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SFU's Centre for Labour Studies has teamed up with members of B.C.'s labour movement to document the oral histories of labour leaders in the province. The goal is to assist trade unionists in capturing and preserving the stories of their labour movement elders. Much of the history of B.C.'s labour movement exists only in the heads of older members, retired officers and seniors.
To help record and preserve these historical accounts, the centre hosted a one-day oral history workshop in November that brought together experts in oral history and current and former trade unionists. "Schools don't teach much labour history, and unions don't often have the resources to write it," says history professor and centre director Mark Leier (above). Older union members "have much to tell us, and they are an important resource. But we need to record and keep their histories if they are to survive."