A social history of pulpwood logging in Newfoundland during the Great Depression

Sutherland, John Dufferin (1988) A social history of pulpwood logging in Newfoundland during the Great Depression. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

The Great Depression which struck all western nations in the 1930s was a period of great hardship for Newfoundlanders. Its burdens fell particularly hard on the island's loggers and their families. During the 1930s, for at least part of the year, nearly 6,000 Newfoundlanders toiled in the woods. While some worked full-time, many laboured part-time to supplement their meagre earnings from the fishery. Their labour contributed significantly to a forest products industry which, during the 1930s, was regularly valued at over $15 million a year and, in many years, made up over 50 per cent of the value of the island's exports. And yet, despite their numbers and their contribution to Newfoundland's economy we have heard very little of these loggers' lives and as Greg Kealey puts it, "their struggles to minimize their oppression and to improve the lives of their families and their class." This thesis examines the working lives of Newfoundland loggers during the Great Depression, their labour processes, strikes, collective actions and attempts to organize in the latter half of the decade. In 1930 there were no unions specifically for loggers. By 1939, however, there were three unions, the Newfoundland Lumbermen's Association, the Newfoundland Labourers' Union, and the Workers' Central Protective Union all of which represented loggers in the regions where they were based. The Fishermen's Protective Union was also still active in the 1930s negotiating agreements on behalf of loggers on the northeast coast of the island. This thesis looks at the emergence, structure, and effectiveness of the unions and at their damaging rivalries. In doing so, it charts the changes these organizations forged in the relations between labour and capital in the Newfoundland woods before World War II.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/5977
Item ID: 5977
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 194-206.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > History
Date: 1988
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Lumbermen--Newfoundland and Labrador--History; Lumbermen--Labor unions--Newfoundland and Labrador; Strikes and lockouts--Lumber trade--Newfoundland and Labrador

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