Civil Rights and Labor History Consortium / University of Washington

Ernesto Mangaoang Radio Interview during the 1950 Alaska Cannery Strike

[Seattle's CIO Radio--Reports from Labor]     [Jerry Tyler--An Activist Life]     [Jerry Tyler Photos]    

Local 7 leadership in early 1940s
Business Agent Ernesto Mangaoang at far left.
(Courtesy Fred and Dorothy Cordova, Pinoy Archive, Filipino American National Historical Society)


Listen to Ernesto Mangaoang discuss the Alaska Cannery Workers lockout on Jerry Tyler's Reports from Labor broadcast (May 11, 1950). Click player to begin

Here is the (pdf transcript)


In 1949 five Local 7 leaders were arrested and threatened with deportation because of ties to the Communist Party. This pamphlet was part of the campaign to save the union and its leaders. (Courtesy Fred and Dorothy Cordova, Pinoy Archive, Filipino American National Historical Society)

In May 1950, Local 7-c, representing Alaska cannery workers, declared a strike that threatened to disrupt the summer canning season. Because of its left-wing reputation, the Filipino-led union had become a prime target of the Cold War red scare. Kicked out of the CIO for refusing to sign the Taft-Hartley Act provisions against communists serving in leadership positions, the local found refuge by affiliating with the ILWU, which had also resisted Taft-Hartley.

Then federal authorities arrested five of the local's leaders, all of them born in the Philippines, and initiated deportation proceedings. When a rival AFL union tried to seize its cannery contracts, Local 7 fought back, mobilizing workers in Seattle and other west coast centers and ultimately forcing the employers to restore their union shop contracts.

We have a remarkable audio record from the strike. On May 11, 1950, Local 7 business agent Ernesto Magaoang was interviewed on Reports from Labor, a biweekly labor radio show that aired in the Seattle area. Host Jerry Tyler told listeners about the lockout and strike and Mangaoang filled in the details. The 10 minute interview can be heard in the mp3 player at right. Or read the transcript.

Reports from Labor was supported by the CIO and waterfront unions, especially the ILWU and the Marine Cooks and Stewards, Jerry Tyler's union. Read about Jerry Tyler and Seattle's leftwing radio show:

Seattle's CIO Radio: Reports from Labor by Leo Baunach

For more on Ernesto Mangaoang, the historic deportation case , and the history of Local 7:

"The Local 7/ Local 37 Story: Filipino American Cannery Unionism in Seattle 1940-1959" by Micah Ellison