How the Great Salmon Strike Continued
An excerpt from a new book on a pivotal labour action in B.C.’s history.
Geoff Meggs is the author of Salmon: The Decline of the West Coast Fishery, which received the Lieutenant-Governor’s Medal for Historical Writing. A former Vancouver city councillor, Meggs is chief of staff to B.C. Premier John Horgan.
Four men, including First Nations fishers, acted as scrutineers; two reporters were asked to supervise the count. A total of 495 votes were in favour of 25 cents, 15 for 22 cents and 27 for 20 cents. Of the 541 ballots cast, seven were spoiled. The cheering that erupted at the announcement of the vote “fairly woke the town.” The strike would continue. MacLain and other strikers aboard the steamer Starling found few boats on the river that night. Rogers professed himself confident few would venture out at dawn, either. If they did, one thousand white fishermen would meet them.