Looong article on the San Francisco general strike:
On May 9, 1934, San Francisco longshoremen went out on strike against West Coast ship owners, igniting a movement of 35,000 maritime workers of the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) that shut down 2,000 miles of Pacific coastline from Bellingham, Washington, to San Diego, California.
Driven by the determination and militancy of the rank and file, this 83-day struggle defied the employers’ Industrial Association of San Francisco, President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s federal mediators, the conservative American Federation of Labor (AFL) union leadership, and culminated in the San Francisco general strike.
The San Francisco strike combined with two other momentous labor struggles in 1934 to alter the American political landscape—the Toledo Auto-Lite strike led by socialists in the American Workers Party, and the Minneapolis truck drivers strike led by Trotskyists in the Communist League of America. These three strikes—which were, in essence, rebellions not only against business interests but also against the business unionism of the AFL—paved the way for the pivotal victories of Detroit auto workers in sit-down strikes led by socialist-minded workers in 1937 and the formation of the mass industrial unions in the CIO (Congress of Industrial Organizations.)
World Socialist Worker: 75 years since the San Francisco general strike
(via Nick P)
September 19, 2009 at 1:07 am
Essential labor history. Thanks so much for the repost of this. People need to know about this.