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University of California Berkeley 




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Regional Oral History Office University of California 
The Bancroft Library Berkeley, California 

Volume II 

Louis Goldblatt 

in two volumes 

With an Introduction by 
Clark Kerr 

An Interview Conducted by 
Estolv Ethan Ward 
in 1978, 1979 

All uses of this manuscript are covered by 
a legal agreement between the Regents of the 
University of California and Louis Goldblatt 
dated December 4, 1979. The manuscript is 
thereby made available for research purposes. 
According to the agreement, the manuscript is 
closed to all users until January 1, 1983, 
except with the written permission of Louis 
Goldblatt. All literary rights to publish are 
reserved to Louis Goldblatt until January 1, 
1990. No part of the manuscript may be quoted 
for publication without the written permission 
of the Director of The Bancroft Library of the 
University of California at Berkeley. 

Requests for permission to quote for publi 
cation should be addressed to the Regional 
Oral History Office, 486 Library, and should 
include identification of the specific passages 
to be quoted, anticipated use of the passages, 
and identification of the user. The legal agree 
ment with Louis Goldblatt requires that he be 
notified of the request and allowed thirty days 
in which to respond. 

Copy no. / 
Copyright Cc) 1980 by the Regents of the University of California 

TABLE OF CONTENTS Louis Goldblatt 



The Lithuanian Freethinkers 
Walking Away From the Czar 

Strikes and "Cossacks" 5 

About Religion 6 
A Quick Jump to Hollywood 

Back to the Bronx 9 

The Other Children 10 

The Division of Labor 11 
Women and Orthodoxy 
The Family Scene 

Friends and Enemies 20 

Anti-Semitism 24 

Musical Beginnings 26 

The Work Ethic 37 

Leftwing Politics 43 


Education, Work, Political Action 54 

Joining the Young Communists 69 

Matrimony 78 

Life in Berkeley 82 

Law and Justice 92 

The Great 1934 Strike 99 
The Communist Candidacy 

The Electrifying Speaker 120 

The Dangers of Fascism 121 


The Warehouse Organizing Drive 127 

The 1936 Strike 142 

The Move to the CIO 156 

The Teamster Blockade 170 


Strikes, Fights and Progress 183 

The Hot Boxcar 186 
The Master Contract 

Problems About War-like Japan 197 

The Crockett Struggle 202 

More CIO Activity 219 

The Pardoning of Tom Mooney 225 

Disturbing War Rumbles 234 

Labor Spies 237 
Union Leadership vs. Leftwing Politics 242 

A Lively Social Life 248 


First Mention of Hawaii 265 

More About the California CIO 269 

Concentration Camps for Japanese 281 

The Power of Jewish Tradition 290 


Aftermath of the Tolan Hearing 296 

Studying Hawaii 298 

Feudal Power - The Big Five 303 

Discovery of the Natural Leader 308 

A Boat-Ride to the Islands 310 

Grass Roots Political Action 318 

How to Quell Racial Friction 319 

The Garbage Can Agreement 323 


The Party Connection Dissolves 327 

Work on the War Labor Board 328 


A Smashing Political Victory 344 

Stories About a Wobbly 352 

The Pre-Strike Legal Victory 357 


Striking on the Big Five's Money 366 

The Passion for Land 378 

Smashing Racial Discrimination 384 

The Tough Hotelman 393 

That Awful Brown Rice 402 


Staving Off a Mill on Dollar Judgment 409 

Waving Farewell to the Party 419 


"Free Enterprise" Again 432 

The Committee for Maritime Unity 443 

A Question of Sleep 446 

Effects of the Cold War 455 

"Hawaii for the Hawaiians" 457 

Showdown! 464 


Employers Turn the Other Cheek 476 

Kindness to Union Men 486 

Family Interlude 489 

A Horrendous Period 499 


The Great Longshore Strike in Hawaii 504 

A Long, Difficult Strike 516 

The "Dear Joe" Stories 519 
The "Broom Brigade" 

Fun on An Airplane 527 

Strike-Breaking Attempts 530 

The Ranks Hold Solid 543 

A Rift in the Leadership? 548 


"No Stoop, No Squat, No Squint" 556 

A Heave-Ho to the "Final Offer" 557 

Dangers Abroad 562 

Talking with Mr. Kruschchev 576 

The International Blacklist 585 

Blighty Lets Down the Bars 589 



More About Expulsion from the CIO 596 


And Other Headaches 611 

More Trouble in Hawaii 623 

Other Legal Harassment 627 

The Man Who Turned 643 


The Lanai Strike 654 

Oh! Those Early Fifties! 673 

Fighting at the Dalles 678 

Seven Key Words 680 


One Hundred Bucks a Month 685 

Death of Gene Paton 692 

Reason Instead of Force 694 

The Velde Committee 713 

The Witness Lies 721 

Relations with the ILA 726 

The Shady Side of the Street 733 

The Eastland Committee 736 

The McClellan Committee 738 

The Kennedy Brothers 750 


An Analysis of Jimmy .H of fa 757 

An Interesting Phone Call 764 


A Very Smooth Operator 781 

An Amazing Change 784 

Matson Gets the Brush-Off 785 

Pensions, Dental Plan, Housing 787 

How To Save a Million Dollars 793 

"Conformance and Performance" 801 


Velvet Glove on Steel Hand 807 

Yarns of the Docks 811 

Moans and Groans 814 

An Evening with Chaplin 817 

Comparisons with the ILA 824 

The Guaranteed Annual Wage 825 

What Are "Conditions"? 829 


Conventional Operations Disappear 843 

The Shorter Work Week 848 

One Crucial Word 855 


A Bigger Share of the Pie 862 

Fantastic Economic Power 866 

Men's Opinions of Each Other 870 


Changes in the Union Membership 877 

The 1958 Sugar Strike 880 

Whispers vs. Pacts 886 

Formation of the ILWU-Teamsters 

Joint Council 893 

Dealing with Jimmy Hoffa 896 

Men with Brass Balls 898 

Teamsters v. Farm Workers 909 

How Kennedy Beat Nixon 914 


Sharp Disputes Among the Leadership 918 

Ideologies? 922 

Back to the Womb? 927 

Bridges Makes a Switch 931 


Definite Affiliation Negotiations 934 

Problems with the ILWU Constitution 936 

Problems with the IBT Constitution 937 

How Not to Conduct a Strike 939 


An Historical Period 943 

Lessened ILWU Activity 944 

Tackling High Medical Costs 949 

The Free Speech Movement 952 

Protests v. the Vietnam War 955 

Supporting the Farm Workers 961 


Rank and File Discontent 971 

Helping in the Printers' Strike 973 

An Assist in the Guild Strike 978 

Sixteen Unions Involved 979 

Getting the Crafts Together 982 

A Plan That Succeeded 986 

A Very Tough Clash 
Cooperation Works Well 
A Sociological Lesson 
Health Plan Alternatives 
Hoffa Goes to Jail 


The Fight for Vice-President 
The Membership Questionnaire 
Total Polarization 
The Hawaii Hotel Negotiations 


Bridges Snubs the Alliance for 

Labor Action 

Bridges Renews ILA Affiliation Plea 
Another Try at the Teamsters 

The Full-Page Ad 
More Internal Friction 
The 1974 Sugar Strike 


But First, Open Heart Surgery 
An Important Golf Game 
The Ante Goes Up 
Bridges Rocks the Boat 
The Political Economics of Sugar 
Corn Sweeter Than Sugar? 
Goldblatt's Swan Song on Sugar 
This Consultant Business 

The Israeli Groupings 
Peace or Land? 

Ashkenazi vs. Sephardic vs. Arab 
Angry Discussions 

New Man Talks Tough 
A Short, Sweet Strike 















The First Inquiries 
Wives - A Strange Question 
Finally, The Trip to China 
No Inflation 
Safe Streets 
Industry Has Far To Go 
Target Date Is A. D. 2000 
Revolutionary Problems 
Role of the Unions 
Use of Incentives 
No Grievance Procedure 

The 65-Year Rule 
Goldblatt Calls the Turn 
The Office Boss 


The Dinner for Harry 

The Affair for Lou 

The Daughters 

Family Doings 


Hope for the World 








(Interview 22: 15 August, 1978) 

More About Expulsion From The CIO 

ard: Lou, we were going to talk about the circum 
stances surrounding the expulsion of the ILWU 
from the CIO. 

LG-: Yes - I think we've covered very thoroughly the 
1949 ILWU convention, although I "believe the 
three guys who came out did not include R. J. 
Thomas. That was at a later time or different 
circumstances. The ones who were here were 
Adolph G-ermer, Jim Leonard - was it Tim Flynn? 

Ward: Yes, Flynn - 

LG-: Right - he was on the CIO staff in Los Angeles. 
The ones who were around the convention and who 
sent the telegram saying we better line up or 
else. The principal issue on which there was 
sharp disagreement, the most fundamental as far 
as the ILWU was concerned, was autonomy. 

Just to make clear what we meant by that: it 
didn't necessarily mean, for example, that if 
the CIO Executive Council adopted a position, 
we would arbitrarily have the right to just go 
out and denigrate it and turn it down. On that 
score, we said okay, we'll feel obligated to 
present the recommendation, but at that point 
the membership still had the right to agree or 
disagree. It was not a business of being a 
group of completely undisciplined characters who 


LG: were out to do as they pleased. Autonomy was 
the basic issue. A second issue that loomed 
big at the convention was the World Federation 
of Trade Unions; by 1949, the CIO was pulling 
out of it, although the CIO was one of the found 
ing members of the WFTU. The Cold War had set 
in and changes that were reflected in the CIO 
were taking place in the political scene. 

As I recall, Bob Robertson went to the CIO 
convention in 1948. In '48, of course, we were 
up to our ears in the longshore strike and it 
could very well be that he was the only one we 
sent, just to be present and pick up whatever 
support we could for the strike. Whether he went 
to the '49 convention, I'm not sure myself. 

There were a whole series of unions under the 
gun - United Electrical Workers, the Radio 
Operators, American Communications Association, 
the Pur and Leather Workers; another was Mine, 
Mill and Smelter Workers, a total of around ten. 
Some of them small, some of them big. Whether 
the Packinghouse Workers were under the gun, 
I'm not sure; they probably were because I think 
it was before they merged with the Butcher Work 
men. Anyway, they had these series of trials, 
and now I'll eo back to our trial, which took 
place in 1950. 

We felt that the trial itself of course didn't 
amount to much; it was pretty well pro forma. 
Arthur Goldberg was counsel for the CIO at the 
time and he presented the CIO's case, all of it 
predicated around "parellelism," or that the 
II WU was taking the same position as the Commun 
ist party. There was no discussion on the 
merits, whether it was a good position or a bad 
position. The only concern of the CIO was that 
this was their way of proving that we were 
following: a Communist party line. This of course 
was not true. The union would take issues up on 
their own merits, like the Marshall Plan. 

Ward: What was the union's position on the Marshall 


LG-: Our general position was that we were not opposed 
to the Marshall Plan as such, the idea of help- 
ins; some of the staggering economies in Europe. 
We didn't think the Marshall Plan was going to 
provide any genuine amelioration for what to 
us appeared to be the growing signs of another 
depression. The immediate post-war "boom was 
somewhat over and, you might recall, by 1949 
unemployment was growing very rapidly. The 
economy took quite a tailspin until it was shored 
up by the Korean War. 

Our principal objection was the use of the 
Marshall Plan to interfere in the internal 
affairs of other countries, including the promo 
tion in almost all cases of hard, rightwing 
lines invariably in violent opposition to any of 
the leftwing unions like the CG-IL in Italy, or 
the CG-T in France. 

Of course the Administration was huckle-de- 
buck for the Marshall Plan, and that was the 
position of the CIO as well. As a matter of 
fact, by 1949 there was a good deal of economic 
information coming along to confirm the ILWU 
position. But these things sort of got lost in 
the shuffle. That was not the concern of the 
people who were pressing for our ouster. 

This whole move was for the CIO to wear its 
sack cloth and ashes, do penance, and finally 
get accepted into the official circles. I think 
that cleaning up the CIO v/as just another facet 
of the Cold War and its application inside the 
trade union movement. Bear in mind, all this 
went hand in hand with Taft-Hartley, with non- 
Communist affidavits, with the step-up in 
redbaiting that was going on. All these things 
were a single package. 

Ward: What was the evidence? 

LG-: The same parellelism, nothing else. 

Ward: Nobody got up and said something? 


LG: Yes. But there was no effort to prove, for 
example, that somebody was a member of the 
Communist party, that so many members of our 
Executive Board were in the Communist party. 
None of this. They satisfied themselves entirely 
with this business of putting a case together 
which put the Pep-pies' World on one side, The 
Dispatcher on the other and said they took the 
same position on this or that and the other 

Ward: So, they did that? 

LG: Yes. No attempt to weigh them, either. In 

other words, there was no effort in the presen 
tation of the material to say, all right, they 
took this position which was identical with that 
of the Communist party. They ignored the 
following 25 issues of the two papers that might 
have given them doubts. 

These, of course, are things that I'm thor 
oughly familiar with because I recall some 
pretty sharp differences with some of the party 
people on some of their positions. One, where 
they developed this theory of super-seniority. 
I, for one, felt that this was a terribly 
mistaken policy. I think eventually the whole 
thing was dropped; it was just one of those 
flyers. Somebody sits down and works these 
things out on the typewriter, even before they 
think them through. 


There were other things I felt didn't make 
too much sense; some of their, not dallying 
around with the '49 strike - they pretty well 
left it alone - but party people had been down 
there and of course they had a party organization 
in Hawaii. For some reason or other, they in 
effect tried to preempt the union thinking on a 
lot of these things. 

I guess that happens to a lot of organiza 
tions, the party people posing the problem that 
we might be pretty good trade unionists but after 
all we didn't know the political scene the way 
they did; sort of an odd down-grading. I got 


LG-: reports on some of their meetings. I know that 
Jack and I talked it over and I said, "Oh, 
forget the whole thing; no use getting into that 
kind of a discussion with them. It's a waste of 
time . " 

So, it isn't as though the CIO made any 
attempt to find these things out - it was just 
this other type of presentation. I think that 
0. A. Knight - Jack Knight - was a member of 
that committee. 

Ward: Was there any attempt on the part of the ILWU to 
point out the things you .just mentioned? The 
differences in strategy and tactics? 

LG-: I doubt it; we weren't going to go in there to 

try to prove that we were not guilty by redbait 
ing others. This is the most accepted technique 
of all - and I think the most dangerous - because 
you start on that line and the end point is 
exactly what the opposition wants to get done. 

You start out by saying, "Look, I am not a 
Red." Somebody then says, "Okay, prove it." 
"Well, I disagreed with the Communist party on 
this, that or the other and agreed on some of 
the things I might have thought they were right 
on. I might have second thoughts about them - 
I'm still of an independent mind." "Well, that 
doesn't mean a thing; what are you doing to ac 
tively fight them?" 

Once you start proving it that way, then 
they're standing behind you and saying, "How 
come you've stopped fighting?" You out of wind 
or something? Why don't you take this issue up, 
that issue up?" Pretty soon they're barraging 
you with every redbaiting program you can 
imagine. It's a route that once you start, there 
is no turning back. 

I'm not saying you don't challenge these 
things under certain circumstances: like we 
spent some time in that fact-finding hearing in 
Hawaii. I recall before the fact-finding hear 
ing even started, there was the offer to make it 
binding arbitration which was immediately rejected 
by the employers. 



Ward : 





I deliberately made another proposal, that they 
start the whole fact-finding off by looking into 
the question of whether or not this was a 
Communist strike. Apparently there was a bit 
of a halt in the proceedings; their panel huddled 
or caucused or something, then announced, 
"Communism is not an issue." That had nothing 
to do with what the papers were saying - no, of 
course not - so, it is not as though you don't 
tackle some of these things, but you tackle them 
in a different way. So, to try to present this 
stuff to the CIO - that would have made no sense 
at all. 

Was there anybody at the CIO hearing before this 
committee, chaired by 0. A. Knight, for the ILWU? 

Yes, Harry was there. 
Oh, Harry was there? 

I think Bill Glazier might have been there. I 
know we sent Tony Rania back there. Tony Rania 
was head of this combined Hawaii local, Local 
142, and he made a very dramatic presentation. 
He came from the Waialua plantation. That's on 
Oahu and one of the last that we organized. 
That was the one managed by this guy, Midkiff. 

The guy who had you out to dinner? 

Yep, the guy who was going to pay us the dues if 
we'd leave him alone; smart, paternalistic 
attitude; paid off a little bit better where the 
whole strike leadership wound up as lunas after 
the strike. 

Well, anyway Tony Rania was there and present 
ed a damn dramatic case. He had worked at Waia 
lua, as well as other sugar plantations; he knew 
a lot about it and had been there most of his 
life. When he got all through, there was no 
reply to the things he testified about: the 
difference that the ILWU made in plantation life; 
what happened in the political scene; what 
happened sociologically as well as economically. 
What happened was a complete revolution. 


LG: No, the only reply of the people in the CIO 
pressing for expulsion was the standard one 
they used in those days. "This might be true, 
but the real question is 'Why did you do these 
things? What was the real motive? ' " 


Ward: Okay, did Harry or anyone else make any response 
besides Tony? 

LG: Yes. I think Harry Presented a case, pretty 
much along the lines of the position the ILWU 
convention had taken, the feelings of the union 
about autonomy and the guarantees of autonomy 
that were the initial understandings and agree 
ments on affiliation. 

Ward: Was any argument made before this committee to 

the effect that they had supported the ILWU and 
the officials of the ILWU - the ILWU hadn't 
changed. Why this change on the part of the 

LG: Well, no, that's irrelevant, as far as the people 
present were concerned. 

Ward: Well, did anybody say so? 

LG: I suppose Harry did, yeah. That was one of the 
things we hammered away at, at the convention 
before a vote was taken on autonomy. The vote 
on autonomy was overwhelming. 

Ward: So you were kicked out? 

LG. Yeah. All the unions under the gun agreed 

generally on the procedure to be used. There 
was a strong feeling on the part of the UE that 
the so-called trials were just kangaroo courts, 
nothing but show pieces designed to promote the 
CIO's efforts to wipe out these unions. In the 
case of the UE they walked out. So, there 
wasn't complete agreement but no hard words 
among us; one outfit wanted to go about it one 
way and the other outfit wanted to go at it 
another way. 


LG-: e decided it was better to stay on and fight. 
Incidentally, not too different a position 
than what we took at the time we affiliated 
with the CIO and were still part of the AFofL. 
There again, we made the decision that we were 
not just going to walk away, we would stay and 
fight, even though it might eventually lead to 
expulsion; the fight was worthwhile and we'd 
pick up some allies. And I think we did. 

I think that the fight against the expulsion, 
brought on the exposure that we're not the ones 
who changed, it was the CIO, which was expelling 
its own conscience when we were expelled. I 
think that was a major factor in the ranks being 
extremely solid during the whole beef; it 
became extremely important when we had to go 
through the whole period of attempted raids by 
the CIO and the Teamsters. Anyway, the net re 
sult was that we were heaved out of the CIO. 

The Raids 

Ward: And then came the raids? 

LG-: Right, within Local 6 particularly and to some 
degree in other Warehouse locals. They started 
so-called Blue Card groups, where people would 
signify their loyalty to the CIO by signing 
blue cards; they attempted to form what amounted 
to a CIO faction. 

They had a very limited amount of success, 
frankly because a pretty thorough job had been 
done, including not .just the information in The 
Dispatcher; we covered all these things in great 
detail. We didn't see any purpose in keeping 
this information from anyone and we involved the 
rank and file in the hearing back east. I don't 
think Tony Pania was the only guy who went back 
there - I think there were several Board members. 

The Blue Card group - and in some places 
they had the support of the ACTU - had rather 
limited success. The place where the raids 


LG: were significant and more difficult was in 

Warehouse. Bear in mind, the 1949 warehouse 
strike wound up towards the fall of the year. 
The local finally muscled its way through the 
strike. It was costly and too long; it was one 
of those situations where the employers, at the 
time of the contract expiration where wages were 
open, refused to make any kind of an offer at all. 

Whether this was just some of the bigger em 
ployers in the Distributors Association feeling 
pretty cocky with the passage of Taft-Hartley; 
whether some of them felt that "because the Hawaii 
strike was already under way - we would have an 
awful lot of trouble fighting a two-front war. 
The Bridges indictment had come down. It could 
be that they felt that all these things combined 
presented a fairly good picture. 

Ward: From their point of view? 

LG: Prom their point of view; it's true also that 

about that time the economy was staggering. The 
post-war bloom had come off the rose and there 
were signs of increasing unemployment. Whatever 
all the reasons were, they amounted to the 
employers just setting on their heels. In the 
1949 warehouse strike, the issue of arbitration 
came to the forefront almost as quickly as in 
Hawaii . 

I think that the fight in 1948 on the Pacific 
Coast, fighting in Hawaii in '49 and taking on 
the battle in warehouse were fundamentally sound. 
A lot of things are learned very quickly in 
strikes; issues come to the forefront in a hurry, 
meetings are very big. Whoever made the crack 
that that's when you get a college education in 
a couple of months was not too far off. 

Everything is discussed; not just the stock 
issues but the relationship of the strike with 
rest of the labor movement, between the strake 
and the community, what was going on within 
the CIO; there was no backing away on the econo 
mic scene. I think that had we backed away, 
another issue would have come to the forefront. 


LG-: It became an issue in Mine-Mill, namely, is 

leftwing leadership too damn expensive to have 
around? Not .just the running "battle that ensues, 
the constant harassment. Does it "become 
expensive in the sense that this fight against 
political persecution "begins to preempt the 
economic struggle where the guy's bread and 
butter and paycheck are on the line? 

I'm not saying it's ever posed that way, but 
you begin to read the rumbles and you know when 
some of the overtones are around. You might be 
a good guy, we don't mind your political opinions, 
that's your business; we think a lef twine; union 
is the only kind of union that makes some sense, 
but - and you get that "but" - then you better 
keep a close eye on it. 

So, I think the economic policy followed by 
the union to fight on on these issues was a 
sound one, including attending the FTU meeting;. 
These are things we believed in, these are the 
things we fought for; they had been adopted by 
the convention. 'There was no lack of debate: 
wide open debate, the CIO was invited to be 
there . 

This is the way you follow through; okay, we 
believe these things, the convention adopted 
them and we'll do them. Those things stood us 
in good stead, although we went through a very 
rough period with the Blue Card. 

The only damage that was really done was the 
Teamster raid. In 1938 and the struggle around 
the master contract a Teamster local led by Ted 
"White came out of the woodwork. 

Ward: Eight- sixty? 

LG-: Eight-sixty, right. They announced a master 

agreement which was exactly what the employers 
were demanding; there were full-page ads in the 
paper by the Teamsters. Beck had never 
completely recovered from '37, and he was still 
licking his wounds. One of the guys who had 
been a business agent for Local 6, and he always 
remained friendly, was Joe Dillon. Joe Dillon 
is gone now - he's dead. 


LG-: Joe went over the hill one day, but he did so 

in a pretty forthright way; talked to Harry and 
myself and said, "Look, you guys just aren't 
paying me enough. You guys don't think that 
way. I'm living down the Peninsula and my wife 
likes it there; my kids are all going to Catho 
lic schools. I can't get by on that kind of 
dough. I've been offered a job with the 
Teamsters; they're going to give me my own local 
down there and I'm taking it. I guarantee you 
I won't be party to any attempt to raid or screw 
around with the ILWU." He was cordial enough. 

Well, after the expulsion from the CIO, a 
group of our officials - from what information 
came along later - had been in touch v/ith Joe 
Dillon and also with Beck and I think through 
Beck with Einar Mohn. Years later, Einar Mohn 
conceded that was one of his major mistakes. 

As a matter of fact, years later when we 
started cooperating with the Teamsters in the 
warehouse field, on several occasions they tried 
to hand us back some of these workers who had 
gone over the hill in San Francisco and become 
part of Teamster Local 12, which was sort of 
dying on the vine. 

Our position at the time was that we were not 
Indian givers and they had them and it was their 
headache. They were obviously trying to unload 
a problem because they picked up a couple of 
guys who were quite impossible. 

The guys who went over the hill were primar 
ily led by a couple of business agents, one of 
whom was also functioning International Rep for 
a while, Domenic Gallo; then with him was a guy 
named George Pedrin. Tony Koslowski - he was 
killed later or died; rather a nice guy, but 
when he was on the booze, quite impossible I 
always liked him. They picked up a few other 
guys, and before long here was a full blown 
Teamster raid going on, directed first against 
some of our grocery houses. 

Local 6 had about 10,000 members. By the 
time the raid was finished, they had picked up 
around 250 all together, but where they did 


LG-: major damage was in Petaluma; there we had a 

foothold in things like the feed mills and grain 
mills; whether any of them are functioning at 
this day, I don't know. We also had gone through 
a very bitter post Taft-Hartley strike up there 
against Sunset Line and Twine. 

That's where Taft-Hartley was interpreted to 
provide that after a certain length of time, 
strikebreakers had the right to vote. Later on 
they modified it to say strikebreakers and the 
strikers both could vote. They began to use the 
Taft-Hartley Law for decertification and it 
first blossomed in Sunset Line and Twine. 

We were not in compliance with Taft-Hartley - 
there was damn little we could do about it - all 
we could do was to fall back on the economic 
strength of our people, which worked or didn't 
work, depending on the situation. They made 
things like fishing lines and other kinds of 
lines; it wasn't a big place, 40 or 50 people, 
maybe. We had a loyal bunch of people there, 
but the strike was broken. 

Many years later I found out that the Team 
sters spent well over a half a million dollars 
on the raid. Now when you start pricing out 
that thing - half a million dollars for 250 
people - that runs you somewhere in the neigh 
borhood of $2,000 per man, that's ,about right: 
$2,000 times 250 makes a half a million. So, 
it was a very expensive thing for the Teamsters; 
what they finally wound up with was no great 
blessing for them, either. 

Incidentally, perhaps the most effective 
thing that these guys did, and it didn't build 
their union a goddam bit, did enormous damage 
to the labor movement. The only effective piece 
of propaganda they used during that whole 
Teamster raid was that one of the things they 
stood for was no compulsory attendance at 
membership meetings. This was one of the 
principles of the ILWU. 

Ward: Well, that's one of the ways you can run a top- 
controlled union. 


LG-: Sure, you have a couple of trustees, you pay 
for them coming to the meeting and then a 
couple of friends and you buy a few beers after 
wards .... 

Ward: And that's the meeting? 

LG-: That's the meeting. To us, of course, 

attendance at a meeting was highly important. 
It was a very educational thing and we didn't 
have any heavy penalty. It was a one buck fine, 
if you didn't attend a membership meeting, but 
nobody wanted that fine in his book, you see; 
that was important. And the Teamsters cam 
paigned that local compulsory attendance was 
illegal under Taft-Hartley. And they were 
right, because under Taft-Hartley the only thing 
a person had to do to remain a member in good 
standing, even though you had a union shop 
contract, was to tender his dues, period. 

That's one of the things that went by the 
board. We used to have big meetings. Local 6 
had to use the Civic Auditorium - it was the 
only auditorium around that was adequate because 
our membership meetings would run about . . . 

Ward: About 10,000 then? 

LG-: Slightly less, 10,000 would fill the Civic 
Auditorium; for a while we met only in San 
Francisco, after a while we had meetings on both 
sides of the Bay because we had a very big 
membership in Oakland. There we used the Oakland 
Civic Auditorium. Even after membership attend 
ance wasn't compulsory, we'd meet there for 
strike meetings or contract ratification. But 
in San Francisco we used the Civic Auditorium; 
the whole downstairs would be completely filled. 

That's where some of the big breaks took place 
on this group going over the hill, led by G-allo. 
He was challenged by G-eorge Valter in the 
membership meeting and as soon as the meeting 
was over, he jumped off the platform - Gallo is 
a good fighter - and clipped Valter on the jaw 
and cut it open. G-eorge had that scar until he 


LG: Anyway, that was the most effective thing Taft- 

Hartley and the Teamsters did. It helped 
eviscerate the democratic function of the union; 
one of the great contributions of Taft-Hartley 
and Landrum-Griffin (another piece of anti-union 
legislation). So, that was a costly and diffi 
cult period. Bear in mind that the same period 
we're talking about was the latter part of 1949 
and most of 1950. Anyway, we survived. 

Ward: Was that the time when you lost in Chicago and 

New Orleans? 

LG: Beginning about that time the thing that became 

evident was that we would have to pull in our 
lines and protect our base. It was more and more 
difficult to hane on to places like in Cleveland, 
or Chicago, or Minneapolis, or New Orleans. 

Gradually, in almost all cases, there was a 
constructive turn-over. We'd meet with friendly 
unions and recommend to our locals that because 
we couldn't service them and in view of the 
whole situation, they might be better off in 
some friendly union. That was worked out. 

Ward: Who'd be the friendly unions? 

LG: Oh, I think in the case of the Cleveland workers, 

I'm quite sure it was the Packinghouse Workers. 
These were unions where we knew some of the 

Ward: How about New Orleans? 

LG: I don't recall where we turned them over. We 

lost the best guy we had down there. Andy 
Nelson died very young - he was a good, effective 
black guy. 

Ward: What happened to him? 

Got sick all of a sudden and died. So, Warehouse 
continued to be stable, although later on, we were 
definitely in a holding action partially because 
of all the raids. 


