Labor History

104 years later, Centralia IWW fight continues

Whether the American Legion or Industrial Workers of the World was to blame for a 1919 gun battle is still in dispute.

Springfield plans public celebration unveiling new labor mural

A failed campaign to save a Springfield labor history mural ended up spawning a successful campaign for a new one.

When collective begging turned to collective bargaining

The union rights Oregon public employees have today were won because workers struck in the lead up to a landmark bill in 1973.

When Vancouver teachers went to jail for striking

Return to work or go to jail. That was the ultimatum a judge gave teachers at Evergreen School District 50 years ago this month.

When the Labor Press battled the Klan

Here's the story of how this newspaper led a gutsy crusade against the hate group a century ago—then abruptly fell silent while the Klan rose to power.

A new self-guided tour of Portland Labor History

It includes Francis Murnane Memorial Wharf, a public memorial to a longshore union leader; a labor history mural at PCC Sylvania; and more.

SEIU Local 49 celebrates 100 years

The union's history began in Portland's performance venues in 1922, when theater and dance hall janitors decided to improve their working conditions.

Solidarity Forever

In honor of Labor Day, the Labor Press commissioned artist Jim Kettner to produce a graphic look at labor’s anthem, and the man who wrote it.

A forgotten strike

105 years ago, well before any law recognized union rights, a paper mill strike spread like a match to paper across Oregon and Washington.

They believed in what they believed in

The example set by Bunny Kuiken reminds us that the immigrant working class is an integral part of our history.

The law that poisoned labor: Taft-Hartley turns 75

Taft-Hartley brought 12 years of explosive union growth to a sudden end, and it contributed to what has now been a 75-year decline.

OPB to air new documentary on 1934 West Coast longshore strike

One of the most thrilling episodes of American labor history will soon come to life on Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB).

What’s it like to strike?

Strikes, once common, are rare today. We asked Northwest Labor Press readers to share their strike stories.

Oregon labor history chronology

Pacific Northwest Labor History Association has published a chronology of labor history, assembled by the group’s Oregon trustee Ron Verzuh.

Labor Press celebrates 120th Anniversary

Portland unions started the Labor Press in 1900 because other newspapers failed to cover labor fairly, or at all. That need continues today.

Looking back on the Battle in Seattle

It’s been 20 years since the Seattle WTO protests. The corporate trade agenda has never recovered.

Major labor history conference in Portland

As many as 150 labor historians, students, and union members will gather in Portland May 3-5 for the annual conference of the Pacific Northwest Labor History Association, which rotates through Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia.

Our history can inspire today’s young workers

General strikes created labor heroes, along with a few labor martyrs, and they inspired new generations of workers to join unions.

Bricklayers Local 1 celebrates 125 years

When BAC Local 1 began on May 22, 1893, bricklayers were making $6 a day and working six 10-hour days a week.

Operating Engineers Local 701 celebrates its centennial

Oregon was a very different place when the International Union of Steam Operating Engineers chartered a new local Sept. 18, 1918.