1934 1935 1936 1937 1938 1939 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 1946 1947 1948 1949 1950 1951 1952 1953 1854 1S55 1956 1957 1958  82.3 79.5 78.7 . 78.3 76.2 75.3 73.5 76.2 75.3 77.8 75.9 75.0 72.0 69.3 56.3 66.4 66.3 67.2 62.0 60.4 57.1 61.1 62.4 61.9 59.7 55.2  season. Fishing times given are actual periods of f i s h i n g , with allowance made i n s t r i k e s and disputes. Closure generally at midnight of dates given. 1. i i i . Seattle f l e e t l a r g e l y tied-up u n t i l July 1, due against OPA c e i l i n g p r i c e s . t o crew share dispute. i v . Does not include special post-season open f i s h i n g P a c i f i c Fisherman Year Book, 1958, pp. 110,213. periods i n sub-areas.  58. Governmental Regulations i n Herring F i s h e r i e s .  S t r i c t govern-  mental regulations f o r conservation purposes are also applied to herring fisheries.  The coast i s divided i n t o d i s t r i c t s each with i t s own  tonnage quota of herring.  Before the quota system came into e f f e c t ,  length of the f i s h i n g season was determined only by opening and closing dates set by the Fisheries Department. More boats entering t h i s f i s h e r y means that competition i s sharper and fixed quotas mean a decrease i n the average share per boat.  The  average share per fisherman i s therefore dropping—a s i t u a t i o n l i k e l y to produce  conflict.  A solution, from the standpoint of the fishermen's earnings, i s to eliminate the use of herring packers and tow-off boats and have the seiners pack their own herring to the plants.  Instead of price per ton  being divided among crews of seiners, packers and tow-off boats, i t would be s p l i t only among seine crews, who would increase t h e i r earnings at the expense of packer and tow-off boat  crews.  Governmental Regulations R e s t r i c t i n g the Japanese Fishermen.  In the  period after World War I, the Federal Government i n s t i t u t e d laws and regulations aimed at curbing the number of Japanese fishermen i n B r i t i s h 26b Columbia. Issuance of Fishing Licences t o Canners and the Boat Rating System. From the s t a r t of salmon canning u n t i l the period of the early 1900's, the Fisheries Department issued a share of the g i l l n e t licences t o the various salmon eanners who, i n t u r n , a l l o t t e d them to individual g i l l n e t t e r s 26b  See Appendix B.  27 chosen by the eanners. The r e s u l t was that during this period, the canners enjoyed a r e l a t i v e l y high degree of control over the fishermen. Fishermen charged that the canners were obtaining or b u i l d i n g sheds and c a l l i n g them canneries i n order to increase their share of these l i c e n c e s . Typical of protests was a resolution passed i n 1900 by the newly-formed Fishermen's Union. summed up.  In i t , the case against the system then used i s  It asked that the ten licences allowed to the canners by the  f i s h e r i e s regulations should be abolished, charging the oanners used the p r i v i l e g e allowed by the government t o the disadvantage of the fishermen. One o f the f i s h i n g regulations provided that a fisherman applying f o r a licence had to declare that he owned and operated his own boat and net. The Union protest declared that two-thirds of the fishermen receiving licences did not own either boat or net, but had them supplied by the canner.  They alleged that the canners allowed such a'fisherman^to paint  out the canner's mark and replace i t w i t h his own name and registered number. When applying for a licence, the fisherman then declared the boat and net to be his own.  The union fishermen denounced this practice  as a direct v i o l a t i o n of the f i s h i n g laws by the canners themselves t o serve t h e i r own ends. Their protest went on t o say:  "By law, the canners are allowed  ten licences, and each cannery has from 50 to 100 boats.  These boats  are rented t o anyone whom the canners think proper, on the condition that they pay back to them the f i s h caught.  It w i l l be seen by these  means how t h e i r boats can be worked t o the disadvantage of the bonafide fisherman who has l i t t l e invested i n his boat and net.  Therefore, the  fishermen ask that the regulations mentioned above be s t r i c t l y c a r r i e d 27  Available data on t h i s subject i s incomplete.  60. out and that i t be made unlawful for a cannery man  or any other person  to supply either boats or nets to fishermen for the purpose of evading 28 the  law." Another example of government regulation by means of l i m i t i n g  licences existed i n D i s t r i c t 2.  U n t i l 1905, the salmon canneries i n  this D i s t r i c t operated under an agreement which set the number of boats employed by each cannery. this agreement was  With the establishment of more canneries,  ended and replaced by a boat-rating system, sometimes  known as the Williams-Babcock Boat Hating Commission.  This system,  i n s t i t u t e d by the Dominion and P r o v i n c i a l Governments, f i x e d the number of boats f o r D i s t r i c t 2 and then a l l o t t e d them to the various canneries i n the D i s t r i c t .  It was alleged that the system limited the number of  canneries by v i r t u e of l i m i t i n g the number of boats.  The r e s u l t was the  canners enjoyed a high degree of monopolistic power.  Many of the f i s h e r -  men regarded themselves as employees, whereas i n r e a l i t y , they were self-omployed.  While they should have been independent  operators, they  were forced t o r e l y on the earners for t h e i r licence to f i s h . In 1912, a movement to induce  fishermen to immigrate to B.C.  was started by the Federal f i s h e r i e s a u t h o r i t i e s , the salmon canners, fishermen and other interested p a r t i e s .  To ensure success for t h i s  venture, the practice of issuing a share of the g i l l n e t licences to canners, along with the boat-rating system, would have t o be replaced by the issuing of licences d i r e c t l y to independent  fishermen.  Accordingly  28 "News of Organized Labour", Vancouver Province, September 10, 1900, p. 5 . .  61. t h i s type of licence began t o be issued i n 1912, but the t o t a l of g i l l n e t licences was s t i l l divided between the independent fishermen and the canneries.  The boat-rating system was meanwhile being outdated by the  increasing number of fishermen and the mobility and e f f i c i e n c y which 29 could be gained by using power g i l l n e t boats. The canners also made e f f o r t s t o increase the proportion of white fishermen on the coast. l i n e d their method.  In a b r i e f to the provincial government they out-  Key proposal was  "that i n 1913 the canners  undertake  to employ not less than 20 percent of white fishermen applying before March 1, and that the Department be empowered t o allow such applicants pro rata to 30 the canners i n D i s t r i c t 2, t h i s proportion to be increased year by year." As f o r the settlement of the B.C. coast with independent fishermen, the B.C. Commissioner of Fisheries permitted himself to indulge i n a l i t t l e rose-coloured r h e t o r i c .  He maintained that "at the present state i n the  growth of the West, with the present sentiment so strongly i n favour of cementing bonds which hold together the Empire, we have f e l t i t imminently desirable to foster that great coastline one of white fishermen of the stock of which won f o r B r i t a i n the supremacy of the seas and have placed her i n the forefront of the nations. . . t o dot t h i s coastline with v i l l a g e s of prosperous white f i s h i n g f o l k , available as raw material f o r 31 the Empire navies, i s the ambition of us Westerners." As a p o s i t i v e step towards the encouragement of s e t t l i n g of these immigrant  fishermen, a number of f i s h i n g licences were to be reserved for  independent white fishermen f o r the 1913 season.  They were divided among  the coastal areas as follows: 29 Vaneouver Frovince, June 25, 1917, p. 2. pe rmitted i n 1923. 30  Ibid., November 1, 1912, p. 7.  31  See above, p. 17. Power was Ibid., November 16, 1912, p. 7.  62. Nas.s River 40 Skeena River 170 Rivers Inlet ...... 175  Kimsquit Manitou Namu  B e l l a Coola  Smith's Inlet ... 5  14  8 8 5 3 2  As would be expected, the greatest d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n and the loudest protests against the method of issuing g i l l n e t licences and the boatrating system were expressed i n the r e l a t i v e l y undeveloped area of northern B.C.  A public meeting at Prince Rupert sought ways to  the outrageous monopoly now  "destroy  e x i s t i n g under government protection, and that  B r i t i s h subjects be given their just rights and p r i v i l e g e s i n connection 33 with the salmon industry i n Northern B r i t i s h Columbia." From the same source came the statement that "the establishment  of  independent canneries w i l l mean that the fishermen w i l l reoeive a much better price for their f i s h .  One a u t h o r i t y stated the other day that i t  would mean that the fishermen would get ten cents more per f i s h than they are able to get now.  It i s no secret that, at the present time, the  cannerymen can quite n i c e l y afford to pay t h i s extra ten cents, and then 34 some, and s t i l l have a handsome p r o f i t  left."  A resolution that the boat-rating system be abolished was before Parliament i n Ottawa.  This move was  placed  strongly supported i n Prince  Rupert, where i t was maintained that "the breaking of the salmon f i s h i n g and canning monopoly i s the most important question i n B r i t i s h Columbia, the people of Prince Rupert, and the North generally . . . oanning i s i n the hands of a few, who northern waters i n such a way  the business of  control the salmon f i s h e r i e s of the  that the white fisherman has no ohance to  32  Vancouver Province, November 16, 1912,  33  Prince Rupert D a i l y News, A p r i l 1, 1916,  34  " E d i t o r i a l " , Ibid., May  26, 1916,  p.  p. 7.  2.  p. 1.  63. make a l i v i n g by f i s h i n g f o r salmon.  The system of the cannery boat-  r a t i n g places the whole matter e n t i r e l y i n the hands of the cannerymen, as i t keeps them e n t i r e l y independent of the independent fishermen. Doing away with the cannery boat-rating system i s the f i r s t step towards 35 the freedom of the fishermen." In assessing the protests from Prince Rupert i t should be r e a l i z e d that u n t i l World War II, the eoonomy of the c i t y depended p r i m a r i l y upon the f i s h i n g industry.  It would be t o the advantage of the c i t y t o have  an increased number of salmon canneries with a corresponding increase i n the number of fishermen and wage earners, even without a proportionate increase i n the t o t a l salmon pack.  But unless the pack d i d increase, the  average earnings of the fishermen and wage earners would drop and, i n actual fact, the trend was towards a decrease i n the number of canneries.  35  Prince Rupert D a i l y Hews, May 26, 1916, p. 2  64.  CHAPTER I I I  MARKETING  Marketing Problems.  A major d i f f i c u l t y f a c i n g the f i s h i n g industry  l i e s i n i t s marketing problems.  The consumer market determines the p r i c e  the processor receives for the products, which ultimately determines what prices the fishermen receive.  Prices have been the f o c a l point of  labour-management disputes and thus t h e market conditions have a strong bearing on the s t a b i l i t y , or lack of i t , i n the industry. Disputes i n the industry, with minor exceptions, are a r e f l e c t i o n of consumer market demands and p r i c e s . When the demand f o r f i s h products i s strong, the industry i s stable and generally free from labour-management disputes.  When the market demand decreases, repercussions  are f e l t through-  out the industry and labour-management disputes,with the p o s s i b i l i t y of s t r i k e action, are almost unavoidable. In part the d i f f i c u l t y l i e s i n the nature of the industry i t s e l f . It has a problem of balancing supply and demand. supply of f i s h i s unpredictable.  In the f i r s t place, the  In the salmon f i s h e r i e s the catch  fluctuates from year t o year, because of cyoles of r e l a t i v e abundance for sockeye and pinks.  As yet there i s no c e r t a i n pre-season knowledge  of the salmon pack despite s c i e n t i f i c predictions or comparisons of previous cycle years. The supply fluctuates less i n halibut and herring f i s h e r i e s , since the quantity of the catch/4et by quota and some s t a b i l i t y i s achieved by the amounts of f i s h available being known i n advance.  In beam trawling  65. on the other hand, the supply i s generally geared to the demand. A second problem of supply i s the e f f e c t on the unit costs of production, that i s , the greater the supply, to a c e r t a i n point at l e a s t , the l e s s the unit costs, and vice versa.  In f a c t , i t appears that  one  of the causes of overfishing i s t h i s attempt t o lower the unit cost of production. The salmon f i s h e r i e s face the p o s s i b i l i t y of over-supply or under-supply.  In 1955-57, a short supply of f i s h was met by  importing  canned sockeye from Japan to meet Canadian domestic commitments, a plan that resulted i n labour-management c o n f l i c t .  The problem of  over-supply  results i n increased s e l l i n g costs and increased storage costs.  In  addition, a carry-over i n the salmon pack could have adverse, e f f e c t s on prices for the following year.  This i s also true of unsold stocks of  other f i s h products, p a r t i c u l a r l y h a l i b u t .  In general, an  over-supply  i n any one species and i t s product w i l l tend t o lower the prices of a l l 1 other species.  Conversely an under-supply w i l l tend to increase p r i c e s .  On the other s i d e , demand varies from year t o year.  This r e s u l t s i n an  uncertain market and changes i n p r i c e s , whioh are r e f l e c t e d back t o the fishermen themselves i n terms of raw f i s h p r i c e s .  Here i s a p r o l i f i c  source of tension and dispute. In the highly seasonal f i s h i n g industry, the supply of f i s h i s obtained during a short period. basis.  1  On the other hand, demand i s on an annual  Prices then w i l l be on the basis of future or anticipated demands.  P a c i f i c Fisherman Yearbook, 1952,  p.  14.  66. In some cases increased demand w i l l not necessarily increase the price of f i s h .  The recent high demand for packaged products,  and other s p e c i a l t y food products i s a case i n point.  pre-cooked  The extra oosts of  production and d i s t r i b u t i o n have absorbed the higher returns.  Increased  incomes of processor and fishermen have been, i n t h i s instance, a result of increased production.  Another type of d i f f i c u l t y i n the marketing of  f i s h products i s that caused by t a r i f f s , monetary p o l i c i e s , p o l i t i c a l atmosphere, and general economic conditions e x i s t i n g i n actual or potential importing countries.  Market Changes.  Market conditions are constantly changing so the  following can only indicate the nature of the problem. Canada i s a large producer of -various f i s h products, but her per capita consumption of f i s h i s small, leaving a large exportable surplus each year.  This surplus must f i n d an outlet on world markets i n d i r e c t  competition with other basic food products.  But many countries such as.  Japan with a r e l a t i v e l y high per oapita consumption of f i s h also catch t h e i r own needs.  Markets then w i l l be i n countries where demand f o r  f i s h exceeds the supply or where there i s a demand f o r special Canadian products, such as salmon.  Domestic Markets.  Canada, i n comparison with most other countries,  has a r e l a t i v e l y low per capita f i s h consumption as can be seen i n Table V. One reason i s that f i s h products are marketed i n competition with the more popular basic protein foods such as beef, pork, mutton and poultry. Table VI shows the disadvantageous p e t i t i v e food products.  p o s i t i o n of f i s h compared t o com-  The Fisheries Association of B.C. states that  67. the more desirable sockeye and coho compete w i t h meat, poultry, canned tuna and processed meats, while pinks and chums compete w i t h such food 2 products as macaroni, pork and beans, and cheese.  TABLE V PER CAPITA CONSUMPTION OF FISH - 1951  lbs.  Germany Holland France Canada Italy U.S.A China  it  »n United Kingdom • •« 29# 9  tt tt tt  19.8 l b s . 17.9 14.8 13.7 12.6 " 11.1 6.0 n n  n  n  4 TABLE VI 5 CANADIAN PER CAPITA CONSUMPTION OF MEAT AND FISH  Meats Pork Beef Canned Meats Veal Offals Mutton and Lamb Total  Fish 62.2 44.8 7.2 6.7 5.4 1.9  lbs. " n  Fresh and frozen Canned F i s h Cured F i s h  6.82 l b s . 4.67 " 2.20 "  *? ? "  128.2 l b s .  13.69 l b s .  2  Facts on Fish, Fisheries Association of B.C., March 19, 1953, Vol.2, No. 6  3  Ibid., A p r i l 23, 1953, V o l . 2, No. 8.  5  Figures f o r meat consumption, 1952; for f i s h consumption, 1951.  4  Ibid., A p r i l 23, 1953, Vol.2,No.  68. In the domestic markets the provinces with the higher per consumption are a l s o the major producers.  oapita  Newfoundland, tiiough not shown  in Table VII, would undoubtedly rank with Nova Scotia and B r i t i s h Columbia. Thus B.C.*s major domestic markets are the P r a i r i e Provinces,  Ontario  and  Quebec.  TABLE VII PER  6 CAPITA CONSUMPTION OF FISH BY PROVINCES -  Nova Scotia B r i t i s h Columbia Quebec New Brunswick Manitoba  16.68 13.22 9.68 9.56 9.40  lbs. n B  "  Ontario Pr. Edward I Alberta Saskatchewan  1951  8.26 7.45 7.12 4.26  lbs. tt tt n  n  The per oapita consumption of f i s h i s gradually increasing as shown i n Table VIII.  This increase can be attributed to the increase i n  population, p a r t i c u l a r l y of immigrants from countries with a r e l a t i v e l y high per capita f i s h consumption; the higher l e v e l of incomes with a r e s u l t i n g change i n the standards of l i v i n g ; the substitution of f i s h f o r the higher priced competing food products because of the post-war high cost of l i v i n g ; the intensive sales promotion and advertising campaign of the B.C.  Canners Association and the Federal Department of F i s h e r i e s .  6 Facts on Fish, Fisheries Association of B.C., A p r i l 23, 1953, V o l . 2, No. 8. This Table shows only r e l a t i v e differences between provinces and i s not comparable to either Table VI or Table VIII.  69. TABLE VIII 7 INCREASE IN PER CAPITA F3SH CONSUMPTION  Fresh & Frozen 1947  5.78 l b s .  4.48  1948  5.95  4.69  1949  6.16  "  4.51  1950  6.70  "  4.58  1951  6.82  "  4.67  rt  Total  Cured  Canned lbs n  " H  "  2.00 l b s .  -  12.26 l b s .  2.19  -  12.83 •  n  2.20  "  -  12.87 "  2.25  "  -  13.53  2.20  "  -  13.69 "  n  Increasing f r e i g h t rates pose a serious problem to the industry. Each increase adds t o the t o t a l costs of production which are eventually reflected i n the prices paid f o r raw f i s h .  The freight rate increases  shown i n Table DC have resulted i n an increase of 31 oents to 71 cents per carton of 48 halves of salmon and 57 l/2 cents to $1.33 per carton of 48 one-pound t a i l s .  TABLE  H 8  RAIL FREIGHT RATE INCREASES Sept. 15, Oct. 1, Nov. 7, Mar. 1, A p r i l 1. Jan* li Mar. 16,  7  1948 1949 1951 1952 1952 1953 1953  —• |0.96 per 100# to 11.33 per 100# tt tt —• 1.33 n 1.40 n tt tt tt —> 1.40 n 1.57 n tt it tt it —• 1.57 n 1.64 tt tt it —- 1.64 n n 1.90 tt tt tt —1.90 n n 2.07 tt it it —• 2.07 n 2.21 n n  -——  38% increase 5% " 12% 4 l/2% " 16% " 9% " 6% • n  Facts on Fish, Fisheries Association of B.C., A p r i l 23, 1953, Vol.2, No  8 Ibid., A p r i l 9, 1953, V o l . 2, No. 7. Rates given are from B.C. t o points i n Ontario and Quebec^ i n dollars and cents per 100 pounds.  70. Loss c f many t r a d i t i o n a l foreign markets f o r canned salmon has l e f t the industry more heavily dependent on the Canadian domestic market and the United States market.  The purchasing power of Canadians increased  during World War I I , but the domestio market f o r canned salmon was neglected because of the needs of the armed forces and war r e l i e f .  When  the B r i t i s h d o l l a r c r i s i s created a need t o expand the domestic market, the industry was confronted with the problem of educating a new generation about the v i r t u e s of canned salmon, and re-educating pre-war users t o buy at i n f l a t e d post-war p r i c e s .  Individual f i s h i n g companies had always  maintained their own sales promotion and advertising programmes i n the domestic markets.  In 1948, when B r i t a i n f a i l e d t o purchase any canned  salmon, these sales programmes were increased. The competitive  o l i g o p o l i s t i c structure of the industry made i t  more equitable f o r the industry as a whole to undertake t h i s sales promotion.  This was undertaken i n 1949 when 30 f i s h companies, under the  Associated Salmon Canners of B.C., i n s t i t u t e d a national no-brand advertising campaign at a cost to the industry of $250,000 t o $300,000 per year.  The Federal Department of F i s h e r i e s , through i t s Inspection  and Consumer Service, assisted i n the campaign through Home Economics Services.  That t h i s campaign has had considerable success i s indicated  i n Table X. In the sales promotion of canned salmon, diminishing returns on the advertising investment can be.expected. As the consumer market approaches the saturation point, sales returns on any further investment for advertising may be expected t o be n e g l i g i b l e .  The only a l t e r n a t i v e  71. then i s to cut sales p r i c e s .  This the canning companies d i d as shown  i n Table XI.  TABLE X CONSUMPTION OF CANNED SALMON -- CANADA  Pre-War 550,000 c s .  1948-49  1949-50  1950-51  1951-52  1952-53  172,846  905,226  883,183  814,184  900,000 (est.)  TABLE XI 10 DECREASE IN CANNED SALMON WHOLESALE PRICES  1951 Sockeye Coho Pinks Chums  $38.00 per case n 29.00 " tt 19.00 n 16.50 n  n  1953 $33.00 per case n 22.00 " n 15.00 n 13.00 "  % Decrease .  n  In attempting to predict developments i n the domestic market, i t must be remembered that per capita consumption of f i s h products i s r e l a t i v e l y low i n comparison t o oompeting meat products.  9  Faots on Fish, March 19, 1953, V o l . 2, No. 6.  10 The Fisherman, May 19, 1953, p. 1.  Now, assuming  48-lb. case.  that the sales promotion and advertising campaign of the Associated Canners, plus the educational e f f o r t s of the Department of Fisheries can achieve the desired e f f e c t of increasing the consumption of f i s h , then market p r i c e to the consumer becomes a major factor.  At some  c r i t i c a l point on the price range of a food product, substitution byother competing food products occurs.  Beoause consumers seem t o prefer  meat, i t may be assumed that the o r i t i c a l price per pound at -which a competing product w i l l be substituted occurs e a r l i e r i n the case of f i s h than that of two competing meat products.  In general, demand for  f i s h products should increase i f the price of competing meat products increases i n r e l a t i o n t o f i s h prioes.  Correspondingly, consumer demand for  f i 3 h products w i l l decrease i f meat prices deorease i n r e l a t i o n t o f i s h prices.  The a b i l i t y of f i s h products to compete with other food pro-  ducts w i l l determine the supply of, and the demand f o r , f i s h products, which w i l l i n turn determine the prices paid f o r raw f i s h . Fishery production i n B.C. i s c e r t a i n to be i n excess of domestic requirements for some years to come.  In the case of canned salmon, i t  would appear that annual Canadian consumption w i l l be around 900,000 cases i n the immediate future.  Assuming that annual canned production  averages 1,500,000 cases, an export market must be found f o r the excess. S i m i l a r l y , a market must be found for surplus production i n other fisheries.  Foreign Markets. the sale of  U n t i l recently, Canada has depended on world  markets for/the major portion of her f i s h e r i e s production. not a serious problem since demand was  high.  S e l l i n g was  However, the price of  f i s h on foreign markets was determined by supply and demand i n the  73. importing countries.  Thus economic conditions i n the importing countries  eventually determined the prices paid for f i s h products.  This has been  p a r t i c u l a r l y true f o r canned and fresh salmon and f o r h a l i b u t . The degree of the dependence of canned salmon on foreign markets and the degree of competition was noted as e a r l y as 1897 i n a statement saying that o f l a t e years, canned salmon has become the staple meat n  diet of the working m i l l i o n s of the large manufacturing centres of Europe and America, w i t h but l i t t l e competition, even including the vast output of the Armour f a c t o r i e s .  Very recently, however^ immense  exports of cheap meats, preserved and frozen, from the A u s t r a l i a n colonies, assisted by low transportation rates and r a p i d f a c i l i t i e s given by the mammoth steamship companies, has had the powerful, though temporary influence i n the pulse of the general demand, and i t may be confidently expected that before long canned salmon, and e s p e c i a l l y the superior brand of the B.C. waters, w i l l f i n d i t s normal l e v e l on the world*s 11 market." Present problems of the marketing of B.C. canned salmon and problems which w i l l undoubtedly arise i n the future may be dated from the  period of World War I I . P r i o r to 1939, foreign markets, c h i e f l y  Commonwealth, absorbed 65 percent of the B.C. canned salmon production, leaving 35 percent t o be marketed on the Canadian domestic market.  During  the war and the immediate post-war, the major portion of the canned salmon production was used by the aniB d forces and for the r e l i e f feeding  11  Vancouver World, October 15, 1897, p. 8.  74. i n distressed areas.  From 1941 to 1946 i n c l u s i v e , 80 percent of the  annual salmon pack, t o t a l l i n g 7,600,000 cases, was used f o r these purposes.  Of the remaining pack, 19 percent was allocated to the domestic 12  market at c e i l i n g prices, leaving only 1 percent for export.  The problems  of the f o r e i g n market were further aggravated i n the post-war period by the d o l l a r c r i s e s . was  The U.K.,  finding her d o l l a r balances at a low l e v e l ,  forced to reduce her imports from the d o l l a r areas.  Canned salmon  imports were d r a s t i c a l l y c u r t a i l e d , and i n 1948 she was unable t o purchase any. At present there are no assured markets f o r canned salmon.  The  d o l l a r c r i s i s s t i l l exists and v i r t u a l l y no salmon i s exported to former such strong Commonwealth markets,/as South A f r i c a , A u s t r a l i a , and New Zealand. The l a r g e s t buyer, the U.K., i s able t o provide basic food needs f o r her  such people with/staples as meats, pork, mutton, poultry.  Her e x i s t i n g d o l l a r  balances are used for the imports of these basic food requirements and for raw materials and c a p i t a l equipment, e s p e c i a l l y for defence  purposes.  Other goods of non-staple category are purchased i f d o l l a r balances exceed those required f o r necessary purchases.  Canned salmon f a l l s i n this l a t t e r  category. Future exports of canned salmon w i l l depend upon world p o l i t i c a l and economic conditions.  The immediate future w i l l depend upon the  d o l l a r reserves and the t a r i f f p o l i c i e s of the importing countries.  The  available markets i n Belgium, West India and South A f r i c a take pinks and chums, but no sockeye or coho.  Chief other market i s the United States.  At present, Canadian exports t o t h i s market are canned salmon, with the  12  Facts on Fish, March 19, 1953, V o l . 2, No.  6.  75. exception of sookeye.  Halibut, springs, chums and coho are exported  frozen, with heads o f f , as are bottom f i s h l i k e sole and ood. also shipped, f i l l e t t e d and packaged i n cartons. meal products are marketed i n the  A l l are'  Edible o i l and f i s h  U.S.  The United States has been the largest importer of Canadian other than canned salmon. tainties.  fish  This market, however, presents some uncer-  The United States i s h e r s e l f a large producer of f i s h .  Many of her species of f i s h and f i s h products are i d e n t i c a l to those produced i n Canada.  Imports of f i s h e r y products into the United States  are faced with the p o s s i b i l i t i e s of quotas, increases i n t a r i f f s and monetary exchange problems, p a r t i c u l a r l y the premium on the Canadian d o l l a r , which has the e f f e c t of r a i s i n g the price of Canadian to Amerioan consumers.  imports  Higher t a r i f f s and s t r i c t e r quotas on imports of  Canadian f i s h produsts are d i s t i n c t p o s s i b i l i t i e s under the present Republican government w i t h i t s t r a d i t i o n a l p r o t e c t i o n i s t p o l i c i e s . The trade agreements and laws of the United States contain escape clauses which can be invoked i f i t can be shown that imports are d e t r i mental to any sector of the American economy.  Certain sections of the  American f i s h industry f e e l that they are being threatened by the increasing imports.  A 1953 meeting of the P a c i f i c Fisheries Conference  passed three resolutions of interest to the B.C. f i s h i n g industry; Saying that duties on imports of f i s h e r y products have declined, and t h e i r volume greatly increased, to the serious i n j u r y of the domestic industry, the Conference sought a continuance of improvement of the Trade Agreement Aot through escape clauses, p e r i l - p o i n t and quota provisions, establishment of f a i r t a r i f f s and f l e x i b l e import quotas, consumer education as t o the  76. value of a competitive domestic industry with a just share of the 13 American market. The American f i s h i n g industry i s f u l l y aware that the only sizeable export market for the B.C.  f i s h i n g industry i s i n the United States.  If  Canadian imports can be shown to depress prices, escape clauses i n trade agreements could be invoked f o r the b e n e f i t of the American f i s h i n g industry.  Recently, when there was a shortage of pinks, Canadian pink  salmon was placed on the American market t o f i l l the gap. of the U.S.  From sections  industry there were mutterings about dumping and invocation 14  of the anti-dumping clauses of the American law.  In this s i t u a t i o n , a  U.S. Senator promised assistance to P a c i f i c Northwest and Alaska f i s h e r men  i n an e f f o r t to halt deolining f i s h p r i c e s .  At a meeting of the  fishermen where this problem was discussed, a delegate said, "On we  fillets,  import 51 percent from Canada. We don't think Canada needs our  dollars.  They're not as much i n debt as we are, and t h e i r d o l l a r i s 15  worth more than ours." Another attempt to invoke the escape clause against f i s h was  rejected by the U.S.  are not be ing imported  imports  T a r i f f Commission on the grounds that " f i l l e t s  into the United States i n such increased quan-  t i t i e s as t o cause or threaten serious injury to the domestic industry." Thus no change i n t a r i f f was  recommended to a l t e r the present  13  P a c i f i c Fisherman, May 1953,  14  Ibid., October 1953, p. 61.  tariff  p. 12.  15 Vancouver Province, A p r i l 1, 1953, p. 26. (For charges that depresae d f i s h prices i n Eastern United States are due to the imports of Canadian f i s h , see Wall Street Journal, P a c i f i c Coast E d i t i o n , V o l . 48, No. 91, May 12, 1953, p. i . ;  77. which provides for a levy, 1-7/8  cents a pound on an annual quota of  15 m i l l i o n pounds, or 15 percent of the average U.S. consumption for three years, whichever is the greater.  Imports i n excess of t h i s quota, 16  which i s determined annually, pay a duty of 2-l/2 cents per pound. Following the Torquay Conference on Trade Agreements, the United States reduced the duty on Canadian canned salmon from 25 percent t o 15 percent. This gain was o f f s e t when the Canadian d o l l a r was freed and became worth more i n r e l a t i o n t o the American d o l l a r .  Thus the  advantage formerly enjoyed by the Canadian exporter i n being paid i n American funds was reversed.  Table XII i l l u s t r a t e s the p o s i t i o n of a  Canadian exporter who faces payment of duty and the adverse exchange on the Canadian d o l l a r .  In the i l l u s t r a t i o n , the assumed s e l l i n g price of  a case of 48 No. 1 T a l l Pinks i s #19.00 f.o.b. Seattle, and the rate of exchange i s 4 percent. The actual amount received by the Canadian exporter under the assumed figures i s only $14.32. Two further problems remain i n s e l l i n g to the United States. Any f i s h purchases made by the United States government must be of f i s h produced and processed i n the United States.  Therefore purchases f o r  the U.S. armed services might release a portion of the U.S. domestic market t o Canada.  However, a l l Canadian f i s h exports must meet standards  set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Canadian exporter must incur the return f r e i g h t and handling costs of a l l rejected f i s h .  16  P a c i f i c Fisherman, October 1952, p. 61.  >  78.  TABLE XII 17 PRICES CANNED SALMON SHIPMENT VANCOUVER - SEATTLE GROSS SELLING PRICE, U.S. FUNDS LESS:  Selling (a) (b) (c)  deductions 1-1/2?? Cash discount 1/10 of 1% 5% Commission U.S. Funds, S e a t t l e , Duty Paid  $19.00  ..  285 .019 .94 17.76  LESS: Duty © 15% of Canadian S e l l i n g Price Handling charges, Seattle Labels and l a b e l l i n g U.S. Funds, Seattle  2.25 .17 .22 15.12  LESS 1 Freight, Vancouver - Seattle Discount on U.S. Funds, A% NET Canadian Funds, unlabelled, f.o.b. Vancouver  .20 .60 $14.32  17 P a c i f i c Fisherman, December, 1952, p. 54. From figures supplied by Canadian exporter.  79. 18 Halibut Markets.  Under normal conditions, halibut has always a  r e l a t i v e l y good consumer demand. E a r l y l o c a l markets of Vancouver, New Westminster, and V i c t o r i a , were supplemented by large markets i n Eastern Canada and U.S.A. with shipments using the C.P.R. and the G.T.P. During the halibut season, carloads are s t i l l shipped d a i l y to Boston and New York and, t o a lesser extent t o Chicago and other d i s t r i b u t i n g centres. Prior t o World War II shipments were also made t o the United Kingdom. At present the only export market f o r B.C.»s f r e s h and frozen f i s h e r y products i s i n U.S.A., and halibut, i n terms of volume, i s the most important product i n t h i s category. Of the annual halibut quota of between 56 and 58 m i l l i o n pounds, 48 t o 50 m i l l i o n pounds are marketed i n the U.S.A.  Though Canadian fishermen produced 33 percent of the  t o t a l quota i n a t y p i c a l year, only 50 percent of t h e i r catch was 19 marketed i n Canada. Canadian share of the t o t a l quota has been showing 20 a s l i g h t increase,  so the importance of the U.S.A. market for B.C.  halibut cannot be over-emphasized. In recent years. P a c i f i c Coast halibut has been receiving comp e t i t i o n from A t l a n t i c halibut caught along the coasts of Eastern Canada and Western Greenland.  In 1950 the A t l a n t i c halibut marketed  i n U.S.A. was i n excess of 10 m i l l i o n pounds.  An additional h a l f 21  m i l l i o n pounds was landed there from Norway and Denmark.  The overall  e f f o r t of the eastern competition w i l l be t o make the buyers of P a c i f i c Coast halibut more cautious. 18 P a r t l y based on Report of F i f t h B.C. Natural Resources Conference, pp. 223-227. 18  Ibid., pp. 226-227.  20  See above, Table IV, p. 57.  21  P a c i f i c Fisherman, Yearbook, 1951, p. 251.  80. Mention has already been made of the introduction of refrigerated cars by the C.P.R., which opened up vast markets i n eastern Canada and the U.S.A. As a consequence, the movement of the industry northward. developed Prince Rupert as a f i s h i n g centre u n t i l i t has become the major halibut port i n the world.  It owes this p o s i t i o n not only to i t s  r e l a t i v e l y close proximity t o the halibut grounds, but also to the railroad.  Grand Trunk P a c i f i c Railway was completed i n 1913 and already 22  i n 1914 " i n one month alone 27 carloads of frozen halibut" were shipped. By 1915 the growth of Prince Rupert as a halibut centre was hailed as the "most g r a t i f y i n g feature of our f i s h e r y f o r the year 1915." This growth was aided by extension of bonding and buying p r i v i l e g e s to Amer23 24 ican halibut boats, as well as shipments by the G.T.P* The r a i l r o a d s , therefore, have been a major factor i n the development of the industry. To give added encouragement t o the f i s h i n g industry, the Dominion Government had passed i n 1909, an Order-in-Council granting a rebate of express rates on Canadian-caught f i s h shipped by Canadian companies from 25 Vancouver t o any point i n Alberta, Saskatchewan or Manitoba.  The com-  p l e t i o n of the G.T.P. reduced the price of f i s h i n Saskatchewan by 26 one-third.  22  Report of Commissioner of F i s h e r i e s , December 31, 1914, p. 8.  23  Labour Gazette, A p r i l 1915, p. 1136.  24  Report of Commissioner of Fisheries, December 31, 1915, p. 8.  25  Labour Gazette, June 1909, p. 1282.  26  Ibid., February 1916, p. 342.  81. Another problem i n the marketing of halibut i s the method of s e l l i n g the raw f i s h .  The load of halibut i s placed on an "exchange"  and sold to the company with the highest b i d .  This sets the price at  f i s h camps and to boats s e l l i n g d i r e c t l y t o the halibut buyers.  During  the short f i s h i n g season heavy landings tend t o depress prioes from day to day.  These depressed prioes create c o n f l i c t between fishermen  and  companies which the former have attempted t o eliminate i n three ways. F i r s t , the load maybe sold through the Fishermen's Co-operative. Secondly, the fishermen have v o l u n t a r i l y remained i n port for s p e c i f i e d 27 periods to spread the supply. price f o r h a l i b u t .  The t h i r d i s a demand for a minimum  This has not been achieved, p a r t l y because i t requires  the support of American fishermen who  are r e s t r i c t e d by a n t i - t r u s t laws  i n any negotiations to e s t a b l i s h a minimum p r i c e . Other F i s h e r i e s .  As a r u l e , the lesser f i s h e r i e s do not present  marketing problems as supply and demand are i n close balance.  However,  an increasing amount of cod i s exported to the United States i n the form of f i l l e t s and frozen blocks and thus subject to trade l e g i s l a t i o n mentioned above.  In the f i l l e t trade w i t h the United States, Canada's  competitors have inoreased t h e i r exports at a greater rate than has Canada.  Recent reports indicate that these countries are able to market  at prices below the prices of Canadian products. The marketing problems i n these f i s h e r i e s have not resulted i n any serious labour-management c o n f l i c t .  An attempt to organize beam trawlers  to demand minimum prices met with f a i l u r e .  The majority of the  dent trawlers claimed membership i n co-operatives.  27  See below, Chapter 6, p.  193.  indepen-  CHAPTER IV PISHING  COMPANIES  Corporate Problems D e f i n i t i o n of Companies.  The f i s h companies represent the  ownership, i n d i v i d u a l l y or c o l l e c t i v e l y , of the processing  establishments,  processing machinery and other production equipment required i n the industry, as w e l l as f i s h i n g and packing boats and other  facilities.  The primary or d i r e c t functions of the companies are the production, processing, and the d i s t r i b u t i o n or marketing of the various f i s h  1 products. A company may  own and operate a cannery, a cold storage plant,  a f i s h f i l l e t t i n g plant, a reduction plant, a herring or salmon saltery, or a combination of these.  