LG: An interesting thing happened in Warehouse where 
the employers themselves realized that if the 
"bargaining unit was taken apart then they would 
really be "back to the situation which was fought 
out in 1938 around the hot boxcar - the whipsaw. 
So they were compelled to go before the (Nation 
al Labor Relations) Board and talk about the 
traditional bargaining unit, and there was a 
holding action. 

I remember negotiating a contract - it must 
have been the period right after Pat died - 
where we had to make a deal for something like 
two and one-half cents an hour, which even in 
those days was considered pretty poor. And the 
membership knew why we did it; that we had to 
regroup our forces; we had taken a certain 
amount of buffeting. 

Good guys from the local later on said that 
it was "the best damn agreement that you ever 
signed", in some ways because it was the only 
thing to do instead of going into another fruit 
less fight. The '49 strike was too expensive 
in terms of the amount of time spent on the 
.bricks, and not enough fundamental issues were 

Oh, one other point. During this Teamster 
raid there were some really violent outbreaks 
when the Teamsters tried to move into places 
like the United Grocers by picketing the joint 
and shutting it down; tell the guys that the 
only way you can go to work is to sign up with, 
the Teamsters. 

These were pretty wild confrontations where 
the only way we could handle these things was 
to muster all of our guys out of the hiring 
hall, bring guys from the Eastbay where 
necessary. Guys like Paul Heide, for example, 
did yeoman service. A couple of these fights 
broke out with guys swinging two-by-fours. Then 
it broke out again at the Purity Warehouse, down 
at the foot of Telegraph Hill. We had the thing 
pretty v/ell in hand and the Teamsters had to 
call it a day. So, those were dramatic and 
hectic days. 



And Other Headaches 

Ward: Yes, now you're coming into 1950 and '51; the 
Bridges-Robertson-Schmidt indictment came down 
in '49, but the trial didn't open until when? 

LG: Late '49, as I recall. 

Ward: Want to talk about that for a while? V/as that 
before a jury or before Judge Harris? 

LG: Before a jury. Before the trial began, I went 

east with Norman Leonard (one of our attorneys) 
must have been around the time of the World 
Series game. I went back there and talked to 
Jim Landis; he'd been the hearing officer . . . 

Ward: Yes - yes . . . 

LG: I talked to him about the trial. He knew all 
about it and I think that he made up his mind 
that the thing was unpardonable. I think Landis 
looked back at that whole '39 hearing as a great 
experience, and of course it sure changed his 
life. Finally when it got to the Supreme Court, 
he was completely vindicated. The only time I 
think he was really comfortable was when he was 
in charge of the Civil Aeronautics Authority for 
awhile - 

Ward: SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission), wasn't 

LG: No - Civil Aeronautics Authority too - 


Ward: Later? 

LG: Yes. I remember talking to pilots and they thought 
he was the only guy who had ever come along who 
made a bit of sense and got a few things done for 

I put the proposition to Landis and said 
I'd like to have him handle the trial. He said, 
"Look, it's quite impossible. I know you don't 
know much about the judicial system." And I 
said, "I don't." And he said, "Well, this sort 
of thing is not done where a man has been a 
hearings officer once and then turns up as 
defense counsel." 

Obviously, he was not opposed to what we were 
trying to do; he made one recommendation. He 
said, "I think you ought to talk to James Lawrence 
Fly." Fly was one of the heads of the American 
Civil Liberties Union; he was with Roger Baldwin. 
He said, "I don't think Fly will handle the case, 
it's not his dish of tea, but I think it's 
awfully important that you use him for the pre- 
trial motions." So I talked to Fly; we arranged 
and he came out. 

As a matter of fact, Fly's daughter, Mary, 
was married at that time to Telford Taylor, so 
in some ways it was a bit of a family arrange 
ment. I feel quite positive that Landis talked 
to Fly and that Fly talked to Telford Taylor, 
who had been part of the American prosecuting 
counsel at Nuremberg. He was General Taylor; I 
guess he was with the Adjutant General's office. 
So, we had Fly come out just to argue the pre- 
trial motions. It was one of these hearings 
where the only people who are interested are 

Ward: On what constitutes a conspiracy? 

LG: Yes, that's right. For example, when Harry got 
his citizenship finally right after the end of 
the war in 1945, the government raised no ob 
jections of any kind. The big issues as far as 
Fly was concerned were the statute of limitations 
and res adjudicata, which I think means that the 


LG-: tiling has been tried and disposed of and it's 
not to be tried again. 

Ward: The thing has been adjudged - let it lie. 

LG: That's right, judged and dead. I guess a lot 
of people now put that in the form of double 

ard: Res adjudicata was used against Tom Mooney 

effectively, but in the Bridges case it had no 
effect whatever. 

LG: In the Bridges case? It did have its effect 

Ward: Well, in the end it did, but insofar as the 
trial courts were concerned, no. 

LG: No, Harris just paid no attention to it. After 
all, all a judge has to do in a pre-trial motion, 
as I understand it, is to say "Denied." I'm not 
even sure that he is obligated to give any reason. 

Ward: I think you're right. 

LG: No, the only reason I mention this is because 

after the trial and after losing before the jury; 
after the jailing of Harry when the Korean War 
broke, this case wound its way through the 
courts and when the Supreme Court finally did 
rule, the main things they relied on were the 
issues argued by Ply. 

Ward: I think you should discuss the jailing of Harry; 
why and under what circumstances, and so forth. 

LG: Well, as you know, Harry was convicted after the 
jury was out six or seven days - a long time. 
(Vincent) Hallinan and (James M. ) Mclnnis had been 
drawn in as attorneys, in addition to the (ILWU) 
law firm. Hallinan is of course a very headstrong 
guy, and whether his tactics were the best in 
this case, I don't know. Hallinan had this 
theory that the job of good defense counsel was 
to be a lightning rod; he will take the heat, 
and the defendant is the one who wins. I'm not 
sure that it worked that way; there was so much 
lightning that everybody got hit. 


Ward: I know that they got Mclnnis in jail - 

LG: Well, I'm not sure that's true of lightning 
rods, but it's true of that situation. No, 
Vince was sentenced for contempt - he did six 
months. Mclnnis got three months. As a matter 
of fact, Terry and I visited Vince when he was 
up at McNeil Island - 

Ward: Vince went there twice, first for contempt of 
court; then later he did a year and a half for 
income tax evasion; they got him, all right. 
Bill Cleary (William F. Cleary, the attorney 
who represented the State of California against 
Tom Mooney) v/as the go-between - 

LG-: Cleary is the guy that Vince used occasionally - 

Ward: Cleary came to Vince and said - after the 

Bridges case - "Now, look, if you continue what 
you're doing, making speeches about how the 
government wronged Bridges, they're going to 
get you. They're out after you and they told 
me and I am their messenger." And sure enough 
they moved on a technicality which, insofar as 
legalistics were concerned, had nothing to do 
with Bridges, Robertson and Schmidt. 

LG: I know that Vince was mixed up later in this 
income tax case - I remember testifying for 
Vince in that case. He did time twice, first 
for contempt because Harris was going to put 
him into jail forthwith; later for the income 
tax gimmick the government devised. 

I remember going to see Artie Samish - I had 
gotten to know Artie. Artie was an odd guy, 
very peculiar guy. Perhaps he was the most 
honest lobbyist in Sacramento. He said, "These 
legislators are here to be bought. I'm not 
here to buy. I represent the liquor industry." 
His attitude to the unions was very simple. 
He said, "If we waited for the rich people to 
support the liquor industry we'd go broke. I 
never heard of a rich guy buying a bottle of 


LG-: So that, during a period when I was doing some 
legislative work in Sacramento, when I was head 
of Labor's Non-Partisan League, was when I first 
met him; struck up an interesting relationship. 
I gather he enjoyed my company and I always 
enjoyed him "because he was a great raconteur. 
I kept up this friendship. 

"When he was being pushed around by some 
Senate committee or legislative committee - 
there was this big hearing on Big Daddy, you 
know; the unofficial boss of California, stories 
about him in the magazines. 

I remember being at some New Year's Eve 
gathering down near Montgomery Street, in the 
offices of (Attorney) Barney Dreyfus and some 
of the others; I left there and was going down 
Montgomery Street and I passed the old, old 
building where Artie Samish had his offices. 
And I thought I'll go by and say 'hello' to 
Artie. I went up to his office and there was 
Artie Samish sitting all by himself on New Year's 
Eve. ' All of his so-called cronies and pals had 
run out on him. We sat around and talked for a 
while; but before he would talk, he went around 
and turned on about four or five radios, so 
that - 

Ward: So the bugs couldn't . . . ? 

LG-: So that his conversation and mine would be 

completely lost in all the other stuff coming 
across the airways. He was that kind of a guy. 

Ward: Was that conversation really that kind where you 

had to take those precautions? 

LG-: No. I thought that Artie was sort of on the 

spot and you don't run out on a guy just because 
he's in a jam. I'm not saying that he ever 
supported labor issues, but the only understand 
ing I ever had with him was that I could ask 
him to try to stop something - not press for 
something, just try to stop it. 

And he knew enough about these people, the 
committee heads, like the inside of his hand. 
He knew how every damn committee operated and 


LG: who could be reached, quite easily. I went to 
Artie when Jim and Vince were sentenced for 
contempt and where Harris was going to jail them 
immediately, which would have pulled them out of 
the trial, and Artie said he would try; in the 
next day or so, Harris said, "I'll impose 
sentence when the trial is over." That was the 
occasion when Vince later went to MacNeil's 
Island, I'm sure. I know that Vince came back 
from there saying that the most impossible 
animal in the whole world was chickens. He had 
to take care of them for a while. He said they 
were the most ignorant, stupid, impossible little 
things - - 

Ward: Yes, they are. Well, getting back to Harry's 
trip to jail. 

LG: Okay, this was after the trial. During the 

trial, of course, they had the usual parade of 
witnesses and there were some startling ones, 
you will recall; that Kentucky colonel, who 
really came apart; Ross, an old party guy. I 
had known him when he was in San Francisco. He 
was the head of the PW or something .... 

Ward: Lawrence Ross? 

LG: Yes, Lawrence Ross and then, of course, Merv 

Ward: George Wilson? 

LG: Yes, George Wilson turned up on the witness 

stand. John Shoemaker from the '34 strike. He 
had a distinguished record; then Henry Schrimpf , 
which is understandable. He was a bitter and 
impossible enemy of Harry's for years. I'm not 
sure whether Lundeberg turned up at the trial or 
not - later on, I' think he did - it might have 
been before Judge Goodman for all I know. Much 
later on the Korean War broke; June, 1950, I 
believe was the date. 



LG-: Just one last item on the Bridges trial: we had 
quite a staff of people working on the trial - 
Elinor Kahn was working on it. Morris Watson 
did a masterly job with the dally releases; he 
would at least get a fair shake in the press, or 
part of it. And of course the membership was 
being kept advised all the time and they donated 
a fair amount of money; the attorneys' fees were 
quite nominal. 

At one point in the trial Judge Harris 
apparently indicated he was prepared to issue a 
directed verdict in the case of Bob Robertson. 
There was a discussion of this and Vince was 
very much opposed - it simply indicated the weak 
ness in the government's case, no question about 
that. The evidence against Bob Robertson was 

Yince's feeling was, and Bob supported it, 
that if they allowed Bob's case to be separated, 
it would simply strengthen the case against 
Harry and Henry, so they stuck together. Anyway, 
the verdict came down against them. 

In 1950 when the Korean War broke, the union 
took a position calling for a cease-fire and 
return to the 38th Parallel. It wasn't the most 
popular one at the time because the Cold War was 
damn near at its height and there was a lot of 
hysteria; the whole thing was built around this 
world Communist conspiracy and so forth, and this 
was just the beginnings of it with the North 
Koreans marching into the South, the poor innocent 
South Koreans, (Dictator) Syngman Rhee. Donohue, 
who had been the prosecuting attorney ... 

Ward: "Jiggs" Donohue? 

LG-: "Jiggs" Donohue - he represented the Department 

of Justice in the trial. He called for a revoca 
tion of bail before Harris. I guess it was 
Donohue 's statement or the judge's, to the effect 
that "there is no room for minority opinion when 
this country is at war". War had never been 
declared, although Truman had the afterthought 
of going to the UN and at least getting some 
token troops from the other countries. 


LG: All the union position called for was to stop 

the killings, stop the shooting, cease-fire and 
both sides go back to the 38th Parallel, the 
boundary before the war broke. As far as 
Donohue was concerned, that was treason. Harris 
agreed with him and revoked bail and Harry went 
to the clink. 

The Circuit Court of Appeals decision was very 
strong, a very powerful ruling. Harry was re 
leased. But, once again, all these forces which 
had been in operation from the Federal government 
on down in an attempt to take the union apart 
were back in full swing. 

The Coos Bay Caucus 

LG: Anyway, something else had come along and we had 

scheduled a waterfront caucus in Coos Bay, Oregon, 
at the same time Harry was in the clink. "While 
the release of Harry was the focal point of the 
caucus, we had learned that the Secretary of 
Labor had called a preliminary conference on 
waterfront security. The ILWU and the MC&S had 
been excluded from this affair. 

What had come along was waterfront screening, 
again another sign of the Cold War and here was 
the Coast Guard getting into the act. Waterfront 
screening was used to decimate some of the crews. 
Outfits like the MC&S suffered untold casualties - 
guys were just driven off the ships, they wouldn't 
be given their papers and the employers would not 
hire them. 

Ward: On what basis was the screening done? 

LG: Suspected Communist affiliation. Years later 
the whole damn thing was declared illegal, but 
the damage had been done. This was when, if you 
insisted upon a hearing before the Coast Guard, 
you could appear there. In other words, say, 
you were rejected for your Coast Guard pass and 
you insisted upon a hearing, they would eive you 
a hearing. 


LG: The hearing officer would sit there with a 

folder in front of him and say, "We have evidence 
that you have been a member of the Communist 
Party or that you are still a member of the 
Communist Party, or that you subscribe to certain 
publications and so forth and so on. What do 
you have to say for yourself?" Your job then was 
to try to guess what they had and deny it success 

It was like two insane guys, you know; the 
guy behind the folder was obviously out of his 
mind and before long he would drive the witness 
out of his mind, too, with this endless guessing 
contest. Here was a man's job hanging on it. 

Well, in the case of the ILWU, this became a 
crucial test. Remember, we were talking a bit 
earlier today about how much of a price is paid 
in defending union leadership. Does it become 
one where the union is constantly under the gun, 
not just of pot-shots from the employers, or an 
occasional volley from the State Legislature 
like Governor Stainback or We, The Women who 
kind of take a shot at your ass when you're not 
looking? When all the big guns are wheeled in 
and they start lobbing these shells at you from 
Washington and where the Justice Department gets 
in something like the BRS trial; the Coast 
Guard is waiting in the wings and they move along 
with Coast Guard screening; obviously what would 
have happened in the case of the ILWU would have 
been real decimation of the union. 

The position we took became a rather crucial 
fight in the life of the union; otherwise we 
might have suffered the same fate as a lot of the 
good guys in the NMU, and of the entire union in 
the case of the Marine Cooks and Stewards. A 
lot of our friends were also screened at the 
time, like Walter Stack; he probably was run off 
the job. The position we took was that - - 

Ward: This was at the Coos Bay caucus? 

LG: The International took that position before the 
Coos Bay caucus and then had to fight for it 
at the caucus where some of the arch redbaiters 


LG: were just out of their minds. The position we 

took was that if the Coast Guard wanted to screen 
on army and navy jobs on the ground of so-called 
national security, we wouldn't object to that too 
much. We didn't like the whole idea of screening; 
of course we were opposed to it, but if the guys 
wanted to get their Coast Guard passes to get 
those jobs, we were not going to make that the 
issue; but we would not permit screening on 
commercial jobs. 

There was a small-fry, self-appointed red- 
baiter who had been a member of the ACTU; Kelley 
- not Tim - was his name, from Local 34. This 
guy actually had the temerity to be on the phone 
from Coos Bay; it's a small town - everybody 
knows what's going on. Chances are that even 
the telephone operator could be related to one 
of our guys in a small town like that. 

He was on the phone regularly to Tobin, who 
was then Secretary of Labor, talking about the 
caucus and what he ought to do next and so 
forth. It was pretty hair-raising stuff, ob 
viously a whole cabal trying to move in and take 
over. On that score the caucus was rather 

Another issue was fomented, but it was not 
one on which we were going to back away. Bear 
in mind around 1949 you had all that hysteria 
around Peekskill. Remember when Paul Robeson 
was due to sing there, his concert was broken 
up by a bunch of Legionnaires and rightwingers, 
people stoned and beaten up. 

Naturally we supported Robeson and condemned 
the whole thing. Robeson had become an honor 
ary member of our union. At that time I think 
he was the only honorary member. Later on, we 
added a couple of others, Rockwell Kent and Vince 
Hallinan. To become an honorary member of the 
ILWU meant a unanimous vote by the convention 
and under a set of interesting rules where if 
somebody wanted to object, they simply rose and 
objected; no reason had to be given. So to 
become an honorary member really meant something. 


LG: It was not like one of these things that you .lust 
adopted another resolution on. Well, Paul Robeson 
was an honorary member - the only honorary member 
as I recall - and some of this group came in with 
a resolution that we take away Paul Robeson' s 
honorary membership, even though the caucus had 
no authority to do this. That belonged to the 
convention. That we take it away from Paul 
Robeson and give it to Jackie Robinson. Well, 
some of us really took out after that one. 

We said, if there is a proposal here for 
Jackie Robinson to be an honorary member, we'd 
consider that. After all, he had broken the 
color line in baseball, but we'd like to know 
how many guys in the Portland delegation would 
be willing to work with Jackie Robinson if he 
decided to take a job on the Portland waterfront 
where they had no blacks. There was a real 
cleavage on that issue. Luckily we won. 

Paul Robeson retained his honorary membership 
and the caucus finally shaped up fairly well, 
even though a couple of ambitious guys took the 
only suite at the North Bend Hotel setting up 
unofficial headquarters preparatory to taking 
over the reins of office. But nothing happened 
and by and large the membership hung tough. They 
adopted a position on Coast Guard screening which 
was very important. 

Ward: The position you outlined a few minutes ago? 

LG: Yes, and we did not change our position on the 

Korean War - we stuck with it; I mean the Inter 
national stuck with it. The caucus however 
followed the lead of several of our big locals 
and supported the government position on the 
Korean War. 

Ward: That position was pretty well implemented in 

actual work practice, wasn't it? The position 
you took at that caucus? 

LG: On screening? 

Ward: I mean, the employers and the stevedoring 

companies went along with it, didn't they? 


LG-: It wasn't a question whether the stevedoring 

companies went along with it - there was a wee 
bit more work for the dispatchers "because every 
dispatcher knew where the army, navy piers were 
and where the commercial piers were. If you were 
being dispatched in San Francisco to Pier 35, 
you knew perfectly well that that was a commercial 
job. If on the other hand, you were sent over 
to the army base, that was quite different. So, 
we got some very funny feedback later on, most 
of which was really hilarious. 

For example, in the case of Seattle they had 
some very arrogant Coast Guard guys or MPs (mili 
tary policemen), who had a tendency to hard- time 
our guys going to work at the army or navy base, 
so there was a good deal of groaning about it 
and complaining. 

Well, those installations were a fair distance 
away from the hiring hall. The commercial piers 
were close by, not exactly walking distance but 
maybe a half a mile at the most; and there were 
some characters in Seattle who had 'never given 
up the whole beef on the Red issue. 

As a matter of fact, they were the ones who 
made it so tough for a guy like Bert Nelson to 
go back into the local after he had been under 
ground when the Communist party sent some of its 
members underground during the Smith Act trials; 
they really gave him a hard time after that. 
They voted him down a couple of times, so that 
Bert had a rough time. 

They went so far as to say that our position 
on the Coast Guard screening was just a very 
ingenious scheme to give the Reds the better 
jobs on the commercial work, you see. Well, I 
don't think anybody ever took it seriously but 
it shows how people start to think and how way 
off the beam they go. 

Of course, luckily we had a guy like Bill 
Settings up there; he was a tower of strength 
and he ' s the kind of a guy who would take on all 
comers. But the Coast Guard screening issue was 
big. I recall it was in 1951 or '52 v/hen they 
suddenly decided to attempt Coast Guard screening 


LG-: at one of the commercial piers. It was on the 
north side of the waterfront in San Francisco - 
which pier I'm trying; to recall, I think it was 
State Line, I'm not positive; it was around pier 
27. I'm inclined to think that's right, but I 
could be wrong on that. They turned up there - - 

Ward: The MPs did? 

LG: Yes, or guys from the Coast Guard, or whoever 
they were, demanding Coast G-uard clearances. 
Luckily one of the officials got word of that 
very fast and our men just stood around the dock 
and said, "Nobody's going in there - nobody is 
showing any card whether he has one or not." 
Because there v/ere guys there who had Coast 
G-uard clearance and other men who didn't. We 
said there would be no Coast Guard screening on 
this commercial work and we made it stick. 

The Coast Guard made a lot of noise for a few 
hours and finally called it off. So, it was a 
rather important showdown - it was another effort 
to see whether somehow they could spread the 
thing. Bear in mind, as far as the Coast Guard 
was concerned, the screening applied to everyone 
on the waterfront. The union's position was that 
we would go along with it in the case of army 
and navy piers, but not in the case of commercial 

More Trouble In Hawaii 

Ward: I see. Now, you said the other day that the 

period of harassment of the union extended from 
'47 to '53. What other examples of harassment 
do you think are worth discussing now? 

LG: Well, you had the running beef in Hawaii right 

before the '49 strike, when they had the so-called 
"reluctant 39". Those were some un-American 
Activities hearings that took place and there 
were some 39 people, the big majority of whom 
were ILWU members who were called to testify and 
all of them refused. There was no let-up after 
the '49 strike, even though there finally was a 


LG: I'm trying to remember the date of the Smith Act 
cases. Bear in mind, the key defendant in the 
Smith Act case in Hawaii was Jack Hall. As a 
matter of fact, not only was he the key 
defendant - Jack Kawano testified against him. 
He had been the head of the Longshore union years 
before, but he had sort of dropped out of the 
whole thing; the union really went by him, is 
what happened; it moved much faster than he could 

Ward: Let's see - by the Smith Act trial, you mean Hall 
was accused under the Smith Act, of what? 

LG: Let me try to recall the exact indictment, which 
is to "aid and advocate the teaching of the 
violent overthrow of the U. S. Government." 
Bear in mind, no overt acts were ever called for. 

Ward: I see. 

LG: In other words, ideas were on trial, or particu 
larly what you might have circulated; like one 
of the key witness'es was some guy who was not a 
bad egg - he wasn't too bright, really - and he 
had worked with the union for a while. I think 
he was making a trip back on a ship and somebody 
gave him a bundle of literature; he didn't even 
know what the literature was - never bothered to 
read any of it. 

He testified that he had this duffle bag full 
of literature, so he in effect was helping to 
promote this conspiracy to teach and advocate, 
that was it. So, in the case of Jack Hall, he 
and six others were indicted. There were Charlie 
and Aileen Fujimoto, Koji Aryoshi, Jack Hall - 
that makes four, Dwight "Jim" Freeman, that's 
five and John Reinecke, six - and a man named 
Jack Kimoto. Anyway - 

Ward: Reinecke was a teacher, wasn't he? 

LG: Yes, he was a teacher - he and his wife were 

both teachers. By the way, there have been some 
recent developments with the Reineckes that give 
you a bit of faith, after years of being black 
balled, you know, couldn't teach. John floundered 


LG: around doing odd jobs; I don't think his wife 

worked particularly. Finally, he did some 
research work for Art Rutledge of the Teamsters 
Union down there, but always maintained a very 
dignified posture. 

Last year there was a push put on in Hawaii 
to have a hearing on the Reinecke case. The 
hearing concluded that the Reineckes had been 
fired unjustly and the Legislature adopted a bill 
to compensate them for the years they had lost 
in terms of wages and pension benefits and so 
forth. It comes when they're both quite along 
in years. 

There's a sort of poetic justice in the 
thing and there was a bit of poetic justice when 
Aryoshi, years after the Smith Act trial, went 
to visit China. He had met Chou En Lai and Mao 
Tse Tung when the Red Army was headquartered in 
Xian and Yenan, and of course, he was very warm 
ly greeted when he went there again. 

The Star-Bulletin, which was awfully anxious 
to get some stories on China - there's a large 
Chinese population in Hawaii - hired Aryoshi to 
do a series of stories on his trip to China. 
And when I saw Koji I had only one question of 
him, "Did you charge enough?" I doubt if he 
did; he was such an honest soul, he would think 
it was far more important to get the articles in 
the paper. 

After the indictment came down, the FBI went 
to Dave Thompson - remember, he was a war vet 
eran, an ex-Marine; he lost a leg at Iwo Jima 
and decided he wanted to live in Hawaii after 
the war. He was one of those we had come to the 
Labor School and he found his forte very quickly 
in the ILWU by doing educational work and putting 
out the Voice of the ILWU down there. 

I've always been very fond of Dave, a very 
good guy and as honest as the day is long. At 
times he's very amusing - he's so deadly serious, 
you know. I'll never forget at one. stage of the 
1946 strike, Dave and I were talking after 
negotiations. It had been a very bitter session, 


LG: very bad, and to some things looked a lot worse. 
I didn't think so because there were indications 
that the strike was in very good shape. 

Dave said, "Lou, you gotta do something, you 
gotta do something." "What do you mean, I gotta 
do something?" "Well," he says, "one of the 
things you're taught when you are in the armed 
services is that any leader in a situation like 
this keeps things moving." "I don't know," I 
said, "I've never been in the armed services - 
I only had a very brief and amusing spell in the 
ROTC. I don't know why you have to do anything. 
I think in a case of a strike like this, you just 
do nothing - just sit." 

He said, "Why?" So I said, "Somewhere along 
the line the employers are going to make a 
mistake or crack, that's all." But Dave was 
wonderfully adventurous of mind and very purist, 
very hard working. 

Ward: The FBI came to him - why? 

LG: The FBI wanted to make a proposition to him and 
he used some excuse and said he couldn't do it 
right then because he had some appointment he 
had to keep and would they come back another day. 
So they set up another date. Well, when they 
came back a second time his home was wired by 
us. Bob McElrath was sitting in the basement 
with a recording machine and there was a micro 
phone planted and they recorded the whole thing. 

Burris and Condon were the two FBI guys; Bob 
McElrath recorded the whole conversation. Their 
proposition to Dave was very forthright and very 
simple: if he would talk to Jack Hall about 
cooperating with the FBI which, of course, means 
turning State's evidence and doing what he could 
to jail others, they could make it six defendants 
instead of seven. We had the whole thing put 
on a record, tried to play it in the Smith Act 
case; it was ruled out; although we used it a 
couple of times when talking on the Smith Act 


Other Legal Harassment 

LG: So, all I'm trying to say is that this vendetta 
did not stop. The general atmosphere in terms 
of redbaiting was stepped up, not just with the 
Smith Act cases, it's when they moved to put 
the Marine Cooks and Stewards out of business. 
They also jailed Bryson for false affidavits; 
it's when they went after Maurice Travis (of 

I recall calling Telford Taylor to see whether 
he would cooperate and give a legal hand to the 
Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers, under the gun of 
Taft-Hartley and the Subversive Activities Con 
trol Board - we used to call it the SCAB board. 
That's when they went after Mine-Mill, so that 
the harassment was going on continuously. It 
was almost one continuous crisis that went from 
'47 until those cases were disposed of. 

Ward: Quite a long time. 

LG-: A span of nine years and somehow or other, the 
Smith Act cases sort of parallel in dates; it 
was a long stretch. 

(Interview 23: 22 August, 1978) 

Ward: Lou, let's check up on the dates which were 

LG: Well, I wasn't too far off, Estolv. As you know, 
Bridges, Robertson and Schmidt were convicted in 
1950. Well, July, 1949 was the time of the 
Marseille convention and the meeting of the WFTU, 
the one I attended. 

Ward: And that's the one that Harry couldn't attend 

because he was out on bail? 

LG: Right. The matter had been taken up at the 

convention and the convention voted to attend - 


LG: that was the 1949 convention. Harry was 

designated to go, and Johnny Meletta. Inasmuch 
as other things were cooking, nobody knowing 
exactly what the outcome would be, I was 
designated to go in the event Harry couldn't make 

When he applied to go to Marseille, at first, 
the government indicated that they would insist 
on raising the bail. I think he was out on heavy 
ball. Then the government came along and took 
the position that they simply wanted to prohibit 
him from going; the net result being that I went 
in his place. 

Then the Korean War broke - that was somewhere 
around June 1950. We went into a pretty rough 
period. Bear in mind again that you had this 
whole cabal moving in on the union from all sides 
both the administrative part of the government 
and particularly the judicial part under Tom 

While we had not yet been expelled from the 
CIO, there was every indication that we would be 
unless we backed away on the basic principle of 
autonomy, namely the right of the membership to 
make the final decision. Somewhere along the 
line, the CIO said when it came to economic 
matters the membership had that right. 

But' as to political questions, all of a sudden 
they would try to impose the discipline, let us 
say, of a labor party without a labor party; if 
a decision was made at the top on certain 
endorsements, that you just had to go along. 
Our position was that the membership still had 
the final say. That's what autonomy meant and 
those were the things we were guaranteed at the 
time we affiliated. 

