3:00 pm to 5:00 pm
“Unionism and Civil Rights in the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU): Bridging Activism from the 1940s to the 1960s in the San Francisco Bay Area”
Jess Rigelhaupt, University of Mary Washington
Commentators: Edmund Wehrle, Eastern Illinois University, and John Rosen, University of Illinois at Chicago
The International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) was one of many progressive industrial unions with strong civil rights platforms in the San Francisco Bay Area in the 1940s. Despite attacks for its ties with the left and its expulsion from the CIO in 1950, it provided institutional resources to civil rights activists and maintained a civil rights agenda inside and outside of its union halls during the 1950s and through the McCarthy-era repression. The ILWU’s commitment to civil rights helped sustain the Bay Area’s civil rights movement, linking activists from the 1940s and 1950s to the re-emerging movement of the early 1960s.