An establishment may be a single  unit engaged i n a single process, or i t might be a unit engaged i n more than one,  or a l l the processes.  Company ownership ranges from that of  a single unit to more than one integrated u n i t , from production of one product to that of a l l marketable products.  Operational Changes.  Technological developments and marketing  problems discussed i n e a r l i e r chapters have had a profound e f f e c t on the f i s h i n g companies.  In the e a r l y phase of the industry, dozens of  1 Some processing equipment cannot be purchased and must be rented. For the value of the c a p i t a l equipment i n the industry p r i o r to World War II see W.A. Carrothers, The B r i t i s h Columbia F i s h e r i e s , Chap IV, pp. 26-36.  83. canneries along the coast engaged i n an intense competition. r i v a l r y squeezed out the marginal firms.  This f i e r c e  Technological changes i n pro-  cessing, transportation, and f i s h i n g methods also worked to reduce greatly the number of canneries, and today only a f i s h camp marks the s i t e of many a former cannery.  In recent decades, a trend t o enlarge  operations has been an added factor i n the merger, cons o l i d a t i o n and c e n t r a l i z a t i o n of modern-day operations  into integrated plants, where  the various operations act as hedges to give an overall p r o f i t , or minimize l o s s e B to the company. Technological changes i n processing have resulted i n one more e f f i c i e n t processing plant replaoing a number of plants.  Smaller and  more isolated plants have been closed down or dismantled.  Likewise,  the technological improvements i n f i s h transportation have meant that a packer can transport raw f i s h greater distances without spoilage. The modern integrated and c e n t r a l l y located plant i s planned b a s i c a l l y for the maximum use of labour and c a p i t a l .  The main  "departments" are salmon canning, reduction plant, fresh f i s h department and cold storage.  These large units require increased  initial  f i n a n c i a l investment not only for machinery but for larger storage f a c i l i t i e s as w e l l .  However, lower unit costs could be aohieved only  by larger volume of output. The large integrated plant runs p r a c t i c a l l y throughout the year. Salmon canning operations run from July to November.  The  reduction  plant operates i n conjunction with salmon canning and f o r herring from October t o March, though some summer herring i s processed.  The cold  84. storage and fresh f i s h departments operate on a year round b a s i s .  The  fresh f i s h department operates c h i e f l y f o r h a l i b u t , spring salmon, coho, and chums during t h e i r seasons.  The f i l l e t department operates through-  out the year f o r bottom f i s h and those mentioned above. such  In addition,  many plants process specialty products/as f i s h s t i c k s , f i s h paste, smoked salmon and smoked black cod. Consolidation of many scattered canneries into integrated plants has reduced t o t a l labour requirements.  However, t r a n s f e r r i n g labour  between departments enables labour to get longer periods of employment. The labour force becomes r e l a t i v e l y permanent, develops s k i l l and enjoys security compared to transient seasonal workers i n e a r l y years of the industry.  Labour, i n order t o enjoy the security and protection of the  job, also develops a strong incentive <to organize. These developments have reduoed v u l n e r a b i l i t y of the f i s h canning and processing companies and so tended t o strengthen t h e i r bargaining position against the fishermen and shoreworkers.  As the companies  have become larger and more oentralized i n ownership and operation, they have beoome less competitive i n dealing with the union, and have co-operated i n s e l l i n g through the advertising by the Fisheries Association.  But they have, on the other hand, become more and more  cut-throat i n getting f i s h .  Competition i n t h i s d i r e c t i o n has pro-  duced an excess of boats, gear, fishermen and buyers. Consolidations have made unionism on a broader scale more v i t a l to the fishermen to protect t h e i r bargaining position with the companies.  Industry-wide unionism consequently became necessary f o r  e f f e c t i v e functioning.  85. One function of the companies i s marketing f i s h products.  These  markets are uncertain, with price changes which are reflected i n raw f i s h prices.  The growing number of products and a shorter season i n  salmon, the most valuable fishery, are increasing this problem.  Prices  offered to fishermen w i l l be based on estimation of the possible supply of f i s h during a short salmon season and anticipated demand f o r the coming year.  Consequently, these offers tend to set a low or minimum  price.  The fishermen, also faced with uncertainties, demand a maximum  share.  This conduces t o periodic c o n f l i c t .  It* In passing, i t should be noted that the B.C. f i s h i n g industry  ^  has not depended on the federal government f o r a i d i n marketing, or by A - ^ r  price supports.  Prices of B.C. f i s h products are determined by supply  0  and demand, rather than a r t i f i c i a l l y through government subsidy or other f l o o r p r i c e . Problem of Fish Supply.  The companies, l i k e the fishermen, are  confronted with the uncertain supply of f i s h .  They are subject t o the  same governmental regulations protecting the f i s h e r i e s . fishermen, they have no assurance of a return on t h e i r  Like the investment.  A supply of f i s h was a p a r t i c u l a r l y serious problem i n the e a r l y phases of the industry when independent the coast. area.  canneries were scattered along  Each unit depended on the f i s h supply i n i t s immediate  In the l a s t few years, t h i s problem has become less acute.  S c i e n t i f i c predictions based on the study of salmon l i f e cycles enable a f a i r l y accurate estimate of salmon runs.  In herring and halibut  f i s h e r i e s , quotas enable pre-season preparations.  Centralized operations,  using a highly mobile f i s h i n g f l e e t , can r e l y on a large f i s h i n g area. However, uncertainty s t i l l e x i s t s . As l a t e as 1952, elaborate pre-season preparations  for an expected large sookeye run on the Fraser River were  not j u s t i f i e d by actual size of the run. Another example of the r i s k s t o c a p i t a l investments and earnings from the vagaries of the f i s h supply concerns the p i l c h a r d f i s h e r i e s . At one time t h i s was a major f i s h e r y of B.C., with operations on the West Coast of Vancouver Island.  centred  In 1926 there were 15 p i l c h a r d 2  reduction plants operating, a l l b u i l t wib hin a period of 18 months. After World War I I , t h i s f i s h e r y declined r a p i d l y with the disappearance of the pilchards, and by 1947 i t had ended.  Though the loss was lessened  by t r a n s f e r r i n g boats and plants to the herring f i s h e r i e s , the l a s t reduction plant on the west coast of Vancouver Island was closed at the end of 1953. In addition to fixed and contractual costs of ownership, companies make pre-season investments for plant improvement, for maintenance and for f i s h i n g equipment t o insure uninterrupted  operation.  Months of  planning and preparation are required t o bring labour, machinery and supplies t o processing plants.  Thus companies have made considerable  investments before they have processed a s i n g l e saleable product.  On the  other hand, the entire year's inoome i s often derived from a few weeks of actual f i s h i n g . When fishermen are well organized, t h e i r bargaining p o s i t i o n i s strong and they are able t o i n f l i c t heavy losses on the companies.  2  P a c i f i c Fisherman, August 1952, p. 43.  A  87. s t r i k e or other interruption i n output during the season means a loss not only of current income but of the entire year's investment.  Company Structure.  Economic structure of companies w i t h i n the  f i s h i n g industry has c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s whioh are of importance i n labourmanagement r e l a t i o n s .  In the industry there are a r e l a t i v e l y few  producing homogeneous and substitutable products.  firms  The number of firms  has fluctuated, with a c t i v i t y reaching a peak i n the l a t e 1920* s, and sharply d e c l i n i n g i n the 1930's.  Dollar value of annual output of the  salmon canning industry declined by almost two-thirds the late 1920's to the bottom of the depression.  from the peak of  Canneries i n operation 3  shrank from 76 valued at $16,350,000 to 44 valued at $7,400,000. The o l i g o p o l i s t i c structure whereby a few firms produce homogeneous products necessitates price leadership since the sales curve of any one firm w i l l depend upon the sales actions of other firms i n the industry.  No change i n sales policy i n regard to sales prices may  be  attempted by any one firm without some knowledge or idea of the p o l i c y which the oompeting firms might undertake. price increase by one firm may  A very pronounced sales  result i n decrease i n sales unless a l l  competing firms increase t h e i r sales prices correspondingly.  Conversely,  any price decrease by any one f i r m must be followed by equal decreases by the other firms or they w i l l face loss i n sales and revenues.  Since  f i s h products are homogeneous for each species any concerted e f f o r t by any one f i r m to increase i t s sales of a p a r t i c u l a r product may  indeed,  over a short period, inorease i t s sales, but i n doing t h i s , i t w i l l  3  W. A. Carrothers, The B r i t i s h Columbia F i s h e r i e s , pp.23-27.  88. also increase the sales of competing firms f o r that p a r t i c u l a r product. The one firm w i l l therefore reach a point of diminishing returns on investment i n sales promotion because competing firms, i n the long run, w i l l derive equal benefit from any promotion investment.  This, i n part,  explains the no-label canned salmon advertising campaign on the Canadian domestic market conducted and financed by the industry as a whole through the Fisheries Association of  B.C.  Firms engaged i n the same phase of the industry have i d e n t i c a l processing systems and produce i d e n t i c a l products.  O l i g o p o l i s t i c com-  p e t i t i o n i n the d i s t r i b u t i o n of the same homogeneous and substitutable v a r i e t i e s of f i s h products leads to equal s e l l i n g prices f o r the same products or at least n e g l i g i b l e d i f f e r e n c e s .  However, this is modified  by attempts at product d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n as each i n d i v i d u a l f i r m attempts to create consumer market preference for i t s own products through brand labels and advertising. Costs of production of the various firms d i f f e r , so that any price excessive price r a i s i n g i n buying raw f i s h or/cutting i n s e l l i n g the 4 finished product would be disastrous to marginal firms.  The  oligopolistic  structure of the industry has, i n recent years, tended to permit maint a i n i n g a price i n both buying and s e l l i n g that allows a l l firms to operate and thus avoid cut-throat  competition.  This structure encourages close co-operation achieve s t a b i l i t y i n other respects than p r i c i n g .  of the companies to As e a r l y as the 1890's  4 A price war of canned salmon occurred i n the United States i n 1903. In four months one of the firms engaged i n the war was bankrupt. In 1905 i t s assets, which inoluded 13 canneries, were sold f o r $205,000. P a c i f i c Fisherman Yearbook, August 1952, pp, 5, 15.  89. the canning firms organized, wiln one of the primary aims being to control the prices offered fishermen by individual oanners. When fishermen began to organize, this group became the spokesmen for the canners i n labour 5 matters.  So, throughout the h i s t o r y of the disputes i n the industry, a  close well-knit employers' organization has faced fishermen and wage earners, whether organized or unorganized. Inter-Company Competition.  Inter-company competition, which  extends from production t o processing and d i s t r i b u t i o n , i s nevertheless, an important factor i n labour r e l a t i o n s .  Inter-company competition for  the l i m i t e d supply of f i s h during a short season sets prices paid to fishermen at or near that determined by supply and demand, as, f o r example, i n the salmon and halibut f i s h e r i e s .  Competition can sometimes  r a i s e the prices of salmon above the minimum prices determined by labourmanagement negotiations.  On the other hand inter-company competition can  be c o s t l y and, at times, appears u n j u s t i f i e d or  unnecessary.  Companies, l i k e fishermen, face seasonal uncertainties about the supply of raw f i s h .  The fact that no individual can claim proprietary  right to a share of the f i s h also applies to them.  Company operations  may be c u r t a i l e d or interrupted by government conservation p o l i c i e s . A b i l i t i e s of fishermen and f i s h i n g equipment vary.  During any season  the companies must therefore make every e f f o r t t o obtain a maximum share of the f i s h t o get more economical production.  I f they can increase t h e i r  supplies of raw material, they oan cut t h e i r unit costs of operation and  6 get a maximum return on c a p i t a l investment.  5  Hence, i t w i l l be seen that  The development of the organization i s disoussed l a t e r .  6 Beoause of an excessive number of canneries and excess plant capaoity, most plants are operating on decreasing costs.  90. competition for f i s h tends to r a i s e prices paid to fishermen. During prod us t ion the e f f i c i e n c y of f i s h i n g boats and equipment can, t o a large extent, be controlled and i t can be assumed that most oompany-owned equipment i s , or should bo, modern and competitive with r i v a l boats.  Equipment f o r f i s h i n g requires a heavy c a p i t a l  and returns can be made only by heavy production. i n production i s therefore the human element.  investment  The deoisive factor  So the companies attempt  t o h i r e , or make contracts with, the most e f f i o i e n t and consistently successful fishermen.  The present trend i s f o r the companies t o finance  a fisherman i n obtaining his own f i s h i n g boat and equipment.  A fisherman  with the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y o f ownership i s considered most dependable by the company f o r production and maintenance of equipment. Company packers service only company f i s h i n g boats.  For maximum  e f f i c i e n c y a packer should carry capacity loads but t h i s is not always possible because of an uncertain supply.  It i s a common sight to see  packers with p a r t i a l loads, when with inter-oompany co-operation one paoker oould carry the l o t . This means added costs but any reduction i n boats and orews can ..spark labour-management c o n f l i c t . A factor i n possible differences i n f i s h prices paid to the fishermen i s i n services and f a c i l i t i e s provided for the fishermen the f i s h i n g grounds.  A company may  on  incur extra costs by providing f i s h  camps with stores, net repair f a c i l i t i e s , and so f o r t h .  Another company  may have no f a c i l i t i e s but would be w i l l i n g to pass the savings i n whole or i n part to the fishermen through higher f i s h p r i o e s .  Gere r a l l y , a  fisherman i s under contract t o f i s h for one company but w i l l deliver t o a buyer who  not only pays a s l i g h t l y higher p r i c e , but pays i n cash.  91. In actual f i s h i n g and i n f i s h transportation, production costs vary between companies.  In processing plants, however, methods of  operation and equipment required are p r a c t i c a l l y i d e n t i c a l .  Machinery  and methods are the same, each plant has the same labour and c a p i t a l requirements.  Moreover, much machinery used i n salmon canning i s rented  from and serviced by the American Can Company.  The end r e s u l t i s that  the unit costs of production for any one process are n e a r l y identioal for a l l r i v a l companies.  In processing, therefore, e f f i c i e n c y of the  labour force and supervisory s t a f f i s a major f a c t o r . Inter-company competition i n salmon canneries reached a peak just after World War  I, with a decline i n numbers beginning i n the e a r l y 1930's.  The following excerpts show the nature of the competition.  It should be  noted that t h i s was the era of the salmon hatoheries before s c i e n t i f i c study of f i s h e r i e s biology became the basis of salmon conservation. The excerpts also show the length of the season, the supply of f i s h available for each cannery and r e l a t i o n of catches to 7 investments.  pre-season  Though conservation during the period up to 1936 r e l i e d on f i s h hatcheries, a s i g n i f i c a n t statement i n 1917 pointed out—"the  salmon  industry does not depend upon the amount of money invested i n canneries, gear and boats.  It depends upon the number of salmon which esoape and 8 successfully spawn."  7 The P r o v i n c i a l Government controls the number of plant l i c e n c e s . The Federal Government i s concerned with salmon, and other commercial f i s h only u n t i l the f i s h are caught by the fishermen. 8  Fisheries Report, 1917,  p.  117.  In 1916,  with the annual salmon pack showing a continuous decline,  overfishing mad3 ' the need for stringent conservation measures more apparent.  c  more and  A statement at the time charged that, "too many canneries  — l o t s of them i l l - a d v i s e d — w a s given as the reason for the over-heavy d r a i n on the f i s h i n g resources} and t h i s over-building was ascribed as due t o t h e e n t i r e l y erroneous idea generally prevalent that i t i s a bonanza business, and that a l l one needs t o get r i c h quick i s t o b u i l d 9 a salmon oannery." During the time when monopoly charges were being made against the canners, there was already.in ifact, evidence of over-competition expansion i n the industry.  and over-  One report by f e d e r a l authorities argued that,  during the 1916 season, i t would have been possible for the 14 canneries on the Skeena, the seven around Rivers Inlet, and the four on the Nass River, using 868,  700 and 265 g i l l n e t s respectively, to pack the season's 10  catch o f salmon i n less than nine days of 12 hours each. The p r o v i n c i a l Department of Fisheries also feared the possible deletion of the f i s h e r i e s through over-competition  and over-equipment.  Furthermore,, the department held the canners s o l e l y responsible f o r any depletion.  It made proposals  for curtailment and l i m i t a t i o n s , with the  proviso "that excess p r o f i t s , i f any, s h a l l go t o the publio, and that exploitation, as a f a c t and as a motive, s h a l l be eliminated from the 11 industry." The B.C. Fisheries Department proposed t h a t : since the oanneries  9  P a c i f i c Fisherman, August 1952, p. 27  10 Fisheries Report, 1917, p. 17 and 1922-23, p. 55. 11 Report of Fisheries Commission, 1917, p. 17.  93. were licensed by the province and operated on a year to year b a s i s , the p r o v i n c i a l government should be under no obligation t o renew any l i c e n c e . There should be no increase i n the number of cannery licences f o r f i v e years.  No motor boats should be allowed and i f they were allowed the  t o t a l number of boats should be reduced. i n the number of f i s h i n g boats. 12  There should be no increase  Fishing licences should be issued only  to q u a l i f i e d fishermen. In 1919, the Federal Minister of Naval Services under whose department Fisheries came, expressed his fear of depletion as a r e s u l t of overcompetition.  He suggested elimination of " a l l useless competition, over-  equipment, and waste, t o the end that the people may be able to obtain at a f a i r price one of the natural food products of the province  . . . .  Instead of l i c e n s i n g e x i s t i n g and new companies and individuals, to take over and handle our salmon f i s h e r i e s , the Government should take them 13 over and handle them." The B.C. Fisheries Commissioner was stated t o 14 be i n favour of t h i s move.  Over-oompetition, therefore, added to a  decreasing supply of f i s h did contribute to bankruptcies and t o amalgamations. 15 E a r l y Period of the Companies.  E a r l y f i s h e r i e s were salmon  f i s h e r i e s since cold storage did not appear u n t i l the industry was 12 Fisheries Report, 1917, pp. 17-18. 13 Report of the Fisheries Commission, 1919, p. 15. 14 Ibid., p. 70 15 The mergers Reports neries.  author i s attempting to trace the history of the canneries, the and amalgamations leading to the present day consolidated operations. uncovered so f a r show variations i n the number of e a r l y salmon canThe following i s information found regarding the e a r l y phase.  f a i r l y well established.  The reduction plant as known today appeared at  a s t i l l l a t e r date. The salmon canning industry may be dated from 1867 when the f i r s t 16 cannery was b u i l t on the Fraser River, with the industry centred on the sockeye salmon.  E a r l y canneries were small units requiring a r e l a t i v e l y  low i n i t i a l c a p i t a l investment.  In 1880, the nine canneries i n B.C.  were valued at $10,000 each, a t o t a l investment of $104,000 including 17 " 18 f i s h i n g equipment. By 1893, the 44 oanneries were valued at $880,000. In general, the technique o f salmon canning known p r i o r to 1900 did  not encourage much use of c a p i t a l .  Power-driven machinery had not  been introduced and p r a c t i c a l l y a l l processing was by hand. were paid by the hour or by piece r a t e . paid d a i l y wages.  The workers  U n t i l 1893, fishermen were also  Then they were paid so much a f i s h .  The number of canneries increased tremendously as shown i n Table XIII. In a speculative infant industry, depending mainly on foreign markets for  i t s product, company f a i l u r e s were many and frequent.  "The shores  of Alaska, B r i t i s h Columbia, Washington and Oregon soon were strewn with the wreckage of concerns that rushed into the little-understood 19 operations of f i s h i n g , packing and marketing of canned  salmon."  In addition to f a i l u r e s r e s u l t i n g from lack of knowledge of the industry, other bankruptcies were caused by the economic depression of 16  The o r i g i n a l date varies somewhat.  See Table XIII.  17 Fisheries Statement for the Year 1880, Supplement Ko. 2 to the Eleventh Annual Report of the Minister of Marine and Fisheries for the Year 1880, p. 268. 18 Canada, Department of Marine and F i s h e r i e s , Annual Report, 1894 Fisheries S t a t i s t i c s , p. 290. 19  Gregory & Barnes, Worth P a c i f i c F i s h e r i e s , p. 91.  95. the 1890*8 which out canned salmon p r i c e s on world markets.  Many  canneries were owned and operated by individuals or small companies whose f i n a n c i a l reserves were unable to withstand losses from lower prices.  Distress s e l l i n g by marginal or bankrupt firms further  depressed market p r i c e s .  In many cases, stronger firms were able to  purchase the output of sub-marginal firms but t h i s too had i t s l i m i t s .  TABLEAU I 20 BRITISH COLUMBIA SALMON CANNERIES  1873 1874 1875 1876 1877 1878 1379  2T  2  3 4 10 9  1880 1881 1882 1883 1884 1885 1886  —---«--  9 12 18 24 17 9 17  1887 1888 1889 1890 1891 1892 1893  -— ————-«—-  20 21 28 32 26 27 37  1894 1895 1896 1897 1898 1899 1900  ——.-—--—-  32 36 47 54 51 59 64  The s i t u a t i o n was a product of too rapid expansion, spurred by opening of new markets i n eastern Canada and the United States byway of the newly-completed European markets.  C.P.R., and by the further development  of  Rapid expansion of plants had placed increasing  20 W.A. Carrothers, B r i t i s h Columbia F i s h e r i e s , p. 11j Report of B.C. Commissioner of Fisheries Reports and Recommendations 1905-07, p. 19j Report of Minister of Marine & F i s h e r i e s , 1922-23, p. 54. 21  These canneries were i n the nature of experiments.  quantities of canned salmon i n new and r e l a t i v e l y undeveloped Many oannery operators r e l i e d on agents or brokers who  markets.  advanced credit  i n the form of nets, t i n plate and other equipment and supplies. Many operators were at the mercy of brokers who were i n a p o s i t i o n to olose them out.  B.C. canneries operating g i l l n e t boats were at a disadvantage  compared to Amerioan canners i n Puget Sound, who  operated salmon t r a p s .  The l a t t e r were able to get f i s h at a lower price and thus can salmon 22 at lower unit costs. By 1892 only four companies operating on the Fraser River had 23 s u f f i c i e n t c a p i t a l to survive. One company absorbed eight competing salmon oanneries situated at various points along the coast, marking the f i r s t amalgamation.  Despite these f a i l u r e s , new firms continued  to enter the f i e l d . Technological changes i n canning, f i s h i n g and i n transporting of f i s h i n the early 1900's revolutionized the industry, and made possible integrated p l a n t s . Mergers did not prevent new canning plants from being b u i l t .  By 1920,  64 of 132 salmon canneries b u i l t i n B.C. 24  had been sold, dismantled or destroyed.  A comparison of the number  of canneries and the number of g i l l n e t s operated by canneries for the years 1912 to 1922 i s given i n Table XIV. In the e a r l y 1900's salmon f i s h e r i e s other than sockeye began to be developed.  By 1902 coho and some pinks were being canned.  22  See section on Salmon Traps, Chap. 1, p. 21.  23  Carrothers, B r i t i s h Columbia F i s h e r i e s , p. v i i .  24  Gregory and Barnes, North P a c i f i c Fisheries, p. 92.  It i s  97.  TABLE XIV. 25 NUMBER OF CANNERIES AND GILLNETS 1912-1922  Fraser River  Year  19121  15  1913 j  35  1914s  20  1915:  Skeena River  River's Inlet  Nass River  Smith' s Inlet  ~  1430  12  —  850  7  •mmm  700  3  —  265  1  2560  13  —  850  7  —  700  3  —  265  1  •mmm  2656  13  —  850  7  mm mm  700  4  —  265  Not Available  22  —  2616  13  —  962  7  —  700  4 •mwm265  1  —  1916:  21  — mm  2240  14  —  868  7  —  700  4  •mmm  265  1  —  1917:  29  —  2626  15  •mm*  788 ±  8  700  4  —  265  2  —  1918:  18  •mm*  1582  15  —  889 A  9  700  6  —  265  2  —  115  1919:  14  •mm*  1337  14  •mm*  1153  9 m*wm769  5  —  300  2  —  147  1920:  11 •mwm 1288  15  mm —m  954  9  —  87i  5  —  342  1  —  173  1921:  13  1437  13  1109  9  — mM  1000  5  —  338  1  215  1922:  10  1296  15  1091  9  —  1012  5  mmmm  304  1  179  A  —  —  —  —  —  —  Approx.  25 Report of Fisheries Branch of the Department of Marine and F i s h e r i e s , 1922-23, p. 55.  26 c e r t a i n that by 1910 both chums and pinks were canned.  Prior to this  chums were used by the Japanese i n s a l t e r y operations.  Increasing  demand for chums for canning reduced these operations.  In 1911, only  f i v e s a l t e r i e s operated, compared t o 19 i n 1910. In 1901, a cold storage was b u i l t on the Skeena followed i n 1912 by one i n Prince Rupert.  In 1910, the f i r s t cold storage s o l e l y f o r  f i s h e r y purposes was b u i l t i n Vancouver.  These plants provided impetus  to salmon t r o l l i n g and the halibut f i s h e r i e s . B u i l d i n g of reduction plants f o r salmon o f f a l , pilchards and herring reached a peak i n 1926 when there were 15 pilchard reduction 27 plants on Vancouver Island, a l l b u i l t within 18 months.  Today, centres  for processing are Prince Rupert and the mouth of the Skeena area, the central B.C. area around Namu, and the Steveston-Vancouver area.  Be-tfween  Namu and Prince Rupert, there is als o one important combined cannery and cold storage operation. E a r l y Halibut Companies.  E a r l y h a l i b u t fisherieswere dominated  to such an extent by one American company, the New England Fishing Company, that by 1907 the Vanoouver Board of Trade stated that the 28 company was "undoubtedly monopolistic".  It had well established  markets i n eastern United States and the added advantage of shipping under bond by C.P.R. halibut landed i n Cam da t o eastern U.S. markets.  26 These estimates are based on the Report of the Commissioner o f Fisheries f o r B r i t i s h Columbia, 1911, p. 5. ~~ 27  P a c i f i c Fisherman, August 1952, p. 43.  28  Vancouver World, June 5, 1907, p. 4.  99. This was possible under an Order-in-Council  of 1898 allowing foreign  corporations to land f i s h from American ships and ship i t under bond to the U.S.A. 29 B.C. port.  In addition, U.S. vessels could buy supplies i n any  Canadians competing w i t h the American company, on the other hand, faced an American duty on h a l i b u t , and the handicap of an undeveloped Cam dia n market.  The Vancouver Board of Trade, on behalf of the  Canadian firms, petitioned Ottawa to suspend special p r i v i l e g e s f o r New England Fish.  The Board argued the f i s h e r i e s y i e l d i n g i n the  previous year, "more gold than B.C. coal and gold together, must be preserved  for Canadians and the great harvest 30  bottoms f l y i n g the Union Jaok."  of our seas reaped i n  The New England Fishing Company did  become a Canadian f i r m i n 1907 and established a branch i n Prince Rupert i n 1912. While the protests were being made, a second major firm was established at Prince Rupert.  being  F i r s t reports said that the f i r m was to 31  ship "untinned halibut and salmon" t o England.  Other companies  followed to keep pace with the industry. Employer Organizations and Trade Associations. Fisheries Association.  In the o l i g o p o l i s t i c structure of the  f i s h i n g industry where a few firms produce homogeneous products,  an  organization e a r l y developed t o govern the actions of member companies.  29  Labour gazette, August 1909, p. 243.  30  Vane ouver World, June 3, 1907, p. 11.  31  Vancouver World, May 29, 1907, p. 1.  100. In 1892, Fishing companies formed a Canners Association with headquarters 32 in Victoria. quarters  In 1902 the Fraser River Canners Association opened head-  i n New Westminster.  As communications improved, the Association  became i n c r e a s i n g l y active along the B r i t i s h Columbia coast.  The o r i g i n a l  purpose of the organization was f o r mutual protection and f o r dealing with the Government on f i s h e r i e s problems.  With expansion of the industry,  scope of the organization increased.  Thus, i n 1908, the Fraser River  Canners Association became the B.C. Fisheries Association.  This organi-  zation operated u n t i l 1923 when the f i s h i n g operators became a branch of the Canadian Manufacturers Association. Fishermens' unions i n the 1930 s became stronger and united on a 1  coastwise basis with t h e i r c h i e f demands being f i s h prices offered t o g i l l n e t t e r s and purse seiners.  In 1937 the companies mainly affected  formed the "Salmon Canners Operating Committee" t o negotiate salmon prices with fishermen. During World War I I and a f t e r , the Operators' Committee also faced problems r e l a t i n g to f r e s h and frozen f i s h products, and o i l , i n a d d i t i o n t o canned salmon.  herring.meal  Fisheries companies f e l t a need  for more comprehensive coverage to management problems.  Consequently,  i n 1951, the Committee became the Fisheries Association of B.C. In 1952 the Association represented of management.  14 companies or 90 percent  It deals with matters a f f e c t i n g management and the  industry as a whole.  It has speoial sub-committees t o deal with labour  agreements, f i s h prioes, marketing problems and f i s h versus power disputes.  32 A l l information regarding the company association i s based on The Canadian Fisheries Annual, 1952, National Business Publications, Gardenvale, Quebec, p. 47.  101. Since 1892,  the f i s h i n g companies have been organized  and c l o s e l y knit organizations.  into formal  During t h i s period they have presented a  strong front i n dealing with demands by fishermen.  The l a t t e r , on the  other hand, have been, f o r much of the time unorganized, heterogeneous groups separated by race, geography and occupational  t  tlecy.  Since  1945  however, labour-mam gement negotiations have been between the Association and the United Fishermen and A l l i e d Workers* Union, representing both shoreworkers and  fishermen.  The Fishing Vessel Owners' Association of B r i t i s h Columbia.  A number  of larger f i s h i n g vessels are p r i v a t e l y owned by individual fishermen. The t r e n d has been towards private ownership rather than oompany ownership.  The vessel owners occupy a p o s i t i o n between the companies and  fishermen, co-operating or opposing both groups as d i f f e r i n g circumstances arise.  Because the vessel owners are olassed as employers or "owners™,  they are not e l i g i b l e f o r membership i n the UFAWU.  To protect t h e i r  interests i n the industry, vessel owners established the Fishing Vessel Owners* Association of B r i t i s h Columbia on June 3, 1935, porated  i t on March 25, 1938.  and incor-  It has two separate organizations 33  in  B.C.  with headquarters at Vancouver and Prince Rupert. Membership i n the Association i s r e s t r i c t e d to "owners and part owners owning one-third or more of such f i s h i n g vessels and f i s h c a r r i e r s operating out of the port of Vancouver or elsewhere along the coast of B r i t i s h Columbia as s h a l l require a crew of three or more i n addition to  33  The data here is based on the Vancouver organization .  102. the skipper on any f i s h e r y i n which the vessel may p a r t i c i p a t e .  No owners  interested i n canneries, cold storage or f e r t i l i z i n g plants, s a l t e r i e s or 34 other f i s h plants shall be e l i g i b l e f o r membership. n  Contracts with Companies and Union.  Income of the vessel i s based  either on shares, charter, or a commission on f i s h c a r r i e d .  Any changes  i n rates or i n d i v i s i o n of earnings w i l l a f f e c t earnings of the boat owner.  Therefore, the constitution states that s p e c i f i o objects of the  organization are the problems of "settlement between crews and vessel", and "charters and commissions on f i s h carried from place t o place". There have been numerous disputes between the vessel owners and fishermen over the d i v i s i o n of shares.  The boat shares are 20 percent  of the gross catch i n halibut f i s h i n g , two and one-half out of a t o t a l of eleven shares i n salmon purse seining, and 40 percent i n beam trawling. Fishermen attempt t o increase t h e i r share while the owner at best  attempts  to maintain the status quo. Another source of dispute i s i n work done on boats and f i s h i n g gear other than during the actual f i s h i n g season.  In the past, i t was  common practice for boat crews to work on pre-season preparation and post-season stowage of gear.  Fishermen now demand and receive pay f o r  the whole or part of such work.  Vessel owners negotiate oharter rates  with the companies. When packing f i s h , the crews are on wages and thus there are neither pre-season or post-season wage problems.  However,  charters f o r herring and salmon seining, where the crews are on shares, could lead to share disputes.  34  By-law No. 1 (a) Fishing Vessel Owners' Association.  103. The commission, or packing charge, i s the earnings o f a v e s s e l transporting f i s h from a camp t o a plant.  This system i s confined to  a few operations, mostly on the Fraser River, and applies mainly t o halibut and troll-caught salmon.  The commission i s the difference  between the price paid at the camp and that paid at the processing plant. Vessel owners whose boats are on shares co-operate c l o s e l y with the UFAWU i n price demands for f i s h . Technological Changes and the FVOA.  So far as v e s s e l owners are  involved i n disputes over technological change, the c o n f l i c t improvements as such, but over the costs of the innovations.  i s not over These  changes mean more e f f i c i e n c y and less physical labour, and usually are intended t o increase earnings for boats and fishermen. whether the fishermen  The problem i s  should share the costs or whether the added  equipment should be considered as a part of normal boat equipment with t o t a l cost borne by the boat owner.  A second source of dispute i s the  possible cuts i n crews because of technological improvements.  This has  already occurred i n drum seining and the UFAWU took a strong stand against any cut i n crew.  104.  CHAPTER V LABOUR IN THE FISHING- INDUSTRY  The f i s h i n g industry as described i n the previous chapters, i s extremely d i v e r s i f i e d , r e q u i r i n g a correspondingly d i v e r s i f i e d labour force.  The various species of f i s h require speoial techniques of  catching and hence specialized occupational groups such as g i l l n e t t e r s , seiners and t r o l l e r s are created.  The fisherman s e l l s h i s f i s h and is  t e c h n i c a l l y self-employed, yet belongs t o one of the strongest unions i n B.C.  This chapter w i l l 6tudy some of- the f a c t o r s underlying unionism 1 among the fishermen. Fishermen seem to l i v e and work on the periphery o f modern society, because f i s h i n g operations by t h e i r very nature are c a r r i e d on i n areas far removed from the main centres of population. Moreover, the eoonomic and legal status of fishermen i s ambiguous, p a r t i c u l a r l y i n l e g i s l a t i o n governing such matters as workmen's compensation,  unemployment insurance, 2  and c o n c i l i a t i o n or a r b i t r a t i o n of i n d u s t r i a l disputes. speaking, most fishermen are not "employees".  Technically  Along with farmers, they  are generally classed as "self-employed" or "independent  proprietors",  i n that the majority of them i n d i v i d u a l l y or c o l l e c t i v e l y own or manage the c a p i t a l with which they work, and derive t h e i r incomes from s e l l i n g  1 The following, with s l i g h t modification, i s based on a study by Stuart Jamieson and Percy Gladstone, "Unionism i n the Fishing Industry of B r i t i s h Columbia", The Canadian Journal o f Economic and P o l i t i c a l Science, V o l . XVI, No. 1, February 1950. 2  Beginning i n 1957 fishermen receive unemployment insurance.  105. their produoe f o r a p r o f i t , rather than working for a wage. Some modification would seem to be required i n the usual t h e o r e t i c a l approach to i n d u s t r i a l r e l a t i o n s i f the ambiguous r o l e of the independent proprietor i s t o be explained adequately.  The term "labour" (as used i n  "labour problems", "Labour organization", etc.) has come t o mean almost exclusively that class of urban i n d u s t r i a l workers who are propertyless ( i n the sense that only a minor part of t h e i r incomes are derived from ownership of or control over physical means of production); and work i n groups, under the supervision of owners or managers, rather than as separate i n d i v i d u a l s . Labour unrest and c o n f l i c t with management, the organization of trade unions and t h e establishment  of c o l l e c t i v e bar-  gaining are generally interpreted as phenomena a r i s i n g out of labour's propertyless status and insecure, dependent r e l a t i o n s h i p t o employers, i n an environment of rapid technological change and large-scale operations. This interpretation overlooks the fact that independent proprietors i n several important industries have also experienced c o n f l i c t with management.  Apparently  unrest and organized  ownership of capital and i n d i v i d -  u a l i s t i c , competitive relationships i n production have not prevented such "workers" from forming into unions and using the t r a d i t i o n a l weapons of the s t r i k e and the p i c k e t - l i n e , sometimes with v i o l e n t overtones.  