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鱼罐头加工业的华工历史

热度 1已有 300 次阅读2021-7-21 09:52 |个人分类:华人历史|系统分类:转帖-知识

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The Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI, Seattle) had an excellent exhibit showing the history of the Chinese, Filipino, and Japanese who worked in the Alaskan canneries. It showed how each group was driven out when there was a downturn in the local economy. Chinese were replaced by the Filipinos, who in turn were driven out, and eventually replaced by the Japanese...who were eventually driven out and replaced with... Alaskan Native Americans. None of these labor groups were ever replaced by the "Iron Chink" salmon processing machine - which was promoted in the 1900's using racial animosity against the Chinese.
So much of our Chinese American history is interwoven in world events. Alaskan salmon was a huge industry starting in the latter part of the 19th century. A can of Salmon (cooked in a can) was considered one of the most desired items in a general store before there was refrigeration. There were so many canneries in Alaska in the 1870's that Chinese (many were ex-railroad workers) were solicited to work in them to fill the labor shortage. Then there was an economic downturn and the Chinese were blamed to "stealing jobs," and driven out of cannery work. ...a few years later, the economy improved and once more a labor shortage. Solution was to import workers from the Philippines (we just acquired the Philippines as a result of triumphing in the Spanish-American War). That worked until the next economic downturn, and the Filipino workers were then blamed for "stealing jobs." And when the economy again improved...another labor shortage...Japanese filled the void...and then "rinse and repeat." You'll have fun with this in your Asian American studies classes. Best, Al

interesting the juxtaposition of how the Chinese Americans and others filled the void of farming and other jobs when Japanese Americans were put into internment camps.

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