Briggs, Lorne oral history interview

Interview with Lorne Briggs
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ILWU Local 502

He grew up in New Westminster, and at 10 years old, he remembers exploring ships that were docked there. Briggs married at 17 years old, and at 20 years old he needed a job to support his young family. His brother encouraged him to go the longshore hall, which he did on December 22, 1961. Briggs also worked briefly at MacMillan Bloedel, drove a truck for a lumber company, and tried working as an electrician prior to longshore. Briggs reports that his family is one of the few families that have four generations working on the waterfront:. He retired in 2005 at the age of 64, and during his career he worked in New Westminster and Vancouver. In this interview he largely discusses how automation and mechanization changed the work of longshoring, the camaraderie and brotherhood amongst the longshoremen, and why he believes the stereotype of longshoremen being “all brawn and no brains” is inaccurate. He states that there is no other labour job like shoring and that “you had to work it to understand it”.

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