An example i s the 1946 s t r i k e of d a i r y farmers i n Alberta under  the leadership of the United Farmers.  Individual ownership and operation  of means of production i n such cases seem to have encouraged rather than 3 inhibited c o l l e c t i v e action along trade union l i n e s .  3 The more t y p i c a l form o f organization among farmers has been, of course, the co-operative. Trade union organizations and t a c t i c s have played a secondary r o l e .  106. Fishermen on the P a c i f i c Coast have followed a more consistent pattern than have farmers.  The majority i d e n t i f y themselves more c l o s e l y  i n interest and p o l i c y with wage-earners than with farmers, business men or other "independent proprietors".  They were among the f i r s t occu-  pational groups i n t h i s region to organize and s t r i k e for c o l l e c t i v e bargaining demands.  The more important of t h e i r organizations have  been aotive a f f i l i a t e s of the major labour congresses.  And, despite the  propertied status of t h e i r members, fishermen's unions f o r several decades have been predominantly " l e f t i s t " i n leadership and ideology. In such matters as the amount and l o c a t i o n of f i s h resources, techniques of production and problems of c o n s e r v a t i o n — a l l of which have strongly influenced the growth of unionism—the f i s h i n g industry of B.C. i s inseparable from that of the adjoining P a c i f i c Coast states and the t e r r i t o r y of Alaska.  American fishermen's unions, moreover, have had  considerable influence on the course of unionism i n B r i t i s h  Columbia.  Certain unique problems of topography, markets, and r a c i a l or ethnic d i v i s i o n s i n the population of B r i t i s h Columbia have also influenced and affected unionism and c o l l e c t i v e bargaining i n the commercial of this province.  fisheries  It provides a graphic i l l u s t r a t i o n of the manner i n  whioh individual and group attitudes and p o l i c i e s are moulded by the techniques used i n an occupation, and by the varied physical and s o c i a l setting i n which i t i s carried on. Different species o f f i s h , with d i f f e r e n t techniques and problems of catching, processing and marketing lead t o a v a r i e t y of relationships between fishermen and employees, on one hand, and buyers, markets and employers, on the other. payment of labour.  The result i s a wide v a r i e t y of methods of  107. Importance of F i s h  Prices.  Companies and f i s h e r m e n a r e , as we have seen, c l o s e l y dependent upon the l e v e l of f i s h p r i c e s as w e l l as volume of output or c a t c h f o r their  income. P r e v a i l i n g p r i c e s f o r a species  of f i s h or f i s h product are  deter-  mined b y t h e consumer market whose v a r i a t i o n s a f f e c t income o f e i t h e r or both p a r t i e s .  However, companies and f i s h e r m e n view p r i c e v a r i a t i o n s i n  d i f f e r e n t ways.  Companies, s e l l i n g on t h e consumer market, r e g a r d  v a r i a t i o n s as consumer market r e a c t i o n s .  Fishermen, s e l l i n g t o t h e com-  p a n i e s , h o l d t h e companies p r i m a r i l y r e s p o n s i b l e T h i s disagreement over p r i c e s i s at t h e r o o t management d i s p u t e s  i n the  of p r a c t i c a l l y a l l l a b o u r -  f o r f i s h p r i c e s , two t h i n g s  F i r s t , prices are offered  i n terms o f f u t u r e  market demand, and s e c o n d , f i s h e r m e n r e c e i v e the  f o r these v a r i a t i o n s .  industry.  In pre-season n e g o t i a t i o n s uncertainties.  tendency t h e n i s f o r t h e companies t o n e g o t i a t e any p o s s i b l e  add t o t h e or a n t i c i p a t e d  payment f o r t h e i r f i s h  companies s e l l t h e products upon which t h e i r p r o f i t  hedge a g a i n s t  price  depends.  i n terms o f p r o f i t  before  The and  adverse t r e n d s i n the market.  Determination of F i s h P r i c e s . P r i c e s f o r the v a r i o u s  species  A minimum s e a s o n a l p r i c e i s n e g o t i a t e d and management. consumer market.  a r e s e t i n s e v e r a l d i f f e r e n t ways. f o r some s p e c i e s  between l a b o u r  Other p r i c e s a r e determined b y s u p p l y and demand on the Still  o t h e r s a r e s e t b y a producer's  co-operative's  payments t o i t s fishermen-members, w h i c h i s , o f c o u r s e , a v a r i a t i o n o f s e t t i n g p r i c e s b y f l e x i b l e s u p p l y and demand.  108. Minimum Price Agreement. Seasonal minimum prioes are negotiated by the TJFAWTJ and the Fisheries Association t o cover g i l l n e t and seine-caught sockeye, pinks, chums, cohos and springs.  In addition, the agreement covers troll-caught  blueback i n the Gulf of Georgia. for herring f i s h e r i e s .  A separate price agreement i s negotiated  H i s t o r i c a l l y , p r a c t i c a l l y a l l the disputes i n  the f i s h i n g industry and the resultant development of unions have resulted from disagreements  on the seasonal price of salmon.  Minimum prices are f l o o r prices but there are factors which w i l l r a i s e these prices above the minimum. increase prices to the fishermen.  Competition between companies can  This i s p a r t i c u l a r l y true i n periods  of s c a r c i t y accompanied by s t r i c t e r conservation measures.  These i n -  creased prices could compensate f o r the shortened f i s h i n g season imposed by the conservation a u t h o r i t i e s .  On the other hand, prices remain at  the minimum during periods of abundant supplies. Minimum prices are applied t o f i s h that are oanned, with the exoeption of blueback. perishable product.  Once the f i s h i s canned, i t i s no longer a  However, under minimum price agreements, any  unforeseen drop i n the future market prices has t o be absorbed by the companies while any r i s e i s t o t h e i r b e n e f i t . Prioes Determined by F l e x i b l e Demand and Supply. Fisheries with prices determined by f l e x i b l e supply and demand include a l l species other than g i l l n e t and seine-caught salmon, herring and Gulf of Georgia blueback.  Halibut, troll-caught salmon, bottom f i s h  (that i s , a l l beam trawl f i s h ) and other products of the lesser f i s h e r i e s  are highly perishable and are sold d i r e c t l y to the consumer i n fresh or frozen form.  Prices f o r them fluctuate more than for canned salmon,  therefore, the prices paid fishermen conform more c l o s e l y to current fluctuations i n the market. A s l i g h t l y d i f f e r e n t s i t u a t i o n exists i n the halibut f i s h e r i e s . With the shortened f i s h i n g season, the tendency i s for the market to be "flooded" during the height of the season.  Thus the prices w i l l be  influenced not only by the consumer market condition but also by the d a i l y supply of halibut at the ports.  It i s to meet this s i t u a t i o n that  "lay-up" periods between t r i p s have been agreed to by  fishermen.  Prices Paid by Co-operatives. Prices paid by the co-operatives are b a s i c a l l y set by supply and demand.  Co-ops have concentrated on the fresh and frozen f i s h business,  though they have l a t e l y expanded into salmon canning and into herring. Under the co-operative system, fishermen receive a down payment on actual d e l i v e r i e s .  Fish i s marketed and the fishermen then receive  the f i n a l market price less costs of s e l l i n g . Co-operatives began as marketing agents for salmon t r o l l e r s , s e l l i n g each load of salmon to the highest bidder. sold through marketing agents.  Later, f i s h was  As a f i n a l step, processing e s t a b l i s h -  4  ments were b u i l t .  Today co-operatives market t h e i r own products i n  competition w i t h private companies.  Since the members are f i s h i n g for  themselves, there are no price negotiations.  4  The development of the co-operatives i s dealt with i n Chapter 7.  110. It i s i n t e r e s t i n g t o note that one private company operating at B u l l Harbour at the north end of Vancouver Island practioes the same principles as the early co-operatives.  Each load of troll-caught salmon  and halibut i s sold i n Vancouver and the fishermen receive the current Vancouver p r i c e , less the packing costs.  The Kyuquot T r o l l e r s '  Co-operative at the height of i t s a c t i v i t y met with no success i n t h i s area against the private  operator.  Camp Price D i f f e r e n t i a l s .  Where d e l i v e r i e s are nade to camps  rather than to a processing plant, price at the camp i s the prioe at the plant, less cost of transportation.  Share Payments t o Fishermen. The present day g i l l n e t t e r i s owner-operated and the fisherman's income i s on t h e basis of his season's catch of the various species of salmon.  He i s responsible for a l l the fixed and operating costs.  Company owned g i l l n e t t e r s may be used at a f i x e d rate for the season. There i s no l e g a l or union provision on regarding the share of an assistant g i l l n e t t e r should one be required.  Where applicable, the  d i v i s i o n of shares i s through individual bargaining with the captain.  Salmon Purse Seining.  D i v i s i o n of earnings i n salmon purse  seining i s regulated by a signed contract between fishermen, Vessel Owners' Association and companies.  By this contract, gross value of  the season's catch of salmon i s divided into eleven shares, of size of t h e crew.  regardless  The boat receives two and one-half shares, the  net one and one-half shares and the remaining seven shares are divided equally among the crewmen.  The seine captain receives a bonus, or a  portion o f the boat and net share.  111. Halibut.  D i v i s i o n o f earnings i s determined by a contract between  the Deep Sea Fishermen's Union of Prince Rupert, the UFAWU and the Vessel Cwners' Association.  From the gross value of the catch, 20 percent i s  deducted as the boat share.  From the remaining 80 percent, costs o f  f u e l , provisions, i c e and b a i t are deducted.  Net gross i s then divided  equally among the fishermen.  Salmon T r o l l i n g .  The salmon t r o l l e r s are generally  and the fishermen's income i s based on his catch.  owner-operated  There are no agree-  ments covering the share basis where the boat owner has one or more assistants, and any d i v i s i o n i s based on the crew's bargaining with the captain.  Tuna.  Gross income i s divided into two parts:  Where the tuna  boats are salmon t r o l l e r s and where there is no agreement, the d i v i s i o n of shares i s similar t o those i n salmon t r o l l i n g .  Since 1948, halibut  boats engaged i n tuna f i s h i n g and manned by halibut fishermen, have had an agreement between the UFAWU and the Vessel Owners s e t t i n g the d i v i s i o n at 25 percent for the boat and the balance t o the crew.  Herring'Purse Seiner.  Present practice i s f o r the f i s h i n g f l e e t  of one company to pool t h e i r t o t a l catch of herring. the catch i s then divided among the fishermen. boats and equipment.  Gross value of  Companies provide the  The crews o f the tenders, tow-off boats and soow  boats are also included i n the share o f the pool.  Individual orew shares  on the l a t t e r boats are s l i g h t l y l e s s , and range from a f u l l fisherman's share for the captain t o lesser amounts f o r the rest of the crew.  112. Beam Trawling. i n beam trawling.  There i s no contract f o r the d i v i s i o n of income  Generally, the shares are 40 percent for the boat  and 60 percent f o r the crew i n a 3-man orew.  For larger crews the boat  shares decrease, with the crew shares increasing proportionately.  Lesser F i s h e r i e s .  For lesser f i s h e r i e s such as black cod, l i n g  cod, herring, g i l l n e t t i n g , oolichan f i s h e r i e s , there are no d e f i n i t e patterns.  I f the f i s h i s caught i n c i d e n t a l t o a major f i s h e r y , this  major f i s h e r y w i l l determine the d i v i s i o n . Wage Payments i n the Fishing Industry. Wage payments i n the f i s h i n g industry, unlike f i s h p r i c e s , are not d i r e c t l y determined by the consumer market, but tend t o conform t o the general wage l e v e l t o comparable jobs i n other i n d u s t r i e s .  Unlike  the disputes over f i s h prioes, wage rates and methods of payment generally have not been a major source of c o n f l i c t i n the f i s h i n g industry i n past years.  Reasons for t h i s can be seen from a review  of wage payments t o 1947 since that date.  Wage Payments T i l l 1947.  Canneries  i n the e a r l y years of the  industry were scattered along the coast and processing operations were . highly seasonal. three categories.  Wage earners during t h i s time might be divided into The f i r s t group consisted o f a nucleus of s k i l l e d  white workers employed on machinery and on salmon paokers and c o l l e c t o r s • They were hired by management and paid monthly or by the season. The second group were the Chinese, Japanese and Indians.  They  worked under the Chinese contractor who had a contract with one or more canneries for a fixed sum per case and hired a l l cannery help, except  115. s k i l l e d labour.  A l l Chinese labour was  hired by the contractor.  Japanese  women, s p e c i a l i z i n g i n hand f i l l i n g salmon cans, went to the plants with t h e i r husbands, who worked under the Japanese f i s h i n g contractor.  Native  Indians were h i r e d by the v i l l a g e oannery agent or as a family u n i t . As the salmon canning operations became more centralized and the number of canneries decreased, the Japanese and Indians went t o the plants as family groups, though Chinese labour was  s t i l l hired by the contractor. A  t h i r d group of u n s k i l l e d or migratory workers worked at the peak of the salmon run.  They were mainly additional members of families of cannery  workers. Only the s k i l l e d white workers had d i r e c t contact with the cannery management about t h e i r work or rates of pay.  The other groups worked  d i r e c t l y under the Chinese boss and. were paid at the end of the season.  Wage Payments Since World War of shoreworkers i n the UFAWU i n 1945 agreement i n 1947,  2.  With the complete unionization  and signing of an industry-wide  wage payments underwent a d r a s t i c change.  of work and rates of pay were established for a l l workers, and and payment by Chinese contractors was  abolished.  regular i n t e r v a l s , governed by P r o v i n c i a l labour  Conditions hiring  Payment i s now  at  legislation.  Similar or duplicate agreements are made between Native hood of B r i t i s h Columbia and the Fisheries Association.  Brother-  Probably the  only difference between agreements signed with the UFAWU and the  Native  Brotherhood is that the l a t t e r does not have w r i t t e n s e n i o r i t y clauses, nor a guaranteed wage clause f o r out-of-town plants.  The contention i s  that the native women are not hired f o r work at plants, but go as a family unit and are provided with work when work i s a v a i l a b l e .  114. F u l l scale unionization of the shoreworkers and industry-wide labour agreements appeared at an extremely opportune time for the wage earners.  Labour shortage and the i n f l a t i o n of World War II and a f t e r  resulted i n increased wages and favourable clauses i n the agreements. The Fisheries Association, on the other hand, while at a disadvantage i n bargaining during t h i s time, also benefitted from i n f l a t i o n a r y trends by passing increased costs on to the consumer. Disputes over wages may be expected during an economic recession. While a strong union M o the UFAWU i s instrumental i n increasing wages, i t can also r e s i s t wage, c u t s during a recession. With increased labour costs the companies have an incentive t o cut unit production costs through increased  mechanization.  The war pariod witnessed a cons iderable change i n the make-up of the labour force.  A general shortage of labour was made more c r i t i c a l  for the industry by the removal o f experienced  Japanese workers. One  result was an i n f l u x of white workers, p a r t i c u l a r l y i n plants near centres of population. The uncertain supply of f i s h creates a s i t u a t i o n where workers are hired when f i s h arrives at the plant. t a i n periods o f employment.  The result i s rather uncer-  During periods of labour shortage, plants  hired whoever was available i n the immediate v i c i n i t y , many of whom could be classed as marginal employables.  In consequence, there  developed a r e l a t i v e l y permanent labour force with higher wages, and the advantages and protection o f a union contract.  The permanent labour  force i n some plants, therefore, tends t o be i n the older age group.  115. Types of Wage Payments. There i s a wide d i v e r s i t y i n types of wage payment and to attempt to give particulars and conditions governing gradations i n payments would merely he duplicating the current wage agreements. However, a general synopsis indicates types: Transportation of F i s h .  A separate tendermen's agreement covers  the pay f o r the various crew members, wages and crew complement being governed by boat tonnage.  Salmon Canning.  It is covered by a separate cannery agreement.  Payment i n a cannery may be a monthly or hourly wage, or piece work rates f o r hand f i l l e r s .  Generally, machine men are on monthly pay.  Labelling, boxing and other warehouse work i s covered by the same agreement.  Fresh F i s h and Cold Storage i s covered by a separate agreement and a l l wages are hourly rates.  Netmen are covered by a separate agreement.  Payment i s on hourly,  monthly or piece rate.  Reduction Plants also have a separate agreement.  Majority of  payments are by the month, a few by the hour, while unloaders are on contract at so much a ton.  Power Plant Engineers are covered by a separate agreement. A l l are on a monthly wage.  116. Labour Costs and Wage Levels. The proportion of labour cost to f i n a l costs of the various products i s known only t o individual companies.  In general, hourly  rates are less i n canneries where there i s a high degree of technological development, than rates i n the fresh f i s h and cold storage where i t i s p r a c t i c a l l y a l l manual labour. Generally speaking, wages paid by a p a r t i c u l a r industry w i l l be determined by i t s a b i l i t y t o pay.  Fishing companies, as stated e a r l i e r ,  are i n an o l i g o p o l i s t i c market structure with price leadership but i n a highly competitive consumer goods market.  Studies have shown that  the lowest wage gains are i n industries where product competition i s 5 high.  In the f i s h i n g industry t h i s competion i s twofold:  Competition  among firms processing and marketing similar products, and competition of f i s h products with other food products.  Any success i n passing  increased costs of production to the consumer would depend on consumer resistance, e l a s t i c i t y of demand and the s u b s t i t u t i o n e f f e c t . Ethnic Composition of the Labour Force. B.C. fishermen are widely d i f f e r e n t i a t e d by race and language. U n t i l 1941 there were three main groups--whites,  Japanese and native  Indians, i n that order of numerioal importance.  Japanese have been  almost e n t i r e l y absent from the f i s h i n g industry of the province since t h e i r expulsion from the P a c i f i c Coast i n 1942.  A large proportion of  5 Arthur M. Ross and William Goldner, Forces A f f e c t i n g the Interindustry Wage Structure, Reprint No. 22, Institute of Industrial Relations, 201 C a l i f o r n i a H a l l , U n i v e r s i t y o f C a l i f o r n i a , 1950, pp. 278 to 281.  117. the whites are of f i r s t or second-generation immigrant stock, representing many d i f f e r e n t language groups.  Native Indians likewise come from a  number of t r i b e s speaking d i f f e r e n t tongues. Fishermen i n each r a c i a l and language group have tended t o speci a l i z e i n c e r t a i n branches of f i s h i n g .  Yugoslavs predominate i n purse-  seining, f o r instance, and Norwegians i n halibut f i s h i n g .  Finns tend  to concentrate i n g i l l - n e t t i n g and, to a lesser extent, t r o l l i n g , as did the Japanese.  Indians likewise tend to concentrate i n g i l l n e t t i n g ,  though they also comprise about one-third of the fishermen engaged i n 6 purse-seining.  Other minorities represented i n substantial numbers i n  various branches of the f i s h i n g industry are Swedes, Italians and Greeks,  Fishermen of Anglo-Canadian background appear t o be i n the  minority. These diverse r a c i a l and language groups, tend, furthermore, t o l i v e i n separate ethnic communities.  This i s true of those who l i v e i n  c i t i e s as w e l l as those who l i v e i n smaller coastal settlements during the off-season.  In the important lower Fraser River d i s t r i c t , f o r  instance, are to be found concentrations of Finns at Woodwards* Slough and Sunbury, Yugoslavs at Ladner, and Greeks on Deas Island.  Further  up the Coast are similar communities such as Malcolm Island, predominantly Finnish i n population, and B e l l a Coola, predominantly Norwegian.  Indian  fishermen and t h e i r families likewise l i v e i n numerous reservations and t r i b a l v i l l a g e s scattered along the coastline of the province. To an increasing extent they, as well as many white fishermen, are tending t o  6  Annual Report, Department of Fisheries, Ottawa, 1947-48.  118 . l i v e the year round i n communities that have grown up near canneries and other processing plants. more-or-less segregated  Here, too, they are inclined t o s e t t l e i n  groups. 7  Role of t he Minority Groups.  A special feature of the f i s h i n g  industry as compared to other industries i n B r i t i s h Columbia i s the special r o l e played"by the native Indian, Japanese and Chinese. of the unusually important  Because  r o l e played by these minority groups, they  merit special treatment i n t h i s study.  Furthermore, more published  data i s available about them because o f the special attention paid t o them, as, for instance, i n the a g i t a t i o n about the Japanese fishermen and the reduction of l i c e n c e s . Hative Indians.  Native Indians on the B.C. coast are widely  d i f f e r e n t i a t e d by language, customs and geography.  In addition, the  present-day v i l l a g e s are amalgamations of former scattered v i l l a g e s . Areas of common language and i n t e r e s t s are roughly as follows. The Nass today comprises four v i l l a g e s .  The Tsimpsheans l i v e from Port  Simpson t o Hartley Bay along the coast and up the Skeena River to the Hazelton-Kispiox area. areas.  These two groups f i s h the Nass and Skeena  The Haida of the Queen Charlottes f i s h the Skeena as well as  i n home waters.  The Kwakiutls  the central area of B.C. by natives of those areas.  from Kitimat t o Comox generally f i s h  From Comox to the Fraser River, is f i s h e d As the f i s h i n g became established, the  native tendency was to f i s h near t h e i r own v i l l a g e s , therefore, there was l i t t l e contact between groups.  7 A more detailed analysis of t h e i r r o l e , t h e i r organizational a c t i v i t i e s and other aspects are contained i n the Appendices.  119. It i s noteworthy that the f i s h i n g industry i s the one major industry to which the natives have r e a d i l y adjusted and kept pace competitively. B.C.  As e a r l y as 1880 the Commissioner of Fisheries for  reported, "I am glad to state that the services of the r i s i n g  generation of our native population, along the coast, and o f the younger adults, are of great value i n the development of the f i s h i n g i n t e r e s t s . The expertness  of these people as water men,  and t h e i r aptitude under  i n s t r u c t i o n , q u a l i f y them p e c u l i a r l y f o r the business of the f i s h e r i e s . I do not question that the Indian Department, i n a l l p r a c t i c a l ways, sanction measures to develop and improve t h i s invaluable source of labour, upon which the successful prosecution of our f i s h e r i e s , and indeed of other large p r o v i n c i a l Industries, at present i n no small degree depends.  Nor i s i t under t h i s u t i l i t a r i a n consideration alone  that this subject w i l l be regarded; for i t i s by the prudent encouragement of t h e i r i n d u s t r i a l tendencies, conjoined with other teachings, that the b e n i f i o i e n t intentions of the Government towards i t s national 8 proteges w i l l be best and most e f f i c i e n t l y promoted.  tt  The f i r s t major role of the Indians i n labour disputes was the 1900 and 1901  strikes on the Fraser River.  the natives f e l t that f i s h i n g was prepared to fight for t h i s r i g h t .  during  It should be noted that  t h e i r aboriginal right and they were This fear of displacement  direct result of the i n f l u x of Japanese fishermen and i t was t h i s i n f l u x that the Indians united with the whites.  was  a  against  The number of  8 Fisheries Statements, 1880, Supplement No. 2 to the 11th Annual Report of the Minister of Marine and F i s h e r i e s , 1880.  120. f i s h i n g licences issued to the Indians i n comparison to the whites and Japanese i s given i n Table XV.  The natives were at the height of t h e i r  m i l i t a n t period during these years and then subsided.  TABLE XV 9 NET LICENCES ISSUED 1898 - 1905  Year  White  1898 1899 1900 1901 1902 1903 1904 1905  2032 1905 1771 1306 1184 1285 1218 1398  Japanese 782 919 1655 1804 924 1499 776 1042  Indian 850 621 347 423 377 366 230 337  Total 3664 3445 3767 3533 2485 3120 2224 2777  10 Other Totals Given:  1901 1902 1903 1904 1905  -  3832 2685 3101 2224 2770  The method of h i r i n g Indian labour was f o r the companies to appoint an agent or "contractor" i n each v i l l a g e .  He thus became the "boss", h i r i n g  the necessary help and being paid so much per "head". Women and plant workers  at the actual plant were hired and paid by the Chinese Contractor.  The number of native Indians employed i n the salmon canneries f o r the years 1898 to 1905 i s given i n Table XVI, while native licences for 1922 t o 1933 are given i n Table XVII.  9  Report and Recommendation 1905-07, p. 23.  '  10 Report of Fisheries Branch of Dept. of Marine & F i s h e r i e s , 1922-23, p.55.  121.  TABLE XVI 11 SALMON CANNERY EMPLOYEES 1898 - 1905  Year 1898 1899 1900 1901 1902 1903 1904 1905  Canneries Fraser B.C. 35 41 48 49 42 35 23 38  51 59 64 73 66 59 51 67  White  Chinese  Indian  Total  Salmon Pre  390 440 440 520 450 440 320 490  2340 2640 2640 3120 2700 2640 1920 2940  936 1056 1056 1248 1080 1056 768 1176  3666 4136 4136 4888 4230 4136 3008 4606  484,161 732,437 585,413 1,236,156 625,982 473,674 465,894 1,167,460  TABLE XVII 12 FISHING LICENCES ISSUED 1922 - 1933  Year  Japanese  Whites  Indians  Total  1922 1923 1924 1925 1926 1927 1928 1929 1930 1931 1932 1933  2933 2627 2525 2190 2106 1990 2261 2344 2196 2147 1998 2110  3115 3717 3678 4785 6010 8305 8084 7884 7824 6407 6288 7076  1545 2571 2750 3146 3095 3697 3321 3632 3505 2800 2615 3060  7593 8515 8953 10121 11211 13892 13666 13860 13525 11356 10901 12246  11 Report of Fisheries Commission, 1905, pp. 15-16; Report and Reoommendations 1905-07, p. 23; Report of Fisheries Branch o f Marine and Fisheries, 1922-23, p. 54. 12 Compiled from Dominion Fisheries Reports, 1922-1933.  122. The Native Brotherhood, the organization of B.C. Indians, has never been a strong bargaining unit f o r several reasons.  It has attempted  to bargain i n labour negotiations as well as be responsible f o r the advancement of the welfare of the Indians. responsibility  The l a t t e r f i e l d was the  of the Department of Indian A f f a i r s .  In bargaining, the  Brotherhood has been handicapped by the lack of data about the market condition of the industry on which to base price demands.  Even w i t h i t ,  the Brotherhood could not negotiate f i s h prices without the support of the UFAWU since the l a t t e r also represent the shoreworkers. the  Probably  greatest handicap i n labour relations i s that a l l the key o f f i c i a l s  of the Brotherhood are employees of the companies. agent i s a paid employee of the organization.  Only the business  He, i n turn, i s handicapped  i n that he alone conducts bargaining and a l l other business of the Brotherhood.  The Brotherhood headquarters i n Vancouver thus attempts  to handle a l l business on behalf of a l l B.C. Indians.  The result of  these handicaps i s that the Brotherhood follows the UFAWU i n labour matters.  Agreements signed by the Brotherhood are almost complete  duplicates of those signed by the UFAWU.  The Japanese.  The Japanese have been i n the f i s h e r i e s of B.C.  since around 1885 and have proved successful despite r a c i a l discrimination,, a g i t a t i o n against them by labour unions, and various other organizations and, f i n a l l y , l e g i s l a t i v e attempts t o squeeze them out by licence restrictions. The o r i g i n a l immigrants were farmers and labourers, escaping d i f f i c u l t conditions i n Japan.  Others followed, including some reportedly  123. imported for f i s h i n g . population.  Soon Steveston became the centre of the Japanese  Other l a t e r centres were Fort Essington, Powell Street i n  Vancouver and Ucuelet on the west coast of Vancouver Island. These s e t t l e r s were handicapped by language b a r r i e r s , laoked finances, worked under a Japanese "boss" and had very l i t t l e chance of alternative employment.  Thus they were unable to withstand s t r i k e  pressures as was evidenced i n the Fraser River strikes of 1900 and 1901. The Japanese were successful i n other f i e l d s of the industry, again despite opposition.  E a r l y on, they were active i n herring and  salmon s a l t e r i e s and remained the dominant group i n t h i s t i l l World War I I . The same l e g i s l a t i o n that r e s t r i c t e d f i s h i n g licences, also placed r e s t r i c t i o n s on the s a l t e r i e s . reduced and Japanese labour r e s t r i c t e d .  The number of seiners were The number of Japanese workers  i n the s a l t e r i e s were to be gradually replaced by whites and Indians. Their s i t u a t i o n altered r a d i c a l l y when, i n 1942, the Japanese were moved inland from the Pacif io Coast for security reasons.  Their boats,  f i s h i n g equipment and gear were sold to whites and Indians. re-entered f i s h i n g i n 1948.  They  By then, the UFAWU was the dominant  bargaining unit and the Japanese fishermen, as w e l l as plant workers, became members of that union.  It i s obvious that the Japanese were  never i n a p o s i t i o n as a group t o bargain strongly.  At f i r s t , they were  handicapped by language and f i n a n c i a l d i f f i c u l t i e s .  As they increased i n  strength, so did the organized opposition t o them. The Chinese.  The Chinese were brought t o Canada as a source of  cheap labour and i t was f o r t h i s purpose that they were recruited f o r salmon canneries. They were employed mainly i n canning processes and  124. seldom, i f ever, entered other departments. numbers d u r i n g 1898-1905.  Chinese  labour was  c o n t r a c t o r s who  s u p p l i e d t h e i r keep and  salmon season.  The  and honest, without  Chinese  r e c r u i t e d by t h e  t h e i r numbers have decreased  gradually.  of the  They now  consolidation,  s t i l l worked under  abolished.  S i n c e then  r e c e i v e the same r a t e s of pay  The  o f them h a v i n g key men  Yet t h e r e  i n any d i s p u t e s , or even  joined disputes.  "White" Group.  As noted e a r l i e r , fishermen were d i f f e r e n t i a t e d  by race and language w i t h each group l i v i n g  i n s e p a r a t e communities.  a d d i t i o n each group s p e c i a l i z e d i n c e r t a i n branches of f i s h i n g . the whites who who  and  operations  and were i n a v u l n e r a b l e p o s i t i o n i n shore l a b o u r d i s p u t e s .  of having  took t h e l e a d i n p r a c t i c a l l y a l l the major d i s p u t e s and  were m a i n l y i n s t r u m e n t a l i n o r g a n i z i n g fishermen's  other group.  and  shoreworker»s u n i than  I t might be noted t h a t the S l a v s and F i n n s were a c t i v e  i n unions i n the salmon f i s h e r i e s .  The Norwegians, on the other hand,  confined t h e i r a c t i v i t i e s t o producers' co-operatives. to types o f f i s h i n g r a t h e r t h a n r a c i a l t r a i t s .  This maybe  The Norwegians  i n h a l i b u t , but the Deep Sea Fishermen's Union, which was h a l i b u t , was  In  I t was  No p a r t i c u l a r e t h n i c group can be p i c k e d out as more a c t i v e any  they  other worker.  Chinese were t h e key manual l a b o u r f o r c e i n canning  i s no r e c o r d e d evidence  Chinese  plant l i v i n g conditions  The Chinese  c o n t r a c t o r s u n t i l 1945 when t h i s system was  c o n d i t i o n s of work as any  their  l a b o u r e r has always been c o n s i d e r e d d o c i l e  W i t h t e c h n o l o g i c a l developments and  have, been i n t h e UFAWU.  indicates  payment a t the end  a c c e p t i n g poor r a t e s of pay and  complaint.  T a b l e XVI  due  specialize  organized i n  c r e a t e d by Americans and the membership d u r i n g the p e r i o d of  h a l i b u t d i s p u t e s was  predominantly  Newfoundlanders.  PART II  ORGANIZATION AND CONFLICT  125.  CHAPTER 71 i  UNIONISM AND STRIKES Unionism among the fishermen of B r i t i s h Columbia has experienced an intense and d i v e r s i f i e d organizational growth, accompanied by frequent and at times violent  i n d u s t r i a l disputes. As may be seen  XXXII: & X X X I I I ,  from Appendix D, Tables  there have been at least  30  different fishermen's organizations formed at one time or another since 1893, and members of these,as well as numerous non-union fishermen, have engaged i n more than 40 s t r i k e s .  The f i s h i n g industry of B r i t i s h  Columbia today i s highly organized, and i n d u s t r i a l r e l a t i o n s are r e l a t i v e l y stable and harmonious.  The majority of fishermen now belong t o  one union that has c o l l e c t i v e bargaining j u r i s d i c t i o n over a l l major branches of the industry.  Most of the non-union fishermen (as w e l l as  a considerable number of union members) belong to processing and marketing co-operatives. Yet i t would be d i f f i c u l t to imagine an occupational group less amenable to unionism.  S t r i c t l y speaking, most fishermen in B r i t i s h  Columbia are not employees or "workers" i n the usual sense of the term. They are proprietors who  own and operate t h e i r own c a p i t a l , that i s ,  1 t h e i r boats and gear.  Their occupation i s by nature highly migratory,  1 Fishermen i n some branches of the industry, as i n purse-seining and halibut f i s h i n g , are employed as members of crews by f i s h i n g companies and vessel owners. Even i n t h i s case, however, they are not "employees" i n the f u l l sense of the term, as they are paid on a " l a y " or.share b a s i s . That i s to say, the crew members share the proceeds of the boat's f i s h catch with the boat owner and skippers. It i s for t h i s reason that many  126, i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c , and competitive, as i t i s carried on i n many scattered operations along thousands  of miles of rugged c o a s t l i n e .  Their employ-  ment and income are very insecure by reason of the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c a l l y extreme seasonal and c y c l i c a l fluctuations i n the supply, demand and prices of f i s h . The fishermen of B r i t i s h Columbia, moreover, are very heterogeneous i n c omposition, and divided along l i n e s that have tended t o breed individual and group antagonisms. i n e q u a l i t i e s i n income and wealth.  There are among them wide  They comprise a number of specialized  but nonetheless competing occupational groups, as there i s a wide v a r i e t y in types and species of f i s h caught for commercial purposes, and each requires special f i s h i n g gear and techniques.  The fishermen are further  divided into a number of d i s t i n c t and at times mutually antagonistic r a c i a l and language groups.  A l l of these d i v i s i o n s have tended t o  accentuate the b a s i c a l l y competitive relationships among fishermen and would be expected therefore, t o render unionism and c o l l e c t i v e bargaining that much more d i f f i c u l t t o achieve. On the other hand a number of these apparent  obstacles to  unionism have i n f a c t f a c i l i t a t e d i t s growth and provided much of i t s motivating force i n the f i s h i n g industry o f B r i t i s h Columbia.  Extreme  fluctuations i n output, p r i c e , and income, while disruptive t o establ i s h e d organizations, have at the same time provoked periodic unrest and militant c o l l e c t i v e action among fishermen. P r a c t i c a l l y a l l of the 2 strikes l i s t e d i n Table XXXIII f i r s t arose from disputes between fishermen  f i s h i n g crew members are d i s q u a l i f i e d from many of the benefits provided by labour l e g i s l a t i o n . 2  See Appendix D.  127. and company operators over the question of f i s h prioes.  Again, the  ownership and operation of boats and gear by the fishermen themselves may perhaps be conducive to an i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c and conservative way life.  of  On the other hand, they give the fishermen a bigger and more  permanent "stake" i n t h e i r occupation than most wage-earners i n other industries  enjoy, and hence a stronger incentive to unionize i n order t o  achieve greater s t a b i l i t y i n price and income. individuals  As unorganized,  most fishermen are i n an extremely weak bargaining  separate position  because of distance from the market, d i f f i c u l t i e s of transportation, and p e r i s h a b i l i t y of t h e i r produce.  When organized, however, t h e i r  bargaining power i s strong because a s t r i k e or other shutdown during the f i s h i n g season may mean a loss to the company of an entire income and  year's  investment.  Even the various group d i v i s i o n s and c o n f l i c t s among fishermen have played an important motivating role i n the growth of unionism. The scattered l o c a t i o n of fishermen, r e l a t i v e l y isolated, but often i n t i g h t l y - k n i t communities, t h e i r tendency to s p e c i a l i z e  i n different  branches of the industry, and t h e i r pronounced differences i n race, language, and national background, i n the past have f a c i l i t a t e d the organization of small l o c a l or sectional trade unions and co-operatives. 3 Hence the m u l t i p l i c i t y of organizations shown i n  TableXXKH,variously  held together by t i e s of l o c a l l o y a l t y , occupational interest, r a c i a l or ethnic  3  sentiment.  See Appendix D.  and  128. As a matter of f a c t , while prices were the immediate cause of most strikes i n the f i s h i n g industry, competition among the major r a c i a l groups provided the f i r s t important stimulus t o unionize.  Specif-  i c a l l y , from the 1890's t o the 1920's the strongest and most persistent force impelling the fishermen of B r i t i s h Columbia t o organize into unions appears to have been the growing competition o f Japanese w i t h whites and native Indians.  Indeed, the intense and deep-rooted  antagonism t o the Japanese i n B.C. that culminated i n the expulsion of t h i s minority from the coastal areas of the province i n 1942, took root among fishermen.  first  This issue came t o the forefront i n the most  viole£ disputes i n the history o f the f i s h i n g industry. More than any n other single factor during the early period of organization, competition created a common h o s t i l i t y to the Japanese that transcended the various other r a c i a l , language, and occupational divisions among white and Indian fishermen and drew them together into the same unions.  