November designated Labor History Month in Oregon

PORTLAND, OR -- November is Labor History Month in Oregon and the Portland-based Northwest Oregon Labor Council (NOLC) is planning or participating in a series of events.

On Monday, Nov. 10, following the night meeting of NOLC delegates, Dr. Ed Beechert, retired professor from the University of Hawaii, will talk about labor history and the importance of local unions maintaining their histories.

Delegates and unions are asked to bring booklets, photos and other memorabilia depicting their union's history for display that evening at the 7 p.m. NOLC meeting in the Machinists Building at 3645 SE 32nd Ave., Portland.

On Friday, Nov. 14, a "Joe Hill Night" musical celebration will be held to benefit the non-profit Sisters of the Road Cafe. Music will be performed by General Strike, Citizens Band of Olympia, Wash., and the Cascadia Folk Quartet. Tickets are $10 and include hors d'oeuvres (grilled chicken breasts, crab cakes and more) donated by Food in Bloom Catering.

Festivities get under way at 7:30 p.m. at St. Philip Neri Parish, 2408 SE 16th Ave., Portland. Born in 1879, Hill was a Swedish immigrant and labor organizer for the Industrial Workers of the World. He was renowned as a songwriter, with such ballads as "Casey Jones," "Power in the Union" and the "Preacher and the Slave." Hill was framed on a murder charge and executed by the State of Utah on Nov. 19, 1915. His ashes are spread in every state in the country except Utah.

The Sisters of the Road Cafe is located in the heart of the West Burnside Community. It opened 18 years ago as a non-profit barter/meal cafe for low-income and homeless Oregonians.

For more information or to order tickets, call Howard Rotstein at 288-8684 or Christine Fry at 222-5694.

Finally, on Sunday, Nov. 16, at 7 p.m. the Portland Chapter of the Coalition of Labor Union Women will show the film "The Uprising of 1934" at the 5th Avenue Cinema, 510 SW Hall, Portland. Admission is $3 at the door or order tickets by calling 236-9899. The film tells the story of the General Textile Strike of 1934, a massive, but little-known strike involving hundreds of thousands of Southern cotton mill workers during the Great Depression. The mill workers' defiant stance -- and the grass-roots organizing that led up to it -- challenged the system of mill-owner control that had shaped the life in cotton mill communities for decades.

Coordination of the events for Labor History Month is being handled by NOLC's Labor History Committee chaired by Jim Cook, president of Letter Carriers Branch 82. The committee meets at 6 p.m. the fourth Monday each month, prior to regular labor council meeting in the Machinists Building.


Nov. 7, 1997 issue

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