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Inventory of the Frank Bardacke Watsonville Canneries Strike Records, 1984-1989
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The Frank Bardacke Watsonville Canneries Strike Collection consists of materials collected by Bardacke, one of the founders of the Watsonville chapter of Teamsters for a Democratic Union (TDU) and a resident of that community since the early 1970s, who was actively involved with the support committee for the striking cannery workers. It is largely comprised of newspaper clippings, mainly from the Watsonville Register-Pajaronian, leaflets, and newsletters. Materials date from 1984, the year before the strike, through 1989, although the vast majority of the material is from the strike itself (September 1985 to March 1987).
Frank Bardacke, one of the founders of the Watsonville chapter of Teamsters for a Democratic Union (TDU), was born in San Diego in 1941. He earned a Masters Degree from UC Berkeley, worked for three years in the frozen food industry, and was teaching adult education at the time of the strike.Watsonville, a town of nearly 30,000 located in the heart of the agricultural Salinas Valley, is home to numerous canneries that process the majority of frozen food products sold in the United States (Unity 10/85, in Media Coverage series). In September 1985, nearly half of the town's 4,000 cannery workers went out on strike to protest wage cutbacks. In February 1986, R. Shaw Frozen Foods reached a settlement with their 900 employees that included a 17% pay cut. It wasn't until a year later that workers at Watsonville Canning returned to work. The bitter 18-month strike can serve as a case study of the remarkable challenges facing agribusiness workers, whose livelihoods are affected as much by local politics as by the international economy. The following is a summary of key events taken from an article that appeared in the Watsonville Register-Pajaronian (4 March 1987) and other material from the Status Reports & Chronology series folder.
1 carton (1.25 cubic feet)
Copyright has not been assigned to the Labor Archives & Research Center. All requests for permission to publish or quote from materials must be submitted in writing to the Director of the Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Labor Archives & Research Center as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.
Collection is open for research.