Japanese  fishermen, i n turn, were driven to organize t h e i r own unions i n s e l f defence.  But anti-Japanese sentiment, while providing added momentum  to the growth of unionism i n i t s e a r l i e r stages, continually s p l i t the ranks of organized fishermen i n B r i t i s h Columbia and seriously weakened t h e i r bargaining power i n r e l a t i o n t o canning and f i s h i n g companies. C h i e f l y on this acoount the majority of strikes met with rather i n d i f ferent success u n t i l the 1920's.  Japanese competition, while remaining  a potent source of f r i c t i o n among fishermen, ceased t o be a major issue governing union policy after the 1920's, as the federal government a r b i t r a r i l y reduced the number from t h i s minority licenced t o f i s h .  129. A major force a f f e c t i n g organization i n the B r i t i s h Columbia f i s h i n g industry i n recent decades has been that of technological change. Among other e f f e c t s , i t has tended to modify the various group d i v i s i o n s and c o n f l i c t s among the fishermen, and has f a c i l i t a t e d t h e i r organization on a broader base.  Boats powered by gas engines and d i e s e l engines, i n  place of the t r a d i t i o n a l oar and s a i l , have increased mobility of f i s h e r men,  broken down much of t h e i r l o c a l i s o l a t i o n , and brought them into  closer communication with one another.  Among employers, similar improve-  ments i n transportation and communication, as w e l l as i n plant layout and mechanization, have encouraged a trend toward larger-scale ownership and operation.  A growing l i s t of formerly independent firms have been  • .ought up by or merged with large holding companies and combines. Canning and processing plants have been consolidated into larger units and become more centralized i n l o c a t i o n .  The various fishermen's unions  and co-operative organizations have consequently been impelled to sink t h e i r differences and merge into larger, province-wide associations i n order to protect t h e i r bargaining p o s i t i o n with employers.  Origins and E a r l y D i s p u t e s 1893 -  1914.  Unionism f i r s t took root among B r i t i s h Columbia fishermen  i n the  lower mainland d i s t r i c t where the Fraser River empties into the Gulf of Georgia.  Here the largest, most violent and spectacular disputes i n the  h i s t o r y of the f i s h i n g industry occurred about the turn of the present century.  This d i s t r i c t was  the main centre of the salmon canning  industry of the province prior to World War the most important Coast.  I, as the Fraser River  was  spawning ground for sockeye and coho on the P a c i f i c  130. P r a c t i c a l l y a l l f i s h i n g at that time was  carried on close to  shore i n company-owned g i l l n e t t i n g boats, propelled by oar and Each boat carried two men,  sail.  one t o "set" the net and haul i n the catch,  the other to row and steer.  As the main f i s h i n g season on the Fraser  lasted less than two months, the majority of fishermen and cannery workers had to depend on other employments during the rest of the year. Most of them l i v e d i n the c i t i e s of Vancouver and New Westminster and smaller communities i n the lower Fraser V a l l e y .  They were e s s e n t i a l l y  an urban occupational group, engaged i n other i n d u s t r i a l pursuits besides f i s h i n g , and were strongly influenced by the r a p i d l y growing urban labour movement of that period. The f i s h i n g and canning companies located i n the Fraser River were a well-organized group.  Together they accounted f o r more than  one-half of the annual salmon output of the province prior to War  I.  florid  E a r l y i n the 1390's they formed the Fraser River Canners*  Association, primarily to promote orderly marketing and to achieve some degree of u n i f i e d control over the output and p r i c e of B r i t i s h Columbia salmon.  This body functioned also as a t i g h t l y - k n i t  employers' association i n d e a l i n g with  fishermen.  A major motive impelling the Fraser River fishermen to unionize was  not so much to achieve wage or price increases as such, as to  protect themselves against growing competition from outside  sources.  Large numbers of American fishermen were coming to the Fraser to carry on t h e i r trade, as major f i s h i n g grounds i n the United States l i k e the Sacramento and Columbia Rivers, were facing serious depletion.  131. There were widespread complaints among l o c a l residents during the 1890's about Americans obtaining f i s h i n g licences i n the Fraser by fraud and 4 misrepresentation regarding t h e i r c i t i z e n s h i p .  Growing numbers of  Indians were also migrating annually from communities as f a r north as Port Simpson, near Prince Rupert, f o r f i s h i n g and cannery work on the Fraser.  But by f a r the most serious competition came from Japanese  immigrants, who began concentrating i n the lower Fraser River d i s t r i c t during the early 1890's. Strike of 1893.  Beginning of a severe depression and mass  unemployment i n 1893 accentuated competition i n the f i s h i n g industry and sharpened group antagonisms, p a r t i c u l a r l y towards Orientals.  There  was a r i s i n g chorus of complaints from Fraser River fishermen against "indiscriminate and i l l e g a l " granting of f i s h i n g licences to Chinese ' 5 and Japanese, "thereby starving out the white man".  Support was  enlisted from the l o c a l Trades and Labour Council i n a campaign to have the federal Department of Fisheries reduce the number of licences granted t o Orientals. Out of this situation, the Fraser River Fishermens* Protective Association was organized i n New Westminster i n 1893.  This was the  f i r s t important union among fishermen i n B.C. and by July of 1893  4  Vancouver World, July 24, 1893, p. 2  5  Ibid., June 7, 1893, p. 8.  132. 6 claimed a membership of 1600.  It l e d the f i r s t recorded s t r i k e of 7  fishermen i n a dispute over d a i l y wage.  The men demanded $3.00 a day  while the canners offered $2.25 t o $2.50, an increase of 25 cents a day more than 1892 wages.  The r e s u l t i n g unsuccessful s t r i k e l e d by 8 the Fishermens' Union began on July 14, and was of short duration. This f i r s t s t r i k e showed the same pattern of organized  conflict  that was to become f a m i l i a r i n a number of subsequent disputes i n the Fraser River f i s h i n g areas.  Foremost was the v i o l e n t opposition to  the i n f l u x of Japanese fishermen. The r o l e t o be played by native Indian fishermen, as well as native women cannery workers, i n strikes t o the end of World War I was f i r s t apparent i n t h i s 1893 s t r i k e .  During the early period, unlike the  heterogeneous disorganized white groups, the Indians were cohesive, u n i f i e d groups under the leadership of t h e i r c h i e f s , organized i n t h e i r indigenous t r i b a l bands.  They regarded f i s h i n g as t h e i r inherent  and aboriginal r i g h t and reacted v i o l e n t l y t o any encroachment on i t . Their h o s t i l i t y , directed largely against the Japanese, l e d them t o a l i g n themselves s o l i d l y with the white fishermen  and was the major  reason for the r o l e of the Indians i n unionism.  6 At various times t h i s union was also referred t o as the Fishermens* Union, the Fraser River Fishermens' Benevolent Association, the Fraser River Fishermens* Association. 7 Fishermen i n 1885 averaged wages of $30.00 a month. Fisheries Report, 1885, p. 277. 8  Vancouver World, July 15, 1893, p. 2.  133. In the s t r i k e of 1893 the Indians " f u l l y understood the grievances of the white fishermen and being i n sympathy therewith, had 9 joined the union."  Their s o l i d a r i t y was  shown when they refused t o  f i s h u n t i l after the white fishermen capitulated t o the canners.  They  further showed t h e i r a b i l i t y t o withstand pressures, p a r t i c u l a r l y from the Indian agents.  Indians claimed that they had been "intimidated by  the Indian Agent, expressed t h e i r contempt for him and t h e i r determination t o have nothing further to do with him. They thought he should look after the interests of them and not the interests of the 10 canners." Another feature of the 1893 s t r i k e was the i n a b i l i t y of the canners t o convince the fishermen that t h e i r problems were mutual and that prices were dependent on consumer supply and demand.  The infant  companies were f i n a n c i a l l y weak, operating on future demands.  The  d i r e c t dependence of the fishermen on the companies for f i s h prices made them d i s t r u s t the companies deeply.  Attitude of the union was  that "the men who make t h e i r l i v i n g by f i s h i n g i n the Fraser were being 11 deprived of t h e i r share of God's f i s h by r i c h men."  The canners were  accused of monopolizing the f i s h i n g licences i n B.C. and discriminating against the white fishermen.  The only success of the canners i n dealing  with the fishermen resulted from antagonism between r a c i a l groups which enabled the canners t o deal with each group separately.  9  Vanoouver World, July 24, 1893, p. 2.  10 Ibid., p. 2. 11 Ibid., p. 1.  The militant methods whioh have characterized f i s h i n g disputes also were used i n 1893. The strike was short but v i o l e n t , with the union being accused of using "questionable methods and intimidation i n preventing the Indians from f i s h i n g , while other pernicious methods 12 were adopted t o prevent the cannery men obtaining assistance." The violence led the Fraser R i v e r Canners' Association to offer a $50.00 reward leading to the arrest and conviction of any person "found unlawfully cutting or damaging nets or boats, or other property, i n t e r f e r i n g with or intimidating fishermen or other employees, i n c i t i n g any person or persons to do anything unlawful or i n any way hindering or attempting to hinder them from properly performing t h e i r duties, using violence or threats of violence t o any person or persons i n 13 pursuance o f any combination or conspiracy t o raise wages." Attempted Strike - 1897. The years 1894 to 1899 were r e l a t i v e l y quiet but with a mounting antagonism among the white and Indian fishermen toward the Japanese.  Anyone, including Japanese  and Americans, could obtain a f i s h i n g licence simply by stating that he-was a : B r i t i s h subject. . By 1896 i t was stated that "the alarming preponderance of the Japanese elements i n the f i s h i n g population of the r i v e r just now i s being f r e e l y discussed among 14 the B.C. fishermen with some rather ugly commentaries."  12  Vancouver World, July 14, 1893, p. 4: July 15, 1893, p. 2.  13  Ibid., July 15, 1893, p. 2.  14  Ibid., July 17, 1896, p. 4.  135. In 1897 an abortive s t r i k e bore no r e s u l t s .  The dispute arose  when Japanese, Indian and white fishermen, who appeared t o be working harmoniously together, demanded 15 centsi:a sockeye with a w r i t t e n cont r a c t , while the canners offered 8 cents.  The dispute ended abruptly  with an unprecedented  run of sockeye and an order to permit U.S. t r a p 15 caught sockeye t o enter duty-free into B.C. During 1897 the p r e v a i l i n g price f o r net-caught  sockeye was  10 cents each, while trap-caught sockeye were 3 cents t o 6 cents each. The l a t t e r , f o r some reason, were considered i n f e r i o r f o r canning 16 purposes. Market price of salmon was "depressed" at an average 17 $3.50 a case, yet new canneries were being b u i l t on the Fraser. a The larger run of 1897 resulted i n / l i m i t of 250 f i s h t o each contract boat though t h i s was not enforced since the canneries were able t o handle the t o t a l catch. 18  75 f i s h was considered a large load  for one boat of that period. In contrast to t h e previous year, the 1898 sockeye run was a failure.  Sockeye prices rose from 15 cents t o 20 cents but i n the end 19 neither the canners or fishermen showed p r o f i t s . During the same 20 period coho prices were 20 cents each. 15  Vancouver World, July 13, 1897, p. 23.  16  Ibid., July 16, p. 1; July 27, 1897, p. 1.  17  Ibid., November 26, 1897, p. 1.  13 Ibid., July 27, 1897, p. 1; August 10, 1897, p. 1. The l a t t e r paper stated that much of the f i s h was shipped frozen v i a CFR to Eastern Canada and USA. 19  Ibid., August 16, 1898, p. 8; August 23, 1898, p. 1.  20  Ibid., September 20, 1898, p. 4.  156. 21 Disputes to 1900 - Skeena and Mass Area and Rivers I n l e t .  These  few disputes appear to have been spontaneous and confined i n many cases to a single cannery.  The majority of the fishermen were native Indians  with Japanese the next largest group. the Fraser.  Some had f i s h e d previously on  Disputes were probably the action of one r a c i a l group.  There were no organized labour groups among the fishermen.  Wages for  net men at the time were $45.00 per month with board, or $60.00 per month without board.  Wet women received $1.00 per day. By 1898 the  net men's wages had increased t o $70.00 a month with board. s k i f f s were renting f o r $1.00 a week.  Fishing  Cunningham's journal mentions  several disputes without giving any d e t a i l s .  A June 19, 1894 entry  states that the fishermen "were s t i l l on s t r i k e " and that the s t r i k e ended June 20.  The May 18, 1896 entry mentions another s t r i k e , pre-  sumably over the price of spring salmon.  On July 14, 1897, Indian  fishermen at one cannery went on strike f o r an advance of 1 cent i n the price of sockeye. On June 20, 1899, a dispute was reported i n a Vancouver paper involving the Mass, Skeena and R i v e r s ' Inlet, with 2500 fishermen demanding 10 cents a sockeye.  The canners offered 6 cents, perhaps  21 Unless otherwise stated the material f o r this section i s based on the records, or d iary, of the late R. G. Cunningham, pioneer business man and cannery operator at Port Essington during t h i s time. The town was the centre of commercial a c t i v i t y f o r the area at the turn of the century. The records were obtained through the kindness of E a r l A n f i e l d , then Indian Superintendent at Prince Rupert.  9  137. 8 cents, though l a t e r reports denied t h i s o f f e r . By June 30 the salmon 22 canneries were i n operation. Cunningham reported a s t r i k e on the Skeena River beginning on July 3, 1899 sockeye.  for a demand of 8 cents per 23 The dispute ended July 8 at a price of 7 cents.  Fraser River S t r i k e of 1900.  Displacement of whites and  continued at an accelerated pace during 1898 t o 1901.  Indians  The boom re-  s u l t i n g from the gold rush i n Alaska and the Yukon drew many fishermen into other i n d u s t r i e s . Canners, complaining them with Japanese.  By 1901,  of labour shortage,  the Japanese held 958 out of a t o t a l of  4,722 f i s h i n g licences as compared to 452 held by them i n 1896. addition, 1,090  replaced  In  licences were issued to the canneries which used them  mainly to employ Japanese fishermen.  Yifith two men to a boat and  licence, the Royal Commission on Chinese and Japanese Immigration estimated that over 4,000 Japanese were engaged i n the f i s h i n g industry, 24 mainly i n the Fraser River d i s t r i c t . R i s i n g tension i n the f i s h i n g industry broke out i n violence i n 1900. was  White fishermen  feared that the Fraser River Canners' Association  planning to "flood the River with cheap Japanese labour."  help of professional union organizers from other trades, the Fishermen's Union was  With the B.C.  organized on December 12, 1899, with one l o c a l  i n New Westminster d i r e c t l y chartered by the American Federation of  22 Vancouver World, June 20, 1899, 1899, p. 8.  p. 3; June 27,1899,p. 6; June 30,  23 This may be a reference to the dispute mentioned above i n the Vancouver press. -\~ 24  Report, 1902,  p.  390.  138. 25 Labour and one in Vancouver by the Trades and Labour Congress of Canada. 26 By 1900 the union had a membership of 600 whites plus an unknown number of Indians.  The union also had m i l i t a n t and experienced leaders from 27 the Columbia River area. The Japanese Benevolent Society at Steveston had a membership 28 of about 1,800.  Because of the handicaps of language  difficulties,  r a c i a l discrimination, lack of job opportunities i n other industries and t h e i r p o s i t i o n as new immigrants, the Japanese were i n a weaker bargaining p o s i t i o n .  Their p o s i t i o n i n the industry became rather  intolerable w i t h these handicaps and the fact they were numerically outnumbered by the white and Indian fishermen. The Fishermens' Union and the Japanese Society were reported to be working i n harmony at the beginning of the season and both parties demanded 25 cents a sockeye.  The Japanese were said to be "enthusiastic  about t h e i r union" and to have pledged that "they would not go back on t h e i r pledge i f they received proper treatment from the hands of the 29 whites." However, the actual demand for 25 cents was made by the 30 Fishermen's  25  Union while the Japanese were prepared to accept 20 cents.  B.C. Federationist, December 27, 1912, p. 5.  4 ——————— 26  Vancouver Province, July 2, 1900, p. 8.  27 The Columbia River Fishermen's Union was organized i n 1888. 1896 i t l e d a prolonged and successful s t r i k e . 28  Vancouver Province, July 2, 1900, p. 8.  29  Ibid., p. 8.  30  Ibid., July 2, 1900, p. 8j July 6, 1900, p. 9.  In  139. The canners remained F r a s e r R i v e r Canners* r u l i n g i n England  The  A s s o c i a t i o n maintained that "considering the p r i c e  a t t h e p r e s e n t time, t h e o f f e r of 20 cents was a n  exceptionally fair a small margin  f i r m i n t h e i r o f f e r o f 20 c e n t s .  one t o t h e f i s h e r m e n and i t l e a v e s t h e canners b u t  of p r o f i t .  As a matter  o f f a c t — i t w o u l d p a y us b e t t e r  t o c l o s e down our work a l t o g e t h e r t h a n t o pay t h e p r i c e demanded b y t h e Fishermen's  Union.  P r a c t i c a l l y t h e o n l y o u t l e t we have t o l o o k t o i s  the B r i t i s h market. cases.  Canada o n l y t a k e s i n t h e neighbourhood  o f 50,000  As we have t o compete i n t h a t market w i t h t h e f i s h put out b y  the A l a s k a Packers' A s s o c i a t i o n , and f u r t h e r m o r e , as t h e market i s very l i m i t e d , i t i s impossible t o obtain a higher f i g u r e than t h a t 31 now r u l i n g  i n England."  The f e a r o f t h e w h i t e f i s h e r m e n was t h a t the Japanese would a c c e p t the canners* terms and s t a r t f i s h i n g . staged a t S t e v e s t o n w i t h a parade  A d e m o n s t r a t i o n was  o f s t r i k e r s c o n s i s t i n g o f Canadian,  Portuguese, S p a n i a r d s , Swedes, Danes, I n d i a n s , a few Japanese and n e a r l y e v e r y other n a t i o n a l i t y . that  The purpose was t o warn t h e Japanese  "the time had come f o r t h e white and I n d i a n f i s h e r m e n t o take  a c t i o n t o prevent t h e Japanese  p r i c e other t h a n t h a t  from working f o r the canners a t any 32  s e t b y t h e Union."  The F r a s e r R i v e r Canners' A s s o c i a t i o n charged t h a t t h e s t r i k e r s were not bona f i d e f i s h e r m e n b u t t h a t a m a j o r i t y were Americans 31  Vancouver P r o v i n c e , J u l y 7, 1900, p . 1.  32  I b i d . , J u l y 10, 1900, p . 8.  who  140. were " i n the pay of the oanners across the l i n e . . . d e s i r o u s of keeping down the production of the Fraser River canneries, as i t i s of a better quality than t h e i r s and oommands the best market price i n 33 Europe." To prevent violence and property damage the canners offered a reward of $100.00 leading t o arrest and conviction of anyone damaging nets, boats and other property or for any acts of intimidation. Credit or advance of food supplies to the fishermen  was  cancelled.  Then the canners requested police p r o t e c t i o n . constables arrived at Steveston.  The p o l i c e chief was  authority to swear i n as many more men  40 special given the  as he deemed necessary.  The  police were to patrol the Fraser River and protect an estimated 34 45 percent of the fishermen w i l l i n g to accept the offer of 20 cents. The fishermen remained firm with the union reporting that the Japanese "were s o l i d with the whites and that the s t r i k e r s are sure of 35 success i n the long run." strength than the whites.  In actual fact the Japanese showed more The few incidents of reported s t r i k e  breaking were among the white  fishermen.  Fishing was permitted to r a i s e funds f o r the s t r i k e r s .  Since  the Fishermen* s Union had the support of a l l unions i n Vancouver the l a t t e r were urged t o have t h e i r members buy f i s h for a month. 3,3  Vancouver Provinoe, July 13, 1900, p. 4.  34 Two s t r i k e r s were arrested f o r intimidation but were acquitted on the grounds that the acts were committed beyond the three mile l i m i t i n the Gulf of Georgia and thus beyond the j u r i s d i c t i o n of the courts. 35  Vancouver Province, July 13, 1900,  p. 4.  Salmon f i s h i n g was the chief, i f not the sole, means of l i v e l i hood of the e a r l y Japanese immigrants. employment were not great.  The prospects of alternative  The fear then was the hardship of the  coming winter i f the f i s h i n g season was l o s t . into a vulnerable p o s i t i o n i n the dispute.  The Japanese were forced  The f i r s t  symptom of the  wavering of the Japanese s t r i k e r s was t h e i r expressed d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n with the 500 t o 700 f i s h allowed them f o r food purposes.  In addition,  they appeared w i l l i n g to accept an offer i f i t was increased t o 22 to 36 22-1/2 cents a sockeye. A few boats d i d begin f i s h i n g but were 37 stopped by 150 white fishermen. On July 15, the fishermen staged a demonstration with 1,000 s t r i k e r s parading t o the Court House i n Vancouver.  By that date i t was  stated that the "cardinal p r i n c i p l e s f o r which the fishermen were 38 struggling f o r was recognition of the union." On July 16, some Japanese began f i s h i n g on the canners* terms despite the fact the Japanese union had re-affirmed t h e i r support of the Fishermen's  Union.  Persistent reports that " p r a c t i c a l l y every  Japanese has either a r i f l e ,  a shot gun, or a revolver, and a l l are  determined t o r e s i s t should any interference with them by the white fishermen be attempted, over wages or anything else", were denied by 39 the Fishermen's Union. 36  Vancouver Province, July 17, 1900, p. 4.  37  Ibid., July 20, 1900, p. 2.  38  Ibid., July 16, 1900, p. 3.  39  Ibid., July 6, 1900, p. 9.  142. F i n a l l y a meeting of the fishermen and the FRCA took place on July 20 with the Dominion Commissioner of Labour for B.C. i n attendance. The canners offered a maximum of 20 cents a f i s h , t h i s price to be reduced to 15 cents i n case of a heavy run of f i s h .  No more f i s h than  could be canned would be purchased from the fishermen.  The v a r i a t i o n  between the 15 cents and 20 cents was to be governed by the quantity 40 of f i s h and the state of the market. The Fishermen's Union i n r e p l y asked f o r a fixed price of 25 cents a sockeye for the whole season.  They asked one month's  notice be given either party before changing the agreement. I f *a 1  l i m i t was t o be placed on the number of f i s h which could be delivered to the canneries, then the same number should be taken from private boats as from cannery-owned boats.  A l l those engaged i n the strike.were,  they rented cannery boats, t o have t h e i r boats returned with no hard 41 feelings. On July 22, the fishermen voted on the new f i s h price o f f e r s . The results were 497 f o r 25 cents; 15 f o r 22-l/2cents—a vote that meant 25 cents or no f i s h i n g .  The canners then offered 20 cents a  f i s h t i l l August 25, with a maximum of 600 f i s h a week and 15 cents a 42 f i s h caught above t h i s amount. The same evening, July 22, 4,000 Japanese staged a parade to "show strength and unity", as well as to "show the whites just what they are capable of doing i n case of a 43 scrap."  40  Vancouver Province, July 19, 1900, p. 3.  41  Ibid., July 20, 1900, p. 1  42  Ibid., July 22, 1900, pp. 1 and 3.  43  Ibid., July 21, 1900, p. 3.  The s t r i k e reached a sudden climax when martial law was enforced at Steveston as a protection against the r i s i n g threats of violence. The m i l i t i a , 160 men  from the 6th Regiment of the DCCR's, arrived and  created a s i t u a t i o n whereby, according to the Province, "Canadian authority had to provide s u f f i c i e n t force t o protect an a l i e n force of fishermen defending, by recourse to arms, t h e i r inalienable right t o 44 work."  Each militiaman was  ridge and 20 i n reserve.  supplied with ten rounds of b a l l c a r t -  The "understanding w i t h the soldiers was  d i s t i n c t l y that i n the event of action being demanded of them, they 45 were t o shoot—and  shoot to k i l l . "  The opposing sides at t h i s point  were 4,000 Japanese plus 200 militiamen and 100 armed police against 700 white fishermen and a few Indians. On July 24, 2,000 Japanese went f i s h i n g under police protection. Many white fishermen followed.  The Indians alone stood firm as a group.  The native Indian vfomen refused t o work i n the canneries while the remnants of the Fishermen's Union attempted t o prevent Chinese from working i n the plants. The p o s i t i o n of the s t r i k i n g fishermen appeared hopeless but "without the f a i n t e s t hope that they w i l l get t h e i r 25 cents per f i s h , that they would ever get recognition f o r t h e i r union, the Fraser R i v e r 46 fishermen kept f i g h t i n g on." F i n a l l y , on July 30, the s t r i k e ended.  44  Vancouver Province, July 24, 1900, p. 1.  45  Ibid., p. 1.  46  Ibid., July 27, 1900, p. 1.  144. 47 The p r e v a i l i n g sockeye price by then was 19 cents each. During the course o f the s t r i k e the Boards of Trade at Vancouver and New Westminster offered t o mediate the s t r i k e but the canners refused a l l their offers.  The newspapers ran e d i t o r i a l s suggesting a r b i t r a t i o n  and c o n c i l i a t i o n . The p r o v i n c i a l Legislature even suggested a compulsory 48 a r b i t r a t i o n law. The intervention of the m i l i t i a ended on rather a humiliating note.  They were subjected  of public opinion. and  to the jeers of the fishermen and the wrath  At one stage, some 300 s t r i k i n g fishermen, whites  Indians, marched by them.  The l o c a l magistrate of Richmond munici-  p a l i t y was asked t o read the R i o t Act to prevent such assemblies but he refused.  The role of the m i l i t i a was discussed by the p r o v i n c i a l  Legislature which heard charges that t h e i r presence was "a disgrace t o the d i s t r i c t , which fishermen and people f e l t keenly.  One act of  intimidation would not warrant i t and generally speaking the s t r i k e r s had remained within t h e i r r i g h t s and w i t h i n the law." The net r e s u l t , .49 i t was said, was t o "give the r i v e r t o the Japanese."  The f i n a l and  i r o n i c a l blow came when the municipality of Richmond disputed the b i l l of $2,000. for the 175 men and 15 o f f i c e r s on the ground that the  47  Vancouver Province, July 30, 1900, p. 3j July 31, 1900, p. 1.  48 Ibid., July 21, 1900, p. 6; July 22, p. 1 and 3: July 26, 1900, p. 8; August 4, 1900, p. 8. 49  Ibid., July 26, 1900, p. 1.  145. 50 P r o v i n c i a l Government had i n v i t e d the m i l i t i a .  Thus, the m i l i t i a  "having performed-a most unpleasant duty w i l l have t o wait f o r t h e i r 51 p a l t r y pay." Fraser River S t r i k e - 1901.  By 1901 the Fishermen's Union had  expanded to include the following Locals:  No. 1 at New Westminster,  No. 2 at Vancouver, No. 3 at Canoe Pass, No. 4 at Eburne, and No. 5 at Port Simpson.  By July 31, 1902, additional l o c a l s were chartered at 52 Cowichan and B r i s t o l Bay. In January 1901 a Grand Lodge of B.C. Fishermen, w i t h headquarters at Vancouver was organized t o co-ordinate 53  the a c t i v i t i e s of the l o c a l unions. The Vancouver l o c a l of the Fishermen's Union was organized w i t h the help of the Vancouver Trades and Labour Council following the Fraser • 54 River strike of 1900.  Native Indian fishermen became active members  despite the e a r l y opposition of the l o c a l Indian Agent.  During t h i s  period the Japanese fishermen formed t h e i r own union, the Japanese 50 A c t u a l l y the m i l i t i a had been c a l l e d out under the procedure permitted by the M i l i t i a Act of the day by a r e q u i s i t i o n signed by three Richmond Justices of the Peace, one a cannery owner, the second a cannery foreman, and the t h i r d a Steveston storekeeper. See Peter Guy Silverman, A History of the M i l i t i a and Defences of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1871-1914. Unpublished M.A. thesis, The Library of the University of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1956. 51  Vancouver Province,Sept.- 26, 1900, p. 1.  52  Labour Gazette, June 1903, p. 1016.  53  Ibid., February 1902, p. 488.  54 "News of Organized Labour", Vancouver Province, August 27, 1900, p. This c o n f l i c t s with t h e A p r i l , 1900 date given in the B.C. Federationist.  146. Fishermens* Benevolent Society, under the patronage of the Japanese 55 Consul.  F u l l co-operation between the white and Japanese organizations  was said to be assured. The aim o f the Grand Lodge was t o extend the organization on an industry-wide basis on the P a c i f i c Coast "from the Skeena i n the North to the Columbia  i n the South."  The headquarters of the Grand Lodge was  to settle a l l disputes between the canners and fishermen. i t was t o regulate f i s h prices paid to the fishermen.  In addition,  A l l l o c a l s were  to be a f f i l i a t e d with the Dominion Trades Congress and the American Federation of Labour. l o c a l unions.  These two bodies were t o issue charters t o the  In general, i t was stated that "heretofore there have  been a number of unions on the coast, but they have been only>local a f f a i r s without s t a b i l i t y and have f a l l e n without accomplishing any good. With the tremendous force of unionism at the back of the new organization, there i s no doubt of i t s ultimate success i n ameliorating 56 the present conditions of the fishermen." The 1901 s t r i k e on the Fraser was t o duplicate the 1900 strike i n violence and, l i k e the e a r l i e r s t r i k e , was t o develop into an open struggle between white and Indian fishermen on one hand and the Japanese on the other. 55  Involved were 8,000 fishermen, made up of 5,000  D a i l y Province, August 4, 1901, p. 1.  56 "News of Organized Labour", Vancouver Province, August 27, 1900, p. 8.  57 whites and Indians and 3,000 Japanese. The canners expected a heavy run of sockeye.  Their competitors  i n Puget Sound now had 300 f i s h traps and were expected t o pack one m i l l i o n cases.  Furthermore, there was a wide difference between the  prices of Alaska and B.C. salmon on the London market and the canners 58 insisted B.C. pricesmust be revised. The canners and the Fishermen's May 20.  Union began negotiations on  The Japanese did not take an active part.  It was the "desire  of the fishermen to come to some agreement with the canners whereby a l l expected trouble on the Fraser may be avoided t h i s year, and on t h e i r part the canners s i g n i f i e d t h e i r intention of meeting the fishermen at least h a l f way i n any agreement looking to an amiable adjustment of 59 causes of differences alleged to exist between the two bodies." The canners offered 12 cents a sookeye, which the Grand Lodge o f f i c i a l s were w i l l i n g to accept.  However, the union vote showed a l l  Indians and 60 percent of the whites s t i l l i n s i s t e d on a demand of 15 cents a sockeye.  The canners made a new  offer of 12 cents a  sockeye from July 1 to July 27 and 10 cents thereafter, but only 20 percent of the fishermen were i n favour.  The canners then offered  12-1/2 cents t i l l August 3, but the fishermen countered with a demand of 12-1/2 cents f o r the season.  In addition, the union asked for no  57  Labour Gazette, August 1901, p. 125.  58  Vancouver Province, June 18, 1901, p. 1.  59  Ibid., May 13, 1901, p. 3.  148. d i s c r i m i n a t i o n a g a i n s t union f i s h e r m e n and a r e s t r i c t i o n on t h e s u p p l y o f t r a p f i s h , but was  agreeable t o a l i m i t  of 300 f i s h a b o a t .  Neither  p a r t y c o u l d accept t h e o t h e r ' s terms and n e g o t i a t i o n s were ended. The canners t h e n began n e g o t i a t i o n s w i t h i n d i v i d u a l  fishermen  o f f e r i n g 12-1/2 cents t o J u l y 27 and 10 c e n t s t h e r e a f t e r , w i t h a l i m i t o f 200 f i s h a boat a day. must be  A s t i p u l a t i o n was  t h a t i n d i v i d u a l agreements  s i g n e d b y J u l y 5 or t h e r e would be a f u r t h e r drop.  and many white  f i s h e r m e n were r e p o r t e d t o be  Japanese  signing.  On June 25, the d i s p u t e took an unexpected  t u r n when 40 o f an  expected 400 t o 500 Japanese f i s h e r m e n a r r i v e d from S e a t t l e t o  fish  on t h e F r a s e r R i v e r .  had  arrived. The 60 issued.  By the end  Japanese  o f t h e season, a t o t a l o f 250  t h e n h e l d 900 o f the 1,408  As n o n - r e s i d e n t s o f Canada, t h e Japanese  not o b t a i n f i s h i n g l i c e n c e s .  T h i s r e g u l a t i o n was  fishing  licences  from S e a t t l e c o u l d by-passed b y u s i n g  them as " b o a t - p u l l e r s " , o r a s s i s t a n t s , on g i l l n e t t e r s , so t h e y d i d not r e q u i r e  licences.  On J u l y 4, t h e fishermen's r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s and resumed t h e i r meetings.  New  n e g o t i a t i o n s f o r sockeye  based on a s l i d i n g s c a l e o f s a l i i o n pack.  The  canners p r i c e s were  proposed p r i c e s were  t o be 15 cents f o r a pack up t o 400,000 c a s e s ; 12-1/2 c e n t s up t o 500,000;11 c e n t s up t o 600,000; 9 cents up t o 700,000, and so  on.  The f i s h e r m e n r e f u s e d t o a c c e p t t h i s  fish  s c a l e , s t a t i n g "we would  f o r 11 cents f o r the season, supposing the canners would g i v e us the  60  Vancouver P r o v i n c e , June 25, 1901,  p.  1.  149. preference,  not  w i t h b o a t s and u n i o n men but  employing Japanese except a f t e r we n e t s , and  i f the  61 can b r i n g i n . "  The  have b e e n equipped  canners would take a l l the d i s p u t e was  now  "not  fish  the  f o r the p r i c e " 62  "whether we  a r e g o i n g t o get  our r i g h t s or  Despite  reports that the  Japanese were armed and were going  f i s h i n g , t h e r e was  a c t u a l l y no f i s h i n g .  not."  However, by  J u l y 15,  persistent  r e p o r t s t h a t t h e y were t o s t a r t f i s h i n g brought a c t i o n from the P a t r o l boats were put Japanese had was  on t o the r i v e r t o prevent f i s h i n g .  However,  p a t r o l to protect t h e i r fishermen.  Violence  t h e i r own  r e p o r t e d w i t h b o t h p a r t i e s b e i n g armed.  Police protection  n e g l i g i b l e , though s e v e r a l f i s h e r m e n were a r r e s t e d . was  of s u c h p r o p o r t i o n s  information  about two  s i n c e Monday the  The  was  However, v i o l e n c e  of t h e i r Japanese fishermen who  8th i n s t a n t and  had been  above reward w i l l be  "missing  t h a t t h e i r b o a t s had been found  nets and w i t h s a i l u n f u r l e d .  And  i s r e a s o n t o b e l i e v e t h e y have b e e n murdered o f f P o i n t  information  the  t h a t a c a n n e r y o f f e r e d a reward of $500. f o r  i n E n g l i s h Bay without the there  union.  p a i d t o any  adrift  whereas Grey.  p e r s o n or persons g i v i n g such  as w i l l l e a d t o t h e a r r e s t and c o n v i c t i o n o f one 63  guilty  p a r t y or p a r t i e s . " A favourite t a c t i c  of t h e  Fishermen's Union was  to pick  up  Japanese fishermen, c a s t t h e i r b o a t s a d r i f t , t h e n l e a v e them marooned at a p r e v i o u s l y chosen i s l a n d .  The  61  Vancouver P r o v i n c e ,  J u l y 10,  62  I b i d . , J u l y 12,  1901,  p.  1.  63  I b i d . , J u l y 18,  1901,  p.  3.  idea was  1901,  p.  t o l e a v e them marooned  1.  150. for the season where they would be fed "every few days, maintained 64comfortably, though c l o s e l y guarded." When the authorities discovered 65 the f i r s t hideout, the union chose a second and more remote i s l a n d . The authorities were unable to discover t h i s second i s l a n d .  By July 12,  the union had marooned 36 Japanese. On July 14, the canners made a new  offer of 12-1/2 cents to  July 27 and 10 cents thereafter, unless the pack f e l l below 50,000 cases, when the price would remain 12-1/2 cents. refused by the union.  At t h i s time 1,500  This o f f e r was  boats were available f o r  fishermen, w i t h white fishermen t o be given the preference. During the course of the s t r i k e the Dominion Commissioner of Labour was  active i n attempting a compromise.  However, the dispute  ended on July 19 through the e f f o r t of a group of Vancouver businessmen who  had been q u i e t l y working to bring the union and canners together.  The f i n a l settlement was 12-l/2 cents f o r one quarter of the season's pack and 10 cents f o r the remainder.  of the Grand Lodge" was  The report of a "unanimous vote 66  given as 61 to 25.  When f i s h i n g resumed, the fishermen harvested an unprecedented run of s ockeye with the boats averaging 300 to 500 f i s h a day.  The  salmon traps i n Puget Sound were reported to be releasing one-half of  64  Vancouver Province, July 11, 1901, p. 1 .  65  The f i r s t  66  Vancouver Province, July 19, 1901, p. 1.  island was Bowen Island.  151. t h e i r catches.  By August 3, the price of Fraser River sockeye had  decreased t o 10-5/8 cents each and by August 8 each boat was to 200 f i s h per day.  The report on August 29 was 67 and canneries begin to worry about s a l e s . " Post-1901 Period.  limited  " f i s h i n g about over  A period of r e l a t i v e l y stable relations  between fishermen and cannery operators was maintained on the Fraser R i v e r f o r several years following the 1901  strike.  Unusually small  salmon runs, coupled with reduced competition for employment i n the industry, enabled fishermen to receive higher prices f o r t h e i r catch. There was a decline i n the numbers of Japanese employed on the Fraser, due to t h e i r emigration to other f i s h i n g centres of the province. Immigration  of Japanese to B.C. was  also at a v i r t u a l s t a n d s t i l l during  the Russo-Japanese war of .1904-1905.  However, following 1905,  i t was  resumed. In 1902,  there were unsuccessful negotiations towards a f f i l i a t i o n  of the Fishermen's Union with the Fishermen's Protective Union of the P a c i f i c Coast and Alaska organized i n 1902 by American fishermen, which had set as one of i t s aims "the uniting i n one great common brotherhood  of a l l the fishermen seeking a l i v e l i h o o d i n the waters 68 of the P a c i f i c Coast and Alaska." With an increasing i n f l u x of  67 The aftermath of this unprecedented run of sockeye is described under Fishing Companies, Chapter IV. 68 The Fisheries of C a l i f o r n i a , published by the International Fishermen and A l l i e d Workers of America, CIO, San Francisco, C a l i f o r n i a , January, 1947, p. 18.  152. Japanese fishermen after 1905, the strength o f the Fishermen's Union declined.  