I think I mentioned to you Harry's position 
'on the Korean War, that he was opposed to any 
war, that there ought to be a cease-fire and try 
to resolve thines in other ways. This also be 
came a beef within the union with much of the 
union ecoing along with the government, perhaps 
with a few reservations; maybe not the same sort 


LG-: of jingoism that Truman and others had in mind. 
Then the developments in Washington: a move to 
establish what they called "security regulations" 
on the waterfront, things later developed into 
the whole Coast Guard screening and so forth. 

When the conference was held on setting up 
these security arrangements, the administration 
dipped into the ranks of the ILWU; in other words, 
some locals were invited to attend "but the 
International was completely by-passed. 

Ward: I bet the Portland local was invited. 

LG-: I'm not sure they attended. I have the recollec 
tion that Local 10, Sandeen, might have been 
there. I think somebody was there from Local 34; 
whether other locals were there, I'm not sure. 
The session was held back in Washington and we 
saw the security thing as just an attempt to 
to spread the Cold War and redbaiting directly 
into the ranks of the union. 

It was a counterpart of the Taft-Hartley af 
fidavits and everything else that was going on. 
The un-American Activities Committee was in full 
swing at the time. The Hollywood Ten (ten movie 
actors, writers and directors who were called 
before the House un-American Activities Committee) 
had been pretty well chopped up when they refused 
to take the Fifth. They took the First Amendment, 
put up a fight on that and lost, if you will 
recall. They were cited for contempt. 

When Harry was jailed, the sugar workers 
walked out in protest in Hawaii. It was during 
the period when he was in jail that we had the 
caucus in Coos Bay. 

Ward: ' How long did the sugar workers stay out? 

LG-: It was a one-day protest - maybe a little more. 
Well, he was freed on bail September first, but 
that was after the decision by the Ninth Circuit 
Court of Appeals; I was trying to recall the 
names of the judges involved. The two who were 
in the majority for his release were William 
Healey and William E. Orr; they are the ones who 


LG-: used the expression that they had to set their 

faces like "flint against the storm." Harry's 
case went to the Supreme Court, of course - and 
the Supreme Court reversed the BRS conviction 
on June 26, 1953. You recall that I told you 
that we had gotten James Lawrence Fly - 

Ward: Yes, to make the motion? 

LG: To argue the pre-trial motions - actually it was 

around these pre-trial motions - not on the 
trial itself - that the Supreme Court based its 
reversal; the man who argued the case for us was 
Telford Taylor. Telford Taylor was the son-in- 
law of James Lawrence Fly. Taylor had also been 
chief U. S. prosecutor at Nuremberg. 

Ward: Was he chief? 

LG: For a while. I think that (Supreme Court Justice) 

Robert H. Jackson was the chief for a while, 
Taylor was assistant; and when Jackson left there, 
Taylor took over. He carried the rank of General 
I guess from the Adjutant General's office. I 
recall talking to him about the thing and he 
explained that he didn't handle trial work, that 
he handled primarily or entirely appellate 

Those would be cases, I guess, before the ap 
pellate courts, primarily Federal - or perhaps, 
State too - and the Supreme Court. I think Norm 
Leonard went back to join him at the argument. 
He and Norm hit it off very well; Taylor carried 
the burden of the thing and the decision of Judge 
Harris was reversed. 


Ward: All right, v/e were discussing - 

LG: About Telford Taylor; the trial took place before 

Federal Judge Goodman. The government had two 
strings to its bow. There was a conspiracy 
indictment. There was also a civil charge, 
namely, that Harry's citizenship be revoked 
without criminal penalties. 


LG: Everybody assumed the case was finished; most 

people were just flabbergasted when the govern 
ment announced it was not through; they then 
proceeded to institute the civil charge which 
had not been dropped; it just lay pending the 
outcome of the criminal case. 

Ward: Would the statute of limitations apply there? 

LG: I should think so, but I don't know enough about 
the law - or make the fine distinction that you 
weren't really in jeopardy in the same way - that 
they just took your citizenship away. I'm sure 
the same points were argued again before the 
judge that were argued in the criminal conspiracy 

This was the trial before Goodman without a 
jury; it was a civil case and I think the 
attorneys decided they would go before Goodman 
and try to avoid some of the hysteria that had 
plagued the previous trial. And bear in mind, 
the previous conviction came down in that period 
when the Cold War was really heating up. 

Anyway, we decided we should try to get 
Telford Taylor to handle the case before Goodman. 
I recall going back east, on something else as 
well, and sitting down with Telford Taylor and 
asking him to handle the trial. He said, "Okay" 
he would. I think he, himself, had gotten very 
deeply into the Bridges case. This business of 
endless harassment going as far back as an at 
tempt in Congress to pass a bill of attainder . . 

Ward: Yes, I know. 

LG: And there had been the (Madame Prances) Perkins 
hearings, then the Immigration hearing, then the 
Landis hearing; the Sears*hearing, which wound 
up with a Supreme Court victory for Harry; the 
conspiracy case which also wound up in the 
Supreme Court - this just went on and on. And 
here was the Goodman case. Taylor felt he really 
ought to see the thing through. He came out 
here; I recall he asked us to arrange a place 
for him where he could stay and work. We found 

* Before Judge Charles B. Sears. 


LG: a place for him at the Huntington on Nob Hill 

and got him a small suite there, so that he had 
a desk to work at and keep his papers there. 

The most startling thing came out of Taylor 
just before the trial began. I went by there 
one day to see what else he needed, perhaps to 
deliver some additional documents. He said, 
"I think you ought to know this, Lou, I've 
never handled a trial case in my life." So, 
here was Telford Taylor handling his first trial, 
case before Judge Goodman. 

Well, v/e had all kinds of trepidations about 
Goodman, tried to find out what sort of a man 
he was like. He lived a life of his own, had an 
attractive suite at the Fairmont (Hotel), a home 
in Woodside. He used to ride all the time - he 
was a horseman. I think he v/as married to quite 
a wealthy woman - 

Ward: I was going to say that's more money than a 
Federal judge makes. 

LG: Yes, he appeared to be in fairly good shape. I 
know Ben Swig (owner of the Fairmont) was a good 
friend of his - they used to see each other 
socially. Perhaps that's why he stayed at the 

Ward: Goodman was Jewish, wasn't he? 

LG: Yes. 

Ward: So was Harris. 

LG: Harris was born Jewish, I think and - 

Ward: Changed to Catholic? 

LG: Yes. He went apostate. But as you know, Good 
man finally came along with an excellent decision 
in 1954 or '55. It could have been at that trial 
where Lundeberg turned up - 

Ward: Oh! 

LG: I believe so. I don't think he turned up at the 
conspiracy case; I think it was at that trial, 
anyway, that wound up the case. 


LG: Telford Taylor continued fairly close to us in 

the years afterwards. I used to stop by and see 
him whenever I was in New York. I got to know 
him and his wife quite well. Very pleasant 
guy, very bright and quite a good pianist; loved 
to compose marches, of all things. 

Ward: No wonder, he was a general .... 

LG: NAW! I think his military background was 

limited to the adjutant-general's office; but 
maybe you're right, maybe that got to him. But 
whether he had any political ambitions, I don't 
know. I know he was touted for a while as a 
logical candidate for the U. S. Senate out of 
New York, or a state office. That wound up the 
Bridges case, finally. 

Ward: Did that wind up the harassment? 

LG: Yes, harassment in that form. It didn't wind 
up harassment of the union, not by any manner 
of means; later in the fifties all kinds of 
people in the union were being hauled in before 
the un-American Activities Committee. As a 
matter of fact, that started in Hawaii in 1949. 
That was the reluctant 39, most of whom were 
ILWU members; all of them took the Fifth. Later 
in that same decade I was hauled before the un- 
' American Activities Committee, before the 
Eastland Committee, before the McClellan Commit 
tee at different times. 

Ward: In the forties? 

LG: Fifties, fifties - all in the fifties, as I 
recall. On the Smith Act the indictment was 
in 1951 in Hawaii - that was when Jack Hall was 
indicted, August 28, 1951. I was down in Hawaii 
at the time. As a matter of fact, Terry and the 
girls were there. I recall now, we were in 
sugar negotiations at that time because the 
contract expired September 1. But I had been 
down there a bit earlier because of the Lanai 
pineapple strike; it was a strike that lasted 
almost seven months. 

Ward: Wasn't Lanai the place where in the early days 
of organizing the guys had to sneak over at 
night in boats? 


LG: Lanai is one of the places where they had to use 
sampans because if they arrived by plane - I 
guess the airport was open by then - the company 
knew every single person who came on or off that 
island, so they took to the small fishing boats; 
the fishermen would take them over; not too far 
away, ,just across the channel. That's all there 
is on the island. 

Ward: Just one company? 

Just one company, the Hawaiian Pineapple Company 
which in turn is owned by Castle & Cooke. 

The reason I recall being down there is be 
cause we were in sugar negotiations. We'd 
gotten out very late and I had driven Jack home; 
it must have been around one or two o'clock in 
the morning because I dropped him at his house 
and promptly headed off to where we v/ere staying 
up in Manoa. We had rented a small place up 
towards the hills. The University of Hawaii is 
in the area. We had some friends living there; 
as a matter of fact, I think it was Meyer 
Symonds, who lived not too far from us. The 
girls used to spend some time at their home and 
I think he helped us find the place where we 

Anyway, I headed right for home and I couldn't 
have been asleep more than an hour or so when 
the phone rang and it was Yoshiko; they had just 
come and picked up Jack and hauled him off to 
the clink. Imagine, this great FBI, you see, 
in Hawaii where of course you could escape in 
just five seconds by walking on the water; the 
secret roundup just before daybreak - all part 
of their staging; these dangerous criminals. 

So, Terry and I gathered the kids together 
and went down to Jack's house, started getting 
on the phone, waking people up to find out what 
the score was. The sugar committee was due to 
meet that morning early; we started around seven 
o'clock the next morning - and Jack had been 
hauled off to the clink by the U. S. Marshal. 
I don't think there had even been a bail hearing 
yet. Bail was posted later that day. 






Well, the sugar committee went alons; with my 
suggestion that we deliberately suspend all 
negotiations. We announced that Jack, as far 
as we were concerned, was absolutely essential 
to the negotiations, which would not be resumed 
until Jack was available. 

The other side agreed to that? 

Who? The employers? No - no, the employers 
just stood to one side. They kept insisting 
later on that they really had nothing to do 
with this. How do you know the truth in these 
things? As I told you, I discovered that there 
wasn't all that much uniformity in the employers' 
thinking, necessarily. 

The Big Five would hammer out a policy, so- 
called, and the respective employers had what 
amounted to a veto power. In other words, un 
less they could get unanimity on a particular 
program, nothing was done. It gave any one of 
the agencies strength out of all proportion to 
its economic weight. I suppose from their point 
of view it was the only effective way of holding 
their team together. 

Now, it could very well be that the employers 
as a group and I'm inclined to think that guys 
like Blaisdell - I'm not sure that Blaisdell was 
still there at that time; he might have been 
eased out - Dwight Steele - as to whether Steele 
or Blaisdell were party to this thing, I have 

You didn't totally dislike either of those 
fellows, did you? 

No, Steele was a little more abrasive, a little 
more difficult to get along with. I got along 
with Blaisdell quite well and liked him as a 
person. He was an interesting character; came 
from around Butte, Montana - a bit of a cowboy. 
He wound up ranching, not too far from Carson 
City - Minden. It's right at the foot of the 
Kingsbury grade. I remember visiting him there 
a year or two after that. They were raising 
those very beautiful sheep - heavy wool. 


Ward: Is he still alive, Blaisdell? 

LG-: No, he died about three or four years ago. He 
was an interesting character. No, he must have 
still been down there because he played a very 
important role in the Lanai strike. 

But, I spoke to the Marshal and said, "Look, 
things are completely loused up; there's going 
to be no negotiations and there'll probably be 
a sugar strike, thanks to the way you have 
handled this thing." Oh, he didn't want any 
part of that. I think he was just a local yokel 
and sure as hell didn't want to upset the whole 
apple cart in Hawaii. They had gone through the 
'49 strike. We won that and everybody knew it. 

Not too long after that, in early 1950, the 
employers hired 15 or 16 guys in violation of 
the contract. Our guys walked out. The company 
fell all over itself and let their guys go at 
once; so the waterfront was in good shape. 
People in Hawaii were breathing a sigh of relief, 

Sure, Lanai was on strike but Hawaii could 
co on almost untouched in its main pursuits. 
This would have an enormous impact in Hawaiian 
Pine; it turned out later that the company took 
fantastic losses; but the economy and Waikiki, 
the flow of tourists, shipping, suear were all 
functioning. The whole prospect of another 
confrontation didn't particularly appeal to 
anyone down there. 

Anyway, I finally told the Marshal, we're not 
going to proceed unless we can meet with Jack 
Hall. He wasn't out on bail yet. The Marshal 
said, "Well, I can't release him, but there's a* 
good sized office down there next to mine and 
if you want to come down there, come down." So, 
I recall taking the whole committee and going 
down to the Marshal's office. 

Of course, we wanted the stuff to get in the 
papers, and it did. There was a clear, sharp 
demonstration of support, a very quick reaction 
to the Smith Act indictment. Bear in mind, all 
the an ti- Communist hysteria that had been going 


n there for a long time; the best thing to do 
was to hit it between the eyes as quickly as you 

We met down there. There weren't enough 
chairs; I remember guys sitting on top of the 
file cabinets and some of them on the floor. It 
wasn't all that big a room, I guess about the 
size of this kitchen, maybe a little bit smaller - 
jammed ... 

Ward: Did they bring Jack in? 

LG: Jack was brought in. 

Ward: He was a prisoner, but he was there? 

LG: Yes, and photographers came in taking pictures 

of us. 

Ward: Wonderful publicity! 

LG: Yeah, although they took some very unkind photos; 

but that's the way they are. The important 
thing was that we signified as quickly as possible 
that the union was with Jack. Everybody talked 
about it. We said, "Okay, we'll wait until the 
contract runs out and strike, unless Jack is 
made available." By the end of that afternoon 
he was released on bail. 

Ward: This was before a judge? 

LG: Yes, I forget which judge it was. Anyway that 

was when he was indicted; the trial itself start 
ed on November 7 of '52. I think that's the 
date of the October Revolution, isn't it? 

Ward: I really wouldn't know - I could look it up. 

LG: Well, anyway, that trial went on for a long 

time. It stretched on until - 

Ward: There were six other defendants? 

LG: Seven in all, right. That was the incident 

around which Burris and Condon of the FBI visited 


LG: Dave Thompson - and his room was wired before 

they got there with Bob McElrath doing the 
recording. There's one amusing sidelight, 
although the thing that came through clearest 
on the tape was that if Jack would cooperate 
they could make it six instead of seven; a 
blatant effort to get him to turn stool pigeon 
and invent stories about the other defendants. 

The amusing sidelight is that McElrath says 
that while he was doing this tape down in the 
basement he had to keep very quiet. Hawaii 
houses are not that soundproof. He discovered 
that he just had to take a leak. He had no 
place to go. Mac liked his beer, and he figured 
the logical thing was to finish a can of beer 
and use it a second time. 

Anyway, the trial went on to June of the 
following year; there were a number of interrup 
tions . . . 

Ward: Well, it started in 1952 and went to June, 1953. 

LG.: Yes. You had the holiday season there, and the 

courts don't overwork themselves during that 
time of the year. Hawaii is a funny place; they 
start wishing a Merry Christmas and a Happy New 
Year after Thanksgiving and they don't stop wish 
ing you a Happy New Year until some time late in 
January. On that score it's a very social 

Ward: Wanted to make sure they're good Christians? 

LG: Not particularly; a lot of it is part of the whole 

sociability. The holiday season is a time of 
very intensive family entertainment - people 
making the rounds of each other's homes and 
things like New Year's Eve are typical. Even 
around the plantation communities, a guy would 
make the rounds of all of his close friends - 
not everybody he knew; obviously, he couldn't 
make it - and have a drink with each of them . . , 

Ward: Must get a little rugged? 

LG: Yeah, and you get some wild stories about it, 



LG-: But the Seven were found guilty and the entire 

ILWU walked out in protest; stopped work. Local 
142 called a special convention of the entire 
union in Hawaii. By that time it was a merged 
local; they called the special convention to 
"blast the results of the trial, pledge their 
support, and continue to fight on the issue. 

That case kicked around in the courts and 
went to the Appellate Court and Hall and the 
others were acquitted on January 20, 1958 - that 
followed the reversal of Smith Act cases "by the 
Supreme Court. The Smith Act case was a tag- 
end affair. t Smith Act cases had gone on in New 
York and you remember the one in Los Angeles 
and other parts of the country. 

So that there had "been any number of Smith 
Act cases, much earlier. I recall that the 
first changing of the tide on the whole Cold 
War, the Smith Act cases and the endless red 
baiting, was after the confrontation between 
"Jumping Joe" McCarthy and (Joseph) Welch - 

Ward: The Army case? 

LG-: Yes, the Army case. It was when Eisenhower 

finally got angry and where some Back Bay Bos- 
tonians got in the act; God knows they were no 
leftwingers, but strong 'adherents of the basic 
principles of democracy, and only then was there 
a change in atmosphere. 

The more I look back at that period, Truman 
was just horrendous. I know that now he's being 
dolled up and a lot of people are having second 
thoughts about what a wonderful man he was - a 
modest haberdasher. I don't think anything 
could be further from the truth. After all, he 
was the architect of the Cold War. You can say 
that Churchill was, but Truman toddled along 
right after him. 

It was Pulton, Missouri where Churchill made 
his "Iron Curtain" speech when Truman was in 
power, and it was Truman who was reelected in 
1948. It was under Truman that Joe McCarthy 
really got going; even though he gave lip service 
to opposition of Taft Hartley, he collapsed 
completely on the issue. 


LG-: As to whether he did all he should, I don't 

know. A number of us felt that he could have 
done more to make sure that the right senators 
were available. So, that whole Truman era, at 
least for a union like ours, and I think for 
most of the labor movement, was bad; he was the 
guy who took Murray completely in tow. He gave 
him the key to the kitchen, or whatever it was, 
in the White House, so that Murray had access 
all the time . 

Ward: The key to the toilet, you mean? 

LG-: Well, maybe, perhaps or if you get into the 

house by way of the toilet, but Murray had ac 
cess to Truman and Truman knew the importance 
of buttering a man like this. And did so 
successfully. That was when the expulsions took 
place in the CIO. The whole atmosphere was 
nationally reflected, of course, in the courts 
and in the unions and by the employers. 

Had it not been for Taft-Hartley and that 
whole era, I don't think you would have had the 
kind of violent lengthy beefs; every one of 
these strikes were long strikes - the '48 strike 
ran around 95 days, the warehouse strike in '49 
lasted 110 days, the strike of the longshoremen 
in Hawaii lasted 178 days - almost six months; 
no two ways about it, the employers felt full of 

The economy was taking a tumble; towards 
1949, unemployment was very heavy until we found 
ourselves in Korea, again under the Truman 
leadership. So everybody brushes off these 
things and talks about Truman firing (General 
Douglas) MacArthur . . . 
Ward: The buck stopped here? 

LG: Yes, these, in my opinion, were awfully simplis 
tic statements. I think MacArthur was the kind 
of a ffuy any man who was President of the United 
States would have to fire sooner or later. 
Either that or resign himself to beine a door 
mat. I think that was the way MacArthur was, 
and there was no taming him. If there was any 
guy who had a complete God complex, it was 
MacArthur. So, those were just rough, rough 


LG: Eisenhower went in around 1952 and there was no 

immediate change; under Dulles (John Poster Dulles, 
former secretary of state) the atmosphere changed 
almost not at all. Eisenhower did manage to 
extricate us from Korea - went back exactly to 
what we had been talking about, the 38th 
Parallel. We happened to leave an awful lot of 
American kids behind and an awful lot of Koreans 
and Chinese - 

V/ard: Do you want to discuss the Hawaii trial in detail? 
Is there anything interesting in the testimony or 
the witnesses? 

LG: Part of the witnesses were just the usual trained 
snakes, you know, or trained cobras, as Hallinan 
used to call them. Paul Crouch was down there; 
those were the guys who came in as the experts 
on communism. After all the Smith Act indictments, 
I've tried to recall the exact phraseology; it's 
something like "the conspiracy to teach the 
advocacy of." 

In other words, this whole thing was like a 
three-step affair; the objective of the , 
prosecution was to boil the thing down to the 
conspiracy to teach. Consequently, my giving ,> 
you a pamphlet becomes a conspiracy to teach or 
if the two of us give a third person a pamphlet 
it is definitely a conspiracy, right? 

So this was the device that was used; they 
had these same trained characters from trial to 
trial on the government payroll, all the time. 
Louis Budenz was one, Manning Johnson was another, 
Paul Crouch was another: they had a whole series 
of the them. 

V/ard: Ross - Lawrence Ross? 

LG: Lawrence Ross, whether he turned up again I 

don't know - he turned up in the Bridges case, 
but he was pretty thoroughly ripped apart there. 
He was the Kentucky colonel whose name was 
Rosenstein, I think it was. They tried to bury 
his whole background until I believe it was 
Elinor Kahn who dug it up; she was on our re 
search staff for the Bridges-Robertson-Schmidt 


LG: Me also dug up a lot of stuff on their false 

testimony about Harry being at a meeting of the 
Communist party where he v/as elected to its 
Central Committee. He was in Stockton at the 
same time; we even had the testimony of a couple 
who got married and they remembered being at a 
dinner party in Stockton where we had a dinner . 
for our guys; all the plane schedules and every 
thing else literally made it impossible to meet 
these dates. That didn't bother the government. 

You might remember that we had a pretty active 
campaign demanding perjury indictments against 
people like Manning Johnson and Crouch, Ross. 

Ward: What about the defense witnesses - anything 
of interest there? 

LG: I'd say that the only thing of interest was a 

couple of people - one was Mayor Wilson; he was 
no longer mayor at that time. 

Ward: What was his first name? 

LG: John Wilson - 

Ward: He was mayor of Honolulu? 

LG: He was mayor of Honolulu for a long time. He 
was an engineer. He was the man who conceived 
the idea of digging a tunnel through the Pali 
to go from one side of the island to the other. 

Ward: The road went over the Pali. 

LG: Yes, because going over the Pali was a very 

difficult road and he was the one who engineered 
the tunnel; very difficult job, lots of water, 
lots of rain up there. It is called the Wilson 

Ward: The tunnel was built? 

LG: The tunnel was built and I believe he was the 
engineer on the job. He appeared on behalf of 
Jack. Another man who appeared for Jack was 
Delbert Metzger. Metzger was a wonderful old 
Federal judge - - 


Ward: You told me all about him. 

LG: Who had the balls to stand up to the military 
government and threw out martial law. There 
were other witnesses for Jack, but there was 
nothing really to contravert in the trial. In 
other words, what do you arsue? Did Jack get 
some of this literature? He probably did, sure, 
They had this weak character who had worked for 
our union at one time; he brought over a bag of 
this literature, and they made a big thing of 
that. He was coming back on the ship anyway. 

Ward: That gives us a kind of a roundup it seems to 

The Man Who Turned 

LG: The key guy against the union was Jack Kawano. 
Now Jack Kawano had been one of the founders of 
the longshore union in Honolulu. He was the 
president of Longshore Local 136 in Hawaii; that 
was before the merger of all the locals down 
there. He was president at the time when they 
had the first National Labor Relations Board 
election which we finally won, sometime around 
the end of 1940, maybe 1941. 

The war came along. During the war, Jack 
Kawano was completely shunted aside by the mili 
tary. They put him on some sort of a little 
Manpower Commission. 

Ward: Wasn't he the guy who started to raise tomatoes? 

LG: He went out and started raising tomatoes; wasn't 
working on the waterfront. After the war, he 
was active in the rebuilding of the union. I 
got to know him very well and spent quite a bit 
of time with him. 

Ward: What made him turn? 

LG: He was a bit of a recluse in the sense that 

while I used to see him a fair amount, he was 
never as intimate as some of the other guys 


LG: in terms of sitting around, having coffee and 

just bullshitting. It's hard to put your finger 
on what makes a guy turn in a situation like 
that; he stuck with the union through the '49 

As a matter of fact, I recall he came to the 
mainland and spoke to a Local 6 meeting when the 
warehousemen were on strike, sort of linking up 
the two battles; he seemed to stand up okay. I 
think what might have made him turn was that 
the union moved right past him. In other words, 
he played one role in the formative days. The 
moment the sugar organization took on an enormous 
amount of mobility and strength, automatically 
the relationship of forces changed. 

When they began to consolidate the union into 
Local 142, perhaps some longshoremen thought 
they had made a mistake by not having a more 
important place. Kawano continued to be the head 
of the longshoremen, but the president of 142 
then was Tony Rania, as I recall, from Waialua, 
a Filipino; Constantine Samson, a Filipino from 
Waimanalo plantation was vice-president. That 
plantation is now out of business. Newton Miyagi 
was secretary. Later on Carl Demaso became 

Now, maybe Kawano felt that with sugar and 
pineapple and with the growth of organization, 
his role was diminished or that he was being 
forced to take a back seat; some of the guys 
down there, for example, felt that the Filipinos 
were using their racial bloc or because of their 
racial importance were playing an undue role. 
There was quite a clash to make sure that there 
would be some balance of leadership. Whether 
Kawano was affected by that, I don't know. I've 
never gotten any indication in any conversation 
I had with him. 

Ward: It wasn't economic? 

LG: It could have been; I don't think he wound up 

getting either fame or fortune out of his dup 
licity. As a matter of fact, later on he wound 
up as a janitor in a theatre in Los Angeles. 


Ward: Well, what did his testimony do among the members 
of the union? 

LG: Almost none, because "by that time he had dropped 
out of activity. I remember going to the trial 
one day and just sitting there glaring at him; 
I didn't know what the hell had gotten into this 

He just looked right through everybody to the 
back wall; obviously well rehearsed and doing a 
real job both on Jack and the other defendants 
in terms of their linkage with these other key 
witnesses - the guys who were the real theoreti 
cal experts - by showing that there had been a 
Communist party in Hawaii and that Jack had been 
part of it; that they were active; that they had 
literature; that they had classes; that they had 
influence in the union. 

Ward: Did Kawano place Jack in a Communist meeting? 

LG: Yes - yes, regularly. Kawano, after that, faded 
out of the scene. It wasn't that much of a 
loss. There were other competent guys who had 
come along in the '49 Longshore strike. 

Again things go through your mind as to why 
a number of Hawaiians left Hawaii, who had been . 
very active in the building of the longshore 
union and helping out in sugar; a number of the 
guys who wound up on the island of Lanai, help 
ing to organize the pineapple workers. Something 
had moved past these people or they didn't quite 
keep up with it; that could easily turn to bitter 

We have talked about the whole period of the 
Red Scare, Taft-Hartley and the tough days, and 
I thought it was more like ten years. 


LG: I guess the reason I put it at ten years, 

instead of another period, was that after 1955 
there was a change in the national atmosphere. 
I think it was around 1955 when they reversed 
the Smith Act convictions, so that when I say 


Ward : 


Ward : 


Ward ; 


Why, if they reversed the Smith Act convictions, 
did it take them three years for Jack Hall to 
be freed of the charges? 

I think it's just the rate at which these things 
go through the courts. As I recall, there was 
no great surprise on anybody's part that the 
court reversed the convictions in Hawaii. It 
could be even that through vindictiveness on 
the part of courts and judges, prosecution, 
Federal government, they figure, okay, the 
longer you drag it out, the more damage can be 

Wasn't it Shakespeare who put the words in 
Hamlet's mouth - one of the reasons for justi 
fiable suicide being the law's delay? So, the 
only reason I put it that way is because I really 
see the thing as sort of tapering off in 1955. 

Does that fairly give the picture of the period 
of harassment? 

Yes and no; let me give you an example. It took 
a combination of various forms of strategy to 
meet the whole era. After the passage of Taft- 
Hartley, the employers attempted to utilize it 
for a showdown and kick the union around in the 
1948 Longshore strike. 

Literally you had no choice but to fight, but 
it also meant a strategy where you couldn't back 
away from a legitimate beef. You had to take 
them on, but it would be a bleeding operation, 
both on the employer and for the union. These 
were costly strikes, and bear in mind, we weren't 
a big union or a very wealthy union. 

You didn't have a big strike fund? 
We didn't have any strike fund. 

You did have a policy, did you not, that when 
a strike took place the officers went off the 
payroll, right along with the members? 

Right - correct. That was automatic in the 
locals. In the case of the International, it 
depended on what proportion were out, so that 


LG-: it did -not have uniform application. But as I 

recall, at the time Longshore and Warehouse were 
"both out in '49, we were really scrounging around 
for nickels; it was not easy. 

Ward: Did you take a financial dumping too? 

LG-: We weren't getting paid so much to be dumped 
very far. 

Ward: Well, you were cut some anyhow? 

LG: Oh, sure - we made heavy contributions to the 
strike fund; every nickel counted; this was a 
real draining operation. It also meant, for 
example, that sometimes the only way that you 
could even retreat was by fighting - which 
sounds like a contradiction in terms. There's 
all the difference in the world between a 
retreat and a rout and if you can retreat and 
keep your army intact, there are circumstances 
that warrant it. 

