On the Line: Stories of BC Workers

Episode 2: The 1931 Fraser Mills Strike

October 05, 2020 BC Labour Heritage Centre Season 1 Episode 2
On the Line: Stories of BC Workers
Episode 2: The 1931 Fraser Mills Strike
Show Notes

Nearly 90 years ago, in the dark years of the Great Depression, union membership and the number of strikes in B.C. fell dramatically; but every now and then, against all odds, workers took a stand. It happened in September 1931 at the Fraser Mills Lumber plant on the shores of the Fraser River in Maillardville, now part of Coquitlam. A diverse group of rank-and-file workers set aside their racial divisions and came together to fight for better wages, better working conditions and basic respect as human beings. This is their story.

Theme song: "Hold the Fort" - Arranged & Performed by Tom Hawken & his band, 1992. Part of the "On to Ottawa" film produced by Sara Diamond.
"Everybody Works But Father" (1905) - Performed by Bill Murray, words and music by Jean Havez.
"Horsey, Keep Your Tail Up" (1924) HMV B Recording of The Savoy Orpheans, performing as The Romaine Orchestra. Original composed and performed by Melville Gideon, 1923.
"The Workman's Parade" (1929) Performed by Lacroix Quartette, based on the earlier song "Le Pauvre Ouvrier" composed by Lucien Delormel.  

"Bob Bouchette" played by John Mabbott.
"Worker from Quebec" played by Marc Gamelin.

Research and script for this episode by Rod Mickleburgh. Rod would like to thank the author of the following thesis, which provided inspiration and valuable information for much of this episode.

Ethnicity and Class Conflict at Maillardville/Fraser Mills: The Strike of 1931 by M. Jeanne Meyers Williams. B.A., Simon Fraser University, 1979. THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS In the Department of History © M. Jeanne Meyers Williams, 1982.

"Camp Fermin" - Blue Dot Sessions.
"Up Folk" - Ketsa.
"Dusty Hills" - Ketsa.
"Campfire Interlude" - Blue Dot Sessions.