On June 22, 1907, the union staged i t s l a s t s t r i k e over a  reduction i n the price of spring salmon from 5 cents to 4 cents. Only 69 78 fishermen were affected by t h i s unsuccessful s t r i k e . Other reports 70 stated that 125 fishermen responded.  The Union ceased t o function  shortly a f t e r . During this period, salmon prices fluctuated widely. the average price of sockeye was 16-1/2 cents each. was a f l a t 20 cents.  In 1903,  In 1904 the price  In 1905, the Fraser River Canners Association,  the Fishermen's Union and the Japanese Benevolent Society agreed t o a price of 12-1/2 cents a sockeye for July, and 10 cents f o r the balance of the season.  In the f i r s t week of August the price was 15 cents to  20 cents, but l a t e r dropped to 10 cents and 8 cents. prices reached 20 cents t o 25 cents.  By 1906 the  During the same year, red springs  were 8 cents and white springs were 4 cents each.  In 1909, the price  dropped sharply to 12-1/2 cents during July and 10 cents during August, Skeena River Strike - 1904.  The c o n f l i c t s on the Fraser had  repercussions i n other major f i s h i n g d i s t r i c t s on the coast.  The  Indians were predominant among the fishermen and cannery workers i n the northern d i s t r i c t s p r i o r to World War I, Only a small number of  69 Labour Gazette, July 1907, p. 106; Vancouver World, June 24, 1907, p. 7. :  70  Vancouver Province, June 27, 1907, p. 7.  153. Japanese and whites fished i n these d i s t r i c t s at that time, owing to the long distances from major population centres, the high transportation costs, and, i n comparison to the Fraser, the low prices the  fishermen  received. The most serious dispute occurred i n 1904, fishermen, supported  involving 800 native  i n the plants by 200 native women.  n  A  salmon  f i s h i n g season i n B r i t i s h Columbia without a s t r i k e would not be the real thing, and as apparently a l l i s to be peace and quietness on the Fraser River this year, i t i s not a surprise that trouble has broken out on the Skeena. 71 t h i s year."  It is the poor Indian who  has s t i r r e d up the  row  The fishermen demanded 10 cents a sookeye and 25 cents for red springs against the canners' offer of 7 cents and 25 oents.  The  Japanese were w i l l i n g to accept the offer but were outnumbered by the Indians.  The fishermen at the Nass River were also out.  On July 6,  the canners increased the offer t o 8-l/2 cents but the Indians refused. 72 The s t r i k e ended with a reported 300 fishermen going to the Fraser. In June 1907, Skeena River Japanese fishermen, now won  a price increase of 25 cents to 35 cents.  not mentioned but i t was 71  organized,  The species of f i s h i s 73 presumably spring salmon.  Vancouver Province, June 13, 1904, p. 1.  72 Labour Gazette, August 1904, p. 189. Vancouver Province, June 13, 1904, p. 1; June 23, 1904, p. 1; July 2, 1904, p. 1; July 6, 1904, p. 1; July 8, 1904, p. 1. 73  Vancouver World, June 3, 1907,  p. 8.  154. Views of Industry Problems, 1907. appointed i n 1907 operators The  Before a Commission  to study the f i s h i n g industry of B.C.  the cannery  stated what they considered to be t h e i r major problems.  f i r s t was  competition  from American canners who  at lower prices from salmon traps. ations i n the sookeye runs. Chinese and  Indian labour.  uncertain and v a r i a b l e .  The second was  Third was The  got t h e i r salmon seasonal  an increasing s c a r c i t y of  supply of  Indian labour  was  The Chinese were seeking steadier work i n  lumbering, agriculture and r a i l r o a d construction.  The head tax on  Chinese immigrants had been increased i n 1904 from $100. thus cutting immigration.  fluctu-  The Canners Association had  presented a b r i e f to have i t reduced to $100.  to $500.,  previously  F i s h prices were said,  to be r i s i n g because of the development of freezing, s a l t i n g and mild c uring. On the other hand, complaints were directed against the canners over the use of Japanese fishermen.  In i t s b r i e f to the Commission  the New Westminster C i t y Council stated "that the canners are e x p l o i t i n g the salmon f i s h e r i e s of the country by the a i d of o r i e n t a l labour,  and  that a determined e f f o r t has been made to discriminate against white 74 fishermen i n favour of the Japansse." Dispute of 1913.  By 1913,  the Japanese were numerically the  largest group f i s h i n g on the Fraser River.  They held 1,088  of the  74 Source of data on Commission, B r i t i s h Columbia Fisheries Commission Reports and Recommendations, 1905-07, pp. 16-18.  155. f i s h i n g licences issued on the r i v e r that year, as compared to 832 f o r 75 whites and 430 f o r the Indians.  The respective roles of these three  r a c i a l groups had become almost the exact reverse of the s i t u a t i o n i n 1900 and 1901.  The Japanese had become the dominant and aggressive  group with "a complete organization i n Steveston with a Union Hall and o f f i c e " , while the white fishermen "being of a l l n a t i o n a l i t i e s — 76 besides English-speaking", lacked organization. On August 1, 1913, the price of sockeye was reduced from 25 cents to 15 cents.  The Japanese, claiming that t h e i r agreement c a l l e d  for 25 cents through July and August, went on s t r i k e .  The white f i s h e r -  men were w i l l i n g to compromise at 20 cents on the understanding that the canners would take 200 f i s h a day from each boat, but the organized Japanese kept them i n port.  There were reports of guns being used to 77  intimidate strikebreakers, of nets being out and f i s h destroyed.  The  reported violence, intimidation and property damage on the part of the Japanese were reminiscent of the t a c t i c s used by the whites and against the Japanese in 1900 and 1901.  Indians  The s t r i k e came to an end on  August 7 when the Japanese, without informing other fishermen, returned to f i s h i n g . of 200.  The p r i c e agreed on was  15 cents a sockeye with a l i m i t  Affected were 2,500 fishermen at the mouth of the Fraser.  The  fishermen operating above the New Westminster Bridge were not a f f e c t e d .  75  D a i l y Province, August 4, 1913, p. 4.  76  Ibid., p. 4.  77  Ibid., August 5, 1913, p. 20.  156 During t h i s 1913 dispute the Industrial Workers o f the World made unsuccessful attempts at organizing the white  fishermen.  World War I and the Post-War Period. During World War I and the post-war period, there was a marked decrease i n the number of fishing s t r i k e s .  During t h i s time, organi-  zational a c t i v i t y shifted from direct action t o l e g i s l a t i v e a c t i o n . S p e c i f i c a l l y , e f f o r t s were directed towards reducing  Japanese com-  p e t i t i o n by l i m i t i n g the number of licences issued t o them. Union a c t i v i t y remained at a low ebb among fishermen during World War I. The only organizations that maintained themselves during 78 the period were the Deep Sea Fishermen's Union of Prince Rupert the Japanese Benevolent Society o f Steveston.  and  The temporary lapse of  organizations among fishermen may be explained by developments i n the industry.  High prices coupled with labour shortage during the war  years temporarily enabled those engaged i n the industry t o enjoy unprecedented earnings.  Technological changes, p a r t i c u l a r l y power engines  to f i s h i n g boats and the expansion of large scale f i s h i n g speeded up prodvction.  The long-continued  techniques,  stagnation of f i s h i n g and  canning on the Fraser River following the 1913 Hell's Gate s l i d e , l e d to a large-scale migration t o other f i s h i n g d i s t r i c t s of t h e coast. During World War I, the number of Japanese inoreased u n t i l they dominated the industry.  78  Many white and Indian fishermen were drawn into  See below, p. 188, et seq.  157. the armed forces or other i n d u s t r i e s .  The peak of Japanese domination  was i n 1919 when they received 3,267 f i s h i n g l i c e n c e s , or nearly one79 half of licences issued for the year. Japanese competition was he ing f e l t not only i n g i l l n e t t i n g hut i n other branches, such as purse80. seining and halibut f i s h i n g . )  Fraser River Fishermen's Protective Association.  The f i r s t  organization formed f o r the purpose of getting l e g i s l a t i v e aotion against the Japanese was the Fraser River Fishermen's Protective Association organized at New Westminster i n 1914. The f i s h e r i e s regulations were suoh that only bonafide residents of t he area above the New Westminster Bridge could f i s h that part of the Fraser River.  Reports that the canners were encouraging the  Japanese to l i v e i n f l o a t houses above the Bridge t o take advantage of t h i s regulation led to a meeting of fishermen under the auspices of the New Westminster Board o f Trade. passed.  These two resolutions were  One stated "that t h i s meeting of representative fishermen  from the Fraser River east of the New Westminster Bridge i s strongly of the opinion that l e g i s l a t i o n or other protection should be afforded to the white and Indian resident population on both banks of the r i v e r . " The second asked "that the Government's aid hereby requested t o protect the white and Indian resident population from the a l i e n fishermen by  79  C.H. Young and H.R.Y. Reid, The Japanese Canadian, p. 43  80  B.C. Federationist, Sept. 29, 1916, p. l j June 26, 1917, p. 1.  158. suoh regulations as w i l l prevent the Japanese from invading the d r i f t s i n the d i s t r i c t which we  81 represent."  This f i r s t meeting sent the resolutions to Ottawa.  At a sub-  sequent meeting steps were taken t o organize the Fraser River Fishermen's Protective Association with an i n i t i a l membership of 30 The FRFPA was  men.  to be a permanent organization f o r the "purpose of  eliminating the Japanese from the Fraser River and show strength to 82 the Government." The organization was completed a week l a t e r with a membership of 300. to a l l who of the  I n i t i a t i o n fees were 50 cents*  Membership was  open  "believe i n d r i v i n g the Orientals out of the i n d u s t r i a l l i f e 83  province." The f i r s t act of the FRFPA was  to pass these resolutions.  "As  we consider that the A s i a t i c s of the Fraser R i v e r are a deadly menace to t h i s d i s t r i o t because they are s t e a d i l y d r i v i n g the white and  Indian  fishermen off the r i v e r and sapping the f i n a n c i a l l i f e of the Fraser Y a l l e y to the extent of approximately $1 m i l l i o n a year, which i s diverted from l o c a l channels of trade and sent to an a l i e n land, where i t i s l o s t t o t h i s s e c t i o n forever, that unless t h i s steady insidious invasion of the A s i a t i c i s checked quickly, one of the greatest commercial assets of our province w i l l pass e n t i r e l y into the hands of aliens by nature, i f not by name, and a l l the benefit of our f i s h i n g  81  B.C.  Federatlonist, A p r i l 24, 1914,  82  Ibid., May 1, 1914,  p. 2. .  83  Ibid., May 8, 1914,  p. 2.  p. 2.  159. industry w i l l go to enrioh the coffers of a nation across the sea; therefore, the FRPPA, representative of white and  now,  Indian fishermen  on  the Fraser River from the Gulf of Georgia to Mission C i t y Bridge, do hereby resolve, that i n order to preserve the f i s h i n g industry of the Fraser River for the white and Indian fishermen the Dominion and  Pro-  v i n c i a l Governments are petitioned to enact l e g i s l a t i o n as f o l l o w s t That no licences be issued to A s i a t i c s to f i s h along the r i v e r above the New Westminster Bridge; that i n 1915 and henceforth the number of f i s h i n g licences to be issued t o Fraser River fishermen be r e s t r i c t e d to a t o t a l t o be agreed upon by interested canneries and t h i s association; and that i n 1915  and henceforth licences shall be issued to the white  and Indian fishermen on the Fraser River f o r one month p r i o r to the 84 issuance to any other party whatsoever." The FRFPA remained r e l a t i v e l y i n a c t i v e u n t i l the 1920*s, p a r t l y because World War  I broke out s h o r t l y a f t e r the formation of the  Association, and p a r t l y because of the serious decline i n the Fraser River f is her ies following the s l i d e at Hell's Gate i n 1913.  The F i s h Packers Union - Prince Rupert (Seal Cove). the f i r s t union conoerned p r i m a r i l y with shoreworkers was  In  1916,  organized as  Fish Packers' Union No. 5240 with headquarters at Prince Rupert.  It  had j u r i s d i c t i o n over the oold storage workers of the Seal Cove area. A f f i l i a t i o n of t h i s organization is rather d i f f i c u l t t o a s c e r t a i n . appears to have been d i r e c t l y chartered i n 1916 by the American  84  B.C.  Federationist, May  23, 1914,  p. 2.  It  160. Federation of Labour.  It operated under the One B i g Union banner from  1918 u n t i l 1934 when i t received a charter from the Trades and Labour Congress.  The management of the plant exerted considerable influence  over the union.  The FPU attempted a s l i d i n g scale of wages based upon  the cost of l i v i n g index as supplied by the Dominion Department o f Labour.  However, the cost of l i v i n g i n Prince Rupert was considerably  higher than that shown by the Department of Labour and the system was unsuccessful. The FPU maintained i t s i d e n t i t y u n t i l the f a l l of 1945 when i t amalgamated w i t h the United Fishermen and A l l i e d Workers Union.  Previous  to t h i s , i t had refused to j o i n the Fishermen and Cannery Workers' In85 d u s t r i a l Union.  The reason given for the r e f u s a l was that the FPU  had b u i l t up a sum of money and refused to turn i t over t o another union.  A second shoreworkers union emerged i n Prince Rupert, though  the dates and other p a r t i c u l a r s are unknown.  This was the F i s h Packers*  Association chartered by the A l l - C a m d i a n Congress of Labour.  This  Association was absorbed by the FCWIU and l a t e r by the UFAWU. Prince Rupert shoreworkers were, therefore, represented by the FPU i n the seal Cove area and the FPA i n the Cow Bay area. out negotiations i n t h e i r separate t e r r i t o r i e s .  Each carried  The b a r r i e r t o a union  between the two was that the FPU members, though paid lower wages, enjoyed a r e l a t i v e l y long and steady employment, whereas, the FPA had higher wages but short, uncertain seasonal work.  85  See below, p. 172, et seq.  161. United Fisherman of B r i t i s h Columbia.  In 1917 the Finnish  fishermen of Rivers Inlet area refused' a. canners offer of 22-l/2 cents a sockeye demanding 25 cents.  This o f f e r had already been 86  accepted by the Skeena River g i l l n e t t e r s .  During t h i s 1917  strike,  a meeting of independent and unattached Rivers Inlet g i l l n e t t e r s organized the United Fishermen of B r i t i s h Columbia, with headquarters at Sointula and consisting mainly of Finnish fishermen of Skeena River and Rivers I n l e t .  The actual date of organization^was  June 22,  1917.  The aims of the union at the time of inception were stated to be protection of the fishermen from the e x p l o i t a t i o n of the cannery owners, securing better prices for t h e i r catch, protesting against the r e s t r i c t i o n s which inconvenience the fishermen, and, i n general, bettering conditions under which the f ishermen were operating.  Some  attempts were made "to throw cold water on the plan by r e f e r r i n g to the history of the attempted organizing among the Fraser River f i s h e r men,  but t h i s has been more than met by the showing made by the 87  Columbia River fishermen who won  out by s t i c k i n g to t h e i r organization.™  R e v i v a l of Union A c t i v i t y A f t e r World War  I.  Increased com-  p e t i t i o n from the Japanese fishermen revived a g i t a t i o n against them by white and Indian fishermen who were, at the same time, facing comp e t i t i o n from an i n f l u x of the returned soldiers who were being  86  Vancouver Province, July 14, 1917,  87  B.C.  p. 14.  Federationist, February 12, 1917,  p. 7.  162. encouraged to enter the industry.  An added d i f f i c u l t y was the post-war  depression and f a l l i n g f i s h p r i c e s . was  Out of t h i s s i t u a t i o n ,  unionism  revived during the e a r l y 1920*s, following much the pattern of the  pre-war period. In northern B.C., was organized.  the Queen Charlotte Salmon T r o l l e r s ' A s s o c i a t i o n  Though a loose organization, i t did achieve some success  i n rafc ing salmon p r i c e s .  The QCSTA patterned i t s e l f a f t e r the  3SW  i n being a m i l i t a n t organization using s t r i k e and boycott t a o t i o s . The association at i t s height had a membership of 250. As fishermen i n more and more f i s h i n g settlements were j o i n i n g the QCSTA, i t became necessary to have a larger organiz a t i o n with a more centralized headquarters.  The QCSTA was therefore re-organized  i n 1920 as the Northern B.C. Salmon Fishermen's Association, with headquarters  at Prince Rupert.  Locals were at Jap Inlet, Port Simpson,  Port Essington and i n three Queen Charlotte Island settlements. union was  The  active u n t i l the 1930's when the t r o l l e r s joined the  oo-operatives and the g i l l n e t t e r s joined the FCWIU and l a t e r the 88 P a c i f i c Coast Fishermen's Union. In southern B.C.,  the Fraser River Fishermen's Protective  Association was re-organized i n 1919 tective Association with headquarters predecessor, the B.C.  FPA was  into the B.C.  Fishermen's Pro-  i n New Westminster.  Like i t s  strongly anti-Oriental i n p o l i c y , aid  r e l i e d on l e g i s l a t i v e p o l i c i e s rather than d i r e c t a c t i o n to reduce or eliminate the competition of the Japanese fishermen.  88  See below, p. 183, et seq.  It was  the  16S. 89 B.C. PPA who spearheaded action by fishermen against the Japanese. The B.C. FPA was at f i r s t concerned p r i m a r i l y w i t h the Fraser River and i n p a r t i c u l a r with the area above the New Westminster Bridge.  In the  early 1920's, however, i t began t o organize the fishermen at other points on the ooast.  When ft reached the Rivers Inlet area, i t came into  o o n f l i c t with the B r i t i s h Columbia Fishermen's Union. By t h i s time, the BCFU had l o c a l s at Lund and Hunter Island, but had otherwise been r e l a t i v e l y i n a c t i v e .  The union was a l o c a l  a f f a i r centred at Sointula, and the majority of g i l l n e t t e r s were s t i l l unorganized. f i s h prices.  The r e s u l t was the BCFU oould not bargain f o r  A more serious factor i n curbing a c t i v i t i e s of the  union was the licence r e s t r i c t i o n s i n i t i a t e d by the Provincial Department o f Fisheries t o enable the war veterans to enter the industry. The l o c a l fishermen feared d i s c r i m i n a t i o n f o r union a c t i v i t i e s .  It  was stated that, f o r the 1918 season, 24 union members f a i l e d t o 90 receive f i s h i n g l i c e n c e s . With the appearance of the BCFPA i n Rivers Inlet, the BCFU was spurred into a c t i o n .  A j u r i s d i c t i o n a l dispute between the two  was of suoh proportions as to be the cause o f s t r i k e f a i l u r e of the 1923 Rivers Inlet  strike.  B a s i c a l l y , the BCFPA was a conservative or "reformist" union depending on l e g i s l a t i v e measures rather than d i r e c t action, to achieve some of i t s aims.  The majority of northern fishermen opposed  89  See Appendix B, The Japanese i n the Fishing Industry.  90  F i e l d notes and interviews.  164. the ideas of the BCPPA.  Out of t h i s opposition, the B.C. Fishermen's  Association, composed of g i l l n e t t e r s , t r o l l e r s and seiners, was organized i n 1925.  On Deoember 23, 1925, the BCFU disbarded and joined the BCFA.  Both the BCFA and BCFPA were active u n t i l the 1930's.  Actually  the BCFA concentrated on the Rivers Inlet area while the BCFPA was dominant i n the south.  One report says that on June 20, 1929, the  BCFA disbanded and joined the BCFPA.  This i s probably p a r t i a l l y t r u e .  By the 1930's two other organizations were emerging, the United Fishermen's Federal Union and the fishermen's section of the Workers' Unity League.  The BCFA was absorbed by the second organization.  On the west coast of Vaic ouver Island, the Port Alberni Fishermen's Association was organized.  In 1925 t h i s association was  reorganized into the West Coast T r o l l e r s * Association. This organization d i d not function as a union but was concerned with conserv a t i o n o f the salmon f i s h e r i e s , and also had a p a r t i c u l a r concern over heavy herring f i s h i n g . 91 Co-operative Association.  It l a t e r became the Kyuquot T r o l l e r s *  Disputes During the 1920's.  In 1920, what was probably the  f i r s t agreement made between a shoreworkers and a f i s h i n g company was signed.  and a l l i e d workers union  This was a settlement of a dispute  between the cold storage workers at Seal Cove, Prince Rupert, organized in the F i s h Packers Union and the Cold Storage Company.  It was made  under the Industrial Disputes and Investigation Act (IDIA) o f 1907.  91  For further d e t a i l , see Chapter VII, Fishermen's Co-operatives.  165. The award was made A p r i l 6, 1920, retroactive t o February 24, and was t o be i n effeot for 12 months.  1920,  The dispute over wages can be  followed at a glanoe from the Table belows  TABLE XVIII SHORFJTCRKERS' ARBITRATION AWARD, 1920  Current Wages  FPU Demands  IDIA Award  60/ per hr. per 8 hr. day  75/  67-1/2/  70/ per hr. overtime  85/  80/  75/ Sundays and Holidays  90/  85/  Note.  In addition there was to be a bonus of $1.00 per week to cold storage and sharp freeze workers. ^2  In 1921 t h i s agreement was revised with a r b i t r a t i o n under the IDIA, and w i t h award being made on August 9, e f f e c t i v e from August 1, 1921.  Table XIX  shows the issues i n that dispute.  92 Labour Gazette, May 1920, p. 522; Prince Rupert D a i l y News, A p r i l 14, 1920, p T T .  166.  TABLE XIX• SHCRMQRKERS' ARBITRATION AWARD, 1921  Prevailing Wages  FPU Demands  67-1/2/ per hr. per 8 hr. day  Company Offer  67-l/2/  IDIA Award  60/  67-1/2/  80/ per hr. overtime  1.01  70/  72-1/2/  85/Sundays and Holidays  1.35  74/  77-1/2/  Additional points of the 1921 settlenBnt were. (1)  A bonus of $1.00 a week f o r frozen f i s h workers.  (2) Agreement t o be i n force from July 10, 1921 to July 10, 1922, with semi-annual adjustments based on the family budget of the Canadian Labour Gazette with the f i r s t r e v i s i o n on January 10, 1922. (3) Automatic r e v i s i o n of oompany boarding house rates with the r i s e  93 and f a l l i n wages. Two other disputes i n the 1920*s may be mentioned.  In June  1924, 573 Japanese fishermen, under the Japanese Fishermen's Association at Port Essington, staged an unsuccessful eight-day s t r i k e against a 94 reduction i n the price of sockeye. On August 6, 1929, 100 out of 120  93  Labour Gazette, September 1921, p. 1114.  94 B r i t i s h Columbia Department of Labour Annual Report, 1924, V i c t o r i a , B.C., p. 640.  167. pilchard fishermen at Nootka Sound, Vancouver Island, staged a successful 95 s t r i k e for an increase i n wages. Rivers Inlet was  the scene of not one hut several disputes.  The  series had begun i n 1912, when native Indian fishermen i n the Nimpkish d i s t r i c t , near A l e r t Bay,  staged a s t r i k e f o r 12-1/2 cents f o r sockeye,  the price then being paid i n the Rivers Inlet area instead of the cents they were getting. 96  10  The s t r i k e f a i l e d when white fishermen  refused to t i e up. In 1918,  one company i n Rivers Inlet paid 40 cents each for  coho while a second buyer paid 20 cents.  The fishermen refused to f i s h  unless the second buyer also paid 40 cents. buyer l e f t the grounds.  This was  The result was  obligated to s e l l  first  considered a " f o o l i s h s t r i k e " since  the fishermen could s e l l to the f i r s t buyer f o r 40 cents. the second buyer was  the  However,  a cannery and the fishermen were probably 97  there.  On June 20, 1922,  some 950 Rivers Inlet fishermen consisting  of an estimated 478 whites, 346 Indians and 126 Japanese, organized i n the UP of B.C. and the BCFPA, went on s t r i k e f o r a 50 percent 95 Labour Gazette, September 1929, p. 985. The wording of t h i s report makes i t impossible to state whether "pilchard fishermen or shoreworkers i n the pilchard redustion plant were a f f e c t e d . " 96  F i e l d notes and interviews.  97  F i e l d notes and  interviews.  168. increase i n the p r i c e of sockeye. cents each.  The earners' offer was  A s t r i k e vote among the Indian fishermen showed a result  of 193 to 109 i n favour of a s t r i k e . of  30 to 45  On July 9 t h i s minority group  Indian fishermen, under the protection of three P r o v i n c i a l police  resumed f i s h i n g , and thus ended the s t r i k e .  This i s the f i r s t  recorded  case of a group of native Indian fishermen being strikebreakers. No l o c a t i o n i s given f o r two disputes reported by the P r o v i n c i a l Department of Labour i n 1925.  The f i r s t dispute occurred i n May  and  involved 650 fishermen f o r s i x days over a cut i n the price of spring 98 salmon. The second dispute, i n September, involved 1,000 men over a 99 decrease i n t h e p r i c e of salmon. In 1927,  1,000  Fraser River fishermen l e d by the BCFPA refused  to f i s h September 21 and 22, because sockeye prices were cut from 75 cents t o 40 cents, and pink salmon prices from 8 cents to 4 cents. 100 The settlement was In 1928,  50 cents f o r sockeye and 8 cents f o r pinks.  the FRFPA staged a s t r i k e involving 1,500  f i s h i n g boats  to enforce an increase i n the price o f sockeye from 65 cents t o 75 cents 101 each. The dispute began on August 20 and ended August 23. Settlement  98  This dispute would have involved salmon t r o l l e r s and/or g i l l n e t t e r s ,  99  Report, P r o v i n c i a l Department of Labour, 1925, p. 639 and  100 Labour Gazette, 1927, p.  640.  1046.  101 Labour G a z e t t e , / l l l 8 \ p. 986} Vancouver Province, August 20, 1928j p. 3; August 21, 1928, p. 18; August 22, 1928, p. 25.  169. at 70 cents was made t i l l September when a select Committee was further adjustments.  to make  Similar adjustments were made f o r other v a r i e t i e s  of salmon, the canners offering 9 cents a pound f o r red and 3 cents a pound for white spring.  The Depressed T h i r t i e s and World War  II.  Unionism among fishermen and a l l i e d workers widened i t s scope and attained a new militancy during the depression and slow recovery of the 1930»s. province.  The f i s h i n g industry was  among the hardest h i t i n the  Incomes and standards of l i v i n g of fishermen f e l l  drastically.  During the very time when sharp reductions were occurring i n market demand and prices for f i s h , as well as i n the number of canning  and  processing plants i n operation, the number of f i s h i n g boats and t h e i r productive capacity was  on the increase.  vessels of a l l kinds i n operation i n 1928 S a i l boats decreased by 1,089 creased by 1,690  As against the 1,296 there were 1,532  fishing  i n 1932.  but the more e f f i c i e n t power boats i n 102  during the same period.  A large proportion of  fishermen had incurred large debts to canneries and finance companies to equip newer, more modern power boats and they were burdened with high fixed costs i n face of f a l l i n g f i s h prices and increased cornp e t i t ion. Unrest and c o n f l i c t among fishermen and workers i n canning or processing plants reached unprecedented proportions during the  102  Carrothers, The B r i t i s h Columbia F i s h e r i e s , p. 27.  170. desperate 1930's.  Strikes affected v i r t u a l l y every important f i s h i n g 103  area and every major branch of the industry. strikes occurred There was  Important disputes  and  annually. a correspondingly intense organizational a c t i v i t y  among fishermen, with organizations appearing  i n scattered sections  of the coast among various occupational, r a c i a l and language groups. These challenged the leadership of established unions l i k e the DSFU and BCFPA.  Increasing consolidation among canning companies was  p a r a l l e l e d by the consolidation of various scattered l o c a l unions i n the same type of f i s h i n g .  These were drawn into province-wide unions  of the oraft type, chartered by the American Federation of Labour and the Trades and Labour Congress of Canada.  These were f i n a l l y federated  into the present-day province-wide United Fishermen and A l l i e d Workers' Union. The key r o l e i n organizing and unifying the fishermen was by a m i l i t a n t , Communist-led group, who opposition to the BCFPA.  played  i n the 1920's had comprised the  In t h i s and other unions, they used the  p r i n c i p l e of "boring from within".  Following the S i x t h World Congress  of the Third International held i n Moscow i n 1928,  t h i s p o l i c y was  changed to a world-wide campaign t o unionize the more exploited and poorly paid workers into revolutionary unions directed against the c a p i t a l i s t i c system.  For t h i s purpose the Communist Party i n the  U.S.A. and Canada formed new  revolutionary labour federations known  as the Trade Union Unity League i n U.S.A. and the Workers' Unity  103  See Appendix D, Table XXXIII.  171. League i n Canada. who  These made concerted e f f o r t s t o organize workers  hitherto had been ignored or only p a r t i a l l y organized by the  craft-conscious AFL and i t s Canadian counterpart, the TLC. the WUL  In  B.C.,  achieved i t s greatest success i n the primary industries of  logging, lumbering, mining and f i s h i n g . R i s i n g unrest and m i l i t a n c y of organized fishermen became apparent  i n 1931.  first  A number of large strikes oocurred which  aggravated f a c t i o n a l c o n f l i c t w i t h i n the ranks of the main unions. On June 1, 1931, the weak Northern B.C. Salmon Fishermen*s Association led some 300 salmon t r o l l e r s , comprising 90 percent of the Prince Rupert t r o l l i n g f l e e t , i n a s t r i k e demanding a 25 percent increase to 8 cents and 9 cents a pound f o r troll-caught salmon. The American t r o l l e r s of Alaska were also affected by the t i e - u p . On June 23, the fishermen applied f o r a r b i t r a t i o n under the Fisheries Act.  In the meantime, f i s h i n g was  resumed.  The A r b i t r a t i o n Board  awarded some increase for cohos and a rebate of 2 cents a gallon for 104 gasoline used f o r commercial f i s h i n g  purposes.  During the same period, a dispute among halibut fishermen resulted i n the Deep Sea Fishermen*s Union of Prince Rupert breaking away from i t s a f f i l i a t i o n with the International Seafarer's Union l o c a l i n Seattle and obtaining a charter from the TLC as a separate union.  As a combined e f f o r t , halibut and salmon fishermen passed  a resolution asking f o r a government subsidy 6f*2 cents  104 Labour Gazette, July 1931, p. 761} Van? ouver Province, June 10, 1931, p. 24, June 24, 1931, p. 2.  172. 105 a pound. At Barklay Sound, on the west ooast of Vancouver Island, some 500 salmon seiners and g i l l n e t t e r s belonging to the BCFPA staged a s t r i k e beginning on September 24, 1931.  The fishermen demanded an  increase from 5 cents to 10 cents each f o r dog (or chum) salmon.  The  dispute was s e t t l e d on October 2, through the intervention of the Prov i n c i a l Government, with the price set at 6 cents a f i s h and the canc e l l a t i o n of the p r o v i n c i a l licence of $50. on seine nets, proviled 106 the fishermen resumed f i s h i n g by October 5. The Fishermen's Industrial Union.  D i s s a t i s f a c t i o n a r i s i n g from  the disputes i n Prince Rupert and Barkley Sound brought to a climax the interneoine c o n f l i c t w i t h i n the BCFPA between the inoumbent and the strong l e f t i s t f a c t i o n .  leadership  In 1931, the P r o v i n c i a l Executive of  the BCFPA i n New Westminster expelled the m i l i t a n t Vancouver'Local, by f a r the largest and most important i n the organization. expelled group came under the control of the Communist-led  This Workers*  Unity League and formed the Fishermen's Industrial Union. The FIU of Canada, "organized and chartered by the WUL  of  Canada has automatically become an a f f i l i a t e , and must at a l l times subscribe to and support the strategy and t a c t i c s of revolutionary class struggle as outlined i n the program of the WUL,  which i s the  Canadian section of the Red International of Labour Unions," said i t s  105 Van; ouver Province, June 13, 1931, p. 19. A consequence of the halibut and salmon disputes was a strong factor i n the development of the fishermen's co-operatives. 106  Labour Gazette, October 1931, p. 1072.  173. 107 const i t u t i o n . The aim of the FIU was to organize a l l workers i n the industry into one i n d u s t r i a l union i n Canada. zation was  fishing  The method of organi-  to be through i n d u s t r i a l leagues, centralized through  delegate and d i s t r i c t councils to a National Executive Committee set up by the WUL.  The Union pledged i t s e l f "to promote and lead i n the  d a i l y economic struggles of the workers employed i n the f i s h i n g industry f o r higher l i v i n g standards and s o c i a l conditions, repudiating a r b i t r a t i o n and class collaboration i n a l l p r i c e , wage, or working disputes, r e l y i n g e n t i r e l y upon the militant a c t i v i t y of -the  organized  fishermen and workers employed i n the industry, and the mass support of the revolutionary working class as the f i n a l a r b i t r a t o r between Capital and Labour." Other aims were "to a c t i v e l y engage i n the struggle f o r s o c i a l insurance, adequate old age pensions, compensation f o r d i s a b i l i t y , sickness, maternity, and so f o r t h , and to give every assistance to the organizing of unemployed workers i n the fight for adequate r e l i e f measures and f a r non-oontributory state unemployment insurancei" and "to work i n the s p i r i t of working class consciousness and  International  Proletarian S o l i d a r i t y with a l l seotions of working class struggling against the imposition of C a p i t a l i s t i c E x p l o i t a t i o n , i n t h i s and countries, and c o n s t i t u t e an i n t e g r a l part of the Revolutionary  other Trade  Union Movement i n the f i n a l struggle f o r the overthrow of capitalism and the establishment  of a Revolutionary Workers* Government."  107 This and other data about the FIU i s from the Constitution and By-laws of the FIU.  174. Membership i n the PIU was  open to a l l workers employed i n the  f i s h i n g industry, irrespective of age,  race, color or sex, whether  engaged i n actual f i s h i n g , carrying or packing, i n canning, curing or s a l t i n g , i n a l l f i s h f e r t i l i z e r or reduction plants.  I n i t i a t i o n fees  were 50 cents and monthly dues 25 cents with no waiver f o r unemployed members.  Members more than three months i n arrears were not i n good  standing and were to be struck o f f the books. 50 percent was  Of the monthly dues,  sent to the D i s t r i c t Council which i n turn sent 5 cents  a member a month to the National Executive In 1933,  Council of the  108 WUL.  the FIU changed i t s name to the Fishermen and Cannery  Workers' Industrial Union (FCWIU). from Vancouver t o Prince Rupert.  At that time, i t had eight l o c a l s Included  i n the union were the  Japanese Workers' Protection Association, the Chinese Workers' Prot e c t i o n Association, and Indians from North Vancouver. t o t a l l e d around 1,500.  Membership  The "united front™ taotic was  developed w i t h 109 stress on unity between Indian, Japanese, White and Chinese workers. During the period 1931-1935 the FIU, and l a t e r the FCWIU,  displaced the BCFPA as the leading organization of B.C.  fishermen.  The FIU was a c t i v e i n s t r i k e s at Skeena, Nass and Rivers Inlet during  108 During t h i s same period a counterpart of the FIU was established i n the U.S.A.—the Fishermen and Cannery Workers • Industrial Union, A f f i l i a t e d with the Trade Union Unity League. 109 Report of the 2nd Annual Convention of the FCWIU, December 10 and 11, 1933.  175. 1932.  In Rivers Inlet the FIU captured control of the s t r i k e from the  BCFPA. The United Fishermen of B.C. 110 the United Fishermen of B.C. among the fishermen.  was  In the meantime a new organization,  organized by anti-Communist elements  Left-wing spokesmen alleged that prominent  canning and f i s h i n g establishments helped organize i t as an opposition to the FCWIU.  In June 1933, the Rivers Inlet fishermen were warned  that " i f an organizer from the UF. of B.C. v i s i t s your l o c a l s you w i l l know that he has been sent by the B.C. Packers, New England and B e l l Ill Irving f o r the purpose of d i s r u p t i n g and breaking up the FCWIU." The UF of B.C. received a charter from the TLC i n 1932  and  became known as the United Fishermens* Federal Union (UFFU), Local 44, with headquarters  i n Vancouver.  Its j u r i s d i c t i o n was  restricted  t o herring and p i l c h a r d seining so as t o avoid dualism with the BCFPA. S t r i k e Struggles 1932 - 1934.  Salmon fishermen  i n the  Northern  B.C. Salmon Fishermen's Association, the FIU, and the UF of B.C. were involved i n 1932  i n a major dispute on the Nass, Skeena and Rivers and  Smith's I n l e t s .  The BCFPA was  a l s o involved but only i n Rivers I n l e t .  On June 20, the canners began negotiating with the UF of B.C., was the only organization they recognized.  The fishermen demanded  40 cents a sockeye, while the canners offered 27-1/2 cents.  110  Labour Gazette, July 1932,  111  F i e l d notes and interviews.  which  p. 766; August 1932,  p.  855.  176. In the Nass and Skeena areas, some 1,800 volved.  On July 6, the  fishermen were i n -  Indians were reported t o be f i s h i n g under  police protection i n the Nass area for 27-1/2 cents. reports  There were some  of net cutting and acts of intimidation by the white  and  Japanese fishermen. By July 8, the Japanese on the Nass had followed the back t o f i s h i n g .  Indians  On July 10 the fishermen of the Skeena area, decried  that, i n view of the resumption of f i s h i n g at the Nass and Rivers Inlet 112 areas, the remaining s t r i k e r s , under the NBCSFA, would resume f i s h i n g . In Rivers Inlet and Smith's Inlet 1,400  fishermen, l e d by the 113 FIU and the BCFPA, were on strike from July 10 u n t i l July 17. Several Japanese and white fishermen were arrested f o r a l l e g e d l y intimidating 114 strikebreakers  and cutting  The s t r i k e of 1932 of negotiations settlement was price of nets.  net. o f f i c i a l l y ended on July 20 with the ending  between the UF of B.C.  and the canners.  The  final  30 cents per sookeye, plus a 20 percent reduction The fishermen who  i n the  resumed f i s h i n g on July 11 f o r the  27-1/2 cents o r i g i n a l l y offered by the oanners were granted greater  112 Prince Rupert D a i l y News, July 4, 1932, p. 1; July 5, 1932, p. 2j July 6, 1932, p. 1; July 8, 1932, p. 1; July 11, 1932, p. 1; July 12, 1932, p. 1. Labour Gazette, July 1932, p. 766. 113  Labour Gazette, August 1932,  p.  114 Vancouver Province, July 1, 1932, July 15, 1932, p. 2.  858. p. 2; July 9, 1932,  p. 1';  115 concessions as t o f i s h i n g gear, gasoline, and so f o r t h . The f i n a l settlement  created general d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n and l e d t o  increased strength for the m i l i t a n t FIU.  The d is s a t i s f a c t i o n was of  such proportion t h a t , i n the Rivers Inlet area, the BCFPA was ousted by FIU.  Thereafter the BCFPA d i d not exert any influence over f i s h e r -  men north of the Fraser R i v e r . Also during 1932, the independent Barkley Sound Fishermen's Union was organized on the west ooast of Vancouver Island.  