For example, the 1949 Warehouse strike was an 
expensive strike. The members wound up getting 
a dime an hour increase in pay. The employers 
initially offered absolutely zero - just renew 
the contract as is. Actually, the members were 
doing quite well in '48, '49 was different; but 
we had to fight then. We struck Crockett in '49. 
The Longshore strike in Hawaii wasn't even over 
yet. We finally picked up a little more than a 
dime in Crockett; I think 10 cents plus an 
extra seven cents automatically early in the 
following year in March, pretty much along the 
lines of the settlement in Hawaii. 

In Hawaii, here was a strike that went six 
months around the issue of wages, but with a 
much more fundamental sociological issue behind 
it. The others, you couldn't say had the same 
sociological issues; the closest being the 
Longshore strike in '48 on the west coast. 
There you had a combination of several factors. 
Employers were determined to reverse the whole 
scene in terms of the hiring hall and to use 
this new-fangled weapon, Taf t-Hartley, to kick 
the union into line. 


LG-: All this time we had a "battle going on in the 

question of the n on- Communist affidavits. There 
is nothing in the law to this day that says you 
have to use Taft-Hartley or the National Labor 
Relations Board. And the Board has become more 
of a pain in the neck today in terms of trying 
to get anything done; even the minimal improve 
ments that Carter was committed to went down 
the drain in Congress. 

So, we adhered to this line - it sort of 
made sense. A number of other leftwing unions 
did the same thing, but before lone: the CIO was 
using Taft-Hartley in order to raid. The Team 
sters were using Taft-Hartley in order to raid. 

Finally, sometime in 1950, we decided we had 
no choice but to comply with Taft-Hartley. 
There was never a question in our minds about 
the legal elements on compliance - that we could 
have done at all times. The real hitch was go 
ing along with the whole concept. We finally 
had to comply. It was the only way to defend 

So, we were both fighting and retreating and 
having to take certain steps which eventually 
resulted in pulling in our lines. Simultaneously, 
in 1949 and 1950, the whole process of expulsion 
of the leftwing unions from the CIO began. I 
had thought that Arthur Goldberg played a role 
in the trial itself; apparently not, from what 
I have been able to check. I gather he's the 
one who prepared the material. 

Even after the expulsion we had a policy to 
stay in the CIO. It was a different policy, for 
example, than that of UE and Farm Equipment, who 
said, "The hell with the whole thing - it's just 
a kangaroo court, anyway. e thought the thing 
to do was to fight as long as we could, to build 
as many allies as we could, which we did; but 
still it was a retreating fight. Toward the end 
of 1950, the State CIO Council, for example, was 
taken over; Richard T. Leonard and Tim Flynn, I 
think; he was CIO Director in Los Angeles; 
Leonard was a CIO administrative officer. They're 
the ones who moved in with court orders and so 


Ward: That was when Merv Rathborne was secretary 
wasn't it? 

LG: No, it was afterwards. Merv appeared as a 
witness against Earry. 

Ward: Oh, that's right - but who was secretary then? 

LG: Bjorne Hailing was secretary. They took over 
the CIO councils; I mentioned earlier the 
International taking over 150 Golden Gate which 
technically was owned by the San Francisco CIO 
Council. This must have been 1948 or early in 
1949, because we had this feeling that things 
were going sour. We were down at 604 Montgomery; 
we had gotten out of 150 Golden Gate - there 
wasn't enough room; but the CIO Council and some 
of the tiny unions used the. place. 

We finally decided we might as well take the 
building back; most of the money in there was 
ours; so I recall Dick Lynden was on the CIO 
Council's board there, so I said to Dick, "Why 
don't you call a special meeting of the board 
of directors and vote to sell the building back 
to the ILWU." There were some screams, but there 
was some money around and I made out the check 
and paid them the same day and we took over the 
building. This was just as well, because other 
wise the CIO would have picked it up when they 
took over the Council. 

We had a set-up which amounted to unity 
committees.. Various labor unions in areas like 
Los Angeles and San Francisco made attempts to 
maintain all the ties we could, whatever strength 
we could. We fought against being separated 
from the rest of the trade union movement and we 
constantly fought for unity. 

We did this even during the Teamster raid in 
early 1950; by that time Joe Dillon had gone 
over the hill with a group from Local 6. We 
called a special convention of Local 6. We 
invited the Teamsters to come to the convention, 
so it was both a bold policy as well as being 
forced to fight a retreating action. The reason 
we invited them to come to the convention was 


LG-: again the constant hammering away - the struggle 
for men's minds, trying to convince them that 
here was a line that made some sense. 

I remember our publicity was very intense in 
those days. We made a proposition to the Team 
sters. We said, "Look, the one thing that 
won't do any good around here is cannabalism. 
Basically, it finally works out that the 
employers are the only guys who have anything 
to gain from it. They use one union against the 
other, they divert the attention of the union, 
they turn people against the union - they do 
harm and no good. 

"We'll invite you to the convention; whatever 
your reasons are - because they had talked first 
with the CIO, Tim Plynn - for getting out of the 
ILWU, you put them out in front of the delegates. 
The issue will be argued out there and we'll 
take a referendum vote of the whole Local 6 
membership. If they go along with you, every 
body goes. If they turn it down, you get out, 
no jurisdictional raids." 

Of course, they just ignored it, but on the 
other hand, if you look past the immediate 
individuals and the little petty struggles for 
power and address yourself to basic principles, 
then you can see how an approach of this sort 
had an awful lot of value. So, there was never 
any reluctance on our part - 

Ward: You're just about calling Eisenhower a Teamster 

official, because that is what he did in 
Vietnam - - 

LG-: That's what he said he would do - - 

Ward: Well, he backed away from it. 

LG-: Yes, he backed away from it; the Teamster 

officials did an Eisenhower, that's more accu 
rate. In other words, what Eisenhower agreed 
to in '54 was not too different; that was a bit 
after us, but that's all right. 


LG-: But it was a sound program - not too different 

than the program we took with the CIO. e said, 
"Look, we've got no objection to being voted 
down. All we want is a chance to say our piece 
and let the membership have the last say." 
That's all it was. That's all we ever asked 
for in the APofL. Just a chance to take the 
deck - no more. If the labor movement is to 
be anything, it's got to be that sort of a forum 
for ideas and conflict. Well, those people 
weren't operating that way and many people don't 
to this day, so .... 

All I'm saying is that it was a combination 
of all these factors at work. Again, bear in 
mind that everybody was moving into our flanks 
at the same time. In glancing over The Dispatcher, 
I happened to start putting down a list of the 
number of people who zeroed in against us just 
in Hawaii Longshore alone. 

In addition to others already mentioned, 
there was an outfit that called itself I M U A, 
which in Hawaiian means "forward." But they 
used the initials for "I Might Undertake Anything." 
This was a so-called Hawaii residence group, 
dominated by haoles. They were out crusading 
against us; taking out ads and everything else. 

Ward: Incidentally - spell the word "haole" for me. 

LG: HAOLE; they say the word literally means 

"white stranger." It's used when they talk 
about white persons generally. I always thought 
it also meant a luna. I was corrected once by 
a Hawaiian. 

I happened to be stuck on the Kona coast - 
not too far from Kailua. I stayed in some small 
motel for the night and there was a Hawaiian 
teacher who owned this place - very friendly and 
knew a little bit about the union and wanted to 
talk about it. 

I used the word haole and he said, "By the 
way, do you know the origin, the derivation of 
the word?" I said, "No, I always thought it 
meant either a luna, first rank luna or a v/hite 


LG: man, generally from the mainland." "Well, he 

said, I've done some studying on this." Now, 
I'm not saying that this is authoritative; I'm 
not terribly sure it's important that it be 
authoritative. It's much more important to re 
call these marvelous things that go on in the 
minds of people when they decide to work on 
something like this. 

He said, "The white haole is a conjunction of 
two Hawaiian words. The words are hau and ule." 
Now, I know what ule is in Hawaiian - that's a 
prick - and hau, according to him, means shove. 
"When the white seamen got there the first thing 
they did would be to grab some of these Hawaiian 
wahines and rush them off into the brush; so we 
labelled them hauule - haoles." Well , that ' s 
just some of the theory; regardless of the facts, 
it's a good story. 

Ward: Well, the story about the derivation of okulehau 

LG: Which was the drink - - 

Ward: Bottoms up - - 

LG: No, the okole is your ass; it literally meant - 

oh, okolemaluna, that's what you're thinking of. 
Maluna is moon - okole is your fanny. We say, 
"bottoms up," but the words literally mean "ass 
to the moon." 

Ward: Well, the way I heard it was that Captain Cook 
was getting whatever he could get hold of to 
distill - 

LG: No, taro was what they made it out of - 

Ward: Whatever they used - anyway, they had this big 
kettle and they made the brew in this kettle 
and that's where the big, black iron bottom came 
from. That was my version. It's more polite. 

LG: Yes, that might be the derivation of the word 
okulehau, but the expression for bottoms up is 
literally bottoms up - okolemaluna. 

Ward: Well, anyway, you were talking about the IMUA 
and - 


LG-: The Citizens Committee. President Truman, 

Interior Secretary (Julius A.) Krug. And there 
was also a campaign to support G-overnor Stainback; 
Maldonado, the renegade member of Local 10; also 
the Maritime Democratic Club which was set up in 
San Francisco, another redbaiting outfit. 
Maldonado was repudiated by the Maritime Democra 
tic Club and finally expelled by Local 10. Of 
course, there were injunctions and seizure orders 
and the advertisements with their "Dear Joe" 
editorials; the American Legion. The Hawaiian 
Legislature with their Acts 2 and 3. V/hat a 


(Interview 24: 29 August, 1978) 

The Lanai Strike 

Ward: Now, Lou, I think you were talking about the 

Lanai strike. 

LG: That would "be logical. 

Ward: Let's get into the pineapple situation. 

In 1947 we took a setback in pineapple. No 
question that the strike there was somewhat 
premature. Also, no doubt in my mind that there 
was a sort of overwhelming intoxication with the 
season. People are hypnotized by all this fruit 
that is becoming fresh and has to be canned at 
one time . 

In the pineapple growing season, the crop is 
geared to the availability of seasonal labor. 
They used a good many high school - and I guess 
a few college - kids for the canning operation. 
Most canneries which would sort of putter along 
were using what they called intermittent workers, 
During the peak season they would go up to 
thousands of employees. In any event, - even 
though there were some differences later, 
particularly in Jack Hall's mind, as to whether 
or not we should have settled when we did - 
there was a retreat in pineapple in 1947. 


LG-: In the period that then ensued, through the 

Hawaii Employers Council I think, the employers 
worked out their joint strategy. I don't think 
there was anything sub rosa; they were just 
representing their own interests. Naturally, 
you're not too fond of that, particularly if the 
odds get very bad. But what they were able to 
do, though, was run broken field through the 
union. There were a number of pineapple 
companies, the major one being Hawaiian Pine, 
which was in turn owned by Castle and Cooke. 

Del Monte had a cannery in Hawaii together 
with certain land that they worked - lease lands, 
I think, primarily, on Oahu but also on the is 
land of Molokai. Libby McNeil and Libby had a 
cannery in Hawaii and also worked some lands. 
There were some smaller canneries on the island 
of Kauai which I believe are all phased out by 

During the '47 beef or directly afterwards 
we lost one of the companies through successful 
efforts of the employers to take the union apart. 
Well, the program of the employers was not 
something to be misunderstood. I think it is one 
of the inevitable things, depending on the balance- 
of organization. If the union stays strong and 
the industry is well organized, you're going to 
find fragmentation among the employers, depending 
on the exercise of economic strength. 

If, on the other hand the union is weak, the 
employers very quickly take advantage by either 
moving into those areas where they can disor 
ganize the workers entirely or set the pattern 
at the weakest link. There's nothing that 
requires any great, brilliant strategy to figure 
that one out. So the employers would then fol 
low a policy of imposing a wage settlement. 

The contracts had come open once or twice and 
what the employer did was to just simply announce, 
"Okay, this is what we're going to pay, we're 
not going to pay anymore. You can sit and bar 
gain." They were careful. They didn't want 
charges of refusal to bargain in good faith and 
things like that. 


LG: Even before they made their proposals they had 
a pretty good idea as to where the weak spots 
were, so in a number of cases they would start 
off with the Hawaiian Pineapple Company, the 
"biggest. It was also one which I suppose had 
the weakness of "bigness because the seasonal 
workers were not part of the union. 

Henry White, president of the company, had 
led the strikebreaking efforts; there were 
pictures of him and his family out in the field 
picking pineapples. On that score, I think Jack 
was right; I would have liked to watch what 
happened within a week or so of this kind of 

Ward: Yes, I can see why. 

LG: Well, come the end of 1950 - the pineapple 

agreement was open, the employers proposed an 
8-cent an hour increase and the initial nego 
tiations were with Hawaii Pine. We called in 
the full committee, even though the employers 
were dealine company by company, because we felt 
it was important to keep the union together, and 
to keep the industry together as best we could 
within our own ranks. 

The general feeling was that we couldn't 
effectively fight back at that moment and that 
while people weren't too happy with the offer, 
it was better to take it and rebuild; the process 
was going on. The one group of workers who 
rejected the proposal, also a part of the Hawaiian 
Pineapple Company, were the workers on the is 
land of Lanai. Lanai also means something like 
a - 

Ward: It's a porch, isn't it? 

LG: It's a porch and I guess the reason the 

island was called Lanai was that it is sort of 
a porch for the island of Maui; it was just a 
few miles across the channel there. 

Ward: It's not a very large island, is it? 

LG: Let's see, there were about 20,000 acres under 


ard: Forty-fifty square miles? 

LG: That's about all. 

Ward: Then it's about as big as the city of San Francisco? 

LG: No, no - a little bit bigger. There's a fair 

section of the island that is not cultivated; some 
high hills, all wooded and there's still a good 
deal of game there. During the Lanai strike 
people were well organized and they managed to 
get fed. They rejected the contract. Finally, 
they struck, somewhere around February, 1951. 

I recall the beginning of the strike because 
I was down there; there was a sugar caucus and 
we were formulating our demands and tidying up 
some of the other battles. There was also the 
process of consolidation of the various locals 
in Hawaii. The pineapple caucus decided they 
were going to take the employers' offer, the 
eight cents. 

Earlier we not only discussed this with the 
pineapple workers in Hawaii, who were under the 
gun, but the other v/orkers as well. The head 
quarters of the union were in the second floor 
of an office building; makeshift offices because 
the union was about to go ahead and build its 
new headquarters at 451 Atkinson Drive, right 
across the street. The meeting facilities at 
the office were not terribly good. 

I recall leaving the meeting there and some 
of the fellows from Lanai, including Pedro de la 
Cruz, were waiting and said, "We'd like to sit 
down and talk for a while." So, we were just 
sitting around there on a bit of lawn and all 
they wanted to know was, did they have the right 
to strike at Lanai. 

I told them sure they had the right to strike - 
no question about that; the employers were 
negotiating company by company and practically 
plant by plant. And there was nothing in the 
way of an industry contract that was being 
jeopardized. I didn't see that they were bound 
by the industry vote. I told them they had the 

Left to right: Jack Hall, Harry Bridges, Louis 
Goldblatt. In Hawaii, 1950s. 

Terry and Louis Goldblatt meeting Eleanor 
Roosevelt at White House luncheon for 
people helpful to the war effort, ca . 1943 

Photo by Don Faulkner Photography 


LG: right to strike, "But before you do, there are 

a few things that should be understood both by 
the workers and by the leadership. Number one, 
when you're striking you'll be not entirely on 
your own, but damn near." 

You see, lanai had no cannery; they just 
picked the fruit and shipped it in barges, 
generally an overnight run to Oahu, where the 
next morning it hit the canneries. I said that 
the chances of spreading a picket line - let us 
say, if the employers managed to work - over to 
Hawaii Pine are just about zero. 

It's not because a lot of good people there 
wouldn't walk out; I think we'd lose it. We're 
just in no shape to take on a long beef there; 
plus there's no question in my mind that the 
employers are going to stick with this thing for 
a while, because they think they can fragment 
industry bargaining. 

I said, "That's one thing you ought to under 
stand, to start with. As to whether you'll be 
completely on your own, that will not be true - 
you'll have the support of the union. When it 
comes to finances, we'll help you as best we can; 
I think you had better set up relief committees 
from the very start. The other thing, if you 
have any idea that you are going to win a strike 
of this sort in two or three months, forget it. 
It will take a lot longer. These employers like 
it the way it is, and they are not about to give 
it up." 

They listened very carefully, didn't ask too 
many questions; when I got through, they went 
back to the initial question: did they have the 
right to strike? That's it. Some time in Feb 
ruary Lanai went down, and there started an 
episode that added up all the things that were 
happening in Hawaii; the divergent currents, 
both in terms of public and governmental hosti 
lity, and also what was going on among the 

Ward: You had a replay of redbaiting, newspaper 



LG: Well, for a while there just was a complete blanket 
of silence. Later on, the papers began talking 
about our destroying the pineapple industry, the 
usual thing. Nobody was too upset about that. 
As a matter of fact, I think some of the guys 
felt a bit better when wome of the blasting came 
along because they figured when the employers got 
hurt, they screamed. That strike moved along on its 
own, amazingly well organized .... 

Ward: There was no production? 

LG-: No; the only way you could have had production 
was to bring in strikebreakers. 

Ward: And they didn't do that? 

LG: No - I think that the chances of their being 
successful were very, very thin. This whole 
damn island was just owned by Hawaiian Pine. 
Everything on it. I think even the post office 
was leased from the company. In any event, the 
guys did an effective job. They set up huge 
soup kitchens, fed entire families there. They 
had regular hunting parties going up into the 
hills, getting wild pigs still running around. 

There are small deer on Lanai. I don't know 
if anybody ever bothered with a hunting license. 
I'm not sure those were necessary. They had 
gardening crews and they also had fishing parties. 
Everybody was accounted for and very well discip 

Well, one of the things that I couldn't quite 
figure out was what this strike was all about. 
I understood exactly how they felt, but they 
were taking a kicking around. 

Ward: What were their demands over the 8 cents? 

LG-: They demanded more money - 12 cents instead of 
the 8. They demanded some stronger seniority 
rights; there were some poor classifications; 
they had grievances long pending. After the '47 
strike, the employers were not making much of 
an effort to settle a grievance; but I felt those 
were not reasons enough by themselves. 


during; that same year that Jack Hall was 
indicted and we had some other headaches. 
During one of the trips down there, I sat around 
and asked a lot of questions and finally realized 
that this was a strike without an obvious strike 
issue; the issues were somewhere else. On poking 
around, some of the things emerged and this gives 
you an idea how deep some of the hostilities went 
in Hawaii. 

In 1946, they had brought in a whole group 
of Filipinos. Those Filipinos were allocated 
around to various companies; in the main, field 
workers. Some went to sugar and some to pine 
apple; some of them went to Lanai. 

We objected to the importation of any 
additional Filipinos in 1946, not because of 
any hostility to the Filipinos, but because we 
felt that because the war was over there would 
be a certain amount of shift back to the planta 
tions; mechanization was moving on apace and 
before long these men would not be necessary. 
All you would have would be a lot of headaches 
and hardships. 

This didn't stop the employers a bit, and 
through their recruiting machinery they brought 
these people in. Well, maybe a year or so later, 
or maybe 1950 for that matter, all of a sudden, 
Hawaiian Pine, at least on Lanai, decided they 
didn't need those additional workers. It's a 
small island, about 3,000 people, maybe 5,000 
now, and I guess at that time, close to a thous 
and were working for Hawaiian Pineapple Company. 

These men had all made friends, of course, 
particularly in the Filipino community. One 
afternoon they were notified that there was no 
longer any need for them; -they better go back to 
wherever they're living, - some in single men's 
barracks, some in houses which had been converted 
for single men - and get their things. And that 
same night they started to ship them out. 

Ward: Where did they ship them to? 

LG: I guess back to Honolulu and from there back to 
the Philippines. It might have been in 1949 
because many of those workers had been brought 


LG-: in under 3-year contract. When the three years 
were up, the' employers were not going to renew 
them; okay, off they go. Maybe some of them 
were just dropped in Honolulu and told "Do the 
best you can." 

The thing that really burned the workers on 
Lanai was the inhumanity of the company; the 
business of notifying a guy who's made his tran 
sition, been there several years, notifying him 
in the afternoon to go home, get his things and 
get out. As they put it, "Not even time to have 
a little bit of a luau; not even time to have a 
small party so that the guys could say goodbye." 
This really burned them and the resentment must 
have been very, very deep. My hunch is that 
before these gays left ail they asked of their 
friends was "just get even, just get even." 

That was one of the things. So, I thought 
there must be some others. I kept poking around 
and discovered there was another deep-seated 
grievance - the way the houses were laid out. 
The workers lived down on what was almost flat 
country; part of the island is fairly flat. 
Part of it is slightly hilly, then there are a 
couple of slightly higher hills on the island, 
around Lanai City. 

Ward: You .just mentioned that the supervisors lived 
on top of the hills. 

LG: Right. The few roads on top of the hill v/here 
the supervisors lived were paved. The roads 
down around the camps were dust. Most of 
Hawaiian land is volcanic land, has a fine, red 
dust, and the guys were telling me - they were 
primarily Japanese because these were family 
men ... 

Ward: And the Filipinos were pretty well gone by that 

LG: No, no; these were just part of these old pend 
ing grievances. As a matter of fact, the 
majority of the workers on that plantation were 


The story that came out from some of the others 
we were talking about was that it was not too 
uncommon where a housewife would get up in the 
morning, do the washing, hang it all out. Bear 
in mind again, these were all dirt roads there. 
Before long a truck would be going by and all 
this stuff had to be washed a second time. When 
it came to the supervisor on top of the hill, 
they had no such problem. Their wash would be 
nice and clean - no dust around or anything. 
So, there were these resentments around in 
addition . . . 

Ward: Were there any more like that, aside from the 
dust and revenge? 

LG-: The feeling, for example, particularly from 

1947 when it came to trying to settle any kind 
of grievance; it was a question of the attitude 
of the employers when they met . . . 

Ward: You mean the attitude of the employers when they 
met the employees? 

LG: Yes, arrogance, brushing them off; that was what 
it amounted to. So it was a combination of 
these things and these guys were just determined 
to hang on. 

Well, it was somewhere in the midst of that 
strike where they set up a sort of a two-bit 
Hawaiian un-American Activities Committee; every 
body was in the act by that time. California 
had one and most of the states had one, all aping 
the House un-American Activities Committee; 
which was also going on, too. You had all the 
so-called reluctant witnesses I mentioned to you 
in 1949. They were cited for contempt by the 

That was the period when even if you took the 
Fifth Amendment, you were cited for contempt. 
The first two cases went before Judge Metzger; 
one of them was Yukio Abe, a longshoreman, a 
good guy. In both cases, Metzger dismissed the 
charges on the grounds that taking the Fifth 
Amendment did not constitute a contempt of 
Congress. This became a very important point. 


LG: Anyway, these things were going on too. A man 

whose name was (Ronald B.)Jamieson, an attorney 
or a judge, was with their un-American Activi 
ties Committee, the local one, as a so-called 
conciliator. He got in touch with me and said 
he wanted to talk about the Lanai strike. Well, 
we sat down and had coffee. He said, ""What's 
the strike all about?" 

I said, "I don't know; if you ask me what 
the specific strike issues are, I know what 
they are and they are written down. If you want 
a copy I'll send it to you. But that's not the 
problem." He said, "Well, what is the problem?" 
I said, "The toughest strike in the world to 
settle is a strike without a strike issue. And 
the real issues here are not in the written 
demands. The real issues here are all in the 
backlog of grievances that have piled up over 
the years." And I mentioned a couple of them 
to him. 

He says, "Well, settle the thing." I said 
"I have no idea; right now I'm sure that if you 
had a meeting of those workers and said, 'How 
about a deal? We'll sink the island; will that 
settle the strike?', they'll vote 'yes'." 

Next thing I know, not too long thereafter, 
this guy testifies that he met with me and I 
told him that the program in the Lanai strike 
was to sink the island. That's how seriously 
they took all this stuff. All he could see 
in his head were these crazy visions of a union 
embarked on a program to destroy Hawaii, period. 
To even sink the island; that ends it, right? 

Ward: How far along in the strike was this? How many 
weeks or months? 

LG: Oh, I guess three or four months. That strike 
lasted a long time - over seven months, close 
to eight. One of the longest strikes I've ever 
been into. No, no, I was mixed up in a strike 
that went nine months later - that was over at 
Colgate. But this was the longest one we ever 


had down there, longer than the longshore strike, 
178 days. So, it just gives you an idea of how 
people thought. This guy, I don't think he had 
all of his marbles anyway. I think he wound up 
later on over in Kaneohe - that's the place . . 

Ward: You mean Jamieson? 

Yes, that's the place for the mentally ill, 
mentally disturbed. So, that gives an idea of 
what the reaction was, but this thing just drag 
ged along. 

Ward: Who were the attorneys in the Hawaii Seven; 

Jack Hall's particularly? 

LG: Dick (Richard) G-ladstein - 

Ward: Dick Gladstein? 

LG-: Yes, and Harriet Bouslog, Meyer Symonds and Al 

Wirin. Gladstein came down there. As a matter 
of fact, Harriet was worked over by the courts 
there because she made a speech somewhere about 
the whole nature of the Smith Act trial and 
what was going on. 

Ward: She was not allowed to speak? 

LG-: I mean, after all when you are talking about 

the Smith Act, you're talking about something 
that's completely contrived - nothing makes 
any sense. If the indictment made sense, then 
I suppose everything else would make sense. 

We finally got a fairly good agreement in 
sugar, notwithstanding Jack's indictment. I 
recall that the word went out by Jack's office 
and the various locals - just in the process 
of merging into Local 142 to have them take 
things like food, staples and so forth and so 
on which many of them had accumulated in 
preparation for a strike and send that to Lanai, 
which they did. So that food kept coming in, 
money kept coming in - not big money, but enough 
to get by. 





The company meanwhile filed action in court 
and tried to collect all the rents from the 
guys. e told them not to pay rent until the 
strike was over. So, the company exerted some 
additional pressure. The company decided to 
sit this one out and they wrote off a full 
pineapple crop, something pretty close to twenty 
five million dollars worth, which in those days 
was a fair amount of money. When you look at 
it in terms of the number of workers involved . . 

What did they save in terms of wages? 

You're talking about say, a thousand workers; 
say they were making an average of four bucks 
an hour - you're talking about 32,000 bucks a 
day, I guess. That would be about $160,000 
a week. Oh well, the amount was substantial, 
but that's not the way an employer measures 
things. It's not how much you've lost in 
wages, it's how much you've lost in profits. 
He's not in business to pay wages, he's in 
business to make a buck. 

Toward the tail end of the strike, I got a 

call from Jim Blaisdell who wanted to sit down 

with Jack and myself. "Something has to be 
done about this Lanai thing." 

He'd not been active in it before? 

Yes, it was a quiet period by the Employers 
Council. In other words, no real attempt to 
move; the logical explanation was that the 
employers had made a decision to sit this one 
out. I'd say that they looked at it as a 
straight out-and-out investment - that they 
would get the returns from this later on. 

Blaisdell wanted to sit down with Jack and 
myself and we said that was okay. Jim suggested 
that we have lunch over at the Tropics (restaur 
ant) out at Waikiki. We sat around - we had a 
few drinks and had lunch. Jim liked to drink, 
Jack didn't mind, and it didn't bother me too 
much. I don't think it was until late that 
afternoon, must have been around three, four 
o'clock. We had been there a long time. 


A lot of these discussions are general bullshit, 
you know, feeling out and probing and so forth. 
And we found no good reason to open up the 
question; it was a question o-f- just waiting. 
Finally, Jim was very direct - by that time we 
had covered some of the imponderables about 
strike issues. I had told him about my conver 
sation with Jamieson- whether that was in the 
press, I don't know. I had said to Jim, "It's 
still true - you want to make a deal with the 
guys to sink the island, they will all vote 

So, Jim said, "Let's forget that; we want to 
settle." I said, "I'll write it out." And I 
had an envelope in my back pocket - I don't 
carry a notebook. I sat down and wrote the 
things out and said, "Here's what they are. 
You say eight cents; that will not do. We need 
more than that, and 12 cents is not sufficient 
either. It'll have to be 15 cents - that's 
only the first condition. Second, the industry 
has to go back into industry bargaining. The 
15 cents has to go to all of the workers. The 
8 cents is already in effect, so 7 cents has to 
go into effect for everybody on top of the 
eight. That means that on Lanai they would get 
the 8 cents back to the time of the expiration 
of the contract in October of the previous 
year." This must have been, oh, the strike 
had been maybe six months along at the time - 

Ward: From August - September? Somewhere in there? 

LG: It would have been to the end of September the 
year before; there would be a pre-period of 
retroactivity up until the strike began. All 
pineapple workers would get the additional 
seven cents. The industry would go back and 
bargain because we had to straighten out problems 
of seniority and classifications that oueht to 
be settled locally; also something ought to be 
done about this whole attitude on grievances by 
the supervisors, and so forth and so on. 

