Records of the International Fishermen and Allied Workers of America, a trade union on the Pacific Coast of the United States.
The collection documents the activities of the union from its founding in 1939 through the early 1950s.
The International Fishermen and Allied Workers of America (IFAWA) was a trade union on the Pacific Coast of the United States
active from 1939 until the late 1950s. IFAWA grew out of an earlier amalgamated fishermen's union, the United Fishermen's
Union (UFU), which was established in 1937 as an affiliate of the Congress of Industrial Organizations. In May of 1939, the
UFU and three other CIO-affiliated fishermen's unions merged to form the International Fishermen and Allied Workers of America.
IFAWA was also CIO-affiliated and its emergence was spurred by the rise of industrial fishing (with a focus on canning) and
by a national movement of industrial unionism during the 1930s. IFAWA was one of many unions representing different kinds
of workers on the West Coast's waterfront, a center of radical unionism during the 1930s and 1940s. IFAWA brought to fruition
the idea of a Pacific coast union that would represent all workers from catch to cannery in the fisheries industries in California,
Oregon, Washington, and Alaska. For the first time, fisheries workers joined together across the craft boundaries that had
dominated West Coast fishermen's organizing since the late-nineteenth century. At its peak, IFAWA represented approximately
30,000 workers. IFAWA's early years coincided with World War II, which brought challenges in the form of changing demographics,
the drafting of many of the union's members into the military, and increasing suspicion of the union's Communist Party ties.
In 1950, IFAWA became one of eleven unions expelled from the Congress of Industrial Organizations, in part because of its
connections to the Communist Party. During the same year, IFAWA merged with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union.
Number of containers: 19 cartons, 2 cardfile boxes, 1 oversize box (linear feet: 26)
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owner. Such permission must be obtained from the copyright owner. See: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/reference/permissions.html.
Collection is open for research.