Civil Rights and Labor History Consortium / University of Washington

Harry Bridges speaks: two videos

Founder and leader of the ILWU, Harry Bridges was one of the outstanding labor leaders of the 20th Century.

Here are two important videos of Harry Bridges from different decades: (1) a newsreel interview from 1950 after his conviction on perjury charges; (2) his memorable 1986 speech to Local 23 celebrating the 100th anniversary of longshore unionism in Tacoma

This 1950 newsreel clip shows Harry Bridges following his perjury conviction for denying that he had been a member of the Communist Party. He replies to reporters' questions showing the wit and radical idealism for which he was famous. (1 minute)

Click here


In 1986, Local 23 celebrated 100 years of longshore unionism in Tacoma. 85-year-old Harry Bridges shared his memories of the local, the 1934 strike, the struggle to win coast-wide union recognition, and the importance of interracial unionism. And he reminds the audience of the words he lived by all his life: “put your faith in the rank-and-file.” (8 min) Click here