UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Mark Mosher's reconstruction of the development of the woodworkers union in the Alberni Valley 1935-1950 : a participant's history McIntosh, Jean Elizabeth


This thesis presents a participant's history of the development of the woodworkers' union in the Alberni Valley of British Columbia during the period 1935 to 1950. It is developed through Mosher's own accounts, which are treated as narratives, as the way of most effectively presenting his "insiders point of view". Mosher's interpretation, from his position as a logger, a local union leader, and a Communist Party member, adds to our understanding of the union movement by providing the perspective from the Left and information on the processes of unionization. In spite of the central position held by the union movement in the social structure of British Columbia, and the importance of the IWA within that movement, both have been under researched. Mosher's accounts are given in the context of the documentary history of the union movement and the IWA, and his narratives create a challenging interpretation in response to those established accounts. Comparisons are drawn between the interpretations of the same issues given by Mosher and by the documentary sources. Mosher's accounts express the themes and values important to his alternative history, such as the need for a union and the leadership role of the Communist Party in improving work conditions, which he claims has not before been acknowledged. This thesis is based on the assumption that there is no one true version of history. History is viewed as a process in which differing interpretations continually add to our overall understanding of a subject.

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