"Well," he said, "have you got them all down?" 
I said, "Yep." As we left the Tropics, Jack 
turned to me and said, "Well, I know you had a 


LG-: fair amount to drink," and I said, "I had a lot 

to drink," and he said, "That thing will never 
fly." "I'm not sure about that," I replied. 
"What the hell, the strike is this far along 
with every indication that the guys are not 
going to crack; they'll just hang in there, 
that's all. Right now, at least they're eating 
regularly and we'll see what happens." 

So, two or three days later - this must have 
"been the seventh month of the strike - we get a 
call from Blaisdell asking if we both could meet 
over at his house. It was a Sunday; he said he 
wanted us to meet with the industry. 

I said, "Sure, we'll be there, but you have 
the terms ready that I think we can handle. 
Frankly I know of no way of handling a strike 
settlement with the Lanai guys alone. It's an 
issue that has to go somewhat beyond them - 
where they feel they have accomplished something 
beyond the specific economic demands. The only 
big thing I can think of is the resumption of 
industry bargaining " - which is about as cold 
a way as any of saying okay, we've got to make 
up for the damage done in the '47 beef. 

He said, "Well, I think it's going to sit 
all right." So, I told him we'd be there. 
Jack and I went over to his house; he was living 
in this house just past Diamond Head, very 
attractive section. I told you about Jim's 
beefing that his house was on the Bishop estate. 
And Jim had the industry people there. 

I remember this guy, Vern Haas, he was there 
from Libby; Jack Driver, a guy I got to know 
quite well was there from CalPack. Henry White 
was there; he'd be the first one we were look 
ing for, the head of Hawaiian Pine. Jim was 
determined that there would be as little 
conversation as possible - it was going to be 
a social afternoon. They had brought along an 
assistant, so it was a good sized crowd - 

Ward: Just the two of you and a half a dozen of them, 


Jim and his wife, Barbara, a few more than a 
dozen; I'd say eighteen or twenty. Jim took out 
a bottle of gin; I'll never forget this. He 
figured that making mixed drinks was a waste of 
time, so he "had the glasses all lined up, filled 
up the . . . 

Ward: So that everybody would help themselves? 

No. Jim fixed the drinks and lined them up, 
and left the room. Before long, it was a very 
cheerful thing. Obviously, the employers were 
very happy. I think they decided, "Okay, it's 
worth a try but at some point you have to call 
it a- day." It was clear that the agreement was 
okay, no problem there. 

Jim had a motorcycle and he was roaring 
around every once in a while; Jim was pretty 
wild when he got gassed and he had a large 
garden and he'd take his motorcycle and roll 
clear around this garden. He wouldn't go out 
on the street. And he had a pellet gun and he 
was out on the beach shooting at tin cans and 
stuff of that sort. It got to be that kind of 
an afternoon. 

When I've had a few drinks I decide I can still 
play the piano, and I was playing more in those 
days. I was playing the piano for a while and 
I recall Henry White coming over and saying, 
"You know, if I could play the piano, none of 
this stuff would be very important." I just 
looked at him. No matter how much you've had 
to drink, you know when you're getting your leg 
pulled. Apparently, he had been a supporter of 
the Hawaiian Symphony for a long, long time. 
Anyway, that was one of those silly things. 

Somehow some of them finally wound up in a 
poker game. I sat in for a little while; Jack 
was playing; he's a good poker player. He had 
that amazing technique, you know, which I'm 
sure he developed over the years. Jack's sight 
was not too good, or appeared to be not too 
good. He never drove a car, partially because 
of his sight. 


LG: They were playing something like stud poker 
and he wanted to think through and he'd say, 
"I want to take a look at those things," and 
he'd start peering down at each hand, obviously 
calculating just what the odds were; the cards 
were in his head before he would make his bets. 

Well, I got out because I wasn't getting any 
place. Jack wound up with all kinds of money; 
he was calling everybody and collecting all 
kinds of bets. He was good. He always wore 
these aloha shirts with pockets on them, two up 
here and two down below and he was putting money 
in the various pockets. 

Finally we broke the thing up. Jim wanted to 
know what we were going to do. And I said, 
"Well, I'll be in touch with Lanai; I'll be 
going over there in the next day or so." He 
said, "Oh, I hope the hell it sticks." I said, 
"Well, we'll see." 

I remember driving Jack home from there. He 
didn't live all that far away, up in the hills. 
Even though he started putting all that money 
he had won on the table, Yoshiko was not 
impressed. He was just late for dinner. I took 
off in a hurry. 

It was a couple of days later - I had called 
Pedro de la Cruz, who was the leader there, 
asking him to get the committee together, and 
I went over. The guys met me at the airport 
and I recall that before we went to the meeting 
they drove me on along some of the fields there 
and said, "Just smell." And they were right; 
the crop was gone, it had all turned to alcohol; 
you could get drunk just standing there looking 
at it. 

I said, "Gee, that stuff is all around." He 
said, "Yeah - it's foul." We got together in 
the committee and I said, "Why don't you bring 
in all the leaders you can." So, they brought 
a lot of guys in; sort of small headquarters, 
right next to the grocery store that Pedro de 
la Cruz owned. They brought them in and I 
started going over the settlement and said, "This 
is a real victory. " 


For a while, they just sat there, cold, and I 
said, "Look, something is bothering somebody 
here; what's it all about?" Finally, one guy 
got up and said, "I'll tell you what's the 
matter. You say, we're going to get 15 cents 
instead of the 12. That's good, but that's not 
the point. All the other workers gonna get 
7 cents on top of the 8 cents, so they get the 
same 15 cents we get. They didn't fight!" 

They knew the facts, they understood the 
score, they realized before they struck that 
they would be on their own. That was okay. 
But the idea that somebody else was going to 
get something without fighting, they found so 
hard to handle. So, we spent a good deal of 
time discussing industry bargaining and what 
it means - why the settlement 'made sense and 
why it was such a big victory, because it was 
really a much bigger victory than just winning 
the contract on Lanai. 

Actually if you continued the way they did 
and nobody else got anything instead of the 
15 cents, the next time around the employers 
will tell a group of workers in another cannery 
that okay you want more than we're offering 
you, you take an eight month strike too. 

But the real significance here was that the 
employers decided they'd lost the game; it took 
a couple of years; now they had to pay for it. 
The biggest victory was going back into industry 
bargaining. If somebody was trying to run 
broken field, he had to be tackled awfully hard 
by somebody. 

Well, the workers finally got it, and said, 
"We'd like to know your recommendation." I 
said, "We'll recommend it - can we have a meet 
ing late this afternoon?" "No." I asked, "Why?" 
"There's a hunting party out - we have to wait 
until they come home. A group is out fishing; 
we don't know what time they'll get back; we 
can't have a meeting until tomorrow or the next 
day." So, I sat around with Pedro de la Cruz 
for a while - 


Ward: A question: you said Pedro de la Cruz owned 
this store, yet lie was a strike leader; how 
could . . . 

LG-: He came out of the plantation; he had this tiny 
little store there, just his own personal store. 

Ward: But was he still a pineapple worker? 

LG: He was on leave and he was a union official. 
He was a very effective fellow. Later became 
a member of the Legislature. 

Ward: So, it took a day or so to get the meeting 

LG: Yes, we organized a meeting. So, Pedro and I 

sat around a bottle of Scotch or something. He 
decided this warranted a bit of a celebration. 
He had a few drinks and before long he went 
sound asleep. Somebody had given me a flower 
lei when I came there; the usual politeness. 
Good will. After all, these guys didn't figure 
I was an outsider, you know; carpet bagger. 

I was going to give it to Pedro and a woman 
came along, and said, "Don't do that. Never do 
that." And that's how you find out about some 
of their superstitions. I said, "Okay, v/e'll 
hang it up there until he wakes up." "Never 
hang it on a man who'd sleeping," she said, 
"because that's the same thing as putting it on 
a dead man." Interesting. Pick up these little 
things . 

Pedro left a very strong impression on me be 
fore he fell asleep that it was just as well 
that the guys handle a beef on their own, 
including the meeting. Let them run it but 
you'll be all right; you have the key fellows. 

They had a group there who were just as 
tough as nails, particularly the Filipinos and 
the Japanese, guys like Shiro Ckama and his 
brother Goro, very effective leaders; and the 
Filipinos were a tough, tough group. I'm sure 
that one thing that would never occur to any 
body would be to break ranks. Anyway, I said 
in that case you guys go ahead with your meeting 
and I'll go back to Honolulu. 


So, I took the last ride out of there - I think 
there was one just before sunset. I went back 
and I was at the hotel and I got a phone call 
around two o'clock in the morning. It was 
Blaisdell trying to run me down. He said, 
"What happened at Lanai? Is it settled?" 
"I don't know, I think it is." "Did you have a 
meeting?" "Yes," I said, "with the committee, 
but not the membership. They're meeting tomor 
row, maybe." "Why in the hell did you leave?", 
he says. "Don't worry about it." 

By that time, he had a lot at stake. Because 
I'm sure Jim had told the employers "This is 
one of the things you bargain for." He knew 
about the business of picking off places one by 
one; some advantage to the employers, yes, but 
it can also be turned around. My hunch is that 
he told the employers that was the reason for 
the settlement - "Okay, you decide to go this 

Interesting, in 1947 when the employers 
presented their so-called final offer before 
the strike broke, Steele was the one who 
presented that; when the settlement came along, 
it was Blaisdell. I don't know if there's any 
difference in policy between Steele and Blais 
dell, or whether the employers played games 
with the Employers Council, which is much more 

The Employers Council, as far as the employers 
were concerned, was just a group of guys they 
hired, period. They followed the employers' 
orders. I guess when they had one set of orders 
they said, "Okay, we'll carry this one out. If 
it doesn't work we'll shift around." It was 
Blaisdell who carried the ball for settlement. 
Anyway, the vote finally came along and the 
contract was accepted. 

Back to industry bargaining and it has 
stayed that way since. How things do change I 
Presently, for example, - and this began a 
couple of contracts ago - the man who began to 
move up in Hawaiian Pine and who had been their 
chief negotiator for the whole pineapple industry, 


LG: and who heads it now is a man named Al Fraga. 
He's also with the Hawaii Employers Council 
now. He and Tommy Trask, our new regional 
director, both worked in Hawaiian Pine at the 
same time, and the atmosphere is considerably 
different. I'm not saying they agree on every 
thing, but at least they level with each other. 

Ward: The chance of misunderstanding each other is 
much less than it used to be. 

LG: Much less, plus a lot of the game playing was 
knocked off. The employers still want to get 
by as cheaply as they can, but the tactics are 
a little bit different. Anyway that's the way 
Lanai settled up. It sort of rounded out a lot 
of the beefs that went through '46 and '49. 

Ward: So, there's a space there of about five years to 
straighten out pineapple. 

LG: Yes, about four years. 

Oh. Those Early Fifties! 

Ward: Okay. What next? What else would you like to 
get into before we get into your headaches with 
the various redbaiting committees? 

LG: Well, I told you I looked up a couple of things. 
One was the Goodman trial - that was after the 
Supreme Court victory on Bridges, Robertson and 
Schmidt in 1953. 

Ward: Oh, yes, this is the civil case - 

LG: That went to Paul Goodman in 1955; it went be 
fore him on June 20th - that's the one where 
Telford Taylor came out. The case was concluded 
on July 22. That was a trial where there were 
very few interruptions. 

Ward: That was July 22, 1955? 

LG: That would be July 22nd and he came down with 
the decision on the 29th - 


Ward: You mean a week later? 

LG-: And that wound up the Bridges case. I did some 
checking on a couple of other things and just 
so as to get some things straight, I mentioned 
that Coos Bay caucus which took place in 1950 
after the Korean War "broke, and that the Coast 
Guard screening had come up at that time. That 
was not correct. There were some rumbles of it, 
yes, and I mentioned the fact that there was one 
delegate to the caucus - I think his name was 
Kelly - who was in touch with Tobin. It was 
very hard to make secret phone calls from 
there. The guys know just about everybody. 

But screening didn't come in full fledged at 
that time. That was later on. And then when 
screening did come along, I took the position 
that we adopted which did not oppose screening 
on strictly military cargo, but on commercial 
ships we took a firm position, including 
threatening to walk off if there was any attempt 
to screen our guys. We made it stick, but that's 
when the decimation began of other unions, where 
a number of the seamen were knocked off their 
jobs - 

Ward: Marine Cooks? 

LG-: Right, and some of the guys in the NMU, Marine 
Firemen. Of course, the whole story about 
screening is a chapter by itself. Just the 
insanity that went along with it, including at 
some point all kinds of people getting into 
the act; longshoremen denied the pass, like a 
longshoreman who carried several decorations 
from World War II and was denied a pass, who 
said, "I'm not a Communist and have never been 
to a Communist meeting nor been invited to one." 

"Well, aren't there any Communists in the 
local?" He said, "I don't know, I've never 
seen their books." And finally, the guy from 
the Coast Guard says, "Well, you know, if you 
would be a little bit helpful, you might get 
yourself invited." That was an offer to turn 
stoolpigeon if he wanted to get the pass. Oh, 
they had the guts to write the whole thing up 
and give it to the union paper. 






But that was the atmosphere at the time - we 
were in the Korean War, and this went on and on 
and on. Luckily, we held- our ranks; in the 
case of many other unions, the damage was done. 
Of course, "by that time - about 1951 - the 
raiding was going on full "blast. 

Was the ACTU still active or had they given up? 

They were still around and, as a matter of fact, 
Father Rice was still around. He was the 
ideological leader of the whole thing in the 
Catholic Church; the one in San Francisco was 
Father Boss. 

As a matter of fact, on the Korean War the 
caucus was generally pretty bad. While the 
International still had a position that was 
anti-war, that we had enough, that Korea could 
very well "be the "beginning of World War Three, 
the caucus itself in effect reiterated the same 
program as the Democratic party, that this had 
"been an invasion "by the Communists and so forth 
and so on; luckily it didn't go so far as to 
include screening and everything else. 

These things, particularly the Korean thing, 
came into focus at the 1951 convention, which 
was held in Hawaii; the first International 
convention down there. Since then there has 
been a practice of meeting in Hawaii every ten 
years. We met there in 1951; we met there in 
'61 and we met there in 1971. 

Your conventions meet every odd year? 

Yes, every odd year - every two years. And I 
think Canada has become a sort of ten year 
rotation too. And there's a certain number in 
San Francisco - 

So, two out of the five conventions in the ten 
years are either in Hawaii or Canada? 

That's right. Anyway, the 1951 convention was 
extremely important because the Bridges case 
was still hanging fire; redbaiting was going on 
apace; we had been expelled from the CIO; you 


LG: had your Hall hysteria in Hawaii, including the 
un-American Activities Committee down there, 
plus other attacks we had gone through. 

They were constantly announcing our demise; 
there were obituaries about this union written 
almost every other week. The time of the Coos 
Bay caucus, there were reporters all over the 
place; they had never seen so many reporters in 
Coos Bay, all of them with the single purpose 
to carry the story when the union repudiated 
Bridges, who was in the clink; repudiated by 
our union and we got to be good, respectable 
CIO people. 

When the Korean War broke, other headaches 
piled up very rapidly; the screening piled up. 
On top of that you had the Wage Stabilization 
Board. The War Labor Board had gone out of 
business after World War II. 

With the beginning of the Korean War, they 
put into effect the Wage Stabilization Board, 
which had so-called "guide lines" which really 
applied only to wages. Everything else had no 
mandatory features of any kind; there was no 
OPA as such. It's^a good deal like the 
governor asking for a voluntary roll-back on 
rents. It meant just about as much. 

The '51 convention became crucial in the 
sense that it would be the time to take stock, 
find out how much of an impact all these things 
had had on the union, and whether we could 
really keep going. Holding it in Hawaii was a 
good thing. The place we had for it, by the 
way, was I guess the most beautiful convention 
site anybody could ever have had. Luckily, 
there's a place down there not too far from 
Kapiolani Park, alongside, but off towards the 

Ward: It's on Oahu? 

LG-: On Oahu. It's down a way from Waikiki itself. 





A beautiful place, you said. 

Yes, a place called Queen's Surf; this was a 
place that had "been the home of a very wealthy 
man. And this must have been turned into a bit 
of a night club, a very large room, big enough 
to seat our entire convention. 

You had two hundred people there, didn't you? 

Oh, we had close to 500, and they v/ere all 
seated there. As a matter of fact, Franklin D. 
Roosevelt stayed at this house once when he was 
in Hawaii. The man who owned the place at the 
time installed an elevator to take Roosevelt 
up to his bedroom in one corner of the house. 
I remember going over there to look at it and 
it was that kind of a home. 

They weren't doing too well at the time, in 
1951. That was before the enormous tourist 
boom. They were happy to have us and the only 
arrangement we had was that we have our lunches 
there. We bought them in advance, which wasn't 
too bad. We told them we'd make a deal provided 
they didn't open up the bar until 4:30 or 5:00 
at the tail end of the convention. It was a 
lovely place. 

A lot of the guys were just fascinated - guys 
from the mainland. To the guys in Hawaii this 
was just a bit of old hat. They would grab a 
quick bite at lunch, then go out in the sunshine 
and take a dip in the pool. The headquarters 
were at a place called the Edgewater Hotel. 
This was one of the earliest of the so-called 
highrises, owned by a man named Kelly, an 
interesting character. 

I recall Kelly coming to me after the conven 
tion had been in town two or three days and he 
said, "Gee, aren't you guys having a good time 
here?" "'Why?" "Well, you hardly see them 
around the hotel; we have some Hawaiian music. 
What are they all doing?" I said, "Look, I 
guarantee you that they all are busy; at least 


two thirds of them are down at the Kalihi 
district where pineapple-cannery workers 
gather; they all have built up their social 
groups . " 

Hawaiian guys, they're marvelous; just on 
their own they must have decided, "Okay, you 
take him, and I'll take him," and so forth 
and so on. Of course, they are great hosts and 
they were really determined to cement the soli 
darity between Hawaii and the mainland. There 
had been good cooperation in the strikes. They 
helped with the longshore strike. , 

Fighting At The Dalles 

I recall for example they went out of their way 
to be very friendly with the guys from Portland 
and this had nothing to do with Portland's 
racial policy. I don't know if they even knew 
about it; that's not what they thought about. 
What they thought about instead was that in 
1949 during one of the efforts on the part of 
the employers in Hawaii to move cargo to the 
west coast, they moved those barges of pine 
apples up to the Dalles. The Dalles is 
practically in the Cascades, above Bonneville 
Dam. There are some locks there .... 

Ward: Biggest locks I ever saw. 

LG-: Those are the ones that go beyond the Bonneville 
Dam - - 

Ward: One hundred and thirty five feet in one lift, 
something like that. 

LG-: Huge, and the Dalles is really cow country. 

Well, for a while there that barge was chased 
all over Puget Sound. I remember the Seattle 
longshoremen renting a plane to follow it 
because the word had gone out that nobody was 
going to touch it. They finally gave up on the 
Puget Sound and took it up the Columbia River; 
they decided they wouldn't run the risk of 
trying to unload it in Portland. 


LG-: They took the barge beyond Portland up into the 
Dalles where they decided they could hire some 
farmers, some cowboys; the usual business of 
poor farmers in Hawaii, who were going to go 
broke; plus the whole fruit crop in California, 
the canned crop you know of mixed fruit - that 
was all going to go down the drain, too. The 
pineapple interests in Hawaii had managed to get 
through some legislation that fruit cocktail- 
had to contain a certain amount of pineapple, 
and that's why the pineapple barge had been 

But the Portland longshoremen worked up 
quite a head of steam and said, "Hell, no." 
There were quite a number of our men went there 
and there was quite a big beef. Our guys were 
determined that the barge would not be worked, 
because we had worked the only ship that had 
ever gone to The Dalles. And as far as they 
were concerned, it was their work, as well as 
the most important thing, that this was strike 

Also, it gives you an idea of how strong 
the sentiment was in support of the guys in 
Hawaii. Anyway, they went up there. One guy 
found an axe somewhere and thought of cutting 
the lines" on" the barge. Luckily, he didn't 
cut them all. Had he done so, that barge would 
have drifted down and got stuck in the locks 
and then we would have been in all kinds of 
trouble with the Federal government. 

As it was, it was still a costly venture; 
they got some big fines against us as a result 
of a couple of truck drivers who got in the way; 
although afterwards our men were pretty damn 
polite. They told the farmers and others "Just 
don't screw around, that's all." So, the guys 
in Hawaii were determined to see that the men 
from Portland were well taken care of. So, on 
that score the convention was excellent. 


Seven Key Words 

There were still other issues, such as the Korean 
War. There were a couple of resolutions that 
were extremely important, the most important 
being a resolution on world peace, which we 
knew would be the focal point of the debate. 
The officers' report, which generally goes on 
the deck about the same time as the resolution 
on a specific subject; a very specific reference 
was in there that the Korean War shored up the 

In 1949 and 1950, this country had begun 
to go into a bit of a depression. There was 
a substantial amount of unemployment; prices 
were rising all of a sudden because of the 
Korean War and I think the economic analysis 
was correct" about the Korean War shoring up 
the economy. There were some seven words that 
became the focal point of a lot of debate. 

Ward: What were the seven words? 

LG-: That "the Korean War shored up the economy." 
Some of the guys said we should take those 
words out and the report would be accepted 

Again, the Hawaii convention was a lot like 
the Coos Bay caucus, with the reporters stand 
ing around ready to predict our demise. There 
was one reporter down there from the San 
Francisco Examiner; he just went on a big 
drunk, but he wrote the stories just like the 
Examiner wanted. This became a great laughing 
stock at the convention. 

Anyway, the delegates said, "Nope, those 
words are not going to come out." It was 
really a very good high level debate - one of 
the best I've heard in a convention. Finally, 
the report was adopted; a few dissenting votes, 
but practically unanimous. 


LG: The balance of the report was in good shape. The 

resolution on world peace was adopted either unani 
mously or overwhelmingly. The convention had a good 
tone to it, all the way through, and in terms of 
solidifying the union, it accomplished its purpose. 
The officers ran for reelection; no opposition, either 
to Harry or Jerry Bulcke, Bob Robertson or myself. 

Ward: Without opposition? 

LG: You know, under the ILWU constitution running for 

office at a convention is perhaps the easiest thing 
in the world. An individual doesn't have to be a 
delegate to the convention. A person is nominated 
and goes on the ballot, period. 

Ward: Well, can he decline? 
LG: He can decline, yes. 

Ward: Is there a little bit of back-scratching; nominating 
so and so, knowing he was going to decline? 

LG: No, not that I recall - not at that convention. 

Notwithstanding the beef we had about the officers' 
report, the rest of it fell in place and the general 
atmosphere that came out of the convention was "Sure, 
we had our differences, but the union is going to 
stick together." 

At the time of the convention or very shortly 
thereafter we picked up the second installment on the 
1949 longshore strike victory. You recall the final 
settlement in 1949 didn't close the gap entirely, but 
we did pick up 21 cents in a two step affair - 

Ward: You gained six cents on the differential? 

LG: Right. Then agreement was reached in Hawaii for an 
additional 20 cents in 1951, which everybody spoke 
of with a clear indication of how they felt about the 
strike, even though it was long and costly. If you 
win a strike the benefits carry over for a number of 
contracts. If you lose it, the same thing happens in 
reverse, as in the case of pineapple. So, the 
convention accomplished its purpose. 


LG: Incidentally, one brief item about The Dalles and the 
refusal of guys to handle cargo here on the coast. 
One of the things that did develop during that time 
had its importance in a cumulative way later on. The 
employers, as a group, would not go along with Matson; 
that became evident. Matson would have liked to see 
the whole coast closed down on the grounds that we 
were refusing to handle cargo. 

Out of that whole '49 beef came different language 
in the ILWU contract to the effect that in the event 
an ILWU local - as in Hawaii or Alaska - was on strike 
and the same would be true of Canada - the longshore 
men under the Pacific Coast longshore agreement would 
not have to handle cargo destined to be handled by 
strikebreakers at the other end, or the other way 
around. They would not have to handle cargo that came 
into the west coast ports that had been loaded by 
strikebreakers, say, in Hawaii. 

It meant the strengthening of the hand of the 
longshoremen; as when I mentioned this twenty cents 
that they got in 1951. Eventually they got parity 
in wages. 

Ward: How many years later, about? 

LG: Not too much longer after that, around the mid-1950' s. 
An interesting sidelight; one of our issues in the 
1949 longshore strike was arbitration which the 
employers made the equivalent of fornication, almost 
anything except arbitration. This is the area in 
which Wayne Morse stuck his neck out and did a hell 
of a job. 

Later on the issue of arbitration became important 
as a partially defensive movement that was essential 
for holding the union together. For example, arbitra 
tion became a key issue in the warehouse strike of 
1949; the employers were highly resistant. Once we 
got the concept of parity, we have several longshore 
contracts where the wage issue, if it couldn't be 
resolved, was sent back to arbitration. 

Remember the time it went to arbitration before 
Sam Kagel; we didn't get a big increase, six cents, 
but we automatically got that amount of money as soon 
as the contract was open in Hawaii. 


LG: I was down there on something else when somebody 

called me - it was one of the members of the Hawaii 
Senate. They were having a hearing before their 
labor committee on Acts 2 and 3, adopted in '49, and 
we had this running fight to get the damn things 
repealed. Very, very hard to get done though, so he 
asked if I would come and testify, which I did and I 
let go a blast against the employers, and the state 
as well; the whole '49 thing had never gotten out 
of my craw, anyway. 

I said, "You know, for a long time, you fought for 
statehood around here" - and either they had gotten 
it or it was pretty close, or something. This all 
goes back to the question of equal representation; 
the American Revolution was around the same thing, 
taxation without representation. Now, this bill came 
about, in part, because these employers said there 
would be no arbitration under any circumstances. That 
was one of the reasons for the strike. The way things 
have finally worked out, you have a situation here 
where you have arbitration without representation." 

Well, they all wanted to know how that worked, so 
I went over the longshore contract on the west coast 
and the fact that we were dovetailed into the Hawaii 
contract later on and still get the same wage increase 
automatically. That contract on the west coast 
provided for arbitration. Arbitration had taken place 
and that same amount of money was then applied to 
Hawaii . 

I said, "Now, during that arbitration the Hawaii 
interests couldn't even appear; they were not repre 
sented. Of course, Matson was represented. e know 
that - they are part of the PMA; but the whole pre 
tense down here is that we are not dealing with 
Matson; we are dealing with various stevedoring 
companies. They might be alter egos, in many cases. 
So, now you have arbitration. You finally got it 
whether you liked it or not and you got it without 
representation. " 

You didn't have to say a word. One of the 
employers, I bumped into him a couple of days later 
in negotiations, and he said, "That was a low blow." 
He didn't explain why. I said, "Well, isn't it true?" 
And he said, "Why not let bygones be bygones?" So, I 
said, "Pine - let's get rid of Acts 2 and 3." 


LG-: That's part of an atmosphere you get down there; all 
part of this hoo mail -mail , as they call it - just 
plain bullshit. You somehow get along. Sure, you 
fought earlier and somebody might have sneaked up 
behind you and put a knife in your back, but what 
the hell, you're still around. No- hard feelings. A 
great saying down there - no hu-hu - don't get angry. 
That's after it's all over with! Anyway, longshore 
finally fell in place. 

The reason I mentioned the twenty cents is because 
in 1949 we had those Wage Stabilization Board guide 
lines. There was a beef with the Wage Stabilization 
Board on the effectuation of the agreement. And it 
came along again in the case of the sugar contract. 
That was negotiated in 1951. 



One Hundred Bucks A Month 





Then it came along full blast in 1951 because Longshore 
negotiated both a wage increase and the first Longshore 
pension plan, which was to go into effect in January, 
1952. Those pension negotiations are worth spending 
a minute on. Pensions had become an issue in the 
trade union movement. You recall the Mine Workers' 
$100 a month pension? 


The Steelworkers had picked up a hundred-dollar a 
month pension which included Social Security. 

Which included . . . .? 

At that time, yes. In other words, the pension an 
individual got for a certain number of years .... 

Social Security plus enough from the union to make 
up that $100 a month! 

Anyway, when our pensions were on deck, there was a 
continuous barrage by the II WU against the CIO and 
the A F of L for their going along with the Wage 
Stabilization Board. In fact, there was one wage 
opening that the Steelworkers passed up, and we didn't 
pass up any opportunity to go after Phil Murray and 
some of the leadership back there. 

They had tried to do us in and there was no love 
lost. That was not the case, by the way, on a local 
basis. Locally some CIO charters had been lifted 


LG: and locals reorganized without the leftwing groups; 
we still had labor alliances with them. e still 
tried to hold together whatever we could in the way 
of friends. 

When we negotiated the pension plan our attitude 
was that under no circumstances were we going to 
integrate the thing with Social Security, and secondly, 
that the pension had to "be a hundred dollars a month. 
Well, we got into a rather interesting set of nego 

Line (Lincoln) Fairley was our research director, 
a very, very competent guy. He and I spent a good 
deal of time together talking about pensions - not 
that I knew a great deal about it. I figured that we 
would have to work out something different, because 
the kind of money we thought was around for pensions 
was about 15 cents an hour. If you started putting 
into effect a fully funded pension, 15 cents would 
never cover $100 a month. 

By that time the employers also wanted to see a 
pension, in the main because things had improved on 
the waterfront, where the men were pretty well 
protected. The attitude of the union was simple; if 
we couldn't get $100 a month, then we were going to 
retire on the job. 

