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LaborFest 2019: SF Waterfront Labor History Walk | SF
Submitted by the Event Organizer
LaborFest is an annual festival celebrating the history and culture of working people through film, art, lectures, and exhibits all over the Bay Area from July 2-31, 2019.
This year’s theme, Labor on the edge: Dystopia or a future for workers.
LaborFest this year celebrates the 85th anniversary of the San Francisco General Strike. The 1934 General Strike transformed San Francisco and the Bay Area into a strong union center in the United States. It also allowed hundreds of thousands of workers to join unions because of the collective power of the working people.
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Today, for the first time in decades, some union leaders, including the CWA AFA president Sarah Nelson, are calling for another general strike against the attacks on Federal workers and the entire working class.
This has also become the year of the teacher. Working people are on the move. For the first time in US history, hundreds of thousands of teachers, including in Oakland and Los Angeles, have been in the streets fighting for their rights and their students for a decent public education.
Working people are also organizing in San Francisco, including Anchor Steam workers, healthcare workers, and the VCA veterinarian workers. The need for unions is greater than ever, and despite efforts to stop workers from organizing, workers continue to join unions.
There are many stories about labor struggles in San Francisco. The walk will focus on the maritime industry from 1835 until the burning of the blue book in 1934. Also, labor historian Larry Shoup will discuss the history of the 1901 transportation workers strike led by the Teamsters, which the San Francisco police attempted, but failed, to smash. After an over two-month long struggle, the workers emerged victorious, and the Union Labor Party won the election of 1901, taking control of the city. San Francisco was the first large city in the United States to have a union labor party in office.
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