Although major strides and landmark decisions seem to be a thing of the past in the labour movement, Richmond city councilor Harold Steves remembers the time of action and change, particularly within the city's prominent fishing industry.
"It was quite an exciting time to live in actually," he said. "There were a lot of people out there campaigning for issues. That doesn't happen so much now. We're lacking a large group of people who can mobilize change and look at large issues like the environment."
Such a group was the United Fishermen and Allied Workers Union, enjoying its peak
from the 1950s through to the 1970s.
"As a major force in Steveston Village, the union was a great advocate for environmental issues and the clean up of the Fraser River.
"The fishermen were so active that it led to a sewage treatment plant in Richmond," said Steves. "Not only just a sewage treatment plant, but the first secondary treatment plant in the area."
Although not playing a major role with the union, long-time fisherman Bud Sakamoto remembers that time as the fishing prime, when off the shores of the river sailed 1,500 to 2,000 boats, instead of the few hundred seen today.
With his grandfather coming from Japan as a boat builder, Sakamoto also saw the way racial tensions played out during the beginning of the small fishing village.
"In the early years, there was a large population of Japanese fishermen, I'd say maybe about one-third, but they weren't really part of the union," he said. "Then you would have a high Chinese population as well who came over for the CPR and they'd mostly be in charge of unloading the fish and butchery. The Caucasian or European fishermen would be out in the boats or in charge or cooking and prepping the fish."
However, after the Second World War, when the Japanese fishermen returned, Sakamoto said there was more effort on the part of the union to bring everyone together in one community.
He joined his father on the boat at a young age and by the time he was 15 years old, he was able to get his own license.
"I'd be out on the boat in the summers, which would help pay for my school," he said. "Most of the women worked in the canneries, which was a separate organization.
My sisters worked there during the summers too."
Since its peak, changes to the fishing industry have caused fewer boats on the water, resulting in the eventual extinction of the once active union, according to Sakamoto.
On top of climate change and the automation of the industry, he points to changes in management from the International Salmon Commission to the DFO and licensing as main reasons for the decline.
Licenses used to cost less and cover the entire area, as well as, all species of fish. Now fishermen need to apply for different licenses depending on the area they fish in, the type of species they fish and type of boat.
To help the industry, he would like to see more fishermen in management roles.
"Fishermen should be involved in the management of the resource," he said. "No fisherman wants to catch the last fish, we want to make sure there's plenty out there."
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