If necessary, some of the guys would be assigned 
to make sure that the old timers would be able to 
get down there inside the gate and report for work. 
This alternative was not too promising for the 
employers, plus you had the atmosphere and discipline 
where it could have been done; there's a great deal 
of loyalty to the old timers who had gone through the 
'34 strike. After all, they had also gone through 
the '48 strike, and we were not about to abandon them. 

It was pretty apparent across the table. Vic 
Pearson was representing the employers. The old 
Waterfront Employers Association was dissolved by 
1951. There was the new Pacific Maritime Association. 
Henry Clark was head of -the thing for a while; then 
it was split into an on-shore group longshoremen, and 
off-shore group seamen. Clark went with the off-shore 
group and Vic Pearson became the head of the on-shore 


LG-: As I said earlier, he was a rather pleasant guy. He 
was one of those who testified as a character witness 
for Harry, together with a couple of others who 
represented the shipowners, Ken Finessy and Hubert 
Brown. Vic Pearson indicated that 15 cents was around 
and if "you can buy what you want for the 15 cents, 
go ahead. " 

So, Line and I devised a new kind of pension plan 
which caused consternation down around Montgomery 
Street, with the insurance companies and the banks 
and so forth. I had started doing a lot of reading 
about insurance companies and pensions. One of the 
things I was learning about insurance companies was 
that they are one of the prime sources of capital 
for the big corporations. 

Insurance companies have certain advantages for 
the large corporations; that's one of the reasons 
the boards of directors of the big insurance companies 
are all made up of the heads of various corporations. 
The reason the insurance companies have an advantage 
over a bank is that the bank has a demand on it for 
solvency, immediacy; a certain amount of funds has 
to be available for immediate reserves. 

In the case of the insurance companies, - let's 
say it's a life insurance policy - the only way to 
collect on that, your family might, but only after 
you kick off. In the case of a pension, the only way 
to collect your annuity or pension - they used to call 
them annuities - was when you reached a certain age. 

I also found out they had two different annuity 
tables. If you go in to buy life insurance, they use 
one annuity table. That annuity table in effect says 
"You're a bad risk. I don't know how you're still 
staggering around. Okay, we'll still let you buy the 
life insurance." But it's predicated on your living 
only a certain length of time, and the premium is 
also padded to make sure the insurance company is 

If you go to the same insurance company the next 
week to buy another annuity, then you're going to 
outlive all of these charts; you're the perfect phy 
sical specimen. Once you start collecting an annuity, 
you won't live the ordinary 13 or 14 years, you'll 
probably live twenty, so it's a different annuity 
table predicated on how long you can collect the an 


LG: The net result of that is that the insurance companies 
"become the holders of all this capital; a natural 
place for a big corporation to go if they're floating 
a bond issue. They want money and they want long 
term. The people on the street, when they found out 
about this plan . . . 

Ward: What was the plan, specifically? 

LG: The plan was very simple, really. We said there isn't 
enough money to fund the pension. What you mean by 
funding is this: you have to have enough money coming 
in to pay the benefits as they come due and in addition 
to start funding what is called the past service liab 

At the time a pension plan is put into effect, you 
have men with varying ranges of service, some with 
ten, some with fifteen, some with twenty years of 
service - that's past service liability. You have a 
certain pension due to them for those years of service. 
Then you also have the men who might be under the gun. 

Of course, one of the things the unions have to 
struggle for if you want to get a decent pension - 
even the one the Steelworkers negotiated, which we 
consider to be pretty bad - just because a guy was 
63 or 64 or 65, you wanted him to get a pension. 
Sure. In that case you distributed the load to the 
younger guy; he just started work and he'll have to 
wait a long time. So, you in effect have a combina 
tion of both these liabilities, right? 

Let us say that the current service is ten dollars 
for each year of service; the current service would 
then be whatever it costs to pay for that $10 a year 
of sexvice. But since he is not ready for it, the 
amount will be less because, depending on his age, 
that money is going to be banked for a certain length 
of time, providing enough money to pay the man who 
just retired and the ones who will retire. So, most 
funds are, or they used to be, fully funded. 

The whole idea of the plan was that, say, a plan 
was funded over a span of 20 years. At the end of 20 
years, from that point on, the employer only had to 
pay for current service because all the past service 
had been funded. And that is called a fully funded 


LG: plan, the attractive feature of it being that the 

money is all there; the unattractive feature being 
that you can't pay adequate benefits to people who 
are under the gun. There is literally no need to 
fully fund a plan, although this has become essential 
now under a new law covering employees' retirement 

The plan that Line and I finally dreamed up was: 
"Okay, we're going to have a different kind of pension 
plan - it's a ten year plan; it would be in effect 
from 1952 to 1962. Under this plan a man with 25 
years service would get $100 bucks - 25 years service 
at age 65 or over." There would be enough there to 
pay him 100 bucks; that's all the money we would 
negotiate and the 15 cents would cover that. 

Then the question comes along; what would you have 
around at the end of the ten years? The answer is, 
absolutely nothing. We're flat broke. A guy who had 
read the usual stuff about annuities would say, 
""What the hell happens to me? I'm only 55." We said, 
"There's only one choice you have. Stick around and 
build a strong union; then you'll be tough enough to 
go get another pension plan and a better one too. 
The most important thing is to keep a tight grip on 
the handle of that pump - that's what counts." 

They brought in actuaries who said, "We've never 
heard of a thing like this; the whole thing is 
financially unsound; we're not positive the government 
would okay it," and so forth and so on. They were 
just reflecting the same thing as the insurance com 
panies. All their training is that way and that's 
the way they think. I recall one man on the employer 
negotiating committee - Titchner that was the name. 
A rather nice guy - 

Ward: Titchner? 

LG: I'm quite sure that's his name. Well, I was describ 

ing some of these annuities and why I thought they 
were phonies. The way things had been going parti cul- 
arily with inflation, you're putting in good dollars 
and when you get back at the end of ten years, they're 
bad dollars. He said, "Gosh, how do you know what 
kind of a plan I have?" He was one of these 
unfortunates who had been buying annuities all of his 


LG: He would have been better off doing anything else with 
that money; anything but a pension because in buying 
a pension all of his life, I guess 20 or 25 years, 
when it came due didn't amount to anything. 

Ward: Right. 

LG: Anyway, they finally agreed. They said, "Okay, if 

you think it will work, fine." We put that plan 
into effect and it was really very revolutionary. 
You can see why the banks, the insurance companies 
particularly, would have themselves a hemorrhage. 
They had fits about this thing. There were all kinds 
of debates about it. 

I recall inviting anybody who wanted to argue 
pensions - great - you're welcome. I got some of 
these ideas reading some material written by Victor 
Perlo, as I recall. 

Ward: Oh, really? 

LG: Yes, of all people, because he had had something 

somewhere on the nature of insurance companies under 
the capitalist economy. From that I began to work 
backwards and realized that actually the only way to 
avoid the inflation problem was something as close 
as you could get to "pay as you go". 

I recall some discussions later on where some guy 
said, "Look, this is how much money is going to be 
in the fund, based on general man hours. Okay, and 
this is what you think the liability will be. Right. 
But let me ask a question - what happens if the 
pension plan runs out - the ten years run out? You 
have enough money to take care of everybody and that 
can be banked and there's still dough left over? In 
that case you can have a big discussion and play 
last man out.' And if there's one man around and 
the residue is still left, he gets the whole damn 

I said, "After all, there's only one way you can 
beat the system when you retire and that's by out 
living it. There's no other way. I mean, you're 
all through working and you can't lick the employer 
on the job, so your job as a pensioner is to just 
outlive the system." 


LG: Those were rather humorous discussions - lots of fun - 
and our members not only accepted it, they thought 
it was great. I guess it was in 1952 when we had 
the first flock of pensioners, and I mean we had a 
flock of them. We had dinners for them; they were 
lovely affairs. The old timers, real veterans of 
the waterfront; we had them up and down the coast. 
I think something like 1200 pensioners at the first 

Ward: That many? 

LG: An enormous number - enough money was there - we had 
it figured. Also our guys did a fantastic job of 
taking care of the retired men; they went to fellows 
who were in the hospital, hadn't been -able to work 
for four or five years because of job-related injuries 
or job-related sickness, and managed to get them on 
the pension list on the grounds they had put in the 
eligible years. They scoured the coast to take care 
of every guy who was eligible. That was the opening 
of the whole pension thing, and must have been in the 
1951 negotiations. 

But back to the Wage Stabilization Board. Believe 
it or not, that Wage Stabilization Board would not 
immediately okay our pension. The wages that were 
negotiated were no problem because they were under 
the so-called guide lines. 

The Stabilization Board had gotten to the point 
where they were always cutting the baby in half; 
that was their way of proving they did a job, even 
though the guy who was in charge of the thing, Nat 
Feinsinger, was an old friend of the union in many 
ways. He had been down in Hawaii in 1946 after Stan 
White was given the heave-ho. He was the one who 
brought Clark Kerr in there as an. arbitrator. We sent 
a whole delegation of old-timers back there from up 
and down the coast. 

Ward: Back to Washington? 

LG: Right - back to Washington. Harry went with them, 
and L. B. Thomas. They made the rounds of Washing 
ton, had a long session with the Wage Stabilization 
Board and built up a head of steam where the guys 
finally just put it to them: "Either this thing is 


LG-: approved, or the coast is going down and under no 

circumstances do you cut this baby in half and start 
chopping it up so we have to put it back together 

Finally the thing was approved; for that time, it 
was a very big pension - $100 a month. In that same 
period, I think the Auto Workers got a slightly better 
pension than the Steelworkers - $125; but again it was 
integrated into Social Security. That was the fad 
of the times. It's understandable; it's about the 
only way some of the unions could break through. It 
was a big thing. Later in 1951, we got into pension 
negotiations in Hawaii, and that is a sort of a 
chapter of its own. 


(Interview 25: 5 September, 1978) ## 
Death of G-ene Paton 

Ward: You were saying you wanted to discuss happenings in 
Warehouse in 1952 and '53. 

LG-: Let me give you some of the highlights of what develop 
ed. Gene Paton died in 1951, oh, I'd say of a com 
bination of many things. He had won a battlefield 
commission as Captain. Paton showed enormous courage 
during the war. When Pat got back he really got 
into the swim of things. I mentioned the drive we 
had for a voluntary wage increase in warehouse after 
OPA had been knocked out; and how that was worked out. 
Pat was re-elected president of Local 6. One year 
he didn't serve - 1949, I think; he'd been pretty 
ill and took some time off, but his attitude towards 
his illness and his drinking was one of brushing it 

Anyway, Pat came back again as president; I guess 
it was in the 1949 election, in the fall of the year. 
But a lot of these things began to crawl up his back. 
It was a combination of fatigue and reaction to the 


LG-: I recall a letter lie wrote during the war saying that 
the world had better be a better place after the war; 
an awful lot of guys were being lost and they felt 
it was in some good cause, and it better be a good 
cause. Well, it didn't turn out that way; with the 
advent of the Cold War and some of the other things, 
Pat's reaction was the same as others. 

Ward: You seem to be saying that he felt the war efforts 
of his comrades had been in vain. 

LG-: No question about that. He would never talk about 
what went on during the war. He was not like some 
of these vets who tell you about every single battle 
field experience; never talked about it at all. The 
only part of the chapter that was of interest to him 
was its conclusion: that it better be a better world. 

During the Teamster raid Pat stood up very well. 
He was an effective leader, including succeeding in 
getting some 'key places like Walkup Warehouse back 
into Local 6. He handled himself very well; the 
membership liked him, but '51, I guess, things sort 
of crawled up his back. Finally, just took the way 
out of going off the bridge. 

This was just before the convention in Hawaii, 
because during that convention we sat around with 
some of the guys from Local 6, including Chili Duarte. 
Chili decided he would run for office. Naturally, I 
supported him, and I think everybody else did, too. 
Chili was elected. Chili was an extremely hard work 
er and also had a good touch with the membership. 
Not exactly the same as Pat's, but . . . 

Ward: He was simpatico. 

LG: Yes, he was simpatico; he was a great mixer. He was 
always on the job. He had some advantages over Pat. 
Chili might be out bouncing around with some of his 
pals in North Beach or West Oakland or with Billy 
Lufrano, but it made no difference what time he 
wound up at night, 6:00 or 6:30 in the morning, he 
was there on the job, as was Billy. Billy was the 
dispatcher and he had to be down there at six. He 
always made it somehow; in what shape I'm not sure, 
but he would always make it down there. And Chili 
did a good job. 


Reason Instead of Force 

LG: But times were rough; following the 1949 strike, we 
had the problem of both a fighting program and a 
holding action in Local 6. The fact that we had the 
master contract had some value. The employers were 
not about to wash that all out because there was 
still the ghost of what happened -if they went 
industry- by-industry or house-by-house; they could 
be picked off. 

I recall an agreement around 1950 or '51. Ac 
tually, the wage increase we got was very nominal - 
three and a half cents, plus some other benefits, 
yet it was one of the best agreements we ever signed 
in the sense of maintaining the union and continuing 
a fighting program, with the membership understand 
ing why it was being done. It sat extremely well and 
the union held together. 

In the case of warehouse, our drive for health 
and welfare became an element of importance around 
the middle of 1951; then pensions, which had begun 
to become an issue. That was deferred for about a 
year. We finally got through those things and the 
contract began to be fleshed out with those provisions, 

There was an interesting aspect to this from the 
employer. The man who had taken over as the executive 
officer of the Distributors Association was also 
an attorney. 

ard: What was his name? 
LG: J. Hart Clinton. 
Ward: I remember that name. 

LG: Yes. I got to know him, and while we didn't see 
eye to eye on a lot of things and we'd get into 
periodic clashes, he had an interesting kind of 
integrity. He was Irish in background and a 
Catholic; somewhere along the line he had picked up 
a terrific hatred for turncoats; he had absolutely 
no use for these guys who had gone over the hill. 


LG-: As to whether he wanted the ILVU around, that had 
nothing to do with it. I guess, as far as he was 
concerned, if there was no union the employers 
perhaps would "be better off. On the other hand, 
when it came to these guys like Gallo and Pedrin, 
he felt that if they double-crossed their own snays, 
they would double-cross everybody else. By the way, 
he turned out to be 100 per cent right, because later 
on they got to be a complete pain in the ass, even 
to the Teamsters. 

Some years later times had changed and we were 
working with the Teamster warehousemen; I got to 
know people like Einar Mohn. There were indications 
they they wanted to give us back some of the people 
in Local 12 -and I remember the crack we used all the 
time, "Look, we're not Indian givers." And the 
attitude " of the guys, a lot of them, was "good 
riddance." Clinton's attitude in that regard was 

When it came to the business of protecting the 
master contract the employers found they would have 
to support the ILWU position: namely, that the mas 
ter contract was a single bargaining unit, because 
the Teamster petitions, or attempts to raid, included 
filing separate petitions wherever they could, so 
they could nick off a plant here and a plant there. 
In a couple of the big plants we defeated them any 

Then when it came to the main body, the NLRB 
finally took the position that the petitions would 
have to apply to the entire bargaining unit. If 
there was going to be an election - and we said 
that would be fine, but it would have to cover the 
entire group - the Teamster answer was "no dice." 

If there had been such an election, I think we 
would have taken the same position that I had taken 
in 1948 in Hilo during that whole period of internal 
dispute around sugar where we had insisted on a 
referendum vote; if the majority had voted to leave, 
we'd tell the minority to go with them. 

So, this was not without its value and I'd say that 
our general approach in terms of the membership, the 


LG: balance of the labor movement, and direct appeals 
to the Teamsters - we'd be constantly putting out 
leaflets and talking to them-- kept on-the-job 
relationships just as strong, or were strengthened 
because the guys were doubly active. 

It was during that same period of time that 
arbitration became a sort of offensive-defensive 
weapon which proved that when you are under attack, 
you're not going to give up the fight. It's also 
terribly important that you have a solution for that 
fight; this has such deep appeal that you not only 
hold your own people together, you begin to pick up 
allies; even including, well, perhaps not allies, 
but individuals among the employers who figure: "The 
union is not taking this insane position that people 
are attributing to it . . . " 

Ward: Reasonable. 

LG: Yes. All this pounding away at arbitration began to 
undercut the employer opposition; how long can you 
keep this hysteria going when the other guy is say 
ing, "Will you please stop the shouting; if we can't 
reach agreement across the table, there must be a 
third party somewhere in the country - you'll find 
either a law professor 01* politician or a priest, or 
what have you - to sit down and say, 'Here's a 
reasonable solution, f " which is what arbitration real 
ly amounts to; when it is binding it has more force 
than that. 

We weren't about to give up, we stayed on the 
attack, we didn't surrender, we didn't start running. 
I think this was terribly important; we kept winning 
victories, because in Longshore we kept picking 
things up; in Warehouse we made it; in Hawaii, we 
got over the hump. When it came to its fundamental 
objective, namely, what the unions could do to better 
the lives of the people it represented, as well as to 
maintain an internal democratic structure which was 
distinctive, these made up the mortar that held the 
union together. 

Ward: Okay, now, Gene Paton is gone. Chili Duarte is 
president - what happened in '52? 


LG-: I mentioned pension negotiations in Hawaii. Those 
negotiations went on for an awful long time. We 
picked up pensions in San Francisco for west coast 
Longshore; the day the pensions went into effect, 
it "became a very big thing with all kinds of thank- 
you parties, acknowledgments. The reaction of the 
guys on the front was pretty well overwhelming. 
When the union was formed, the average longshoreman 
just didn't concede that things like pensions were 
possible, because longshoring was basically casual. 

Ward: It had been, traditionally, and even the union 
itself indicated, casual .... 

LG-: That's right: "Men along the shore." During the 

war I could have picked up all kinds of bets - you 
don't want to go around taking money -from the mem 
bers - I'd get nothing but the most - oh! - endless 
skepticism and hee-haws when I mentioned that because 
I had been on the War Labor Board and I had gone 
through some of the battles - I said, "We're going 
to pick up vacations" - well, the whole idea seemed 

Well, we did it - we got vacations. They have 
become as permanent part of the contract as anything 
else. When you start talking about health and 
welfare, we finally got over the hump on that. The 
membership was a bit more used to the idea that 
these things could be done; and the breakthrough 
took place on pensions. 

Ward: And Hawaii? 

LG: Then in Hawaii, we ran into an odd problem. I think 
I mentioned to you the fact that each of the five 
factors was also an agent for an insurance company. 
Those are chief agents. The rest of the people are 
sort of sub-agents or salesmen. During the 1949 
longshore strike sugar got piled up until hell 
wouldn't have it; they were even storing it out 
doors and providing a picnic for the rats. 

I found out later that the employers managed to 
get through the financial situation during that 
period by some very large loans from the insurance 
companies. The loan from Prudential was something 
like $40,000,000; at least that's the information 


I picked up. - Jack was very thorough about these 
things; that's where Jack was absolutely fantastic. 
He was a real bird-dog for information. 

Bob McElrath, who later became regional director 
when Jack left the Islands to come up here, would 
have made a perfect gumshoer. This guy loved to 
move around town; knew just about every newspaper 
man; got to be very active later on helping out the 
newspaper unions in joint negotiations down there 
with the various papers. Had some joint strikes - 
successful. Bob could ferret out all kinds of 
information. I don't think anybody in Hawaii could 
have kept a secret; if Bob was looking for it, he'd 
find it. 

Ward: Well, there was a small town atmosphere in Hawaii 

LG: That's right. When it comes to some circles, it's 

still a small-town thing; if an outfit like American 
Airlines opens up a big hotel, or a Sheraton 
interest, those things operate in a financial world 
of their own, whereas your Hawaii internal economy 
is different. Of course, in that period, particul 
arly, it was pretty well rotated around sugar, 
pineapple, longshore and the Big Five. 

Ward: Well, now, this business of the $40,000,000 loan and 
the relationship of the factors to the insurance 
companies; how did that affect your pension negotia- 
ti ons? 

LG-: It affected them in this way; the employers were 

determined to have an insured plan. That's one way 
that you pay off an obligation. They probably also 
had this thinking in their heads that insured plans 
fully funded, formed an old traditional concept of 
how pensions are handled. And I suppose in periods 
of relatively stable economy this had been the trad 
itional way employers would handle their pensions; 
of course, where they had -a company pension. It 
wasn't going to be a self-administered thing. 

When you go back one step and see the inter 
locking between these big corporations and the 
insurance companies, the whole thing becomes part 
of one cabal. We had had some sessions with the 


LG: employers and had gotten nowhere. We recessed then, 
with the employers suggesting they would bring some 
experts down there - actuaries - which they did. 
They were primarily people from Prudential; their 
chief was named .(Henry) Melinkoff . I got to know him 
quite well after a while. 

Ward: Any relation to H.P.? 

LG: No, I don't think he spelled the name that way. 

That was Henry Melnikow. This man was Melinkoff. 
He was headquartered back in New Jersey at the time. 
A guy with an inventive mind - he's the one who 
dreamed up what is called variable annuities. No 
need to go into that. 

I discussed with Line Fairley, who had worked 
very closely with me on longshore pensions, what we 
would do about this. We decided there was no purpose 
in bringing an expert down. I spent about a week, 
ten days, with Virginia Woods - 

Ward: Who was an actuary in fact, if not in title, at the 

LG: Mathematics was her field. I asked Virginia if she 
would explain actuarial tables to me and how they 
were put together. She quickly got some additional 
information and I spent the time with her going over 
these actuarial tables, how they were put together, 
how these insurance companies work; what made sense 
and what didn't make sense. 

I found out there were many kinds of actuarial 
tables; there was the standard actuarial table; the 
1940 actuarial table; there was the actuarial table 
they used for pensions; the one they used for life 
insurance; the Immediate Participation Guarantee - 
the IPG Plan - Deposit Administration. 

. In other words, they didn't all have to be the 
ordinary deferred annuities where you put in a 
certain amount of money over a certain number of 
years, based on the individual, and then you begin 
to collect back your pension. First, your own 
contribution in the case of a contributory pension; 
then the employers', and these were the standard 
annuities which obviously wouldn't work for a large 
group of workers; plus how did you know the actuarial 
tables made any damn sense, you see. 


LG: Anyway, when we got through with all this, I said, 

"Let's draw up a couple of charts." We drew up five 
charts. They must "be around somewhere in the 
records here or in Hawaii. We drew up these charts 
"based on the data they supplied us which was the 
number of men in the industry in Longshore, their 
length of service, and their average age. That's 
the basic data you work on in getting a pension plan 
together. Well, I still recall that opening session 
with the employers - 

Ward: After the recess? 

LG: After the recess. I went down there and had this 

material and went over it with Jack. We had stayed 
up a little bit too late talking with some of the 
guys on the committee who were there and just gener 
ally relaxing, so that I hadn't had an awful lot of 
sleep, but I was there, on time. The meeting got 
under way and here were these fellows I hadn't seen 
before sitting across the table from us and the 
employers at their side or in the row behind them. 

They got started and they had this man Melinkoff 
and his assistant, who I think was Reynolds. They 
presented the ordinary type of pension including 
the purchase of the deferred annuities. They didn't 
propose a Deposit Administration Plan or anything 

The Deposit Administration Plan at least had the 
minor advantage that, assuming that the actual 
result in terms of the work force as compared to the 
actuarial tables gave you what they called a favor 
able result, this meant that more people died than 
were supposed to die, in the case of pensions; in 
case of life insurance, less people die than are 
supposed to die. At least the fund itself gets the 
benefit after the insurance company takes theirs. 

When they got through, we said, "That's fine, 
but - ". At that point, Phil Maxwell was handling 
the negotiations for the employers on pensions. 
Phil turned towards us and said, "Did you bring your 
expert down?" I said, "He's here; I've been given 
the job." Everybody laughed like they thought it 
was just a lot of fun. 


LG-: V/ell, luckily, I had done my homework, which is 
awfully import ant in any set of negotiations, 
particularly on something like pensions or health 
and welfare or any complicated issue. I had all these 
charts in a large brief case, carefully tabulated. 

So, I took them out and said, "Now, working on 
your actuarial tables, here's Chart No. 1 accurately 
drawn." They looked it over for a while and said, 
"Yes, we would have done your work for you, but it's 
good. It seems to be accurate - okay, age dispersion 
and everything else." 

Then I went through these charts and got to the 
last one, and they realized where I was going and 
they began to introduce reservations but without any 
success because all I asked was, "Are the figures 
correct? The data you have given us was character 
istic?" "Yeah, yeah - it's correct." 

So, I said, "V/ell, based upon what you .lust 
proposed we have it figured out; I'll show you the 
last chart; either it was for every dollar' that was 
put into pensions or for every fifty cents, the men 
would sometimes get a nickel back." They looked at 
that for a lone time and said, "Well, maybe those 
figures are right but that's not the way things work." 
No explanation. We had worked the thine out to the 
point where we took their own logic and their own 
type of pensions to show what happens. 

Well, one of the reasons could be that partially 
because of the war, I guess, and partially because 
the work force in Hawaii did not have a characteristic 
age dispersion, you didn't have a characteristic 
number like we did up and down the west coast in 
longshore, with quite a balance of guys in the older 
bracket, with a number of men over 65 still plugging 

This was not true, however, in Hawaii. During 
the war, a lot of older Japanese, even though they 
could still work on the front, were disgusted by the 
whole thing that was going on and quit; never came 
back, even after the war. 

Then, again, a lot of longshore work was being 
done by Filipinos who are not big but very strong, 
very hardworking, and it could be that at a certain 


LG: point it was more than they could take. In other 

words, come 45 or 50 years, they either got accident 
prone or it was just too much for them and they had 
to get into some other kind of work. 

That's where we got into a real debate. I said, 
"Well, we did not draw up the actuarial data; you're 
the ones who supplied us with the material. We did 
not draw up this basic statistical information; we 
don't have it. It came from the companies, the ages, 
the work records of the men, and so forth and so on. 

"If the figures you give us are characteristic be 
cause of the nature of the work force and the nature 
of the work and the high incidence of attrition that 
the work causes, then of course our data is correct. 
We don't know, because we didn't compile the data 
that you have given us." 

It was an odd situation, because when we came 
back that afternoon, their experts were sitting in 
back and the employers were sitting in front! 

Ward: They reversed the position! 

LG: They decided we better get back in negotiations 

instead of having the experts fiddle around with it. 
That night I got a call from this actuary, Melinkoff. 
He says, "I understand you take a swim every evening." 
I said, "Yes, most nights." "You take a walk along 
the beach too, I understand." I said, "Yeah." He 
said, "Well, I'm staying down at the Royal Hawaiian." 

"Well, I'll be walking in that direction," I said. 
Sure enough, he's there on the beach waiting; we 
sat around on the beach and talked. "Well, I can't 
argue with your information - your charts. Somebody 
did a good .job." I said, "Yep." "And you under 
stand them." And I said, "Yep." 

Then he said, "This thing cannot be settled by- 
experts. I suggest this. I don't care what it is 
you negotiate with the employers; it's entirely up 
to you and we're not going to stick our nose into 
it. Once you negotiate it, I guarantee you we'll 
insure it." That was it. I said, "Okay, thanks." 
For years afterwards, he used to stop by when he was 
in town; he'd come by the house. 


Ward: It took Mm years to learn it. 

LG: Yes. But he realized that there were some people in 
the union movement who wouldn't rely on experts; 
they figured that there is nothing unknowable and 
I generally felt that way; luckily we had some good 
people around who felt the same way. Line was that 
way. A lot of people get an exclusive; they become 
the experts. They even talk in a language that's 
designed to make sure that nobody else can understand 

If everybody understood what the hell they were 
talking about, everybody might know too much and the 
moment people know too much, then what the experts 
have to sell goes down in value; almost every little 
field becomes a trade secret. 'Line was very help 
ful on this; also Bill Glazier, who came out here, 
you know, and later worked as an administrative 
assistant to the officers. He felt the same way; 
and Virginia Woods was excellent. 

The net result was that we finally worked out 
what amounted to a quite good pension plan. In some 
ways, as good as the west coast longshore pension 
plan. It may not have had as good a basic benefit, 
but the maximum benefit went up beyond that. Once 
it was negotiated, and notwithstanding what their 
actuary told me, Prudential began to hedge. 

One of their main hedges was that they were not 
going to use the actuarial table we used. A whole 
group of us had to go over for a meeting with 
Prudential at their headquarters in Los Angeles where 
we had this roundy-go-roundy with the executives. 
They finally insured the whole thing, and that pen 
sion plan is still in effect. 

I mention this as a sidelight to what was going 
on in the Islands and some of the things that were 
developing. It also indicated something else; in the 
period up until then it was just a straight headon 
set of negotiations and clash where necessary with 
the employers around the basic elements of the 

Things had gotten to be more complicated with 
elements coming into the picture such as health and 
welfare, pensions; later on the problems of severance 


LG-: pay, repatriation allowance, all kinds of things 
that are now "built into the sugar contract and 
longshore contract, so different from anywhere else. 

Ward: Repatriation is something that didn't occur in the 
mainland contracts, did it? 

LG-: No, I guess not. As to whether or not it ought to 

be applied is another story. If a guy comes up here 
from Mexico and keeps sending his money home and 
works here for 10, 15, 20 years in one area of 
agriculture - let us say, around Paterson, where 
some of the guys work the year around - why 
repatriation allowance shouldn't be applicable to 
him, I don't know. 

