Capital and Labour in the British Columbia Forest Industry, 1934-74
272 pages, 6 1/4 x 9 1/4
19 b&w illustrations, 2 maps
Release Date:01 Jul 2007
Release Date:06 Dec 2006
Release Date:01 Jul 2007

Capital and Labour in the British Columbia Forest Industry, 1934-74

UBC Press

The history of British Columbia’s economy in the twentieth century is inextricably bound to the development of the forest industry. In this comprehensive study, Gordon Hak approaches the forest industry from the perspectives of workers and employers, examining the two main sets of institutions that structured the relationship during the Fordist era: the companies and the unions.

Drawing on theories of the labour process, Fordism, and discursive subjectivity, Hak relates daily routines of production and profit-making to broader forces of unionism, business ideology, ecological protest, technological change, and corporate concentration. The struggle of the small-business sector to survive in the face of corporate growth, the history of the industry on the Coast and in the Interior, the transformations in capital-labour relations during the period, government forest policy, and the forest industry’s encounter with the emerging environmental movement are all considered in this eloquent analysis.

With its critical historical perspective, Capital and Labour in the British Columbia Forest Industry will be essential reading for anyone interested in the business, natural resource, political, social, and labour history of the province.


  • 2007, Long-listed - George Ryga Award for Social Awareness in BC Writing and Publishing
This is a very well-written book that makes important scholarly contributions to a number of disciplines … It uses a rich variety of sources and methods to combine economic history with cultural, political, labour, and social history in ways that will challenge and inspire all BC and Canadian historians. Mark Leier, Professor of History and Director of the Centre for Labour Studies at Simon Fraser University
Gordon Hak is a member of the History Department at Malaspina University-College.

Maps, Tables, Illustrations




1 Companies, Markets, and Production Facilities

2 The State, Sustained Yield, and Small Operators

3 Establishing Unions

4 Union Politics

5 The Daily Grind: Capital and Labour in the Era of the Collective Agreement

6 Technology

7 Companies and Unions Meet the Environmental Movement

Final Remarks





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