No charter  was applied for and i t was l a t e r absorbed by the P a c i f i c Coast Purse Seiners Union. By the spring o f 1933, the FIU was i n a s u f f i c i e n t l y strong position to c a l l out 50 salmon t r o l l e r s on the west coast of Vancouver Island.  Three firms were affected as well as the whole membership of  the Kyuquot T r o l l e r s ' Co-operative Association. sympathy with s t r i k i n g American fishermen  The s t r i k e was i n  of Oregon and Washington,  led by the Fishermen and Cannery Workers' Industrial Union of the Trade Union Unity League, the American counterpart of the FIU-WUL. F i s h caught i n t h i s section of B.C. were marketed i n the U.S.A. i n competition with the American oatch. ended June 16, with no gain obtained.  The s t r i k e began on May 16 and 116 Prices f o r mild cure spring  salmon dropped t o from 5 t o 6 cents a pound but increased t o 10 cents  115  Labour Gazette, August 1932, p. 855.  116  Ibid., June 1933, p. 590. F i e l d notes and interviews.  178. 117 a pound at the end of the season. On May 15, 1934, the FCOTU, as the FIU was now known, l e d a s t r i k e of 50 g i l l n e t t e r s on the west coast of Vancouver Island against an offer of 7 cents a pound for sockeye.  The second o f f e r of 7 cents  a pound, with a minimum of 35 cents a f i s h was made t o meet the f i s h e r men's contention that the .fish d i d not average f i v e pounds.  This offer  118 was refused by the FCWIU but on May 22 f i s h i n g was resumed at t h i s rate. In t h i s same year a olash between white and Japanese t r o l l salmon fishermen was reported i n the B u l l Harbour area on the northern end of Vancouver Island.  This was the f i r s t attempt by Japanese  t r o l l e r s to enter t h i s t e r r i t o r y .  On June 29, an organized group of  white fishermen drove them away.  As a result of t h i s clash two white 119 fishermen were arrested for " f l o u r i s h i n g guns." Fishermen's Joint Committee. the  The organizational strategy of  Communist Party was meanwhile undergoing a change.  The Third Inter-  national began t o abandon i t s separatist revolutionary p o l i c y by the mid-1930's.  It adopted a new program which sought to merge i t s sub-  s i d i a r y organizations with l i b e r a l , reformist or r a d i c a l movements, and i f possible, control these l a t t e r ,  i n a "united f r o n t " .  In the  U.S.A. and Canada, respectively, the Trade Union Unity League and the Workers* Unity League were dissolved i n 1935.  Their a f f i l i a t e d unions  117  KTCA records.  118  Labour Gazette, June 1934, p. 503.  119  Vancouver Province, June 30, 1934, p. 1.  179. either dissolved or sought a f f i l i a t i o n with the APL or the Canadian TLC. Therefore i n 1935, the FCWIU-WUL abandoned i t s p o l i c y of open opposition t o other fishermen's unions and took the i n i t i a t i v e i n seeking a co-ordinated policy i n a l l branches of the f i s h i n g industry. A Fishermen's Joint Committee was established, representing f i v e organizations of fishermen—the Brotherhood  FCWIU, the BCFPA, the UFFU, the Native  of B.C. and the Amalgamated Association of Fishermen 120  (Japanese). The F i r s t strike conducted by the Fishermen's Joint Committee was among'  Gulf of Georgia blueback t r o l l e r s .  Though the Committee pre-  sumably led the s t r i k e , there s t i l l appeared t o be some lack of co-operation among the three Unions involved,.the FCWIU, BCFPA and the Japanese Fishermen's Association. Also involved were cannery workers who, p a r t l y through sympathy with the fishermen and p a r t l y t o 121 secure wage increases, refused to work. The s t r i k e began when a reported 500 t r o l l e r s t i e d up on May 15 asking 15 cents a f i s h .  The canners were not anxious t o buy, owing to  the small size of t he f i s h .  On May 29, the BCFPA and the JFA were  expected to reach a mutual settlement.  By June 15 a reported 70 percent  of the fishermen had returned f o r a price of 5 cents a pound round and 6 cents a pound dressed.  On June 29 the FCWIU reported a settlement of  120 The American counterpart was the Federated Fishermen's Council of the P a c i f i c Coast. 121 Labour Gazette, June 1935, p. 515; Vancouver Province, May 29, 1935, p. 20.  180. 5-1/2 cents a pound round, and 6-l/2 cents a pound dressed. 122  In addition  some wage increases were granted by one cannery. On the west coast of Vancouver Island, pilchard seiners under the UFFU delayed the July 1 opening f o r a ten-day period, demanding an increase i n the price of pilchards.  A settlement with an increase of  35 cents a ton was made through c o n c i l i a t i o n services of the P r o v i n c i a l 123 Department of Labour. Another s t r i k e of two days duration started on September 9 of that same year i n Bute Inlet i n dispute over chum salmon p r i c e s . Some increases were reported but no further p a r t i c u l a r s were 124 given. By the end of 1935, the FCWIU had disbanded and i t s four a f f i l i a t e s at Vancouver, Prince Rupert, Sointula and Port A l b e r n i were 125 dissolved.  The members then organized into l o c a l unions based on  occupation—namely, salmon purse seining, g i l l n e t t i n g and t r o l l i n g . These separate organizations were to continue to f u n c t i o n through the Fishermen's Joint Committee. The l a t t e r body and i t s a f f i l i a t e d unions were involved during 1936 i n one of the longest and c o s t l i e s t strikes ever to occur i n  122 Labour Gazette, June 1935, p. 515; July 1935, p. 609. Vancouver Province, May 17, 1935, p. 22; May 18, 1935, p. 1; May 21, 1935, p. 23; May 29, 1935, p. 20; June 8, 1935, p. 34; June 15, 1935, p. 1; June 21, 1935, p. 20; June 29, 1935, p. 28. 123 Labour Gazette, August 1935, p. 724. Van? ouver Province, July 5, 1935, p. 20. 124  Labour Gazette, October 1935, p. 967.  125 Labour Organization i n Canada, Report of tte Dominion Department of Labour, Ottawa, 1935, p. 203.  northern f i s h i n g waters.  Some 1,400  fishermen i n Rivers Inlet, i n -  cluding both g i l l n e t t e r s and s e i n e r s , struck July 5 for an increase i n the minimum price of 40 cents to 50 cents a sockeye.  Eight canneries  were a f f e c t e d . A price agreement had not yet been reached when the canners set a scale of 50 cents. July 5 u n t i l July 10.  At A l e r t Bay fishermen t i e d up from  At Smith's I n l e t , despite a majority vote of  120 i n favour of continuing f i s h i n g f o r the 40 cent price, 300 f i s h e r men were t i e d up by July 13.  In a d d i t i o n there were seven or eight  boats on s t r i k e at Butedale.  A s t r i k e committee made an unsuccessful  t r i p to t h e Skeena area to influence the Skeena and Nass fishermen, who were receiving 45 cents a sockeye.  Thus approximately 2,500  fishermen were involved. By July 19, the eight salmon canneries i n the area had closed, a f f e c t i n g 1,000  shoreworkers and other employees.  At the meetings held July 14 and 15, the fishermen t h e i r demand t o 45 cents.  The canners  lowered  offered to submit the dispute  t o the P r o v i n c i a l Department of Labour. While the dispute was  being  arbitrated under the Fisheries Act, the fishermen would resume f i s h i n g with the understanding that the price would be 40 cents, regardless of the f i n d i n g of the a r b i t r a t i o n board and the canners would bind themselves t o any findings made by the board.  However, the fishermen  refused to a r b i t r a t e and demanded the o r i g i n a l 50 cents as the minimum p r i c e . By July 14, 15 seine boats from one oarmery had resumed fishing.  In addition, a l l Indian seine boats i n the Butedale area  were f i s h i n g .  With the opening o f the southern f i s h i n g areas, many  of the s t r i k i n g fishermen l e f t the Rivers Inlet area, leaving only a  182. few to "guard" the strikebound area.  On July 22 and 23, 76 boats from  Namu and Fitzhugh Sound and 30 from Rivers Inlet resumed f i s h i n g under police protection f o r the o r i g i n a l canners  1  offer of 40 cents.  The>whole  f i s h i n g season i n the Rivers Inlet d i s t r i c t was l o s t , and only a few 126 fishermen received the advantage of a week's f i s h i n g .  Native Indian Unions.  An important aftermath of t h i s s t r i k e  was a r e v i v a l of "race-conscious" organization among the native Indian fishermen.  Feeling that they had been misled or "sold out" by the  white fishermen, a group of native Indian fishermen at A l e r t Bay l a t e i n 1936 formed the P a c i f i c Coast Native Fishermen's Association. Primary aim of the new  organization was  a l l Indians engaged i n f i s h i n g .  to protect the interests of  The PCNFA l a t e r merged with and  has  proviied the main strength i n the economic aims of the Native 127 Brotherhood. The other major dispute of 1936 occurred i n the Fraser River. On May 26, 1936,  some 70 g i l l n e t fishermen i n the newly organized  Upper Fraser Fishermen's Union, staged a s t r i k e f o r red spring salmon prices equal to those on the Lower Fraser.  They were getting 6 cents  126 Labour Gazette, August 1936, pp. 692, 694. Vancouver Province, July 6, 1936, pp. 18, 20; July 10, 1936, p. 25; July 13, 1936, p. 16; July 14, 1936, p. 18; July 15, 1936, p. 1; July 16, 1936, p. 20; July 22, 1936, p. 1; July 24, 1936, p. 25. Prince Rupert D a i l y News, July 6, 1936, p. 1; July 14, 1936, p. 1; July 20, 1936, pp. 1,2; July 21, 1936, p. 1. 127 See Appendix A, p a r t i c u l a r l y f o r more d e t a i l s of -tiie origins of the P a c i f i c Coast Native Fishermen's Association.  183. a pound against 7 cents a pound i n the lower Fraser with the d i f f e r e n t i a l due to t h e packing charges.  On June 1, some 270 fishermen on the lower  Fraser, members of the BCFPA, quit f i s h i n g i n sympathy.  Red spring were  sold on the fresh market and adequate supplies were being obtained from other sources.  Therefore, the Fraser River dispute was 128 without any price changes.  lost  ending  Salmon Purse Seiners'Union and P a c i f i c Coast Fishermen's Union. Organizational a c t i v i t y reached a new d i c t i o n a l problems arose.  peak i n 1937 and various j u r i s -  The independent organizations of salmon purse  seiners, g i l l n e t t e r s and t r o l l e r s which were formed following the d i s solution of the FCWIU now proceeded t o j o i n a f f i l i a t e s of the American Federation of Labor, following the footsteps of t h e i r counterparts i n the U.S.A.  The Salmon Purse Seiners' Union and the P a c i f i c Coast  Fishermen's Union (comprising g i l l n e t t e r s and t r o l l e r s ) were organized and chartered by the International Seamen's Union, AFL.  A number of  unattached t r o l l e r s were organized separately into the B.C. Association which dissolved i n 1938  and joined the PCFU.  Trollers*  Prior to  1937, the Yugoslavs had organized t h e i r own purse seiners' union and t h i s formed the core of the SPSU. The new  organizations were soon involved in disputes.  They l e d  450 purse seiners and g i l l n e t t e r s i n the Johnstone S t r a i t s area, who struck September 17, 1938 because canners cut the price of chum salmon from 12 to 8 cents.  The dispute ended October 3 with the  canners  128 Labour Gazette, June 1936, pp. 483, 579. Vanoouver Province, June 1, 1936, pp. 1, 8. This report states there were 800 boats i n the upper Fraser and 500 fishermen i n the lower area.  184. signing with the PCFU and the SPSU f o r 10 cents a f i s h .  The settlement  affected 1,300 fishermen though only 450 had a o t u a l l y stopped f i s h i n g . 129 Of these, about one-third had gone back by the end of September. Herring g i l l n e t t e r s , belonging to the PCFU, and f i s h i n g f o r the Vancouver market struck from November 4 to 23, 1938.  The 45 g i l l -  netters won union recognition and a minimum price agreement.  The agree-  ment provided a guaranteed minimum price of 2 cents a pound f o r g i l l n e t caught herring used f o r kippering.  Each wholesale f i s h dealer agreed  to take a s p e c i f i e d amount of f i s h d a i l y f o r f i v e days a week unless a 24-hour notice was given the fishermen.  Any amount over the specified  amount used f o r freezing, was t o be l - l / 2 cents a pound. Minimum prices did not cover herring f o r l o c a l fresh market.  Preference was t o be 130  given t o gillnet-caught herring over seined herring. The United Fishermen's Federal Union, which had been granted j u r i s d i c t i o n over herring and p i l c h a r d seining by the TLC, l e d a strike f o r increased prioes of some 50 herring seiners at Prince Rupert. dispute, which involved only one establishment, to 22, 1938.  This  lasted from January 10  Final settlement gave s t r i k e r s $1.10 a ton, against 131  t h e i r demand of $1.20. The SPSU ani the PCFU, as newly chartered a f f i l i a t e s of the American Federation of Labor, came into c o n f l i c t with t h e Canadian TLC over the issue of "dual unionism".  In t h i s c o n f l i c t , the TLC i n 1937  129  Labour Gazette, October, 1938, p. 1086; November, 1938, p. 1218.  130  Ibid., January, 1939, p. 33.  131  Ibid., February, 1938, p. 138.  185. extended the j u r i s d i c t i o n of the UFFU Local 44, whose mnibers were mainly pilchard and herring seiners, t o cover a l l branches of the f i s h i n g industry.  The BCFPA and the Upper Fraser Fishermen's  Association were merged, into a new organization under the UFFU and chartered by the TLC as the B.C. Fishermen's Union, Local 14, though i t continued t o be known under the older name as the BCFPA. This new 132 union was  given j u r i s d i c t i o n over g i l l n e t t i n g and t r o l l i n g .  The  cannery operators refused t o recognize the SPSU and the PCFU and continued t o bargain exclusively with the Locals 14 and 44 of the TLC. H o s t i l i t y of whites and Japanese continued to d i v i d e the ranks of organized fishermen. The Amalgamated Association of Fishermen of B r i t i s h Columbia, oomprised e n t i r e l y of Japanese, was  finally  accorded o f f i c i a l recognition as a bonafide trade union when i t 133 received a charter from the TLC i n 1935.  This did not, however,  appreciably reduce the opposition from other AFL and TLC a f f i l i a t e s . The BCFPA continued t o press f o r a r e v i v a l o f the p o l i c y followed by the Dominion Department of Fisheries during 1922-29, of a r b i t r a r i l y reducing each year the number of f i s h i n g licences granted t o the 134 Japanese. An i n t r i c a t e series of organizational manoeuvres was undertaken  132  The Fisherman, May 3, 1937; September 9, 1937.  133 Canada, Department of Labour, Annual Report on Labour Organization i n Canada f o r 1936, Ottawa, 1937, p. 203. 134  Vancouver Sun, February 28, 1938, p. 2.  186. during the l a t t e r 1930's and the e a r l y 1940's under the leadership of the left-wing unionists, t o s e t t l e the numerous j u r i s d i c t i o n a l among fishermen's unions and b r i n g them t oget her into one federation under the TLC.  conflicts  industry-wide  The UFFU, because of i t s broadened j u r i s d i c -  t i o n , was made the focal point of organization. late i n 1938 when the SPSU severed national Seamen's Union, APL,  The f i r s t step was  taken  i t s r e l a t i o n s h i p with the Inter-  and received a d i r e c t  charter from the  135 TLC as Local 141.  Members of t h i s organization then joined the UFFU  i n s u f f i c i e n t numbers to aohieve a voting majority i n the l a t t e r . membership was  allowed i n t h i s case because most salmon purse seiners  seined f o r herring and pilchards i n other seasons of the year. i n e a r l y 1940,  Dual  Finally,  by a-substantial v o t i n g majority i n each union, a merger 136  of the SPSU with the UFFU was  accomplished.  The P a c i f i c Coast Fishermen's Union meanwhile had been expanding rapidly, t i l l by the eal of 1939  i t had l o c a l councils i n 26 main f i s h 137  ing communities along the coast.  It had v i r t u a l l y eliminated the  BCFPA, the membership of which by that time had declined to 300, praot i c a l l y a l l of whom were i n the Fraser R i v e r d is t r i c t .  Efforts  of -the  PCFU to a f f i l i a t e with the TLC were unsuccessful beoause the BCFPA s t i l l claimed j u r i s d i c t i o n over g i l l n e t t e r s and t r o l l e r s . bring about a merger of the two  E f f o r t s to  organizations were defeated by adverse  135  Labour Organization i n Canada, 1938,  136  The Fisherman, A p r i l 23, 1940,  p.  232.  p. 1  137 Labour Organization in Canada, 1937, 1939, p. 227.  p. 237; 1938,  p.  232;  187. 138 membership votes i n the BCFPA. F i n a l l y i n December, 1941, the executive 139 of the PCFU proposed to disband the organization and j o i n the UFFU. This proposal was  subsequently adopted by a majority i n the PCFU which,  by t h a t time had l o s t a large part of i t s membership of g i l l n e t t e r s and t r o l l e r s to the r a p i d l y growing fishermen's In 1940, UFFU Local 44, which now  co-operatives.  included the SPSU, delayed  opening of the pink salmon season from July 1 u n t i l July 10, pending completion of negotiations.  Involved were 1,500  salmon seine fishermen  on the whole coast and some Fraser River g i l l n e t fishermen.  Canners  proposed the price reductions because of wartime uncertainty of markets i n Great B r i t a i n plus a large carryover of f i s h from 1939. owners offered 5 cents and 5-1/2  Cannery  cents a pink salmon while the union  demanded 6 cents and 6-l/2 cents.  F i n a l compromise was  5-l/2 cents  and 6 cents. Relations between operators and organized fishermen remained r e l a t i v e l y stable and harmonious during the remainder of World War and no important disputes occurred. World War  II  To a greater extent, even than i n  I, the increased demand f o r food, coupled with labour  shortages as large numbers of fishermen and a l l i e d workers were drawn into the Armed-Forces and other industries, brought increased earnings to those remaining i n the industry.  Above a l l , the mass evaouation  of Japanese from the coast of B r i t i s h Columbia i n 1942,  and t h e i r  complete removal from the industry, increased greatly the per c a p i t a income and bargaining power of the whites and  138  The Fisherman, May  9,  1939  139  The Fisherman, December 23,  1941.  Indians.  188. Organizers of the UFFU focused t h e i r energies on broadening the base of trade unionism i n the f i s h i n g industry and further cons o l i d a t i n g union ranks. legislation.  They were aided by favourable wartime  Unionization of shoreworkers was established on a stable  basis for t i e f i r s t time w i t h the formation of The Fish Cannery and Reduction Plant Workers' Union (FCRIWU), whioh i n 1941 received a d i r e c t charter from the TLC as Local 86. shoreworkers  This became an industry-wide  union.  F i n a l l y , v i r t u a l l y industry-wide organization was achieved with the establishment of the United Fishermen and A l l i e d Workers* Union. This new organization, chartered by the TLC i n March, 1945,  resulted  from the merger of the UFFU, the BCFPA and the FCRPWU, and l e f t the DSFU the only remaining bonafide union of fishermen i n B r i t i s h Columbia.  The Native Brotherhood  of B.C., while not a union i n the  f u l l sense of the term, continues to f u n c t i o n as the main organization of  Indian fishermen, and co-operates with the UFAWU i n negotiating  with operators.  By agreement, the UFAWU dees not compete with the  Native Brotherhood f o r membership among native Indian fishermen.  A  number of the l a t t e r , however, belong t o both organizations.  Labour Relations i n the Halibut Industry. from at least 1896 t i l l size.  Halibut prices  about 1903 were 25 cents each, regardless of  T i l l 1912 the price was one cent a pound.  Halibut fishermen's 140  unions developed from the disputes over these prices.  American  halibut fishermen, operating out of Seattle, Washington, organized in 1909 the P a o i f i c Halibut Fishermen's Union.  140  F i e l d notes.  It received a charter  189. as an a f f i l i a t e of the International Seamen's Union of America, On November 1, 1912  AFL.  i t changed i t s name t o the Deep Sea Fishermen's  Union of the P a c i f i c , s e t t i n g up headquarters at Seattle, Washington, but s t i l l retaining i t s a f f i l i a t i o n with the  3SU.  During t h i s same period, the halibut fishermen i n Vancouver were also attempting to organize.  In 1909  P a o i f i c Halibut Fishermen's Union was  established.  however, get a separate charter as i t was local.  a Vancouver branch of the 141 It did  not,  a branch of the Seattle  Shortly after i t s organization, the Vanoouver branch staged  an unsuccessful  s t r i k e i n an attempt to enforce a closed shop i n a 142  oertain f i s h i n g company.  The dispute involved 71 out of 72 fishermen.  In 1912-13, the Halibut Fishermen's Union beoame involved i n an industry-wide dispute over prices and union recognition.  The  s t r i k e involving 150 f is hemen began on November 18, 1912 with a demand f o r an increase of l/2 cent per pound. price increase of l / 4 cent a pound was  By A p r i l , 1913,  a  gained but the s t r i k e con-  tinued f o r union recognition. By the end of March t h i s point was 143 won and the s t r i k e ended. The price of l - l / 4 cents a pound may have been the share of each fisherman as reports stated each man 144 received $1.25 f o r each 1,000 pounds.  141 The union became the DSFU but was e a r l i e r name. 142  Labour Gazette, July 1909,  p.  more commonly known by the  125.  143 Ibid., February 1913, p. 894} A p r i l 1913, p. 1138} May 1913, p,12SB B.C. Federationist, February 14, 1913, p. 1} February 21, 1913, p. 1; February 28, 1913, p. 1; March 7, 1913, p. 1. 144 Statement of o r i g i n a l oaptain of f i r s t powered halibut boat from Prince Rupert.  190. With the advent of owner-operated power halibut vessels, changes were made i n the method of payment. a Prince Rupert company was  In one case, i t was  reported that  buying halibut at market prices and 145  ice at $3.00 a ton and f r o z e n b a i t at $25.00 a ton.  In 1918,  selling a  halibut exchange was established i n Seattle, In other cases a fixed p r i c e was the r u l e .  In an agreement i n  effect from January 1, 1919 t o December 31, 1919 between the Deep Sea Fishermen's Union of the P a c i f i c , the Fishing Vessel Owners' Association and the Halibut Steamers Company, were 3 cents a pound f o r halibut, 2 cents a pound f o r black cod, and l - l / 4 cents a pound f o r other 146 varieties. In 1921,  the DSFU of the P a c i f i c and " c e r t a i n companies i n  Prince Rupert and South Vans ouver" signed an agreement e f f e c t i v e from May 15, 1921 t i l l December 31, 1921 canoelled by a 30-day notioe.  and thereafter unless  It provided that only DSFU members  were to be employed i f obtainable, but companies were not t o be compelled to engage men who  f o r good reason were objectionable.  Prices  a pound of marketable f i s h caught by l i n e s and delivered during  1921  were set at 2-3/4  and  cents f o r h a l i b u t , 1-3/4  1 cent f o r other v a r i e t i e s . the agreement.  cents f o r black cod,  A bonus could be paid without v i o l a t i n g  Fishermen were not to cause delay to the vessels.  They were required to load ice and b a i t but not f u e l or stores.  145  Report of Commissioner of F i s h e r i e s , Deoember 31,  146  Labour Gazette, September 1919,  p.  720.  1915.  If  191. they were c a r e f u l , they could not be charged f o r gear l o s t .  For f i s h  l o s t after having been iced and stored i n the vessels, fishermen were to receive one-half the rate.  Weighing rules provided that fishermen  were t o be represented at the scales by one of t h e i r members. Not less than 400 pound drafts were t o be weighed.  On weighing, 14 percent  was to be deducted f o r f i s h weighed with heads on. When heads were o f f , 2-l/Z  percent was -to be deducted.  When long l i n e s were used, the mates  were not t o share with the fishermen.  Fishermen were t o reoeive checks  when vessels stayed i n port f o r at least 24 hours.  I f the companies  needed f i s h for shipment, fishermen were t o unload them, irrespective of the hour.  Fishermen had t o r i g a l l gear without charge.  When  deckhands were not obtainable, fishermen had t o do the necessary deck147 hands* work but received deckhands* pay. The eoonomio depression of the 1930's proved t o be e s p e c i a l l y d i f f i c u l t f o r the halibut fishermen.  In 1931, average prices i n Prince 148  Rupert were 6 cents a pound f o r No. 1 Grade and 3 cents f o r No. 2. In 1932 the year quotas were f i r s t applied, Seattle prices dropped t o 4 cents and 2 cents a pound with imported Japanese frozen halibut 149 underselling the Americans by 2 cents.  Halibut boats d e l i v e r i n g  in Prince Rupert were b a r e l y able t o meet expenses of t h e i r t r i p s . Prince Rupert fishermen attempted co-operative s e l l i n g but f a i l e d when the Seattle company with whom a contract had been made suspended pur147  Labour Gazette, August 1921, p. 1043.  148  Vancouver Province, June 8, 1931, p. 2.  149  P a c i f i c Fisherman, August 1952, p. 53.  chases.  F i n a l l y organized attempts were made t o reduce the catch of  halibut i n order to raise the p r i c e s . The f i r s t attempt at cutting the oatch i n 1931 resulted from a conference of Prince Rupert fishermen, boat owners, f i s h buyers and the c i t y council.  At t h i s meeting, fishermen decided to remain i n  port f o r a period of 10 days between f i s h i n g t r i p s .  Alaska halibut  fishermen agreed but Seattle fishermen refused. A resolution asked the federal government f o r a subsidy of 2 cents a pound. 150 Canadian boats were observing the lay-up period.  By June 16,  The Seattle f l e e t continued to refuse to a 10-day tie-up. Canadian boat owners then requested the Canadian Government t o take "measures which would temporarily bar the port t o American fishermen," i f the l a t t e r refused to remain i n port f o r a four-day period between 151 fishing t r i p s . In one incident an American boat had her l i n e s cut 152 and was ordered to leave port by Canadian fishermen. The DSFU of Prince Rupert was, however, s t i l l a branch of the DSFU of S e a t t l e .  The Rupert branch had found i t increasingly d i f f i c u l t  to work e f f e c t i v e l y owing t o i t s distance from the Seattle headquarters. Seattle fishermen's refusal to co-operate with the Canadian fishermen in the voluntary tie-up resulted i n the Prince Rupert fishermen the breaking away to become/independent Deep Sea Fishermen's Federal  150 Vancouver Province, June 3, 1931, p. 1; June 13, 1931, p. 1; June 16, 1931, p. 1. 151  Ibid., June 16, 1931, p. 20.  152  Ibid., June 18, 1931, p. 1.  193. Union of B r i t i s h Columbia with headquarters i n Prince Rupert.  This  union received a charter from the Trades and Labor Congress of Canada as Local 80. In 1935, a tie-up period between halibut t r i p s of varying length came into e f f e c t through mutual agreement of the fishermen, vessel owners, f i s h buyers and the Halibut Commission.  The tie-up period  for Area 2 was seven days for boats with a crew of three men or l e s s , eight days f o r four and five-men boats, and nine days i f over f i v e A l l Area 3 boats remained f o r ten days. applied to each halibut boat. pounds a man each t r i p .  men.  In addition, quotas were  In Area 2, each boat was allowed  3,100 153 For Area 3, the quota was 4,000 pounds.  The pr oceeds of any amount over the quotas were given to the Halibut 154 Commission. The start of f i s h i n g f o r the 1935 season was delayed f o r two reasons.  The fishermen through mutual agreement, remained i n port  despite the March 1 opening i n the hopes that the 1934 catch would be sold and thus improve the market f o r 1935.  The second reason was a minor  dispute between the vessel owners and fishermen over the d i v i s i o n of sales of halibut l i v e r s , which involved 600 halibut fishermen and 155 lasted from A p r i l 2 7 t i l l May 3. U n t i l this period, the fishermen  153  P a c i f i c Fishermen, 1936  Yearbook.  154  The quota system was suspended during World War I I .  155 Labour Gazette, March 1935, p. 228. opening, May 1935, p. 401. -  Voluntary delay i n season's  had divided the proceeds equally.  However, when the price increased  from 6 cents to 40 cents a pound, the boat owners f e l t that they were e n t i t l e d to the same share as for halibut, that i s , 20 percent of the gross value.  The fishermen conceded and ended the dispute.  As the Prince Rupert Co-op became the marketing and processing agent, the problem of prices was  p a r t i a l l y solved.  Since then, the  halibut f i s h e r y has been r e l a t i v e l y free of labour problems.  195.  CHAPTER VII FISHERMEN* S  CO-OPERAT IVES  In c e r t a i n branches of B.C. F i s h e r i e s , fishermen have organized not only i n unions, but i n co-operatives and marketing associations which d i s t r i b u t e f i s h i n fresh, frozen or packaged form.  These types  of f i s h products experience wide fluctuations i n price as contrasted to the r e l a t i v e l y stable prices of canned salmon.  It i s , therefore,  much more d i f f i c u l t t o negotiate seasonal minimum prices as i s done i n the canned salmon.  Another problem i n setting prices i s that tbe  oo-operative marketing associations require a minimum i n i t i a l c a p i t a l investment. In some cases these co-operative associations are supplementary to, and i n other cases substitutes f o r , trade unions. w i l l present b r i e f h i s t o r i e s of fishermen*s  This chapter  co-operative associations  on t h i s coast. Halibut fishermen and salmon t r o l l e r s , as we have seen, have not been successful i n organising unions.  Most men i n these two  f i s h e r i e s are classed as "independent fishermen"• i n that the majority have no connection, f i n a n c i a l or otherwise, with the companies.  They 1  are free to s e l l t h e i r f i s h wherever they receive the highest p r i c e . The co-operative associations developed t r o l l e r s unions.  1  out o f the e a r l y salmon  As the co-operatives b u i l t processing plants, the  The DSFU i s more of a welfare organization than a bargaining u n i t .  196. scope of operations was increased to include h a l i b u t , bottom f i s h , herring, seine and g i l l n e t salmon.  Today a l l members of co-operatives  are obligated to f i s h for t h e i r a s s o c i a t i o n , except i n the halibut fisheries.  Many members deliver only when t he prices on the halibut  exchange are not s a t i s f a c t o r y t o them.  The co-operatives have not  only been an economic advantage t o their members but they have also provided a personal sense of belonging t o an organization of t h e i r own.  Development of the  Co-operatives.  The Kyuquot T r o l l e r s * Co-operative Association (KTCA).  Prior  to the 1930's, the West Coast T r o l l e r s ' Association on the west coast of Vancouver Island was the representative of salmon t r o l l e r s i n the area.  Several private buyers also operated and salmon price f l u c t u -  ations were considered by the fishermen to be a normal thing.  However,  a price cut during the 1929 season was considered u n j u s t i f i e d by fishermen.  The r e s u l t was a strike of two months duration -ihilwhibhethe  WCTA did the negotiating with the companies.  During t h i s tie-up,  fishermen sought alternate ways of disposing of t h e i r f i s h rather than s e l l i n g d i r e c t l y t o private buyers.  The fishermen's  producers  co-operatives, already successful i n Nova Scotia, were adopted as the answer. Therefore, during 1929 and 1930, the WCTA operated as a co-operative salmon.  with the primary function of marketing troll-caught  The marketing method during t h i s period was t o s e l l each  load of salmon t o "any private company offering the highest prices 2 f o r the load," A c t u a l l y , the WCTA had no l e g a l rights  2  F i e l d notes and interviews.  197. i n the buying cr marketing of f i s h .  To meet t h i s s i t u a t i o n , the name  of the organization was o f f i c i a l l y changed on March 30, 1931 t o the Kyuquot T r o l l e r s * Co-operative Association with headquarters at 3 Kyuquot, B.C. Despite adverse economic conditions i n the 1930* s the KTCA afforded s a t i s f a c t o r y returns to i t s members. For the 1932 salmon season they reported "better prices than any other body of fishermen 4 i n B.C." This was. despite a price decrease from 12 cents t o 5 cents a pound during May.  For the 1934 season, the Association reported the 5 "highest prices on the P a c i f i c Coast." During the same year, they received "eighty percent of the white fishermen's t r o l l f i s h " and 6 "occupied the dominant p o s i t i o n i n c o n t r o l l i n g p r i c e s . "  1930's they acquired a f l e e t of three salmon packers. grew, as shown i n Table  XX  During the Membership  , from 165 i n 1931 t o 765 i n 1948.  B.C. L i n g Cod Fishermen's Association.  In l i n g cod f i s h e r i e s ,  wells on boats or shore tanks are used t o keep the f i s h a l i v e and they are dressed only upon a r r i v a l of the f i s h packer.  This assures d e l i v e r y  of the product t o the fresh f i s h market within 18 t o 48 hours of processing.  3  Minutes of Meetings o f KTCA.  4  Minutes of Annual Meeting of KTCA.  5  Minutes of Meetings of KTCA.  6  Minute8 of Meetings of KTCA.  198.  TABLE XX KYUQTJOT TROLLERS* CO-OPERATIVE ASSOCIATION MEMBERSHIP, 1931-48  Year 1931 1932 1933 1935 1936 1937  -  Membership  Year  165 158 or 178 186, 201 or 229 208 or 284 240 292  1938 1939 1940 1941 1948  7  Membership -  288 240 or 291 315 or 320 351 765  Japanese fishermen dominated t h i s f i s h e r i e s when they were licenced f o r , and r e s t r i c t e d to, one type of f i s h i n g .  In an e f f o r t to  increase l i n g cod prices the fishermen organized the East Coast (of Vancouver Island) Ling Cod Fishermen's Association.  In the e a r l y  phase of the organization, prices were maintained at a r t i f i c i a l  levels  by r e s t r i c t i n g the members t o 200 pounds of cod a week. In 1935, the name of the organization was changed t o the Consolidated Cod Fishermen's Association.  It covered an increased  f i s h i n g area as compared to the f i r s t association, whose operations were mainly i n the Cape Mudge area. 102 Japanese and 83 white fishermen.  The membership at that point was In 1938 the Association became  a co-operative under the name of the B.C. Cod Fishermen's Co-operative Association.  7  Headquarters were i n Vancouver and t h i s co-operative's  Compiled from Minutes of Annual Meetings of KTCA.  199. function was marketing of fresh l i v i n g cod. During World War II the Japanese members of the eo-operative were removed from the P a c i f i c  Coast.  In August 1944, at an extra-  ordinary meeting of the Co-operative, Japanese members were expelled. Following t h i s , the membership continued t o decrease and the Ling Cod Co-operative ceased to function.  The remaining members either sold  p r i v a t e l y or through other co-operatives, mainly the United Fishermen's Co-operative Association i n Vancouver.  During the peak demands of  World War I I and the immediate post-war period, the bulk of l i n g cod d e l i v e r i e s came from beam trawlers. The United Fishermen's Co-operative Association.  In 1940, the  United Fishermen's Federal Union organized a separate body t o purchase and operate the buildings at 138 East Cordova Street i n Vancouver, the present headquarters  of the UFAWU.  Thus the United Fishermen's  Co-operative Society emerged as a subsidiary of the UFFU. In 1941 the Society contracted with a private firm f o r processing and marketing f i s h l i v e r products.  Under the terms of the  contract, the Society had an option t o purchase the private firm. This was exercised and by A p r i l  1, 1944 the Co-operative was a c t i v e l y  engaged i n processing and marketing f i s h l i v e r products.  In the same  year a cold storage plant was added t o the l i v e r plant. The Society then extended operations to include processing and marketing of fresh f i s h .  In addition, i t made an agreement with a Fraser R i v e r  cannery f o r canning salmon delivered by the Co-operative members.  200. Membership, a t one time o r another, t r o l l e r s , beam trawlers,, g i l l n e t t e r s , and  l i n g cod f i s h e r m e n .  has  i n c l u d e d salmon  salmon purse s e i n e r s , h a l i b u t  F i s h i n g o p e r a t i o n s extended from t h e  Fraser  R i v e r t o the Queen C h a r l o t t e I s l a n d s , t h o u g h t h e m a i n o p e r a t i o n s were concentrated  a l o n g the lower c o a s t .  For the that  l i v e r o p e r a t i o n s t h e c o - o p e r a t i v e management r e p o r t e d  " i n g e n e r a l the p r i c e s p a i d t h r o u g h the c o - o p e r a t i v e  and s a l e s o f these m a t e r i a l s  processing  ( i . e . v i t a m i n p r e d i c t s ) have brought  our membership a much g r e a t e r r e t u r n t h a n at any time obtained 8 private enterprise."  The  w i t h the post W o r l d War  l i v e r p r o c e s s i n g s e c t i o n was  from  discontinued  I I slump i n the demand f o r l i v e r .  P r i n c e Rupert Fishermen's C o - o p e r a t i v e B r i t i s h Columbia Salmon Fishermen's Union had  Association. organized  The  selling  Northern pools  i n the l a t e 1920's and e a r l y 1930's f o r t h e s a l e o f t r o l l - c a u g h t salmon.  No d e t a i l s r e g a r d i n g t h e s e l l i n g p o o l s a r e known but  sumably t h e method was  N o r t h e r n B.C.  b a r g a i n i n g w i t h the v a r i o u s b u y e r s by 9  Salmon Fishermen's Union.  these s a l m o n - s e l l i n g pools l e d t o the In 1931,  The  the  r e l a t i v e success  of -  formation of co-operatives.  the h a l i b u t f i s h e r m e n o f P r i n c e R u p e r t attempted  c o - o p e r a t i v e m a r k e t i n g through arrangements w i t h T h i s venture was  pre-  pronounced a f a i l u r e  S e a t t l e buyer found  as e a r l y as A p r i l when t h e  i t i m p o s s i b l e t o buy  8  Annual R e p o r t s of t h e A s s o c i a t i o n .  9  See  above, p.  162.  a S e a t t l e buyer.  or handle t h e  extremely  201. 10 heavy landings of halibut i n Seattle.  Insufficient preparation and  study made of co-operative marketing principles contributed to this failure.  The general conclusion was that the "time was 11 a change i n the present system of marketing."  not ripe f o r  But t h i s setback did not a l t e r a f e e l i n g of many fishermen that the "Co-operative system would have to come as the ultimate 12 salvation of the fishermen." In 1932 the Prince Rupert Fishermen's Co-operative Association was  organized expressly "to handle and s e l l 13  f i s h c o l l e c t i v e l y t o any market i f found practicable . . . ."  Since  i t s formation the PRFCA has been the dominant buyer and processor of troll-caught salmon and of halibut i n the northern f i s h i n g area. Other species of f i s h are also handled.  Since 1939, under a contract  with a private cannery, the Co-operative has been engaged i n the canning of a l l species of salmon.  The PRFCA has operated i n the  northern f i s h i n g waters, primarily i n the v i c i n i t y of Prinoe Rupert. Membership includes salmon t r o l l e r s , halibut fishermen, beam trawlers, g i l l n e t t e r s and salmon purse s e i n e r s .  Physical assets i n 1950  included a modern cold storage with fresh f i s h processing departments, f i s h l i v e r plant, f i s h camps and four modern f i s h packers.  10 The day of the heavy landings i s famous as the "Black Monday" of the Seattle Halibut Exchange. 11  Prince Rupert D a i l y News, May 2, 1931, p. 2.  12 A fisherman quoted by the Prinoe Rupert D a i l y Hews, May 1931, p. 1. 13  F i e l d notes.  14,  202. North Island T r o l l e r s * Co-operative Island T r o l l e r s ' Co-operative  Association.  The North  Association was the second outgrowth of  the salmon-selling pool p o l i c i e s of the NBCSFU.  