New Economies

During the 1970s and 1980s several factors decimated resource jobs in BC: technological change, economic globalization and environmental pressures are some.

The forest industry – where so many South Asians earned their living – was especially impacted by these sweeping changes.

As membership declined, many IWA Locals around BC consolidated. In 2005 the membership of the IWA had declined so significantly that it merged with the United Steelworkers where the historic achievements of the IWA could be preserved.

In the 68 years since the IWA began organizing sawmills, the face of the membership had changed remarkably as South Asian Canadians became a significant part of the union. The final membership meeting of Local 1-217 before becoming part of the United Steelworkers in 2005 demonstrates the importance of South Asians to the union. IWA Local 1-217 files.


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Union Zindabad! Copyright © 2022 by BC Labour Heritage Centre is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book