Anyway, as these things developed, Jack's expertise 
and know-how - the same sort of expertise he manifest 
ed at the time of the Fair Labor Standards Act suit - 
became more and more valuable: it became a major 
contribution to the work of the union. 

So, these were some of the things that were going 
on in the Islands; but once the Lanai strike was over, 
a certain chapter in Hawaii that ran from '46 through 
'51 - that was sort of the end of that. 

Ward: The feudalism was pretty well dissipated. Right? 

LG: Yes. The union had gotten over the hump. And - 

oh, something that had almost become a slogan. The 
union was here to stay, became a way of life on the 
plantations, became a way of life for the pineapple 
workers and the waterfront. The impact swept all 
through the economic, social and political structure 
of Hawaii. It took various forms, but it became a 
somewhat different course of history; although not 
without its difficulties . . . 

Ward: When did the runaway plantations operations begin? 
They were of so much concern for a while. 

LG: There was no such thing as runaway in sugar planta 
tions - 

Ward: But pineapple, though. 


LG-: Right, because in the case of sugar one of the 

reasons for the industry in Hawaii was not only that 
they were able to grow sugar profitably; one of the 
reasons they became part of the U. S. as a territory, 
instead of British, was to make sure of the access of 
sugar in the U. S. market; the sugar industry there 
for many, many years operated under the covering 
blanket of the Suear Act, so sugar played one role. 

Pineapple was different. In the case of pine 
apple there were two major factors in operation, 
resulting not in runaway shops so much as those 
interests expanding their holdings in other parts of 
the world, particularly in the Philippines, while 
some of their holdings in Hawaii began to contract. 
For example, an outfit like California Packing 
Corporation had pineapple plantations in the 
Philippines, and still do on the island of Mindanao. 

Ward: Where they had plenty of trouble, I bet. 

LG-: Yeah, as a matter of fact, one time I was wondering 
how in the devil we could give a little help to some 
of those people down there by shooting a couple more 
managers in the ass. 

As a matter of fact we tried to make contact with 
those workers, and we did. We also got copies of 
some of their agreements, which seemed more like 
company agreements. They didn't even have wage 
scales in the contract. 

In comparatively recent years they opened up some 
very big holdings in Thailand, but not for long. 
Perhaps the unstable political situation made them 
decide to get out - though in the case of Hawaiian 
Pine, the biggest producer there, it didn't. Libby, 
McNeil and Libby had holdings in the Philippines. 
I don't think Libby has given up pineapple entirely, 
even though there is no operation in Hawaii. 

Around Oahu, the three major producers were 
Hawaiian Pineapple Company, Castle and Cooke, Gal- 
Pack and Libby. There is no Libby cannery any more. 
There is still a CalPack cannery, but CalPack also 
had interests in the Philippines. Libby closed up 
entirely on the island of Molokai. That's one of 
the runaway plantations you're thinking about and 
where we had a good deal of hassle .... 




LG: So, let me complete. Libby expanded its holdings 
to the Philippines. CalPack was talking the same 
way and that created a good deal of consternation. 

Ward: You were talking about Molokai? 

LG: Those were both on the island of Molokai. CalPack 

also had some operations on the island of Oahu. The 
other big inroad on the pineapple lands was the 
expansion of Honolulu into big suburban areas. They 
built v/hat really amounts to a whole new city, though 
actually it is a part of Honolulu. People commute 
to work there all the time. It's right in the pine 
apple fields practically, called Mililani Town - 

Ward: That's on the other side of the Pali, then? 

LG: No - no, Mililani Town would be out toward Waialua. 
It's not in the same direction. It's toward the 
other end of the island. The end of that island 
would be west - it's on a small plateau, maybe 2,000 
feet at the most. Then there's a huge plateau area 
that was excellent pineapple land, partly because of 
altitude and the kind of rainfall they have there. 

So, these are the things that took place in 
pineapple. A lot of the small canneries folded 
entirely, like several on Kauai that just gave up. 
There is still a pineapple cannery going on the 
island of Maui. 

Ward: Would that be an argument of the employers that the 
union forced the small guys out of business? 

LG: You're not talking of small people; even the ones 
who were on Kauai are not like small farmers. The 
main problem there was whether the holdings were 
big enough to warrant a completely modern cannery. 
The canneries in Honolulu proper, I guess, have as 
modern machinery as anybody can find. I don't know 
if you have ever seen pictures of them at work. 

Ward: I've been in a cannery. 

LG: Well, a pineapple cannery - to see the size of the 
operation! One of the big things they invented was 
something they called the Ginaca machine, invented 
by a worker so the pineapple could be peeled by machine, 


Ward: Kind of shave it off with a sharp edged cylinder? 

LG: Right. That's "been in effect for many, many years 
now. Well, taking the "eyes" out is still a hand 
process, unless you want to lose an awful lot of the 
fruit. They finally decided losing a good deal of 
the pineapple didn't make much difference because 
they could use it either for mulch or for juice; a 
great deal of juice comes out of pineapple production. 

The amount of pineapple, the proportion of pine 
apple "being moved into the U. S. market from Hawaii 
has changed. At one time Hawaii had something close 
to a monopoly on production. No pineapple is produced 
on the mainland of the U. S. Well, Puerto Rico at 
one time tried pineapple. It's never "been a good 
variety; once in a while you see the fruit in the 
eastern markets, fresh but small. It didn't compare 
with the kind of agricultural production they had 
in Hawaii. 

There was a contraction in production later on; 
imports from Mexico, particularly fresh pineapple, 
a little bit of it canned; greater imports from the 
Philippines, obviously because of the advantage there 
of the terribly low wage rates, which more than 
offset the shipping costs. The great change that 
took place around the late 1960s was the importation 
of fresh pineapple. 

Ward: Air transportation did that, didn't it? 

LG: Air transportation made a big difference. Pineapple 
has a fairly decent shelf life, somewhere around 
four to five days. It won't have the same shelf 
life as some things like apples, and the problem on 
shipping pineapple was that by the time it got here 
it wasn't fresh, really; when pineapple begins to 
run, that's it. When the juice begins to move down 
towards the bottom, it can't be reversed in any way. 

One thing that helped was airplane traffic, be 
cause a lot of planes were going down there. Tourist 
industry began to boom. The planes had nothing to 
take back. They had a certain amount of cargo to 
take down because it became more and more profitable 
to ship a lot of essential parts for automobiles, 
and what have you, by plane rather than by ship. 


LG: You didn't have to carry big inventories that way; 
an advantage for the businessman, but they had no 
return cargo. True, there would be some flowers, 
but that doesn't amount to enough. 

Somewhere along the line I'd heard their initial 
agreement with some of the airlines was to ship the 
pineapple over here fresh for as little as 7 cents 
a pound. Of course, that's an awful big break on 
fresh fruit. Consequently, you'll see fresh pine 
apple on the market now, and it's not priced all that 
high. Of course, these days they price everything 
high, but initially over here you could pick up a 
fresh pineapple for 50, 55 cents, and they were quite 
good. They had a whole process of convincing and 
educating the consumer on how to use pineapple. 

But the expansion of the fresh fruit market has 
also made a big difference. One of the results now 
is that there is an attempt to cultivate the pineapple 
in such a manner that you get more of an all-year 
around crop; it used to be highly seasonal. These 
things have changed, but I don't see any further 
contraction of the pineapple* industry right now. 

I'd say the major pressure on pineapple would be 
the attractiveness for other purposes of a lot of 
the land in Hawaii; there's similar pressure on sugar. 
A lot of this land is not far away from Honolulu and 
if you look at the distance as compared to commuting 
standards on the mainland, it doesn't amount to 
anything; but that's been solved now. 

Of course the containers now which are refrigerated 
also make a difference. You don't have to get com 
plete refrigeration to ship pineapple because they 
don't want that much fresh at one time. A regular 
refrigera'tion ship, like Mat son, can have refrigerated 
containers in addition to others; there's a method of 
plugging them in. 

I'd say that the principal danger about the further 
contraction of pineapple would emanate from the push 
of real estate interests and the greed of the estates. 
An awful lot of the land on which pineapple is 
cultivated is not owned by the companies. It's owned 
by -various estates such as the Bishop Estate, the II 
Estate, Campbell Estate. 


LG-: They are constantly pressuring for additional pay 
ments on their lease rental; and there's always 
speculation, I guess, in the minds of the companies 
as to what they do when the lease runs out, because 
the estate is comparing these rents to what the 
devil they could get for a long-term lease on the 
same land for housing. Their interest in maintaining 
agriculture in Hawaii you can put in your eye and 
see fine. It's one of the things that's part of the 
rape of the Islands. 

Anyway, I just thought I'd give you some of that 
background on the pension negotiations. 

Ward: Very interesting. Now what? 

LG: I might want to bounce back later and cover some of 
the other things that happened in 1953. In 1953, we 
were still on strike at the place across San 
Francisco Bay - Colgate-Palmolive. To give you an 
idea what the employer attitude was and the atmosphere 
of the times; that strike went on eight months at 
Colgate. It finally would up with Paul Heide and 
Ole Fagerhaus going east and making rounds in a 
camper spreading a boycott of Colgate-Palmolive 
products, going into every labor council in small 
towns, big towns, big cities. 

Chili went back there; it took us a hunk of money, 
but we got the New Jersey Colgate Plant shut down. 
It was not for a great deal of time; primarily done 
through the Teamsters. It was a long and bitter 
fight. The company was obviously determined to 
crack the union. 

The atmosphere was still on - it hadn't changed 
any. In '53, Jack's trial was still on, and a key 
witness against him was Jack Kawano. When the guys 
began to check out Kawano 's record in the 1949 
strike, he did practically nothing; just sort of 
disappeared. He did come out and support G-overnor 
Stainback's fact-finding board for the 14 cents; 
tried to put it as a patriotic thing, that the real 
reason we stayed out for more money was not because 
it was in the interests of the workers - it was just 
because it was Communist party policy. 


LG-: He had to concede, however, that later on we won 

the strike and got a tremendous amount of dough as 
well as finally getting parity on wages. He also 
appeared as a witness against our guys in the un- 
American Activities Committee hearings down there. 

In 1953 the appeal on the Bridges-Robertson- 
Schmidt case was still going on. Even during the 
Supreme Court hearings, as I recall, the government 
arrogance in this thing was fantastic. 

There was some other case pending at the time 
that had to do with one of the same points that 
was raised in the Bridges case, res adjudicata or 
statute of limitations; the government attorney 
representing the Department of Justice made the 
crack, before the court, I believe, that as far as 
the Department of Justice was concerned, they were 
prepared to lose the other one if they could get 
the conviction upheld on Bridges, Robertson and 

It had become amazingly crude; during this whole 
period, beginning in 1950 with the Korean War, they 
put the Wage Stabilization Board into effect, which 
was an attempt to control wages during that war; no 
attempt to control prices. 

It didn't even have the facade of the World War 
II period. I think the whole feeling of the people 
really made OPA stick. During that war, housewives 
felt it was part of their obligation to inspect all 
the price lists, and if there was the slightest 
change, bingo! - reports and screaming and what have 
you. You had the most widespread policing of prices 
that the country had ever seen. Of course, nothing 
of the sort during the Korean War, because here was - 

Ward: It wasn't that kind of a war. 

LG: It wasn't that kind of a war. Truman himself called 
it a police action. It was just another attempt to 
kick the hell out of labor - nothing more, nothing 
less; some of the unions foregoing wage increases, 
or getting nothing at all, or very small increases. 
When we negotiated the Longshore pension increase, 
how much better that was than anything won by Steel, 
or Auto even. 


LG-: We made quite an issue of this, of course, in the 
paper. And it was terribly important for our men 
to realize that even though it was a rough period, 
we were getting results; that was the key. And the 
fight paid - the fight was worthwhile. 

At the 1953 convention, we made the decision that 
inasmuch as the BRS case had not yet come down - the 
'53 Convention was sometime in April, no later than 
early May - we ought to elect standby officers to 
take charge in the event Bridges and Robertson and 
Schmidt's convictions were upheld. And the conven 
tion was pretty tense on that score; even though the 
union was in quite good health. 

As a matter of fact, there were some interesting 
.stories at the time, including one in Fortune, that 
after all the turmoil of Taft-Hartley and the CIO 
expulsion, the union was better off than ever. 

The net result at the convention was Jimmy Pant 2 
of Portland was elected a standby officer in the 
event Harrv went to the clink, and Joe Kealaleo 
* (Joe Blurr) of Hawaii was elected to take the place 
of Bob Robertson if he had to serve time. We elected 
those standby officers for no other purpose than to 
serve notice on the courts and the CIO and the 
employers that the union was going to stick around. 

Any funny ideas they had that they might behead 
the union and that the union would then begin to die 
off - the announcements of our death were periodic; 
they were just whistling in the dark, that's all; 
whistling past the graveyard - their own. 

So, this was the atmosphere at the time we elected 
the standby officers; then in '53 two things happened 
at almost exactly the same time. The Supreme Court 
ruled our way on Bridges-Robertson-Schmidt, and Jack 
Hall was convicted. 

When Jack and the other Smith Act defendants were 
convicted, our members shut down; everybody in Hawaii 
walked out for a day. 

Sure it was a blow, particularly to Jack and his 
family; but the attitude of the union was that if 
anything they were even more determined to just hang 


LG: in there, not back away at all. In the course of 

all this so much had been exposed about the employers; 
who their friends were and who their enemies. The 
air really was cleared; talk about a period of 
education and understanding among workers - that was 

Come Labor Day, we decided to make that a big 
thing in Hawaii; we had big Labor Day gatherings on 
all the islands and we decided to bring additional 
forces down there. Harry went down there for the 
Labor Day thing; I did. 

In Honolulu, they had an old-fashioned parade 
through the downtown area of Honolulu and wound up 
at the lolani Palace, the Governor's Palace - it 
had been the palace of the old royalty. They had a 
mass meeting on Kauai, a big parade and floats, and 
a rather pleasant picnic afterwards. I went over 
there to speak. 

There was a big gathering in Honakaa, of all 
places. I think Jack Hall was over there, and that 
was the sugar plantation area - that would be the 
northern part of the Hamakua coast, several planta 
tions around there. There were speakers on the 
island of Maui - it was a real outpouring for Labor 
Day and in support of Jack. 

There was also a feeling of confidence that if 
the union could take all the bumping around and come 
through it with victory on the Bridges-Robertson- 
Schmidt case, that we would win out on the Hall case 
as well. 

I know that we didn't break stride - the union 
just kept pounding away; but that did not stop the 
government. I guess that's something that somebody 
else will have to come along and study; when some 
of these things get going, they seem to have their 
own inner motion like .... 

Ward : Parkins on ' s L aw? 

LG: I don't know if it's Parkinson's Law, but there's . 

another law; I think it's Murphy's Law; if anything 
can get fucked up, it will be. When something gets 
going like a redbaiting campaign, it develops a 
motion of its own, and to turn the thing around has 
to be pretty dramatic, like in the case of (Senator) 


LG: The redbaiters have an unlimited appetite; they have 
to keep making headlines, which becomes very intoxi 
cating to them. There's a whole staff that builds a 
vested interest; they get all kinds of snakes and 
stoolpigeons who begin to make a lifetime career of 
this, hoping it will go on forever; and there will 
always be soft pickings. 

These "experts" they have, like Paul Crouch against 
Bridges. He turns up in Hawaii, of course. It 
becomes a self-perpetuating institution. This kept 
going in 1953, even though by that time about the 
only impact it was having in terms of our own 
membership was just to harden them; to what degree it 
had impacts elsewhere, I don't know; whether it made 
a difference, in the election of some of these 
politicians - no question it kept their names before 
the public. Lots of them think that way. 

The Velde Committee 

LG: In the middle of 1953 the Velde Committee came to 
town. You know, these guys would take turns being 
chairman of the Un-American Activities Committee. 
For example, some two-bit Congressman - that's all 
(Harold H.) Velde was - would say, "Look, it's my 
turn now to get a couple of these headlines," and 
they would come out here. 

Sometimes they would have a sub-committee of one 
or two. The only people who were in full complement 
would be the staff; these were the guys whose total 
day's work was to turn up another list of witnesses 
and ask them the standard question. They would 
measure their success by the head-count. When the 
Velde Committee was here, by that time there was a 
real fight-back on the whole damn business. 

I was in the Islands at the time in the middle of 
sugar negotiations in 1953. Chili was hauled up 
before the Committee; Dick Lynden, Paul Heide. I 
guess they figured it was time to give the warehouse 
men their turn in the barrel, but they must have 
expected to have me in there too. 


LG: I recall a night or two before I was due to leave 
for Hawaii, the process server came "by the house. 
We were living on Ashbury Terrace; my dad was visit 
ing and I told him he'd better answer the door because 
they'd been running around with these subpoenas. 
The guy asked for me and my dad said, "No, he's not 
home - he's gone; I don't know when he'll be back." 
No attempt to plague us. 

As a matter of fact, some of the guys in San 
Francisco were pretty friendly. I think I mentioned 
a man whose name was either Fitzgerald or Fitzpatrick, 
with the Red Squad here. One time, he came into the 
office and he had a whole bunch of subpoenas. He 
said, "Is Harry around?" I said, "Mo, he's out of 

He said, "Well, how about Lou Goldblatt, is he 
here?" I said, "No, he's gone too." Here he is 
sitting right across the table talking to me, across 
the desk. And he goes down a list of guys. "No, 
he's not here," or "He doesn't belong here at all." 
Finally, he turned to me and said, "Look, Lou, we 
gotta get some guys served." (laughter) He had 
no use for the goddam thing. He was a nice egg, 

Anyway, these are some of our guys called up. 
One of our old-timers, who worked at Illinois Glass 
at the time - Ole Fagerhaus; you know Ole. 

Ward: Oh sure, yes. 

LG: An awfully good man; he still plugs away, gives a 
hand once in a while on organizing; he's in his 
seventies, you know, in great shape. Once in a 
while he goes back and helps his father out! In 
Minnesota some place. They come off the land and 
Ole is a real wonderful down-to-earth guy. 

Well, during that Velde Committee hearing the 
longshoremen called a stop-work meeting -some 3,000 
turned up at City Hall. I think it was that hearing 
that broke into a big riot at one point. They were 
washing people down the stairs at City Hall, I think. 

Ward: Oh, yes. 


LG-: I'm not sure if it was that hearing or a later 

Ward: I think that's about '53 or '54 - somewhere in there. 

LG: No, it was later, I'll tell you why "because I was in 
town when that took place and I wasn't in town at 
the time the longshoremen's demonstration took 

Ward: Well, anyway, I know damn well that the staircase 
hosing down was when I was working at a plastic 

LG-: Oh, Becky Jenkins (daughter of a longshore leader) 
was mixed up in that. I must have been in town be 
cause I remember getting a call from Archie Brown 
(prominent as a Communist and in Local 10) and 
Archie was saying, "Lou, you gotta do something - 
this is fascism!" I said, "Well, how are we doing 
at the hearing?" He said, "Oh, everybody is up in 
arms at the Committee." I said, "Are we -winning?" 
He said, "Yes." So, I said, "Well, then, it can't 
be fascism." (laughter) 

Not that I was that cool; once in a while, though, 
you have to think of something a little bit crazy. 
But I remember in Ole's case Owens-Illinois decided 
they were going to discharge him. The un-American 
Activities Committee measured its success by how 
many scalps they could hang on the wall. They had 
been very successful in this, and as far as I know 
the only place where they have not had any luck was 
with the ILWU around the bay area. 

This was a different island in the whole country; 
we were determined nothing of the sort was going to 
happen. I had worked at Owens-Illinois and I knew 
some of the people there, but I hadn't seen any of 
them for years. I recall at that time calling up 
Henry Wade, who was then the manager of the place. 

Later on when he retired, I couldn't shake loose 
of him; he'd be around the building all the time just 
to go to lunch or to spend the evening; go out and 
have drinks; sort of indicated that he'd always felt 
that the way the company had handled some of these 
things was all wrong; insisted on taking me by his 
apartment, meeting his daughter and his wife. 


LG: As a matter of fact, I dragged him along to a meeting 
of Local 10; Martin Luther King was talking there to 
a group of longshoremen. 

Well, anyway, I called Henry Wade and said, "Look, 
if you let Ole go, the place is going down; a matter 
of policy, that's all." He said, "I'm just telling 
you - those are company orders. You've got to give 
me a way out. And if you don't have one, there's 
nothing we can do about it. We'll take it to 
arbitration." I said, "No, I'm not going to arbitra 
tion - I'll call you back." 

I talked about it to several people and then 
called him back and said, "We'll make one proposition 
to you and no others; no purpose in kicking this 
thing around further. You keep him on the job and 
you can issue a statement to the effect that unless 
he is vindicated by the courts, he will be fired. 
You v/ait until the appeal is finished. He's still 
going to have his day in court, like anybody else." 
He said, "Well, maybe I can handle that." Ole stayed 
on the job. 

About that time we were winning a lot of these 
cases, notably the cases in Hawaii through Judge 
Metzger. It must have been about that time that the 
Watkins decision (an historic case in which John 
Watkins, a UAW organizer, used the First Amendment 
to the U. S. Constitution in refusing to testify 
re Communism) came along - I think that was where 
the Supreme Court said that taking the Fifth Amend 
ment didn't in any way have a connotation of guilt; 
that it was no different than citing the First 
Amendment or any other amendment. 

Eventually the un-American Activities Committee 
found it could get nowhere with these contempt 
citations in Congress, at least not on the refusal 
to testify. It also pretty well determined which 
way people would have to act before these committees, 
because the moment you opened up the door on answer 
ing questions, you ran the risk of all kinds of things, 

Ward: Well, for instance, if you answer the question, "Are 

you now or have you ever been?" - if you answer "Yes", 
then you have to implicate all the people you've ever 
met or else you're in contempt of Congress; whether 
you are willing to admit membership or not doesn't 
have anything to do with it. 


LG: Correct - the moment you get into that area, you've 
opened up Pandora's Box and there is no way to close 
it. They're the only ones who can close it on you; 
that's where they get people to spill their guts. 
Anyway, insofar as we were concerned, we kept our 
record intact. 

Ward: Well, what happened to 01 e? 

LG: Ole stayed on the job. Later on, we hauled him off 
the job for other reasons, primarily to organize. 

But this un-American Activities Committee was 
still functioning; the McCarthy Committee was going 
full blast, out of their goddam, cotton-picking 
minds. The McCarran Act had been passed; remember 
all the fuss about that? In the case of the ILWU, 
they began to hit us with parts of this Act, even 
though it was primarily designed against the foreign 

I remember we were all part of that Protection 
for the Foreign Born Committee; I was speaking to 
various groups on the thing; it was all one move 
against us, just like screening was used to try to 
blacklist guys. 

The McCarran Act was used primarily against some 
of our Filipino members. One of our leaders in 
Hawaii, a fine Filipino leader, Simeon Bagasol, had 
been active in the inter-Island strike, had gotten 
blacklisted off the waterfront, but finally got 
back to work. He was cited and his case was finally 

But they went against a lot of our Filipino 
members. For example, Immigration made an inter 
pretation - I think it was under the McCarran Act - 
that if one of the Filipinos, a member of our union, 
say Alaska Cannery Workers, went to Alaska to work 
the salmon season, coming back to Seattle was a new 
entry because Alaska was a territory, not a state, 
at the time. 

We actually took one of those cases up to the 
U. S. Supreme Court, a case involving several guys. 
The one who had been picked up by Immigration was 
a man named Alec Alcantra. I guess they always 
list these names alphabetically, so he must have 


LG-: "been listed first. He was one of our cannery work 

ers and they got him under moral turpitude because 
he ran a small gambling game when he got back to 

This was all out-and-out intimidation. It would 
have meant at that time that one of our Filipino 
members in Hawaii - a delegate, an officer or what- 
have-you, coming over to the mainland for a 
convention, on returning to Hawaii would have been a 
new entry and could have been picked up for 
deportation; they were not citizens as yet. 

Bear in mind that Filipinos came in here not as 
foreigners but as "nationals" - a distinction that 
must have arisen under these treaty arrangements; 
they had come in that way for years. So, even 
though we had won in the middle of 1953 on BRS, we 
sure as hell were not out of the woods. 

All during the same period there was also a 
consistent fight for labor unity. e had a major 
campaign going to try to re-establish' the old 
Waterfront Federation of Longshoremen, Teamsters, 
Seamen, Warehousemen; including mass leaflet dis 
tributions, using a lot of our officials to go out 
there and talk to some of the guys. 

It did a great deal to get into the ranks of 
other unions; there was a genuine neutralization 
of some of these attacks by direct man-to-man 
contact on the job. What is picked up is that there's 
a good understanding among the membership that you 
are fighting for certain principles, and just because 
some guys have turned tail or have chickened out 
doesn't mean to say you give up the fight. 

Well, I'd better mention a couple of things. I 
told you that we had taken the fishermen into our 
union. During that same period the attrition was 
still pretty heavy against unions like the Fur 
Workers, United Public Workers - remember Abe Flaxer 
(president of the State, County and Municipal Work 
ers) and that group? It was getting pretty bad. 

I recall a whole group of these officials being 
cited on Taft-Hartley. Hugh Bryson was indicted on 
Taft-Hartley and later on he did some time in jail. 
The Marine Cooks and Stewards were violently attacked 
from the CIO and particularly from Lundeberg. 


LG: There was a. big beef on the waterfront around the 
"Aleutian" where Lundeberg had signed a backdoor 
agreement on this ship to put on his own men in 
place of the MC&S crew; that was a major confronta 
tion on the waterfront, with Lundeberg bringing damn 
near a thousand armed guys down there. That was a 
battle which looked as though it would break out in 
fierce violence. The decision was finally made that 
the only way the MC&S might be saved was to have 
the members sign in the ILWU; this had to be done 
man-by-man, and there was a major signup. 

I think that Lundeberg realized that in a direct 
election for the MC&S in the stewards department 
with the ILWU on the ballot, he would have lost out. 
I'll have to check as to when exactly that election 
took place and what form it took. They finally 
washed the MC&S out of business, but that was done 
by devising a new bargaining unit. 

Lundeberg filed for an election on the ships to 
include the Sailors, the Marine Firemen and the 
Marine Cooks and Stewards; this would give them a 
combination that would overwhelm the Marine, Cooks 
and Stewards. 

In the meantime, the ILWU was still battling 
away, still trying to protect the MC&S and other 
progressive unions. 


Ward: Okay, Lou, we're going to talk about some of your 
own troubles now, 

LG: You want to talk about some of the committees I was 
hauled before, right? Well, there were some rather 
important developments in relationship to the ILA 
which I guess resulted in my being hauled before . . 

Ward: Okay, let's take the ILA first. 

LG: The one that I recall that takes priority is, there 
was an un-American Activities Committee hearing 
again - the year was 1956. 

Ward: You went to the one at the Post-office? 

LG: The Post-office building and Richard Arens was the 
counsel. I was hauled before that committee. The 
guy I recall being there in addition to myself was 
Victor Arnautoff. Victor Arnautoff was an artist. 


Ward: Yes, he taught at Stanford. Every September there is 
a public art festival in San Francisco, and 
Arnautoff the year before had done a caricature of 
Dick Nixon, who was then Vice-President; that ir 
ritated all the dogs and they hauled him up before 
the committee. 

LG-: Right - so it had to be some time in 1956. And 

you're right about the art festival where he had a 
caricature of Dick Nixon. It was a typical un- 
American Activities Committee hearing. George 
Andersen went along with me, as counsel. I guess 
I was cited because they hadn't managed to pick me 
up in the 1953 hearing. I was living here (in Mill 
Valley) at the time. 

Ward: In this house? 

LG-: Positive - yes, we moved here in 1955. The guy who 
came up to serve the subpoena here was the local 
chief of police - Dan Tursik. I bump into him once 
in a while. For years when I'd see him, all he could 
do was talk about how sorry he was that he had to 
come up and do this, but after all he was doing his 
job. And I'd make the crack, "That's what the 
hangman said, you know." 

I almost got even with Dan, very unintentionally, 
by the way. I was playing golf one time at the Mill 
Valley golf course and on one hole - what the devil 
he was doing out there I don't know, but he walked 
out pretty close to the green - it was really the 
only decent shot I hit all day. The ball was 
straight and strong and it didn't miss him by more 
than an inch or two. Whether he thought it was 
deliberate or not, I don't know, but I couldn't have 
seen him from where I was. 

Anyway, he came up here and said the neighbors 
were complaining about a dog barking and I said, 
"I have no dog." He said, "Well, I have something 
for you." And he had the subpoena - I'm pretty 
sure that was the one, unless it was the one for 
the Eastland Committee. It was not the one for the 
McClellan Committee because the McClellan Committee 
telegram I got when I was back in Colorado staying 
with Frank Oppenheimer (a prominent scientist and 
brother of the famous Robert Oppenheimer). 


Ward: Well, this committee hearing with George Andersen - 
what did you do? Just take the Fifth? 

LG-: They had testimony against me in 1953. Apparently, 
one of their stable of stoolpigeons had been all 
prepared to testify against me in 1953 , so they went 
right ahead with the testimony. They had the usual 
stuff that I had been a member of the Young Communist 
League, and so forth and so on. 

Ward: Who was he? 