It was incorporated  on August 13, 1S35 and patterned on t h e PRFCA, but oonfined p r i m a r i l y to the f i s h i n g area o f f the northern end of the Queen Charlotte Islands. The FRFCA and the NITCA co-operated i n t h e i r operations but the Prince Rupert Co-op lacked f a c i l i t i e s to handle the f i s h produced by both organizations.  As a r e s u l t , the NITCA had to maintain the  e a r l i e r salmon-selling p o l i c i e s and served merely as a buying agent for private f i s h companies with each load of salmon sold to the highest bidder.  Amalgamation of the PRFCA and NITCA.  Amalgamation of the  PRFCA and the NITCA, operating as they d i d i n close proximity and with similar purposes, was i n e v i t a b l e . The immediate reason f o r amalgamation was a drop i n coho prices i n the Prince Rupert area t o the l e v e l of those paid i n the outlying Queen Charlottes.  Previously,  there had been a d i f f e r e n t i a l of 1 cent to 2 cents a pound. The PRFCA placed t h e i r coho salmon i n a privately-operated oold in a n t i c i p a t i o n of higher p r i c e s . buying salmon from the NITCA.  storage  The same private company was  The NITCA and the PRFCA were, i n t h i s  s i t u a t i o n , a c t u a l l y opposing each other and l o s i n g the benefits of co-operative marketing. In 1935, the PRFCA went on record favouring co-operation with other co-operatives  i n f i s h marketing.  At a special meeting i n March  203. 1937, the PRFCA considered and a c t u a l l y endorsed amalgamation with the NITCA.  But i t was  October, 1938 before a commit tee was  consider the f e a s i b i l i t y of amalgamation.  established t o  F i n a l l y , on February 10,  1939,  the two organizations merged under the name of the PRFCA.  The B.C.  Fishermen's Co-operative Association.  ermen's Co-operative Association with headquarters  The B.C.  Fish-  at Sointula was  organized i n 1929 under the auspices of the B.C. Fishermen's Pro14 tective Association. Its primary interest was the canning of f i s h and i t s members hoped ultimately to be able to operate  co-operative  canneries at Sointula, Fraser River, Barkley Sound, Rivers Inlet and 15 Johnstone S t r a i t s . During i t s e a r l y years, the BCFCA had the salmon delivered by the co-op membership canned under contract by a private f i r m . 16 The 800 members had a three-year contract to d e l i v e r to t h i s f i r m . The arrangement proved successful and the organization made plans to b u i l d and operate t h e i r own canneries.  The Co-op planned to  b u i l d a cannery i n Rivers Inlet but the Provincial Government refused to grant a l i c e n c e on grounds there were already s u f f i c i e n t plants i n the area.  In 1932, the organization took an option to purchase  plants at Port Alberni and Burrard I n l e t .  Payments were to be made  from operating p r o f i t s . 14  P a c i f i c Fisherman, March 1929, p. 32.  15  Ibid., March 1929, p.  16  Ibid., May 1930,  32.  p. 19.  However, the co-operative had encountered d i f f i c u l t i e s i n i t s f i r s t year of operation, d i f f i c u l t i e s which led f i n a l l y to bankruptcy. Devaluation of the B r i t i s h pound resulted i n a loss of $2.00 a case on 24,000 cases of salmon.  Then a salmon broker went into bankruptcy  causing a $6,000. loss to the members. oo-op entered i n 1930,  Halibut marketing which the  also lost money when the co-op shipped halibut  to the eastern markets i n such quantities that considerably.  markBt  prices dropped  These marketing d i f f i c u l t i e s and the dissension within  the organization that they caused, brought an end to the BCFCA.  Since  that time the co-op, as a producers co-operative, has existed in name only, confining i t s e l f to operating a r e t a i l store at S o i n t u l a .  Fishermen's Co-operative Federation. erative Federation was  The Fishermen's Co-op-  organized i n November 1944 as a central sales  and marketing agency for the KTCA, PRFCA, Sointula Co-op (BCFCA), UFCA 17 and the Massett Co-op.  The Federation has been successful i n  establishing well developed  sales organization i n the domestic and  foreign markets for co-operative produced f i s h and f i s h products. Amalgamation of the Co-operatives.  The KTCA, UFCA and the  PRFCA were the major and successful producers' co-operatives. end of World War  By the  I I , these organizations were a c t i v e l y engaged i n the  production, processing and d i s t r i b u t i o n of f i s h and f i s h  produots.  They were dominant i n the fresh salmon, halibut and other f r e s h  17 The l a s t mentioned co-op has not been discussed since i t i s a s h e l l f i s h operation.  205. market f i s h e r i e s , and participated to a l e s s e r extent i n the canning industry.  Their volume of production was such that they could supply  a l l demands at lower unit costs than private firms. In 1949 the co-operatives began to f e e l the economic e f f e c t s of the drop i n domestic and f o r e i g n consumer markets.  The KTCA and  the UFCA i n p a r t i c u l a r were confronted with a production decline i n the higher-priced species of f i s h , and although production of some lower-priced species increased, i t was i n s u f f i c i e n t to offset the o v e r a l l decline. Added t o the economic problem were managerial and plant i n e f f i c i e n c i e s , p a r t i c u l a r l y i n the UFCA. A series of amalgamations to increase operating e f f i c i e n c i e s was started i n 1950.  It centralized operations i n the same ways the  private companies had done beginning i n the 1890's.  Members of -the  UFCA voted 97 percent i n favour of amalgamating a l l co-operatives i n order to "strengthen the co-operatives f o r the depression times ahead", at the same time asserting -that i t would be "another b i g step 18 i n the progressive movement of fishermen on the B.C. Coast."  In  1950 the KTCA and the UFCA merged t o form the Fishermen's Co-operative Association with headquarters j o i n the merger. co-operatives.  i n Vancouver, but the PRFCA refused to  This merger merely delayed the end of these two  By the end o f 1952 the FCA had ceased t o function  and the processing plants of both the KTCA and the UFCA remained i d l e during the 1953 season.  18  The Fisherman,-March 7, 1950, p. 4.  206. Paced with t h i s s i t u a t i o n , the Board of Directors of the FCA voted t o work closely with the PRFCA and depend on s a t i s f a c t o r y f i n a n c i a l arrangements being provided by that organization.  This move  was made i n preference t o l i q u i d a t i n g the FCA, or accepting f i n a n c i a l IS aid  from outside sources.  The membership of the KTCA and the UFCA  was to continue to operate under the management of the PRFCA. Causes of Co-operative  Failure.  Causes of the f a i l u r e of the co-operative were summed up by the Board of Directors of the FCA.  The f a c i l i t i e s , they said, f o r serving  the membership had developed beyond what was required f o r production by members.  Cuts i n markets and market prices led to lower gross  margin on many species.  A f u l l understanding  of the p o s i t i o n of the 20 organization had not been developed among the l o c a l s .  Labour and the Co-operatives.  For reasons that are obvious, there i s no labour unrest among the members o f the co-operatives.  The fishermen are owner-members  and have a personal interest i n the operations of t h e i r organizations and have the f e e l i n g that they "belong t o the industry."  In contrast  to t h i s , the interest i n the economies of the industry by non-members who depend upon the companies, i n the majority of the cases, ends with  19  P a c i f i c Fisherman, A p r i l 1953, p. 67.  20  Ibid., p. 67.  207. the companies.  Co-operators argue that t h e i r organizations o f f e r a  greater degree of independence and s e l f - r e l i a n c e t o the  fishermen.  While the co-operatives have labour agreements w i t h the UFAWU covering plant shares, workers and tendermen, there are no minimum f i s h price agreements.  The oo-operative  acts as marketing agent and  the members are assured of maximum prices consistent with market conditions.  It i s possible, therefore, for co-operative members t o  oontinue f i s h i n g even though the UFAWU and the Fisheries Association f a i l t o negotiate minimum prices for a p a r t i c u l a r f i s h e r y . As stated previously, the co-operatives provide a f a c t u a l or indicative i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the current market s i t u a t i o n and operating costs which the UFAWU uses t o i t s advantage i n t h e i r negotiations with the companies. By the end of World War I I , they seemed w e l l established and dominated the f r e s h and frozen f i s h trade.  The growth of the  co-operatives was accomplished with r e l a t i v e l y low c a p i t a l investment. However, the recession of 1949,  a l b e i t a mild one, resulted i n the  f a i l u r e of both the Kyuquot T r o l l e r s ' Co-operative the Fishermen's Co-operative  Association and  Association of Vancourer.  These f a i l u r e s  indicate that co-operatives had not completely solved the very r e a l problems of marketing of f i s h products.  It is conceivable that i n the  event of a n economic recession the membership of the  co-operatives  could increase, assuming that the PRFCA, largest surviving co-operative,  208. i s w i l l i n g and able to expand i t s scope of operations.';: In any event, the co-operatives appear t o be the best answer as yet t o the basic problems o f f i s h prices and resultant labour disputes.  1  209.  CHAPTER VIII COLLECTIVE BARGAINING IN THE FISHING INDUSTRY SINCE WORLD WAR II Since 1945. the United Fishermen and Allied Workers' Union has been the dominant labour organization among the fishermen and processing workers i n a l l branob.es of the fishing industry except in halibut.  In halibut, the UFAWU shares jurisdiotion with the  Deep Sea Fishermen's Union, oentred i n Prinoe Rupert.  One other  organization, the Native Brotherhood, usually negotiates agreements jointly with the UFAWU. Most collective bargaining agreements i n the fishing industry are provinoe-wide. Because of the wide diversity of conditions i n which fishing is carried on, the unions negotiate separate agreements with employers in the various distinct branches of the industry. The main employer groups are the Fisheries Association of B.C. and Fishing Vessel Owners Associations of Vancouver and Prince Rupert respectively.  There was also, for a time, a separate Vessel Owners  Association of the Native Brotherhood.  On some issues, for example,  f i s h prices, the Vessel Owners Association and the fishermen's unions are aligned against the main fishing companies, and on other issues, as i n seine shares, the vessel owners and the companies are aligned against the unions.  210. 1 Statue and Degree of Organization (1948) United Fishermen and Allied Workers* Union. The UFAWU is the dominant union i n the industry, enrolls the overwhelming number of unionized fishermen and shoreworkers, and takes the initiative i n bargaining.  But the degree of unionization among  fishermen and shoreworkers s t i l l varies i n the different branches of the industry. Salmon Purse Seiners. The salmon purse seine fleet can be •onsidered to be 100 percent organised.  In 1948, the UFAWU established  a system of union olearanoe before the vessels leave for the season's operation.  This assures that men entering the fishery and the  industry for the f i r s t time are enrolled in the union. Salmon Gillnetters.  It has been d i f f i c u l t to estimate the  degree of organization i n gillnetting due t o the large and unknown number of casual fishermen.  The lioense figures are padded by "holiday  fishermen who take a commercial licence for a vacation period and by 0  part-time fishermen who f i s h the occasional evening while engaged i n regular work during the day.  It has been estimated that between 500  and 1,000 new fishermen enter gillnetting eaeh year with a similar number leaving.  According to the experience of the UFAWU the degree  of organisation varies with the fishing experience of the fishermen.  1 Based on Contracts and Organization i n the Fishing Industry of B.C., brief submitted by the UJrAwu to the Dominion Department of Labour (Ottawa, 1948). In 1956 compulsory check-off came into effect*  Ia 1948 the estimates were. Over three years fishing experienoe  —  80 %  Two to three years fishing experienoe  —  50 %  One years fishing experienoe Holiday and part-time fishermen  10 % --  0%  Salmon Trollers. , The license figures for trollers are also 2 padded by holiday and weekend "sports fishermen. 11  In 1948 about 400  to 500 troller8 belonged to the UFAWU, a figure amounting to about 10 percent of the licences issued to white t r o l l fishermen, with practically the entire membership being among the Gulf of Georgia bluebaek fishermen.  However, there are a few members among the  regular salmon t r o l l e r s . Halibut Fisheries.  The entire halibut fleet i s organised  with Vancouver fishermen belonging to the UFAWU. The majority of the gillnetters and salmon seiners likewise belong to the UFAWU. Actually, the shifting of men during the year from halibut to gillnetting, salmon seining, herring seining, salmon and herring packing, results i n the majority of halibut fishermen belonging to the UFAWU. Herring Fisheries.  The herring fishermen on purse seiners  are 100 percent organised i n the UFAWU. Practically a l l these fishermen are also salmon seiners, halibut fishermen and crew men on salmon packers.  Herring gillnetters, a small group fishing for the local  fresh fish market, are not organised.  2 There is no dosed season for t r o l l i n g .  J  Cod and. Soles Fisheries* fleets.  These hot ton fish are oaught by two  The regular halibut fleet, incidental to i t s main catch, takes  most of the black ood and a proportion of the l i n g cod.  This fleet i s ,  as mentioned above, 100 pereent organised i n the UFAWU and DSFU. The Beam Trawl draggers take a l l the soles, grey ood, most of the red and rook ood, and a share of the ling ood. round dragging, they are unorganized.  If they are engaged i n yearMany boats and crew members,  however, engage in other fisheries or pack fish, i n whioh oases they are under the UFAWU. Dogfish Livers.  The majority i n this fishery f i s h for the  oo-operatives and are unorganized.  Livers are sold on test with  prioes varying according to vitamin oontent. Tuna Fisheries.  Tuna fishermen are either regular salmon  trollers who belong to oo-operatives and are not organized into unions, or halibut fishermen. Packers. difficult.  Labour turnover i n the packer fleet makes estimates  Many are en ployed only during the salmon season.  It i s  estimated that 95 percent of the total employees on the larger packers belong t o the UFAWU.  In the smaller boat oolleetors, having a two-man  crew, the second member is often a boy.  70 percent of these crews  are UFAWU members. Shoreworkers.  The degree of organization of the shoreworkers  is not known but is probably high among regular employees and negligible among casual or seasonal workers*  213. The Rat i r e Brotherhood.  The Native Brotherhood and the UFAWU bargain j o i n t l y with the Fisheries Association but the r o l e of the Brotherhood i s sudsidiary t o that o f the UFAWU. The degree of organization among the native Indian fishermen i s d i f f i c u l t t o ascertain. record of membership.  The headquarters of the organization has no Generally, the member ship i s loose, often r e l y i n g  on t h e p r i n c i p l e that once a member " j o i n s " the Brotherhood, he remains a member f o r a l l time, regardless of whether or not annual dues are paid.  According to the c o n s t i t u t i o n and by-laws of the organization,  membership is open t o a l l native Indians of B r i t i s h Columbia.  However,  majority of the membership are from the ooastal area where f i s h i n g i s the main, and sometimes the only, source of income.  Membership has  varied during the history o f the organization and the trend appears to be a steady decrease i n membership.  Fishermen either become  un&ttaohed, or what i s more probable, j o i n the UFAWU.  In many oases  the native fishermen belong t o both the UFAWU and the Brotherhood. The majority of Indians i n salmon g i l l n e t t i n g , salmon purse seining and salmon packing belong t o the Brotherhood, while a lesser number belong t o the UFAWU.  P r a c t i c a l l y a l l those i n the herring  f i s h e r i e s belong t o t h e Brotherhood. are Brotherhood members.  S i m i l a r l y a l l salmon t r o l l e r s  A few belong t o oo-operatives.  Indian membership i n the shoreworkers seotion oannot be tabulated w i t h any certainty.  In the Vancouver-SteTeston and Prince Rupert  areas the trend is toward the UFAWU, while i n the Namu or central area the membership is i n the Brotherhood. The Deep Sea Fishermen's Union (DSFU). Membership figures of the DSFU are not known, but asmbership is probably oonfined to the older regular halibut fishermen of Prince Rupert.  The DSFU is made up of white fishermen.  The Co-operatives. The actual membership i n the oo-operatives i s not known. The majority of regular salmon trollers and halibut fishermen are members. The latter group are not obligated to deliver a l l their oatoh to the co-operatives but are at liberty to s e l l on the halibut exohange. The oc—operative membership also includes salmon gillnetters, salmon and herring seiners and beam trawlers. Limitations i n the size of these groups would appear to be related to the size of the plant at Prince Rupert. Agreements i n the Industry.  There are eight different agreements negotiated In the fishing Industry by the UFAWU and the Native Brotherhood. Some of these agreements are joint and some are separate.  The DSFU negotiates a separate  agreement with the Fishing Vessel Owsrs Association of Prince Rupert.  215. 3 The agreements are as follows t Minimum Prloe Agreements for Salmon.  The f i r s t agreement  sets a minimum price for each species of salmon caught by gillnetters and purse seiners.  This minimum of floor price i n effect sets the  prioe to be paid regardless of the method of fishing, with the exception of salmon traps.  It covers a l l species of round salmon  and dressed coho sold to the companies, and is negotiated with the Fisheries Association jointly by the UFAWU and the Native Brotherhood. However, the two unions sign separate but practically identical agreements on behalf of their organizations. The second agreement oonoeras the minimum prices to be paid to the blueback trollers i n the Gulf of Georgia.  The prices are for  dressed f i s h delivered to the companies and i t i s negotiated by the UFAWU and the Fisheries Association. Minimum Prices. Here i t might be well to amplify the term "minimum price"• The minimum prioe agreed to by the UFAWU and the companies is not a fixed price for the particular speoies of salmon covered, but rather, a guaranteed floor prioe. During a fishing season, i t frequently happens that prices above the stipulated minimum w i l l be paid for one or more species of salmon depending on the fishing area, market conditions, and degree of competitive buying.  Some com-  panies may hare lower i n i t i a l operating costs while others have the added oosts of f i s h camps and other f a c i l i t i e s for the fishermen. The former then are i n a position to pay a slightly higher price,  3 The comments on the agreements are based on Contracts and Organization i n the Fishing Industry of B.C., a brief submitted to the Dominion Department of Labour, Ottawa, 1948.  216. usually at the peak of the salmon season. Suoh prioe increases w i l l be f i r s t f o r g i l l n e t t e r s .  Fishermen  who are under a f i n a n c i a l o b l i g a t i o n t o a f i s h i n g oompany f o r boats and/or f i s h i n g equipment may f e e l oompelled t o s e l l t o that company, or may hare signed an undertaking t o do so, or t r a d i t i o n a l  praotioe  or personal i n c l i n a t i o n may induoe them t o s e l l t o that company. However, many g i l l n e t t e r s are no longer under such obligations and many do s e l l t o outside buyers i f the prioe offered i s high enough. The prioe above the stipulated minimum, i f j u s t i f i e d by market cond i t i o n s , thus becomes the general salmon prioe f o r a l l g i l l n e t t e r s . The new arri higher prioe may also apply through union a c t i o n to prioes paid t o purse seiners.  Generally, however, salmon seiners  f e e l the e f f e c t of competition at a l a t e r stage.  Many seine boats  are owned, chartered or financed by f i s h i n g companies and are under an o b l i g a t i o n t o s e l l to the owning companies at the agreed minimum prioe.  Any payment above the guaranteed minimum i s done v o l u n t a r i l y  by t h e companies. The UFAWU b r i e f puts the p o s i t i o n t h i s way^« th9 minimum p r i c e n  contract i n one sense covers a l l salmon fishermen i n that i t provides a f l o o r prioe f o r a l l .  Such minimum prices are not guaranteed to  those categories not s p e o i f i o a l l y covered but i n a p r a c t i c a l sense 4 t h i s difference has l i t t l e meaning. R  4  Union b r i e f , 1948.  217. Share Basis and Working Conditions Agreement. This agreement covers a l l salmon seiners and establishes the divisions of the season's proceeds as between vessel, net and crew* working conditions.  In attition i t establishes  The present established share basis on a salmon  seiner is 2-1/2 but of 11 shares of the gross proceeds for the boat, 1-1/2  out of 11 of the gross for the net, and 7 out of 11 of the net  proceeds for the crew, regardless of the number of orew men.  It is  negotiated jointly by the UFAWU and the Native Brotherhood with the Fisheries Association and Fishing Vessel Owners Association, but the two unions sign separate though identical agreements as in the minimum price agreement s for salmon. Weight Averaging Agreement.  This agreement covering a l l seine  boats, lays down the procedure governing payment for pinks and chums by weights.  These two speoies delivered on the grounds to a packer  are counted but not weighed. Average weights are obtained by sample weighing at specified oamery weighing stations i n each area.  The sein boatB are then paid  for their f i s h on the basis of these average weights. Pinks and chums, on the other hand, sold by gillnetters, are paid according to recorded weights for individual fishermen.  This agreement is negotiated jointly  by the UFAWU and the Brotherhood and the Fisheries Association. the two unions sign separate but identical agreements*  Again  218. Salmon Tendermen's Agreement.  This agreement oovers a l l  salmon and halibut paokers and salmon oolleotors other than those operating on a commission basis.  The union oontraots gorern wages and  working conditions suoh as days of rest. Taxations and supplemental pay. Collecting and packing of salmon are done by several types of boats.  "Tenders" work on a wage basis.  They inolude boats collecting  undressed salmon from seiners on the fishing grounds and packing to canneries and boats collecting dressed eoho and springs from fish camps and paoking to cold storage and/or canneries.  "Collectors" buy or  collect salmon from the gillnetters for delivery to camps or canneries. They may be buying or collecting fish on a commission or poundage basis, or working for wages.  l a t h e halibut fisheries, the paokers  transport the f i s h from oamps to processing plants. The tendemen's agreement is negotiated jointly by the UFAWU and the Brotherhood with the Fisheries Association. Again the two unions sign separate but identical oontraots.  The UFAWU agreement  also covers tender-men employed by the oo-operatives. Fish-Trap Workers Agreement.  It covers wages and working  conditions for employees of the salmon traps at Sooke, Vancouver Island.  No minimum salmon price agreement is involved and tendermen  employed at the traps are covered by tendermen* 8 agreement. Herring Fisheries Agreement.  A union agreement, negotiated  and signed by the UFAWU, covers both, herring fishermen and paoker crews. The prise agreed i s on a tonnage basis with the companies  219. supplying the packers, seiners, and fishing gear i n addition to the set prioe. A l l paoker crews and tendermen are pa id on a "lay  11  has is  determined acoording to earnings of the fishermen—there are no wage rates.  On this basis, the captain of a tender receives the same  share as individual fishermen of -that company. Paoker and tender orews' shares are lower than fishermen*s shares by amounts ranging from 3 cents a ton for the engineer to 7 oents a ton for the cook. The agreements for herring fishing provide that a l l boats fishing for a oompany pool their production, eaoh boat being paid on the average production of the oompany.  This facilitates efficient  production and prevents boats fishing for a single oompany from going only to the area where the highest oatohes are anticipated. Halibut Fisheries Agreement. The UFAWU has a oontraot with the Vancouver Fishing Vessel Owners Association, governing the share basis of t r i p prooeeds and other wo iking conditions on independentlyowned halibut boats. A similar agreement is signed with Vancouver fishing companies for company-owned boats. The DSFU of Prince Rupert has a similar agreement with the FVOA of that port. These parallel agreements cover a l l regular halibut boats. The agreements provide for a 20 percent of the gross receipts as the boat and gear share. halibut fisheries.  There are no prioe agreements in the  Sales are made at daily auctions at Prince Rupert  and Vancouver which also have the effect of setting prioes at Namu, Butedale and ELemtu. A large portion of the halibut from the indepen-  220.  dently owned boats is sold through the ao-operative. The agreements do speoify that halibut caught by Company-owned boats must be sold on the exchange. Smaller boats, usually salmon trollers and gillnetters with two men each, are not covered by any agreements*  As a rule, they  follow the set pattern of 20 percent of the gross proceeds as the boat and gear shares.  Native Indian halibut fishermen are Native  Brotherhood and/or UFAWU members. No Indians belong t o the DSFU. Shoreworkers Agreement.  There are f i r e union agreements i n  the shoreworker section covering wages, working hours, working conditions, holiday pay, welfare benefits, e t c  These separate agreements  cover cannery workers, fresh fish and oold storage workers, reduction plant workers, net workers, and steam plant and refrigeration engineers. They are a l l negotiated by the UFAWU and the Fisheries Association.  For the oamery and fresh f i s h workers, the Native  Brotherhood signs a separate but similar agreement covering native Indian workers. Fisheries Without Oontraots.  Some fisheries have no contracts  with the companies, either beoause the unions hare failed to organize a particular type of fisheries, like beam trawling, or beoause i t i s a small operation like herring gillnetting and is considered relatively minor, or because i t is incidental to a larger fishery, as are ling and black ood.  221. Tuna fisheries hare no single pattern of share division. Where two-man salmon trollers fish tuna, shares are usually divided by verbal understanding, with wide variations i n percentage. According to the UFAWU, tuna fishermen follow the standard troller share agreement for a two-man boat.  One-third goes to the boat and one-third to eaoh  man, after a l l expenses, except food, have been deducted from gross receipts.  This practice probably applies most often where the second  man is an experienced fisherman. A new entry to the industry would likely get less, but generally the share division can be influenced by the assistant's a b i l i t y to bargain. When unionised halibut fishermen fish tuna, the share basis, set by arbitration, i s 25 percent to the boat and the rest to the crewmen. Conclusion.  The fishing industry, while one of the most  highly competitive among workers and operators, is also one of the most highly organized. Collective bargaining between fishermen's unions and employer associations, representing canning or processing companies and fishing vessel owners, now determine f i s h prices aid other points of issue in virtually every major branch of the industry. The UFAWU, DSFU and the Native Brotherhood direotly or indirectly have jurisdiction over practically every fisherman and allied worker in the industry.  Individually or i n combination, these three negotiate  province-wide master agreements for their membership. In certain branches of fishing where union organizations have not been feasible, co-operatives have been organized. Where applicable the UFAWU signs union contracts with these oo-operatives. No minimum  price oontraots are signed since the co-operatires must pay at least the minimum prioes i n order t o justify their operation.  In some oases*  co-operative processing and marketing associations are supplementary to, and i n other eases substitutes for, trade unions.  223.  CHAPTER EC SUMMARY  AND  CONCLUSIONS  Despite i t s limited size, the fishing industry of B r i t i s h Columbia is extremely ocmplex in terms of oapital investment, annual inoome and employment. A large number of variable foroes are continually and rapidly acting to change the structure and operations of the industry. They render d i f f i c u l t any aoourate and comprehensive analysis of present and future trends. Of the outstanding characteristics of the industry, the most important is i t s extreme diversity.  Many different types of f i s h are  oaught, processed and marketed, but by far the most Important are the five species of salmon. These various types and species of f i s h require correspondingly different specialized types of boats, equipment and techniques for catching, processing and marketing. These, in turn, require high degrees of occupational specialization among fishermen and other workers in the industry. The labour for oe is further differentiated by numerous language and racial groups,-whites, both Canadian and foreign born, native Indians and Asians. Another salient feature of the industry is, and has been, i t 8 extreme uncertainty of operations and Insecurity of inoome and livelihoods for owners or employers, middlemen and workers alike.  Supply of Fish. unpredictable "natural  11  Supply of f  h is extremely variable due to  forces, coupled with government conservation  measures. These two work to produce an unevenness i n "runs" of f i s h from year to year and from week to week within the season* Weather conditions are another variable and result in loss of valuable time during the fishing season.  They may also affeot conservation measures,  as where dry weather shortens the salmon season. Conservation measures also increase insecurity, beoause they depend upon the size of "runs" and "escapement". Length of the fishing season and the number of days a week when fishing is permitted are both rigidly controlled.  In addition, speoific fishing areas may be  olosed during the season.  Finally regulations govern types of equip-  ment and fishing techniques. Another cause of uncertainty, and one that is increasingly serious, is the presence of alternative sources of a supply of f i s h which can compete with local products, particularly imports from Japan and, to a lesser degree, from Western Europe and the Maritimes. Heavy imports of canned salmon from Japan could seriously reduce the bargaining power of B.C. salmon fishermen. Demand and Markets. uncertain from year to year. low per capita consumption.  Effective demand i n various markets is The domestic market i s limited by a Fish not being a staple i n Camdlan  diet means the market w i l l vary considerably with the business cycle. Another variable i n the domestic market is fluctuations i n the prioe  of meat. Sinoe fish is to some degree a substitute for meat, demand for and prioes of f i s h products are affected.  Prices of fresh salmon  seem to fluotuate considerably i n response to changes i n beef prioes, while the prioe of halibut has a similar relationship to pork. In the Important United States market, the Canadian seller is confronted by such variables as possible restrictions of imports from Canada, the competition from the United States domestic produoers, especially i n Alaska, and the competition from Japanese canned salmon imported into the United States. In the overseas market, additional problems arise.  Tariffs,  quotas and currency controls, particularly affeot the British market, most important single importer of Cam dia n oanaed salmon. Canadian fish products must also compete with cheaper f i s h produts and Cam da must compete with other countries, particularly Japan. Price.  The unpredictable and frequently wide variations i n  supply and demand bring corresponding uncertainties i n prioe.  Fresh  and frozen f i s h are the most responsive to changes i n demand and supply, prioes varying from day t o day.  On the other hand, canned  salmon has a greater price stability beoause supply can be more easily adjusted to changes in demand. Surpluses can be stored and carried over to a later period when demand may be more favourable. This w i l l depend, however, on rational oo-operation and good faith among producers and sellers.  But risks and costs are involved i n  planning for future or anticipated markets*  226. Uncertainties of price, and losses from unforeseen ohanges i n price, are major sources of eonfliot i n the industry, as has been shown* An overwhelming majority of strikes have arisen from disputes between fishermen and fishing or canning oampanies about fish prices* Technological Change*  Another cause contributing to uncer-  tainty, risk and insecurity, has been the diverse and rapid rate of technological ohange*  The l i s t of developments i s impressive and means  that the fishermen has had t o adapt to these advances or beoome at the best a marginal operator*  Oar-propelled and hand-operated boats have  been replaced by gas and diesel engined craft with power-driven maohinery. The radio telephone has increased mobility while radar has reduced navigational risks. efficiency.  Nylon gillnet and seines have greatly increased  Technological change has compelled cannery operators to  centralize scattered operations in one processing plant, while modern refrigeration techniques in the fresh and frozen f i s h have resulted i n increased scope of operations. In contrast to other industries, however, strict oontrol has been exercised by the Federal Government over the applications and use of teohnological ohanges to ensure proper conservation. controls perpetuated small-scale operations.  In the past,  Today, and in the future,  technological changes w i l l mean large-scale operations to out oosts and meet competition i n foreign markets. Degree of Competition.  Another characteristic of the industry  in the past, but to a lesser extent today, has been extreme competition. Supplies of fish from year to year are limited by natural forces and conservation.  Each boat and fisherman competes with every other boat  227.  for this limited supply.  The tendency has been towards excessive  numbers of boats and fishermen and a continued over-investment i n the industry, a tendency aeoentuated by rapid technological changes. While most strikes i n the industry hare arisen out of disputes over fish prioes, the most violent conflicts developed among fishermen themselves.  Noteworthy was the hostility of whites and Indians  to the Japanese because of competition from what the other groups considered to be excessive numbers of Japanese. There has also been extreme competition i n the processing end. In the past, continual over-investment produoed excessive numbers of canneries and other processing establishments, whioh oompeted not only i n the sale of products but also in buying from fishermen. Some aspects of competition have been sharply reduoed i n recent years. A conscious effort has cut risks and uncertainties. The fishermen i n most branches of the industry are now organised either into oo-operatives or into unions.  The oanning and fishing  companies have likewise organized to control or reduce competition. Employers associations deal with the unions, while co-operative marketing associations organize many independent fishermen. Reasons for Organization.  Reasons for the remarkable extent  of organization i n the industry, considering i t s extreme diversity, particularly in labour force, coupled with i t s excessive competition and uncertainty, are two-fold.  First, a need for planning and  co-operative action among fishermen and companies alike to attempt  to out uncertainty and risk i n a situation where both groups, despite limited resources, yearly face steadily larger investments because of technological development. Secondly, technological ohanges themselves, while they tend to sharpen and acoentuate competition i n some respects, at the same time facilitate organization among a l l groups. Consolidations and mergers among companies produced large-scale centralized operations and out competition among canning and processing companies by rapidly reducing their number. This gave rise to a correspondingly strong incentive among fishermen to organize to protect their bargaining position against the larger and more centralized oompanies. Improved transportation and communications have broken down local isolation among fishermen enabling better co-ordination of their activities along the whole coast, but producing more intense competition among different groups within their ranks—between drum seiners and table seiners, between large gillnetters and purse seiners, and between gillnetters and halibut boats. Future Trends,  Future trends are d i f f i c u l t to predict i n  view of the many variables within the industry.  There w i l l be a  continued growth in size and soale of operations.  Canning, processing  and marketing operations may be s t i l l further centralized through mergers or inter-company co-operation, particularly in oanning and fish transportation. There is a trend to fewer but bigger boats, particularly in purse seiners and gillnetters. w i l l inorease i n size and importance.  Off-shore fisheries  Conservation measures in the  229. face of this trend may eliminate inshore commercial fishing, particularly around the mouth of the main salmon producing rivers. To prevent B.C. fish from being prioed out of both domestic and foreign markets, fishing and processing operations w i l l need to increase i n scale, improve in efficiency and out costs. Large-scale mechanized and centralized plants and bigger and fewer boats w i l l likely mean decreased employment opportunities. Shorter fishing seasons, i f the number of fishing units remains the same, w i l l mean a net displacement of labour.  Likewise, longer seasons can only be main-  tained by outs in the number employed i n fishing and processing. Already displacement of Indians from the industry is occurring. Disputes and Strikes. and costly i n reoent years.  Disputes hare been frequent, prolonged There i s l i t t l e to indicate that relation-  ships w i l l be any more stable i n the foreseeable future. Both sides are well organized over the entire industry i n B.C. Fishermen and unions, as the trends have indioated, are faced with shorter seasons, excessive numbers of people i n the industry, low annual inoome and displacement of workers. investments are required for boats and gear.  Increasingly larger  Rising wage levels i n  B.C., with sizeable gains by unions i n other seasonal industries like lumbering and construction continue to produce a pressure for higher prioes, or at the very least, resistance to prioe out proposals. Companies are faced with uncertainty and increasing competition in foreign markets.  The pressure to cut oosts w i l l mean increased  resistance to union demands with the possibility of getting alternative supplies from Japan, as a bargaining lever f o r the companies.  APPENDICES  230.  APPENDIX  NATIVE INDIANS AND  A  TBE FISHING INDUSTRY OF BRITISH 1 COLUMBIA  Introduction.  Contemporary industry and society have brought  major ohanges to the economic and s o c i a l l i f e o f the Indians of B r i t i s h Columbia.  