by billorton 3,103 views
In 1934, west coast dockworkers joined together under the leadership of a committee headed by Harry Bridges and went out on strike for 88 days. Police and National Guard troops beat and shot workers, leading to deaths in California, Oregon and Washington and scores of injuries. Ultimately, a national arbitration award in Oct. 1934 ended in victory for the workers, who were awarded a joint Hiring Hall and a coastwide longshore contract, the two goals of the entire action.
by billorton 7,872 views
Longshore workers striking in 1934 took a break on July 4th, 1934 for Independence Day before returning to picket lines. On July 5th, San Francisco police opened fire on striking workers, killing two and injuring 109 in what has since come to be known as Bloody Thursday. The deaths and subsequent turnout of 40,000 for the funeral procession turned public opinion in favor of the workers.
by billorton 1,450 views
The workers won their two major goals in the 1934 strike: the establishment of a coastwide longshore contract and the creation of a jointly-operated Hiring Hall. Up until the strike, workers had no control over how jobs were assigned. The Hiring Hall gave the union control over assigning jobs, meaning dignity for workers. The coastwide contract has been in place continuously since 1934 and next comes up for renegotiation in 2008.
by billorton 3,180 views
Success by dockworkers in the 1934 strike led to the establishment of the INTERNATIONAL LONGSHORE AND WAREHOUSE UNION, or ILWU. The union had to fight to hold on to their gains throughout the 1930s and 1940s. A major strike in 1948 led shippers to reorganize their own bargaining organization, and so was born the Pacific Maritime Association, or PMA, which was founded on the idea of a "New Look" in how the employers dealt with the ILWU. The cooperative spirit of the "New Look" lasted for more than 50 years on the Pacific Coast, a time of historic changes in how cargo was handled. In contract talks in 1999 and 2002, the PMA seemingly abandoned the "New Look," in favor of a confrontational approach. We'll see where the shippers go for the 2008 contract talks.