Until the 1950s, men of European ancestry generally held the better, higher-paying jobs in the canneries.While the early industry relied heavily on First Nations and Asian workers to provide cheap wage labour in the canneries, it was generally the white, working-class voters who regularly received the best jobs. Usually of English, Scottish, Welsh and Irish descent, these men formed the bulk of the managers, bookkeepers, supervisors, builders and machinists needed in the canneries. This trend continued until the1950s when unionization began weakening segregation within the industry. As labour unions carved out better working conditions and wages, women of European descent chose cannery work and also became a permanent part of the industry workforce. Since the 1950s, opportunities in the industry have been more accessible to people of every gender, race and heritage.