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Finding Aid to the International Fishermen and Allied Workers of America records, circa 1938-1953
BANC MSS 75/6 c  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
Records of the International Fishermen and Allied Workers of America, a trade union on the Pacific Coast of the United States. The collection documents the activities of the union from its founding in 1939 through the early 1950s.
Background
The International Fishermen and Allied Workers of America (IFAWA) was a trade union on the Pacific Coast of the United States active from 1939 until the late 1950s. IFAWA grew out of an earlier amalgamated fishermen's union, the United Fishermen's Union (UFU), which was established in 1937 as an affiliate of the Congress of Industrial Organizations. In May of 1939, the UFU and three other CIO-affiliated fishermen's unions merged to form the International Fishermen and Allied Workers of America. IFAWA was also CIO-affiliated and its emergence was spurred by the rise of industrial fishing (with a focus on canning) and by a national movement of industrial unionism during the 1930s. IFAWA was one of many unions representing different kinds of workers on the West Coast's waterfront, a center of radical unionism during the 1930s and 1940s. IFAWA brought to fruition the idea of a Pacific coast union that would represent all workers from catch to cannery in the fisheries industries in California, Oregon, Washington, and Alaska. For the first time, fisheries workers joined together across the craft boundaries that had dominated West Coast fishermen's organizing since the late-nineteenth century. At its peak, IFAWA represented approximately 30,000 workers. IFAWA's early years coincided with World War II, which brought challenges in the form of changing demographics, the drafting of many of the union's members into the military, and increasing suspicion of the union's Communist Party ties. In 1950, IFAWA became one of eleven unions expelled from the Congress of Industrial Organizations, in part because of its connections to the Communist Party. During the same year, IFAWA merged with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union.
Extent
Number of containers: 19 cartons, 2 cardfile boxes, 1 oversize box (linear feet: 26)
Restrictions
All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, 94720-6000. Consent is given on behalf of The Bancroft Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission from the copyright owner. Such permission must be obtained from the copyright owner. See: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/reference/permissions.html.
Availability
Collection is open for research.