About this item
Number of Pages: 192
Genre: Social Science
Series Title: Real World
Publisher: Microcosm Publishing
Author: Moe Bowstern
Street Date: September 1, 2005
Item Number (DPCI): 247-02-5320
"Before 1997, at the beginning of the season, the canneries would post a price for fish, a token cent, literally a penny per pound - and then raise it as the season progressed. The fishermen wouldn't fish without the posting 0 producing fish in a competitive market, from an unpredictable sea, placed the skippers under too much financial pressure, as they hired a crew and outfitted a boat, for them not to be assured of payment. Once the token cent was posted, the skippers fished away, trusting that the canneries would eventually settle on an acceptable price, while the canneries trusted that the fishermen would bring them their fish. In 1997, everything changed. Before the Kodiak herring season, one of the big, Japanese owned canneries on cannery row did not post the usual token-cent price before the fleet went fishing. They caught and delivered fish, all on an open ticket. At the end of the season the fishermen did not get paid for their herring. The rumor was that the cannery just shrugged and said 'We never said we would pay you.' [Moe] Bowstern's magnum opus. This issue includes strike-related songs, cartoons, fliers, company and union postings, and Bowstern's observations of other strike participants. The risk of bringing fish to the table becomes visceral here - and added to that is the irony that men who developed scabies and died were scabs, who, only the night before, strikers had wished dead, at least metaphorically." --Cathy Camper, "Women's Review of Books"
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