On to Ottawa Trek
The isolation and dehumanizing conditions of the camps created an ideal situation for organizing; workers were desperate, and they had the time and contact to figure out how to take
action. Relief camp workers in B.C. formed the Relief Camp Worker's Union (RCWU) under the direction of Arthur Evans, a skilled carpenter, miner and communist labour organizer.
The RCWU demand for "work and wages" spread quickly through the camps. Through 1934, the RCWU grew into a strong, disciplined, democratic organization, focusing the hopes
and energy of unemployed.
The inmates called them "slave camps". In these camps men were issued war surplus clothing, given a bunk in a tar-paper shack, fed army rations and forced to work 6 1/2 days
a week for 20 cents a day.
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