Most t r i b a l cultures were b u i l t upon a simple small-scale base.  The t r i b a l band was  t y p i c a l l y small and c l o s e l y k n i t with personal  r e l a t i o n s h i p s ; the i n d i v i d u a l ' s status and role were c l e a r l y defined, and his a c t i v i t i e s regulated by t r a d i t i o n . ing  supplied a l i v e l i h o o d .  and s t a t i c .  Hunting, f i s h i n g , and gather-  Equipment and techniques were generally simple  Most of the output was  f o r the l o o a l community's own  only a small f r a c t i o n was bartered f o r the products.of The new  economic system and the way  use.  other groups.  of l i f e associated with i t  i s almost the d i r e c t a n t i t h e s i s of the t r i b a l system outlined above. Today the Indian i s involved i n a large-scale and increasingly complex system of production and d i s t r i b u t i o n , characterised by dynamic, r a p i d l y  1 A r e p r i n t from The Canadian Journal o f Economics and P o l i t i c a l Science, Vol. XIX, no. 1, Feb., 1953. Some of the ideas expressed i n t h i s a r t i c l e are necessarily repetitious of those to be found i n the two a r t i c l e s by Stuart Jamieson and Percy Gladstone, "Unionism i n the Fishing Industry of B r i t i s h Columbia", Canadian Journal of Eoonomios and P o l i t i c a l Soienoe, Feb., 1950, 1-11j May, 1950, 146-71. Grateful acknowledgement i s made of a grant from the Canadian S o c i a l Science Research Council f a c i l i t a t i n g t h i s study.  231. changing techniques, a s t e a d i l y increasing use of automatic powerdriven machinery, and a growing production f o r national or i n t e r n a t i o n a l markets rather than f o r l o c a l use.  As worker or producer he has, with  few exceptions, l o s t his d i r e c t ownership.of, or control over, his means of production.  Relationships, defined i n c r e a s i n g l y by the market rather  than by oustom, have become more impersonal. Comparatively few Indians have managed to derive f u l l advantage from the new way o f l i f e .  T r i b a l cultures have been disorganized or  destroyed, and with them hae gone the whole structure of role and status that made l i f e meaningful f o r i n d i v i d u a l s .  Indians have faced formidable  d i f f i c u l t i e s i n acquiring the economic incentives o f the white man's oulture, and the equipment and techniques with which to meet them. r e s u l t has been, i n a l l too many cases, d e t e r i o r a t i o n o f morale, and economic dependency. many areasi  The  apathy,  Indians have become a marginal labour group i n  l i v i n g on reservations, depending upon the government f o r a  large part of t h e i r subsistence, and employed only casually i n u n s k i l l e d or menial jobs o f a type that other workers avoid. Here and there one may  f i n d occupations i n which native Indians  have managed to oarry over the s k i l l s and aptitudes of t h e i r t r i b a l c u l ture and acquire new techniques to a degree that enables them to compete successfully with the whites. are  Where t h i s process has occurred, Indians  i n a p o s i t i o n to acquire a new sense of i d e n t i t y and o f " r a c i a l p r i d e . "  C h a r a c t e r i s t i c a l l y , they form new organizations that cut across l i n e s of t r i b e or tongue, organizations that are designed to strengthen t h e i r bargaining power and improve t h e i r economio and s o c i a l status through mutual a i d .  232. One of the most s t r i k i n g examples of t h i s sequence has been, and i s . ooourring among Indians, along the coast of B r i t i s h Columbia whose l i v e l i h o o d i s based p r i m a r i l y on the f i s h i n g industry. Here, to a degree r a r e l y found i n other occupations or regions on the North American continent, native Indians have been able to adapt the special experiences and s k i l l s of t h e i r t r a d i t i o n a l cultures to the new requirements of a dynamic, technologically advanced industry. The f i s h i n g industry of B r i t i s h Columbia furnishes at best a luorative but highly insecure l i v e l i h o o d .  Success i n the occupation r e -  quires a unique combination not only of s k i l l , experienoe, and fortitude but also of good luok. to year.  Demand, supply, and price vary widely from year  The supplies of f i s h are h i g h l y seasonal and uncertain.  are variable weather conditions to contend with.  There  A major part of the  output o r d i n a r i l y i s exported to foreign markets, where i t must compete with the output of other countries*  F i n a l l y , the industry i s characterized  by intense competition and rapidly ohanging techniques which require a s t e a d i l y larger investment i n boats and gear on the part of the fisherman. Despite these formidable d i f f i c u l t i e s , native Indians i n growing numbers have more than held t h e i r own i n the f i s h i n g industry of 1 B r i t i s h Columbia.  Today, perhaps as many as 10,000  of them derive  t h e i r l i v e l i h o o d from f i s h i n g and a l l i e d occupations, and they have beoome a v i t a l and necessary part of the labour force i n that industry. Their a b i l i t y to compete on an even basis with.the whites i s beginning to 1  Estimate of the Native Brotherhood of B r i t i s h Columbia.  233.  i n s t i l i n them a new pride. They are rapidly losing their recent apathy, and becoming an organized and articulate element that may aoquire a considerable economic and political bargaining power i n this province. Tribal Fishing Eoonomy.  The ooast of British Columbia i s  blessed with a great wealth and variety of fish.  Prior to the ooming of  the white man this plentiful food supported a relatively large native Indian population that maintained a rich diversity of culture. almost self-sufficient village economies, barter played  In the  a seoondary role.  Fresh, dried, and smoked fish provided staple artioles of diet (as well as of barter) supplemented by other products of the sea, such as clams, seaweed (dulse), and herring-eggs.  The dense forests orowding the  shoreline of most areas along the coast provided meat, furs, hides, berries and herbs, timbers, and fibres for boats and gear. By far the most important f i s h to the. t r i b a l Indian eoonomy, and also to the present-day eoonomy of British Columbia, were the five species of salmont  spring, sockeye, oohoe, pink or "humpback", and ohum  or "dog" salmon. The wealthiest and most populous tribes on the northern Pacific coast were those located i n areas adjacent to the main rivers and streams i n whioh salmon came to spawn. Commercial Relations with, the Whites.  The barter trade i n  fish carried on with interior groups by numerous ooastal tribes facilitated the adjustment of Indians to the development of the fishing industry by the whites during the early nineteenth century.  The forts and trading-  posts of the Hudson's Bay Company furnished a limited market for f i s h as well as for furs.  From 1835 to 1358 the Company developed an export  market i n smoked and cured salmon i n the Hawaiian Islands and A s i a .  As  compared with t o t a l production, however, t h i s was a comparatively smallscale operation confined to an area along the Fraser River where the Hudson's Bay Company claimed a monopoly of f i s h i n g r i g h t s .  The  fishing  a c t i v i t i e s of the Indians on behalf of the Company were i n c i d e n t a l to production f o r t h e i r own use.  The supply of f i s h was  sufficiently  p l e n t i f u l so that production f o r the market did not i n t e r f e r e with the Indians' claim of inherent and aboriginal rights designed to guard the food supply.  Competition with the whites was l i m i t e d , and no disputes  or c o n f l i c t s were recorded. Later Commercial Fishing.  A new problem faced the Indians  during the 1860's when the fish-canning industry became established i n B r i t i s h Columbia.  P r a c t i c a l l y overnight the Indians had to adjust  themselves to drastic eoonomio and c u l t u r a l changes.  In the faoe of  t h e i r own changed needs, f i s h i n g became a s p e c i a l i s e d and complex means of eoonomio survival instead of merely one way of obtaining food. Indians had to face growing competition from fishermen who were more experienced i n the commercial pursuits  Europeans from various maritime  nations, the Americans from the Columbia and Saoramento r i v e r s , and l a t e r , the Japanese.  They had to oope with rapid technological changes  i n the industry. They were confronted with a maze of conservation laws and regulations that were d i f f i c u l t to understand, l e t alone obey. Whereas once they had fished with spears and weirs of t h e i r own making, Indians now had to make heavy c a p i t a l investment f o r f i s h i n g equipment to keep up with t h e i r white and A s i a t i o competitors.  Indian women working  235. i n the canneries had to deal with s i m i l a r problems:  competition with  whites and A s i a t i c s , and the resultant r a c i a l animosity and discrimination; oonstant adaptation to new technological changes; and, i n a few  oases,  displacement by organized workers having closed-shop or s e n i o r i t y agreements with  employers. In t h e i r own t r i b a l cultures the Indians were accustomed to a  community l i f e directed by heads of family and olan, who were responsible for welfare and f o r enforcement o f the laws*  This struoture of a u t h o r i t y  broke down when the economic foundation of the t r i b a l eoonomy was transformed.  The hereditary leader was  replaced i n some of h i s functions by  a new agent, the cannery contractor. Possession of the right to hire and f i r e Indian fishermen and oannery workers, gave him a measure o f oontrol over the economic destinies of his fellow tribesmen. As a rule, the settlements of the ooastal t r i b e s had been located w i t h i n easy reach of f i s h i n g streams or halibut banks.  Their  l i m i t e d migratory habits were connected with those of food gathering. normal years t h e i r staple foods had been e a s i l y obtained.  In  With the  coming of commercial f i s h i n g the Indians found i t necessary to make mass migrations to the major f i s h i n g and canning centres i n the Nass, Skeena, Fraser, and Rivers Inlet areas.  In t r a v e l l i n g the 1300 miles of navigable  waters along the coast of B r i t i s h Columbia, they came i n t o contact with Indians and whites of d i f f e r e n t languages and oustoms.  They broadened  t h e i r outlook and improved t h e i r techniques at the expense of t h e i r  own  settled t r i b a l and community l i f e . The relationships of native Indians with the Dominion and prov i n c i a l governments were also changed by the rapid transformation  236.  ooourring i n the f i s h i n g industry. The need f o r conservation measures brought a s t e a d i l y increasing degree of government regulation o f the industry.  E a r l y i n the h i s t o r y of commercial f i s h i n g r e s t r i c t i o n s were  placed on the Indians* right to obtain f i s h f o r food, which they looked upon as a natural r i g h t .  The General Fishery Regulations o f July 18, 1889  r e s t r i c t e d t h e i r methods of oatohing salmon, but a Royal Commission appointed two years l a t e r recognized the need to continue f i s h i n g f o r food i n d e f i n i t e l y .  The r e s u l t was that s p e c i a l provisions guaranteeing  t h e i r p r i v i l e g e s o f f i s h i n g were included i n the Order i n Council o f 1894.  3 This set a precedent f o r most subsequent f i s h i n g regulations.  By 1918 the Indians of the upper Fraser River, suffering from a decrease i n f i s h due to depletion, a o t u a l l y suggested that the Dominion Government 4 purchase their f i s h i n g r i g h t s .  By 1920 the Indians were prohibited from  f i s h i n g i n Hell's Gate and above the Mission Bridge, two formerly important points on the Fraser R i v e r .  5  Today they require a permit f o r ob-  t a i n i n g salmon f o r food i n any r i v e r ; i n the f i s o a l year 1951-2, 1,848 permits were issued. The problems o f adjustment  i n commercial f i s h i n g have been  e s p e c i a l l y acute among those inland t r i b e s who were p r i m a r i l y trappers, for whom f i s h i n g was a secondary and minor occupation.  Owing to the loss  of t h e i r trap-lines through depletion and logging operations, many o f them turned to f i s h i n g f o r t h e i r main source of inoome.  These Indians,  ooming from comparatively i s o l a t e d inland areas, beoame the marginal "~3 4 5  A.H. Ainsworth, "Conservation i n the B r i t i s h Columbia Salmon Industry", unpublished B.A. t h e s i s , A p r i l , 1946, University o f B r i t i s h Columbia, p. 18. Report of Fisheries Commission f o r B r i t i s h Columbia, Dec. 31, 1918, 12. Report of Fisheries Commission f o r B r i t i s h Columbia, Deo. 31, 1920, 13.  237.  fishermen on the coast. Their problems may be gauged by their own oftrepeated statement, "We will soon be the D.P.'s of the fishing industry." They are aoutely conscious of their position but are unable to oope with their problems. Because of racial discrimination, laok of training, and inability to break family and community ties, they find i t difficult to enter other occupations.  It was this group that raised the loudest pro-  test against the return of the Japanese fishermen following World War II. g Indians and Types of Fishing.  The Indians have participated in  a l l the specialized branches of fishing. A special method is required for each speoies of fisht  gill-netting for salmon returning to the spawning  grounds, purse-seining for fish which "sohool up", trolling for off-shore fish, beam-trawling and long-lining for bottom fish. Bach method in turn requires a speoial type of boat and equipment, and i t may be oompeting against another method used in taking the same kind of fisht  for example,  gill-netting against purse-seining for salmon, the "mosquito" halibut fleet against the larger specialized halibut boats. This competition oreates occupational antagonism, which is sometimes transferred to racial antagonisms. The fishing industry tends to be divided into specialisations according to ethnic groups. Thus the Jugoslav and Austrian fishermen have a tendency to specialize in purse-seining, the Norwegians in halibut fishing, the Japanese in gill-netting and trolling.  The Chinese and  Indians have been the main workers in the processing plants, though in recent times Indians are being displaced by machinery as well as by an 6 See also Jamieson and Gladstone, "Unionism in the Fishing Industry of British Columbia", 5-6. and Chapter I, p. 14, et seq.  238. increasing number o f white workers* In the ease of the Indians there,also exists what might be termed geographic s p e c i a l i z a t i o n .  The great majority are,permanently s e t t l e d on  reservations scattered along the coast o f B r i t i s h Columbia.  Generally  they have gone t o the nearest oannery during the f i s h i n g season and engaged i n the type o f f i s h i n g suited t o the l o c a l species*  In modern times,  faced with depletion o f the salmon, but aided b y high-powered boats with radio-telephone, the B r i t i s h Columbia f i s h i n g f l e e t has become highly mobile.  The Indian fishermen, i n common with others, cover i n c r e a s i n g l y  large areas i n search of f i s h .  Yet b a s i o a l l y the type of f i s h i n g followed  by the Indians i s s t i l l related to factors o f t h e i r l o o a l environment. Accordingly, around the great salmon areas of the Nass, Skeena, Fraser, and Rivers Inlet, g i l l - n e t t i n g and purse-seining predominate.  Along the  west coast of Vancouver Island and around the Queen Charlotte Islands, t r o l l i n g and purse-seining are the main methods. G i l l - n e t t i n g was the o r i g i n a l method o f commercial salmon f i s h i n g 7 and remains the method most used by the Indians.  7  Some eleven hundred  gill-  The s t a t i s t i c s on lioenoes issued were furnished by the Federal Department of F i s h e r i e s , 1110 West Georgia Street, Vancouver, B.C. The number of licences issued i s no i n d i c a t i o n of the r a t i o of f i s h caught. It would be i n t e r e s t i n g to f i n d out what proportion of the t o t a l oatoh of f i s h wa6 oaught by Indian fishermen but at the present time i n v e s t i gation o f t h i s question i s not p o s s i b l e . TABLE XXI  -  Variety o f Licence Salmon trap-net Salmon drag-seine Salmon purse-seine Salmon g i l l - n e t Salmon t r o l l i n g  Fishery Licenoes, F i s c a l Year 1951-2 Indians 9 52 1122 596  Total 5 9 501 5429 5129  239. netting licenoes were issued to them i n 1950 compared to 922 f o r salmon purse-6eining and 596 f o r salmon-trolling. Salmon-trolling furnishes a good example of geographic r e s t r i c t i o n . This type o f f i s h i n g i s a l a t e r development than g i l l - n e t t i n g and purseseining.  O r i g i n a l l y g i l l - n e t boats were e a s i l y adapted f o r t r o l l i n g and  the l a t t e r aotually was an off-season oooupation f o r g i l l - n e t t e r s .  Nowa-  days many l o c a l i t i e s specialise i n t r o l l i n g and do not take part i n g i l l netting.  Salmon-trolling i n the areas mentioned e a r l i e r had the added  advantage that the Indians were able t o operate from t h e i r native v i l l a g e s .  Variety o f Licence Asst. salmon g i l l - n e t Capt. salmon purse-seine Asst. Salmon purse-seine Cod Crayfish Crab Small dragger Smelt Miscellaneous Herring purse-seine Capt. herring purse-seine Asst. herring purse-seine Pilchard purse-seine Capt. pilchard purse-seine Asst. p i l c h a r d purse-seine Herring g i l l - n e t Herring pound Herring trawl Capt. herring trawl Asst. herring trawl Capt. halibut or black cod Capt. halibut f o r b a i t Capt. tuna Asst. tuna Abalone Whaling Angling permits  Indians 42 164 758 145 7 46 8 8 2 6 41  2  263 1 20  3292 Indian permits (for domestio food) 1848  Total 206 387 2412 684 258 181 94 42 218 74 47 387  28 17 12 7 928 6 96 33 24 5 414 17,633  240. In the case o f halibut f i s h i n g a d i f f i c u l t y has arisen from overfishing and serious depletion.  The h i s t o r y of t h i s type of f i s h i n g  d i f f e r s from that of the other branohes.  O r i g i n a l l y i t was carried on by  two-men dories operating from a steam trawler which served as the mother ship, a method patterned on ood f i s h i n g i n Newfoundland and eastern Canada. Depletion soon became a serious problem.  New halibut banks had to be  found and each succeeding year the halibut boats were foroed to go f a r t h e r from the home ports.  What was once a y e a r l y operation of indiscriminate  f i s h i n g was altered by international regulation to seasonal operations l i m i t e d by a quota system.  Depleted and scattered.halibut banks c a l l e d  either f o r p r i v a t e l y owned smaller boats or f o r schooners ranging up to 80 feet i n length.  The c a p i t a l required f o r these specialized boats and  gear was beyond the reaoh o f most Indians, with the result that they remained o f minor importance i n the halibut f i s h i n g . There i s a ourrent trend f o r the Indians to obtain larger seine boats.  It i s becoming necessary to operate l a r g e r f i s h i n g boats i n a  number of types of f i s h i n g * ing.  f o r seining, beam-trawling, and halibut f i s h -  For t h i s reason the number o f Indian halibut fishermen has inoreased  eaoh year.  Then again, a  large number of Indians i n the small g i l l -  netter and t r o l l i n g boats form a substantial part o f the modern halibut "mosquito f l e e t " .  This i s a major occupation f o r them before the opening 8  of the g i l l - n e t t i n g season.  In 1950, 263 halibut f i s h i n g licences  were  issued to Indians. Beam-trawling i s another development which i s the r e s u l t o f owning larger boats. 8  Indian p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n t h i s type of f i s h i n g  Only the captain o f the boat and not the fishermen require a l i c e n c e .  241. i s centred at Massett i n the Queen Charlotte Islands, -where there are twelve large boats capable of this operation. Large-scale herring seining i s a development a r i s i n g out of World War  II.  Part of the impetus has been the t o t a l disappearance  pilchards from the coast of B r i t i s h Columbia since 1942.  of  Herring f i s h i n g  requires l a r g e r , modern boats* f u l l y equipped with the l a t e s t sonic developments.  The necessary oapital investment  $125,000, and, u n t i l recently, a l l equipment was  i s tremendous, ranging to owned by the companies.  Several Indians were engaged i n f i s h i n g pilchards but have not begun to f i s h extensively for herring.  Indian fishermen from B e l l a B e l l a and A l e r t  Bay are the sole representatives i n t h i s phase of the industry.  The Indian  f e e l s that he i s being discriminated against i n company employment i n t h i s type of f i s h i n g , and at present i s attempting to enlarge h i s small share i n the catch. Q  P a r t i c i p a t i o n i n Fishing-Labour.Disputes.  The commercial f i s h -  ing industry has been characterized by annual labour disputes, some of them v i o l e n t .  The m i l i t a n c y of the fishermen has culminated i n t h e i r  being l e d by the m i l i t a n t United Fishermen and A l l i e d Workers Union.  The  r o l e of the Indians themselves has ohanged from extreme militancy at the turn of the century to a conservative unionism at the present day.  They  now participate i n f i s h i n g disputes but as a group refuse to beoome i n c o r porated into white f i s h i n g unions or associations, p r e f e r r i n g to maintain t h e i r i d e n t i t y through t h e i r own bargaining u n i t , the Native Brotherhood of B r i t i s h Columbia. 9  Indians participated i n a l l disputes l i s t e d and desoribed i n Gladstone and Jamieson, "Unionism i n the F i s h i n g Industry of B r i t i s h Columbia," 146-71. The present a r t i c l e i s confined to reports of actual p a r t i c i p a t i o n of Indians i n the s t r i k e s . See also Chapter 71.  242. In commercial  f i s h i n g each fisherman with his equipment i s an  independent u n i t competing with others*  Every year increasing numbers of  modern and independent units v i e f o r the supply of f i s h available during the l i m i t e d seasons.  The income of the fisherman i s made uncertain by the  v a r i a b i l i t y o f f i s h "runs", and earnings may be further deoreased by severe conservation measures which further shorten the season i f the run of f i s h f a i l s to materialize.  As the oapital expenditure for boats and  equipment increases, a larger gross income i s required f o r upkeep; and i t becomes imperative f o r each individual fisherman to enlarge the scope of his operations*  Whereas i n former times the boats and equipment had been  l a r g e l y owned by the f i s h i n g companies, the modern trend i s toward idual ownership o f boats*  indiv-  This s h i f t s the r i s k s of ownership t o the  i n d i v i d u a l fishermen, but at the same time alters the employer-employee relationship whioh formerly existed between the cannery operators and fishermen.  The industry i s affected by world economic conditions and the  fisherman i s faced with p r i c e fluctuations as the demand f o r and the supply  of f i s h products f l u c t u a t e .  In addition to contending with these  economic factors he i s constantly struggling with the elements.  He must  be a mechanic as well as a mariner with a high degree of f a m i l i a r i t y with l o c a l geography. At f i r s t glance i t might appear that the antagonism  resulting  from the competition and hazards of the industry would result i n the formation of heterogeneous  competing groups.  Yet these very d i f f i c u l t i e s  and problems help create a strong group sentiment and a f e e l i n g of the need f o r mutual a i d , a condition necessary f o r the formation of strong  243. labour unions.  This group sentiment has been strong enough t o transcend  occupational antagonism, language and r a c i a l differences, as well as geographic i s o l a t i o n .  Many Indian fishermen f e e l a kinship with t h e i r  fellow white fishermen to a degree only s l i g h t l y less than with other Indian fishermen.  The r e s u l t i s that the Indians a c t i v e l y co-operate with  white f i s h i n g unions, though they join them only as a l a s t r e s o r t .  Prior  to the mid-1930*s, a l l labour unionism i n B r i t i s h Columbia f i s h i n g was composed of a series of l o o a l units i n i s o l a t e d areas often working at cross purposes.  Since i s o l a t i o n has been overcome by increased com-  munication, the l o c a l units have been merged into one coastwise union. The Indians, however, s t i l l l i v e i n comparatively i s o l a t e d reservations along the coast.  They move to the canneries during the f i s h i n g season  and then return home, thus l o s i n g contact w i t h labour problems. The fact that the Indian fishermen are i n sympathy with labour unions and take an active part i n f i s h i n g disputes, yet remain outside the white f i s h i n g unions, i s a r e s u l t of a combination of causes.  Aside from  i s o l a t i o n , a d i s t r u s t of white unions has resulted from discrimination and from t h e i r abandonment of the Indians i n several early f i s h i n g s t r i k e s . Moreover, the Indians o f B r i t i s h Columbia are i n a t r a n s i t i o n a l stage i n their sooial and economic conditions.  There i s a strong l i n k with the  past, yet there i s an inevitable d r i f t towards p a r t i c i p a t i o n as f u l l citizens*  The opposing pressures are shown i n the strong desire o f the  Indians to maintain t h e i r i d e n t i t y i n an inolusive Indian organization. Thus the Native Brotherhood i s a separate bargaining agency which works i n close co-operation with the United Fishermen and A l l i e d Workers Union.  244.  Their desire to remain as an Indian group may be due i n part to racial discrimination on the part of U.F.A.W.U. members, i n part to unfamiliar!ty with the faotors underlying labour bargaining.  In part also, the cause  i s the fear of being absorbed by the militant U.F.A.W.U., where they would be a minority groupj the Native Brotherhood i s and w i l l remain an exclusively Indian group.  Finally, each Indian desires the responsibility of  conducting his own affairs. The Indian fishermen are subject to the same fishing laws and regulations as the white, yet legally the Indians are minors, wards of the federal government, and the local Indian Agent is responsible for the general welfare of the Indians i n h i s - d i s t r i c t .  It would be expected that,  with the power vested in the local Indian Agent, he would advise the Indians in their labour problems.  Attempts by an Indian Agent were made  early i n the history of the fishing industry to dissuade Indians from joining unions.  However, i n 1900 the Honourable Mr. Sifton, then Minister  of the Interior, overruled the Agent, stating that the "Indians could do no  as they wished i n this matter."  With only one exception this has remained  the policy of the Indian Department. The Indians have played an active role i n fishing disputes from the beginning of the fishing industry. to the influx of Japanese fishermen.  Then militanoy arose from antagonism Furthermore, the Indians were at that  time faoed with the loss of their "aboriginal and inherent rights" i n f i s h ing.  Even today bitter antagonism is directed against the Japanese fisher-  men, and there s t i l l arises a feeling of resentment against the white f i s h 10  Vancouver Daily Province, July 16, 1900,  3.  245. ermen who "invade" l o c a l f i s h i n g areas. H i s t o r i c a l Review of Labour Disputes Mainly Involving Indians.  ^  In 1893 the Indians, as members of the Fraser River Fishermen's Benevolent Association, staged a s t r i k e f o r an inorease o f d a i l y wage from $2.50 to $3.  At that time the fishermen were paid a d a i l y wage regardless o f t h e i r  actual catch.  To o f f s e t attempts made by the Canners Association to use  other Indians and Japanese as s t r i k e breakers, the Union resorted to intimidation of the Indians "and to t h i s end i s p r a c t i c i n g questionable methods."  1  2  The canners' reply was an o f f e r o f $50. reward f o r the arrest  and conviction o f any person found " i n t e r f e r i n g with or i n t i m i d a t i n g f i s h ermen or other employees, i n c i t i n g any person or persons t o do anything itl3 unlawful."  During t h i s period appeals were made to the Superintendent  of Indian A f f a i r s to induce the Indians to return to f i s h i n g , but to no avail.  Apparently the Indians were determined t o continue t h e i r stand  since at a subsequent meeting three Indian Chiefs, Capilano George, Cranberry Jaok, and Charles Meshell, spoke and the "tale they t o l d showed d e a r l y they f u l l y understood the grievance of the white fishermen and being i n sympathy therewith, had joined the union.  They narrated how  they had been intimidated by the Indian Agent and expressed their contempt f o r him and t h e i r determination to have nothing further t o do with him. They thought he should look a f t e r t h e i r interests and not the interests of the canner8. They spoke o f the poor wages, o f t h e i r having to t r a v e l 14 around the four o i t i e s i n order t o make a l i v i n g . The white fishermen li" 12  13 14  See f u l l e r l i s t o f disputes i n Jamie son and Gladstone, "Unionism i n the Fishing Industry o f B r i t i s h Columbia," 148-52. Also Table XXXIII,pp.304-10. Vancouver D a i l y Provinoe, July 14, 1893, 4. This and subsequent quotations are given not so much for t h e i r factual aoouraoy as f o r the i n d i c a t i o n they give of the attitudes and expressions of the p a r t i e s involved i n the disputes. Vancouver D a i l y Province, July 16, 1893, 2. Vancouver D a i l y World, July 24, 1893, 2.  246. subsequently broke the s t r i k e , and the Indians were abandoned, but they d i d win the praise of the Union leaders who  stated that no Indians had  "volunteered to assist the oanners u n t i l some white men had l e d the way."  *  Following 1893, the f i s h i n g industry was adversely affected by the world eoonomio depression. was quiet.  Labour a c t i v i t y i n lower B r i t i s h  Columbia  In the northern area around the Skeena River several s t r i k e s  are recorded* but no d e t a i l s are a v a i l a b l e .  Strikes were staged i n 1894,  6  1896, and 1897.  The f i r s t two were disputes over the price of f i s h , the  l a s t appears to have been over cannery wages.  These seem to have been  l o c a l disputes directed against i n d i v i d u a l operators and were o f short duration. During the 1890*s a more serious problem f o r the Indians arose out o f the i n f l u x of Japanese fishermen.  Gold discoveries i n the Slocan  area and the Yukon caused an exodus o f white fishermen.  To meet the  labour shortages i n the industry, Japanese were brought i n . By  1896,  approximately one-quarter o f the 6000 B r i t i s h Columbia fishermen were Japanese.  By 1898, the Japanese competition had become a serious issue  with the Indians.  In 1899, when they f e l t that they had a bargaining  advantage on the Fraser owing to the shortage of white labour, the Indians went on strike f o r increased f i s h p r i c e s . because i t f a i l e d to win the support of the  The attempt was unsuccessful Japanese.  During the v i o l e n t Fraser River s t r i k e s of 1900 and 1901 the 15 16  Vancouver D a i l y World, July 24, 1893, p. 2. From the diary of R. Cunningham, pioneer cannery operator of Port Essington, B.C., which was the centre of e a r l y Skeena River f i s h i n g .  247. Indian showed a m i l i t a n t attitude not since apparent.  In the 1900 s t r i k e  the Indians, with the Fraser River Fishermen's Union, made a determined stand against the Japanese fishermen, the Cannery Operators  1  Association,  the m i l i t i a , the Duke of Connaught's Own R i f l e s , and the Superintendent of the Indian Department.  I t was during t h i s period that the Honourable  Mr. S i f t o n issued the statement previously mentioned.  The s t r i k e ended  when the Japanese, who had previously guaranteed to co-operate with white and Indian fishermen, went f i s h i n g under the protection o f the m i l i t i a . The Indians who had long regarded f i s h i n g as t h e i r heritage were then to watch while the "Canadian authorities had to provide s u f f i c i e n t force to prevent an a l i e n force of fishermen defend, by recourse to arms, t h e i r 17 inalienable r i g h t to work."  The bitterness o f the Indians increased  when the canners showed no concern over the return of the Indian fishermen. During the Fraser River strike of 1900, the v i l l a g e o f Port Simpson, near the mouth o f the Skeena River, took a p a r t i c u l a r l y active part.  In the v i l l a g e  was a l o c a l o f the B r i t i s h Columbia  Union, organized i n 1899.  Fishermen's  The Port Simpson brass band l e d the parade o f  mass demonstrators during the s t r i k e , provided music f o r meetings, and l a t e r t r a v e l l e d t o Nanaimo t o give concerts for the purpose o f gaining support and r a i s i n g funds. Plans were made e a r l y by white fishermen f o r the 1901 f i s h i n g season, based on the experience gained from the 1 9 0 0 S t r i k e .  A Grand  Lodge o f B r i t i s h Columbia Fishermen was organized to co-ordinate locals 1 7 V a n c o u v e r D a i l y Province, July 24, 1900, 1.  248. and to strengthen them.  The white fishermen conferred with the Indians  "to ascertain the general f e e l i n g among the Indians concerning the moral „ 18 r i g h t o f the Japanese to f i s h on the Fraser R i v e r . "  As a r e s u l t o f the  conferences the demands f o r the 1901 season were signed by 33 prominent Indians from Port Simpson t o the Fraser River and inland to Harrison Hot Springs.  The Indians were unanimous i n t h e i r demands and were supported  by s i x t y per cent of the white fishermen.  The oannery operators were  beginning to use Japanese women f o r oannery labour, and could dispense with some Indians, s t a t i n g "the Indians were not of special value to the canneries."*®  For t h e i r part, the Indians expressed no great desire to  return to the canneries as there had been "too muoh trouble these l a s t M 20 few years" t o please them. The 1901 s t r i k e ended favourably t o the oannery operators, again on account o f the organized strike-breaking of the Japanese fishermen, who had been brought into B r i t i s h Columbia i n greater numbers.  By 1901 the  Japanese held 1,958 out of 4,722 licenoes issued i n B r i t i s h Columbia.  No  doubt they also received most of the 1,090 issued to the canneries, since 21 by estimates o f the Department of Fisheries Japanese fishermen i n the industry.  there were over 4,000  The attitude of the Indians may be  gauged by the uncompromising statement of one of them that "any man who would take l e s s than 12§^ ( f o r a single sookeye) ought t o drown the f i r s t 22 time he went out i n a boat." 1  18 19 20 21 22  Vancouver D a i l y Vancouver D a i l y Vanoouver D a i l y Report (Ottawa, Vanoouver D a l l y  Province, May 31, 1901, 9. Province, June 22, 1901, 1. Provinoe, June 20, 1901, 1. 1902), 590. Province, June 22, 1901, 1.  249. The next dispute occurred i n the region o f the Skeena and Nass Rivers.  In 1904 the Indians struck f o r higher f i s h prioes.  period Indian and Japanese fishermen were equal i n number.  During t h i s The l a t t e r  offered passive support by r e f r a i n i n g from f i s h i n g , but anxiously awaited the r e s u l t s of the dispute.  No agreement was reaohed and the net r e s u l t  was that over 300 Indians l e f t the northern area t o f i s h i n the Fraser River.  The leader of t h i s s t r i k e was Nedildahld o f Port Essington, who  was a " f i r s t class a g i t a t o r being possessed o f a good command of language and the faoulty o f impressing the most o p t i m i s t i c f e e l i n g among his followers.  In consequence o f the influence of Nedildahld, the Indians are  unanimous i n t h e i r r e f u s a l t o f i s h . " In 1907 Indian women demanded higher pay i n the canneries. Labour during t h i s period was scarce and the Indian women had the advantage of a decrease i n the number of Japanese women working i n the oanneries. Through t h e i r strengthened bargaining power the Indians "demanded and « 24  received a higher wage." The ensuing years were comparatively i n a c t i v e .  The Indians were  l o s i n g t h e i r confident militancy owing t o past f a i l u r e s i n disputes and t o repeated abandonment by white and Japanese fishermen.  In 1912 the Indian  drag-seine fishermen of Nimpkish v i l l a g e on Vancouver Island demanded a high price f o r sockeye.  However, the white fishermen accepted the lower  o f f e r of the cannery and resumed f i s h i n g , leaving the Indians with no 23, Vancouver Daily Province, July 13, 1904, 1. 24 Vancouver World, July 19, 1907, 73.  250. alternative but to return to t h e i r f i s h i n g operations.  By 1913 the  Indians were d e f i n i t e l y a minority group i n the industry, holding 430 25 f i s h i n g licenoes against 1,088  held by Japanese and 832 held by whites.  The Indians and whites were unorganised despite the e f f o r t s of the Vancouver branch o f the Industrial Workers of the World.  On the other hand,  the more numerous Japanese fishermen had become an organized group.  They  led a strike i n 1913 while the Indians and white fishermen were ready to accept the operator's o f f e r .  The Indian  and white fishermen were sub-  jected to violence, intimidation, and property damage by the Japanese ... 26 strikers. In 1914 Indians became members of the Fraser River Fishermen's Protective Association organized by the New Westminster Board o f Trade on an anti-Japanese platform.  Subsequently, during World War  took p r a c t i c a l l y no part i n labour disputes or a c t i v i t i e s .  I, the Indians Fish prices  had increased, the war had created labour shortages, and the Indians were enjoying a f a i r degree of prosperity.  Another cause o f t h i s quiet period  was the deep sense of patriotism of the Indians generally. In t h e i r p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the f i s h i n g industry, the Indians had come i n contact with missionaries, teachers, and businessmen. tacts a l l operated to change the cultures.  Moreover,  These con-  the Indians held a *  place i n a highly competitive industry with l i t t l e ohance of turning to other occupations.  They no longer possessed the unity and oohesion they  had gained at the beginning of the commercial f i s h i n g period. determination had weakened since the t u r n of the century.  25 26  Vancouver D a i l y Province, July 27, 1907, Ibid.  7.  Their  They took a  251. less active role i n unions but they were s t i l l active i n disputes.  During  World War I the Japanese had f u r t h e r consolidated t h e i r position i n the industry, and by 1919 held 3,267 licences, or approximately h a l f the t o t a l 27 issued that year.  They had replaced the Indians i n p r a c t i c a l l y every  branch of the f i s h i n g industry. The Indians' p o s i t i o n i n -the industry was further jeopardized by the post-war depression and the i n f l u x of ex-servicemen into the industry. Their weakened position was evidenced by t h e i r own disunity i n Rivers Inlet during a dispute i n 1922.  A majority of the Indians had  voted f o r strike action, but the minority group under the protection of the B r i t i s h Columbia police "amid cheers and armed to meet trouble"  ^  broke the s t r i k e . In the economic depression o f the 1930's the organizing of the fishermen proceeded under the d i r e c t i o n of the Workers' Unity League, and from this a c t i v i t y emerged the Pish Cannery Workers