War on the Docks:
Puget Sound’s Longshoremen in the 1934 Strike
In Tacoma, employers attempted to recruit black longshoremen, believing that the mostly white ILA would refuse to incorporate workers of color into its ranks.
But the employers were wrong.The ILA offered these black longshoremen entry into the union if they did not scab.It worked, and few black longshoremen
crossed the picket line.
Here, in an excerpt from his speech at the 100 year anniversary of the Tacoma longshoremen’s union, Harry Bridges remembers Tacoma longshoremen’s solidarity during the strike.The full speech, as well as other videos, can be viewed on THE WATERFRONT WORKERS HISTORY PROJECT.
Harry Bridges at
the 100thAnniversary of Tacoma’s Longshoremen’s Unions, 1986.