The Witness Lies 

LG-: A guy named Lou Rosser - I had known him in Los 

Angeles many, many years before, some time in the 
1930s. He said I had had an alias, Lou Miller, and 
some other stuff. Under cross examination, when 
somebody asked him questions whether he was a member 
of a union, he said, he was a member of Local 10. 
He had never been a member of Local 10. 

Of course, there are never any perjury indict 
ments on these things. He had me placed at all 
kinds of meetings in Los Angeles. I was living up 
here. I was with the union or the State CIO. He 
was all over the place; the usual business. 

I took the Fifth Amendment although I decided 
something at that hearing, and George thought it 
was okay. He said, "Sure, go ahead and give it a 
try." I spoke out: "You know, we should make an 
issue of this business that taking the Fifth Amend 
ment is not a presumption of guilt." It was the 
Watkins decision I was referring to. 

I got into a big hassle with the chairman of 
the committee, (Chester) Doyle. I kept after him 
and said, "It's your job to protect me in this 
hearing, particularly against this guy who is trying 
to badger me. I am not going to be badgered; I'm 
not going to be buffaloed and I want you to protect 

He said, "Don't worry about that; there isn't any 
presumption of guilt or anything of the sort." "I'm 
going to take the Fifth Amendment and that's all." 
So, we went round and round for a while. 


LG: The counsel, this guy Arens, struck me as something 
odd; he was still hung over. I thought that as long 
as I kept addressing myself to Doyle about protect 
ing my rights, there would be no great problem. It 
didn't turn out to be. When I had been with the 
State CIO, Doyle was one of the guys the CIO helped 
to get elected in L. A. He must have remembered it 
too, because he was very uncomfortable - 

Ward: Chester Doyle, wasn't that? 

LG: Chet Doyle, yes; he was from somewhere around the 
Compton area. 

Ward: He accepted left-wing support in the beginning and 
as soon as he got there, the hell with it. 

LG: Oh, yeah, just like Tenney and the guy, what's his 
name, who headed the Little Dies Committee here - 

Ward: Tenney? 

LG: He later was mayor of Los Angeles - (Sam) Yorty! 

Ward: I understand he ' s a friend of Nixon's now. 

LG: Oh, yes, that seems to be logical. At some point 
along the line I got into a fight with the counsel 
because he started reading from some pamphlet under 
the name of Lou Miller. I let him go on for a while 
and then I said, "Look, if you want to hand me 
something, don't throw it." And we got into a pretty 
bad exchange and I let go full blast about the 
committee and everything else. 

I had forgotten all about it until many years 
later when I was invited to speak at a teachers 
meeting that was being held over here (in Mill 
Valley) just about the time that school breaks up. 
They had a nice dinner there; Terry and I went. 
Their activists were union people and the guy in 
charge of the meeting must have had a real sense of 
mischief, and also was very curious about things, 
because he'd gotten a tape - I don't know where the 
tape came from; maybe one of the regular stations 
had it - of my clash with the committee. It sounded 
better than I thought it did at the time. It was 
really quite something; talk about de ,1 a vu! 


Ward: The meeting wasn't antagonistic to you? 

LG: No, no - it was very friendly, because there was 
quite an impassioned speech there about the un- 
American Activities Committee. 

The thing that really got me angry, sitting there 
waiting to be called before that damned committee, 
was I saw a number of people whom I recognized; all 
good leftwingers. I'm sure there wasn't a person 
there who had ever cheated anybody or doublecrossed 
his neighbor in his whole life; Victor Arnautoff, 
whom I knew for a long time. 

There was a young girl sitting there who I think 
was in law school at the time; she later on made her 
main job seeking prison reform and fighting for the 
release of prisoners who had been kicked around for 
years - Solodoy, I think her name was - a very- 
nice gal. At the end of my speech, she broke out in 
applause and some other people joined in. 

I started walking out and -just as I got to the > 
door, Congressman Doyle said, "You're not dismissed." 
I said, "What else is there?" He said, "You're 
dismissed now." Anyway, I went up to Harrington's 
and had a drink. Phil Eden (an ILWU research assis 
tant) was there and he said, "That's a contempt." 
I said, "I don't think so," and George didn't think 
so either. 

I got a call from Victor Arnautoff a couple of 
days later and he said, "I want to thank you for one 
thing." And I said, "What was that?" "Well, as a 
result of your explosion" - the thing was in the 
headlines, pictures and all that stuff making it 
look like a big fight; Christ J couldn't have fought 
my way out of a paper bag with all those guys around, 
plus the marshal I don't know where they found a 
moose that big; all the photographers; pictures and 
what have you. 

Ward: So, what about Arnautoff? 

LG: He said, "Well, this business about you and the 

committee made all the headlines, and my appearance 
just got buried. It looks as though finally they'll 
renew my contract" - he was on a year-to-year 


Ward: They went after him at Stanford? 

LG: They were going to renew his contract - 

ard: But they didn't renew it? 

LG: Yes, at that time they did; later on, no. This was 
an indication of an odd facet in this country where 
in many ways the private universities turned out to 
"be better than the state ones. The state universi 
ties had this Levering Act (requiring the taking of 
a "loyalty" oath). 

They never let go. Their idea is to hound a per 
son until he disappears; hound him out of a city, 
out of a job and make it impossible for him to get 
a new job. Anyway, that was the only beneficial 
thing that happened there, as far as I could see. 

(Interview 26: 12 September, 1978) 

Ward: Are we finished with the House un-American Activi 
ties Committee session in San Francisco? 

LG: There were a lot of headlines on the thing. The 

headlines actually were not accurate. Something to 
the effect that I had gotten thrown out of the 
hearings; that wasn't really true. Sure, it made 
the sort of copy that newspapermen like; and the 
photographs! But that wasn't really what happened. 

Ward: Well, the marshal took your arm or something? 

LG: Right; and I broke away from him and said, "Look, 

I've got no quarrel with you," and I started to walk 
out. I assumed that he was there to take me out. 
When I got to the door that was when Doyle said, 
"You're not excused." And I stopped and he said, 
"You're excused." 

A couple of small sidelights about that. We were 
already here in Mill Valley. Maybe this was a sign 
of the times; it wasn't just the new neighborhood we 
were living in. One of the things I recall is that 
almost all the neighbors - I had met most of them 
by that time - made it their business to be on the 


LG: street when I was driving home to tell me they 

thoueht I was doing the right thing and they support 
ed me. Quite a contrast to some of the earlier years 
where, partly because we lived in San Francisco, 
Ashbury Terrace, the kids were given a bad time by 
the other youngsters. I'm inclined to think it was 
part of the redbaiting. 

I remember Terry had been active in the PTA 
(Parent-Teachers Association); we had two of our 
youngsters in the Twin Peaks School and Liza when 
she got old enough would go there too. Terry was 
due to be president of the PTA. She was down in 
Hawaii visiting me when she got a wire saying that 
their nominating committee had reconsidered, 
expressing a reflection of the times and the intense 
redbaiting that was going on. 

This was a public school - Twin Peaks. I think 
the impact on the family was felt when we were there. 
It was a bit gratifying to find that the people 
around Mill Valley didn't feel the same way. Things 
had begun to change. 

I believe it was around 1955, wasn't it, when 
Eisenhower had his confrontation with McCarthy. That 
was the time Senator McCarthy decided to take out 
after some of the army brass. I recall the special 
counsel was Joe Welch, Boston Back Bay, a stiff- 
necked Republican who did one of those classic jobs 
of taking McCarthy apart. 

Ward: He was the Leon Jaworski of his time. 

LG: Ch, I think he showed a lot more stuff; Jaworski 's 
latest caper is not particularly distinguished, is 

In 1955 or close thereafter the Supreme Court 
issued its first decision that began to challenge 
the Smith Act. It wasn't in the New York case, but 
it was one of the subsidiary cases. I think it was 
around that same decision later on that the Jack 
Hall case was thrown out. 

Checking on those dates, the year of the un- 
American Activities Committee was in 1956; the 
hearing before the Eastland Committee was around 
mid-1957 - June and July. 


Ward: All right, let's go on with that now. 
LG: And the McClellan hearing was in 1959. 

Relations With. The ILA 

Ward: All right, Eastland. 

LG: Okay, we're on Eastland. Somewhere around 1953, 

things began to move on the east coast in the ILA; 
Ryan was still president at the time. There was a 
good deal of turmoil. There had been several strikes 
on the east coast; in almost everyone of them, the 
membership was running out from under the officials, 
and the officials were finally catching up or sitting 

Ward: What you'd call a bunch of wildcats, huh? 

LG: Yes, except they were more organized than that. They 
had a lot of local leadership support, with the 
national officials playing a sort of, oh, semi- 
mediator liaison relationship with the employers; 
typical Joe Ryan. The background of the ILA I don't 
have to spell out; it's common knowledge. 

These wildcats resulted in a good deal of publi 
city as to what was going on in the ILA. The anti- 
union pressures were still on; everything that we'd 
said turned out to be correct. Once they began to 
pick off the leftwing unions, they would not stop 
there . 

Nobody in his right mind would expect a head-on 
confrontation between the government, or some of 
the congressional bodies, directly against the main 
bodies of labor. They would proceed to try to nick 
the unions off one at a time, and the first one 
under attack was the ILA. The ILA was eventually 
suspended somewhere around 1954 or '55. 

Ward: Suspended by? 

LG: The AFof L. I'm also inclined to think this was 

prior to the merger of the CIO and the APofL. When 
the ILA was expelled, although . . . 


Ward: Or suspended - you used the term "suspended" a minute 

LG: I think maybe it was "expelled" "because . . . 
Ward: I never heard of suspensions. 

LG: It was a situation where the APofL began to embark 
on its program - sort of cleaning its own house 
business. This later resulted in a whole series of 
things; the so-called ethical practices committee 
that was set up by the APofL, in which the CIO might 
have taken part. That was the business of improving 
their image by doing a job on certain unions before 
the government people could do it. The thing that 
bothered us most was that the official bodies of the 
APofL were doing this job on the other workers. 

I'm never going to say that the ILA was an exemp 
lary union; we know better. Its method of operation, 
of course, would be anathema to an organization like 
ours. We belonged to the ILA at one time, back in 
the 30s. We broke with them because of our extreme 
unhappiness with them, including the fact they would 
not take a referendum on whether we'd join in the 

This did not change the ILA's tactics one bit. 
Joe Ryan or "King Joe" Ryan, as he was referred to - 
his philosophy in life remained the same; namely, 
next to himself he liked silk underwear best and 
lived high off the hog. He even had a special fund 
of which he didn't have to make any particular 
accounting. It was lacked into by one of the govern 
ment bodies, I think, and there were expense chits 
there for taking a group of people out to the Stork 

This was all part of the business of conducting 
his anti-subversive campaign. There was a standard 
technique, you know, like the two recourses they 
seemed to use constantly - and this is not anti- 
religious or anti-Oath olic as such - super-patriotism 
and the church. Very common for them to put on 
highly publicized mass attendance in the Gatholic 
churches during any sort of a beef. Their endless 
red-baiting is common knowledge. Later on, it took 
the form of refusal to handle Russian cargoes. 


LG-: One of the scandals was about the time they held up 
a whole shipment of Russian furs; later on it was 
discovered that as soon as the right guys had been 
taken care of - a couple of bucks on the side - 
the furs got unloaded very nicely. 

Yet, it was the general feeling within the ILWU - 
Harry felt the same way and he sure as heck had no 
great love for the ILA - that there were a lot of 
things that had to be done within the ILA, but should 
be the problem of the membership. The moment the 
government steps in on these self-appointed missions, 
the result invariably is that you can't get them out. 

This, by the way, is what eventually happened, 
particularly in New York, their main concentration. 
A lot of the rumbles around there, the attempts to 
raid the ILA, finally resulted in the establishment 
of the so-called Bi-State Waterfront Commission. 

Ward: Oh, New Jersey and New York? 

LG: Jersey and New York, which in effect established the 
screening procedure for all longshoremen. Instead 
of establishing a genuine hiring hall, they estab 
lished a registration system which literally was for 
the purpose of making sure the screening worked, the 
ostensible reason being to drive all the gangsters 
and racketeers off the waterfront. 

They might have gotten some of them, but also 
they made sure they got anybody else who talked up, 
particularly against the employers. We came out 
openly in The Dispatcher in favor of the ILA being 
left alone; the fight to change the ILA was the 
fight of the membership itself. 

Notwithstanding guys like Ryan and some of the 
things that took place, there were spots like Boston 
and Philadelphia - and even whole areas like the 
south - where you had fairly independent crews. Red 
Moran in Philadelphia had some good guys there. There 
was a background in Philadelphia of having a Wobbly 
local; it continued that way for many years, even 
after the Wobblies in all other parts of the country 
began to fall apart. 

They maintained organization by issuing monthly 
union buttons; you had to have those in order to 
work. As a matter of fact, this was later picked up 


LG: around here as well - the monthly union "button. 

This was a better way of getting the job done than 
the union shop. 

Anyway, our position was that this was an internal 
problem of the ILA. We put a man to work for us, 
Charles Velson. He's dead now; an old time trade 
unionist. He had been active in the Boilermakers 
and the Shipyard Workers, had been a boilermaker 
himself - rather advanced grade, where they do the 
designing on plates. 

Ward: You put Velson on, to do what? 

LG: Primarily to get in touch with the guys in the ILA, 
the good guys he could talk to, and to make it clear 
that'we didn't have any use for this attack against 
them. We did think that far more fundamental would 
be a common contract expiration date with the west 
coast; or joint negotiations or parallel negotiations, 
where you keep in touch with each other. In other 
words, we hoped to sort of remedy the rift that had 
gone on from 1937 for damn near 20 years and to see 
if we could get things back on a trade union basis. 

Along the line there, the AFofL made an attempt 
to dismantle the ILA by an out-and-out raid. This 
was led by a combined union force designated by the 
AFofL Executive Council, or by Meany, made up of Dave 
Beck and Paul Hall, the two key men; Dave Beck from 
the Teamsters, and Paul Hall from the Seamen's Union 
on the east coast. 

They set up a rival organization called the 
International Brotherhood of Longshoremen, the IBL. 
It later went to an NLRB election which the ILA won 
hands down. Our estimate was correct: sure, the 
guys were damn unhappy about some of the things that 
were going on, like the shape-up, the shakedowns, 
the lack of job security, which was pretty bad in 
many cases; the use of preferred and star gangs; the 
failure to work out any kind of machinery to move 
men from port to port; not even from dock to dock. 

It was not uncommon for a local to be confined to 
one dock. If there were no ships in or for some 
other reason things were bad, the only way they could 
find a job on another dock might be to just wander 
over there and see what their chances were; maybe yes, 


LG: maybe no. In most cases the local on the other dock 
would say, hey, our guys go first and you have to 
wait. No attempt to work these things out in any 
kind of intelligent fashion. 

You had a series of locals down in the lower East 
Side; the "banana dock, then you had what they called 
the "pistol local" up near the Chelsea district; 
there were other locals right near there, a whole 
series of them. One of these local officers is now 
an official of the ILA - 

Ward: What's the name? 

LG-: John Bowers. Anyway, in the course of working with 
the fellows in the ILA, Charlie made a lot of pretty 
effective contacts. You have to talk to some very 
peculiar people - they're not really peculiar, they're 
slightly different - like Tony Anastasia, who was 
head of the Brooklyn longshoremen. 

I made a number of trips back there, primarily to 
to see if we could set up a meeting with (Captain 
William V.) Bradley. Bradley was the man who took 
Joe Ryan's place. Ryan stepped down or died. 

Ward: Well, it doesn't matter - not too important. 

LG: Captain Bradley was from the Inland Boatmen; he was 
not a longshoreman, but this was a group that had 
belonged to the Inland Boatmen's Union and had 
joined the ILA; he became the head of the ILA. 

He was a fairly clean guy, as far as I could 
figure. I don't think he was mixed up with the 
rackets, but I couldn't help but feel that in many 
ways he was just an office holder. He liked his 
good eating and good living; pretty soon you found 
out that if you wanted to find him - although I 
rarely went by there - you went to a place across 
from their headquarters on 14th Street; Cavanaugh's, 
a very fine Irish restaurant; that's where Bradley 
would be. 

It was still primarily the Irish group around 
Ryan; they continued in command. Meeting with 
Bradley didn't get too far. I talked to him about 
trying to get some coordinated work going in Wash 
ington, D. C. on the Longshore and Harbor V/orkers 


LG: Act. We did get a "bit accomplished in that direction. 
Also, I mentioned that we'd like to see something done 
in the way of better communication. As a matter of 
fact, they sent a delegation out to visit the west 
coast. Whether that was "before the hearing in 1957 
or afterwards, I'm not sure; whether it was everybody 
watching everybody else, I had no idea. Instead of 
its being a comparatively small delegation, it was 
a big group - around eight or ten. 

e asked them to come out here to take a look at 
the hiring hall, visit our library and talk to some 
of our people. They came by our library at 150 Gold 
en Gate and Ann was in charge - 

Ward: Ann Rand? 

LG: Yes, a very competent person. So, I introduced her 
to the delegation, asked her if she'd spend an hour 
or so just showing them around; she did. She went 
through the various stacks and the files - the 
comprehensive records we had on the contracts, 
arbitrations and literature concerning shipping; it 
was about as complete a library as 3^ou could have - 
an industrial or labor relations library. 

I found out later from Ann, "Well, first they 
wanted to know if I could microfilm the whole thing - 
they'd like to buy it." 

Their concept of something like this is, you look 
at it and you buy the whole thing; you get the 
pictures of it and it's the same thing, isn't it? 
Instead of thinking, where could they find a librar 
ian to come out here and work with Ann Rand to see 
what they could do in the way of picking up at least 
some of the benefit of what we had done. ( laughter) 
Later on, they tried to set up a bit of a research 
department; that showed up in negotiations and in 
the hearings before the Waterfront Commission. 

The night they arrived, I happened to be in the 
office a little bit late; Bill Chester, (ILWU region 
al director) was there too. I got a call; it's from 
Teddy Gleason (a top ILA officer) and he said they 
were down at the St. Francis Hotel and were having a 
bit of a problem getting registered. I said, "Is 
the manager there?" They said, "Yes." "Ask him to 
please come to the phone." Apparently, the manager 
was a little bit leary of the whole thing - I don't 
know why. 


Ward: He thought the mob had come in? 

LG: They were respectably dressed, but there was some 
thing about them; I don't know. I said, "There's 
no problem." So, they all got registered and they 
got back on the phone and thanked us and asked if we 
wanted to go out to dinner. I said that would be 
fine and we would come by and pick them up. 

I asked Bill to stick around and the two of us 
drove down there; we picked them up and I v/asn't 
sure where we'd go, so I asked them what they wanted. 
They would like some steaks; they're good trencher 
men and steak was still the main diet. We went over 
to Alfred's (a San Francisco steak house) - the 
place right above the tunnel and it's open late. I 
hadn't been there for maybe five or six years. We 
go in there. 

I will say one thing, they may not have known too 
much about libraries but they sure know how to read 
a menu and they knew how to order. It was getting 
toward the tail end of the meal and I turned to 
Chester and said, "Do you have any money?" I looked 
in my wallet and I had maybe around ten bucks. 

"Yes, said Bill, "but, it's only around ten or 
fifteen dollars." So, I said, "Forget it; we can't 
cover this." The waiter came over with the check and 
I said, "Do you want a credit card?" I don't carry 
these eating credit cards, like Diners Club and all 
that junk. "Or would you rather have my (business) 
card and save yourself a fee and send the bill to 
the office?" 

The waiter said, "Let me have your card." In a 
few minutes, the manager is out there and said, "Lou, 
it's wonderful to see you." I don't recall ever 
meeting the guy in my life. He said, "We'll be glad 
to send the bill to your office." He called the 
waiter over and said, "Get a drink for everybody 
here." Well, as we were walking out, the .... 



Ward: You were /just going to tell . . . 

LG: Oh, yes, we were walking out of this restaurant and 

Fred' Field (one of the ILA men) turned to me and 
said, "Well, nobody else maybe caught this, but I 
did. You didn't know that man and he didn't know 
you." So, I said, "That's true." He said, "You 
know, they wouldn't even take our credit card in lots 
of restaurants in New York." To them, I guess, this 
indicated standing or muscle. 

Ward: Respect? 

LG: Yes, respect. It impressed them more than the 

library or the hiring hall - but that's the way they 

As I said one time, there was this remark by Jesus 
Menendez (a sugar worker) in Cuba, "Con estos bueyos 
tenemos arai". It means "With these oxen, you have 
to plow." That was his remark in Cuba during a 
sugar meeting in 1947. A group of delegates weren't 
there because they had been out at some night club 
until the middle of the night. He thought it was a 
disgrace. That's the way Jesus Menendez disposed 
of it. 

The Shady Side Of The Street 

LG: We continued the contact with the ILA. Charlie 

Velson was an enormously hard worker. During that 
campaign against the AFofL raid, he helped the ILA 
with their literature. He got to meet a number of 
the people there; some of them not the ordinary type 
of unionist; some of them a bit on the wrong side 
of the tracks. 

One of the things' you discover pretty quickly in 
New York is that to think that somebody can waltz 
through life simon-pure and never talk to one of 
these people, or run across the street when you see 
one coming, doesn't work; not that kind of a scene. 
You have a lot of little kingdoms there, particularly 
in the ILA. 


LG: One of the people that I got to see was Tony Anasta- 
sia. Albert Anastasia, I think, had just gotten out 
of jail - 

Ward: Albert was Tony's "brother? 

LG: Yes, Tony's brother; as a matter of fact, he was 

assassinated not too long after he got out of jail. 
You hear about these things as rumors and stories 
about his jurisdiction and how he decided to re 
establish it. I guess it is typical of New York. 

I began to feel some of this in the case of Tony, 
when I sat and talked to him. Some of the things I 
said would flabbergast him; then I realized I might 
just as well be straight even though he was not 
going to believe a lot of it. I remember one time 
talking to him at his home; I saw him there several 

When you were talking to Tony privately, you sat 
downstairs in a sort of family room, a basement that 
had been converted. Tony didn't drink particularly, 
but he always had something around; he was very 
sociable, very pleasant and very polite at all times; 
friendly and anxious to learn. 

The thing I kept pounding at him was, "Somewhere 
along the line somebody has to start merging some of 
these locals around here. You have all kinds of 
locals right here in Brooklyn. I don't know exactly 
where the union is going, but you sure as hell need 
a bigger ballpark to play in." His union was con 
centrated primarily around Red Hook and I think some 
of that advice fell on good ears; they began to put 
a few things together, so that perhaps the most 
effective local in the New York scene is the one 
that Tony used to be in charge of. His son-in-law, 
Tony Scotto,is now the head of that local. Tony 
Scotto is a very capable guy, and I think he knows 
a great deal and from all indications is a pretty 
good unionist. 

Ward: You have to talk up because she's making it sound 
like a railroad train crossing a trestle. (This 
refers to Yarrow, a parrot engaged in rustling 
the paper lining the bottom of her cage.) 

LG: Yarrow is a female and she's nesting. 


LG-: And at one of these sessions, Tony asked, "How much 
are you making a week?" At that time, I think the 
salary was about $75 dollars a week or maybe a 
hundred dollars. I told him, "It's in the constitu 
tion." He thought for a long time and said, "Jesus, 
that's smart!" And then I realized very quickly how 
he took the whole thing. 

Ward: Officially? 

LG: That's right - that's how much you got officially. 
That's what you reported on. Income taxes were 
straight. (laughter) And I remember a crack made 
by him one time. Around New York some of the people 
could quote the prices on decisions you could get 
from the Superior Court. 

Ward: The Superior Court - that would be the lower court? 
LG: The lower court, right. 

Ward: Because their Supreme Court there is our Superior 
Court here. 

LG: Right. And they could quote the prices on these 

decisions. This is after the Bridges victory, well, 
maybe a couple of years after. He asks, "How do you 
reach those guys?" He was talking about the Supreme 
Court decision. By_ that time, you begin to under 
stand their lingo; '"reaching" means how do you work 
a deal with the guy and how do you communicate with 
him? He simply assumed you could reach them. 

Ward: How do you get the decision except by paying for it? 

LG: That's right. That's the way it's done; after all, 

they hire a lawyer. The idea for example of conduct 
ing a mass campaign, as we did in the BRS case, in 
the Hall case, calling the guys out in protest over 
these raw deals, would be inconceivable to them. 
These things are done by hiring the right lawyers,, 
paying them and spending the money where it has to 
be spent; how simple it is. 

Tony must have been concerned about some of the 
things that were going around in the press, because 
I recall he made a crack to me: "You see and read 
all kinds of things about me; they call me 'tough 
Tony'', but I'll tell you one thing: no girls, no 
drugs ! " 


Ward: In other words, he didn't run whorehouses or peddle 

LG: Right. That's the way they think; he figured if he 
didn't get mixed up in such things, all this other 
stuff was a bunch of crap. Anyway, I suddenly began 
to see a new scene in life. 

Actually the ILA thing didn't get very far because 
when they were in a beef with the North Atlantic 
Shipping Association in one of their strikes, we took 
the position - I pressed for it - that we shouldn't 
handle any east coast ships that were diverted. We 
sent the thing to a referendum vote, too, and got 
the membership to adopt it. A short time afterwards 
we got a telegram from Captain Bradley saying, "We'd 
appreciate it if you just didn't interfere into our 
affairs - we'll call you in case we need you." 

So, it was clear that they were prepared to pick 
our brains, if you want to put" it that way, get 
whatever assistance we could give them, purely as 
something they could pick up, but there would be no 
exchange for it, even though they might make vague 
statements that some day maybe there should be a 
common expiration date. 

It became more and more apparent that they had no 
intention of moving that way. I guess to them 
cooperation with a union such as the ILWU v/ith its 
concept of rank-and-file unionism would have been as 
big a menace as the Waterfront Commission moving in. 
I for one, in 1955, felt pretty keenly that it was a 
good possibility; as a result of all that effort we 
did give it a whirl, but it never really got off the 
ground . 

Finally, we had no choice but to pull Charlie 
Velson out of there. He had done a good job; he had 
some very good contacts. He was able to work with 
a number of people. 

The Eastland Committee 

LG: It was on account of this that I got hauled before 
the Eastland Committee. The Eastland Committee at 
that time was a counterpart of the Subversive 


LG-: Activities Control Board. Remember the Subversive 
Activities Control Board? 

Ward: The SCAB Board. 

LG: The SCAB Board they called it; that was the Board 

that went all out against the Mine Mill and Smelter 
Workers. I think they got Telford Taylor to help 
them in that case. Maurice Travis was involved. 

I got hauled before the committee and as I recall, 
Teddy Gleason was called too. Ryan was out of the 
picture; Bradley was in. I think they had defeated 
the attempt of the AFofL, under Beck and Paul Hall, 
to move in on them. I gather the general theory 
behind Eastland's subpoenas was that we were active 
on the east coast and this was a form of leftwing 
infiltration of the ILA. Interesting how even two 
unions talking to each other can be a form of in 

They started off by trying to get me to answer 
a series of questions about the finances of the liWU. 
I concluded that the purpose of those questions was 
solely to find out whether Charlie Yelson was on our 
payroll, if so how much was he paid, whether he had 
any expense money. I figured I was not going to 
open that door to them. 

I mean, our books had been scoured so thoroughly; 
I told you about the Juneau Spruce thing and the 
court order to go through our records. I don't know 
how long that damn thing went on. Internal Revenue 
had been around, coming to talk to me; I talked about 
my personal finances. 

I was called to testify in a case against Vince 
Hallinan; that was another charge against him, on 
taxes. I wouldn't turn over the records of the BRS 
committee. I said, "I'll hold on to them and I'll 
read the items I think are relevant, but I will not 
disclose the names." We had the individual names 
of contributors there and I was not going to turn 
them over. 

They finally compromised on that - they were 
fairly decent about it. Vince, of course, got very- 
little for his work; a very small fee. With all 
this poking around, I think Internal Revenue knew 
all there was to be known about the ILWU's finances. 


Ward: So, you refused? 

LG: I told the Eastland Committee, "Look, you just get 
the Internal Revenue and the FBI sleuths off our 
back; I'll answer any questions you want and "be 
done with it, but they'd been all over the place and 
I don't see any point in going into all this business, 
They didn't press it too hard, luckily. They wanted 
to know if we had anything to do with the ILA and I 
said, "Sure, we have certain joint union programs 
going that make some sense." 

They wanted to know on what and I said, "Well, 
right now we're greatly concerned about the Longshore 
and Harbor Workers Act; the benefits are completely 
obsolete; they have to be brought up to date. Some 
thing has to be done to put that whole Act in line 
with what the workers are earning today, what they 
ought to get for their industrial injuries." 
Longshoremen are covered under a separate act than 
ordinary workmen's compensation: the Longshoremen's 
and Harbor Workers Act. 

Gleason was called to testify and he in effect 
said the same thing; yes, they worked with the ILWU 
for the same Longshore and Harbor Workers Act, and 
other trade union problems. I think they were 
hoping to open up a whole business of the ILWU 
spending huge amounts of money .... 

The McClellan Committee 

Ward: What was the third committee you appeared before? 

LG: The third was a hearing before the McClellan 

Committee. That was the one where Bobby Kennedy 
was the chief counsel; his brother was a member of 
that committee. 

Ward: John was then a senator? 

LG: Yes, and the work was done particularly by Bobby 
Kennedy. The staging that was going on there had 
to do with putting together the campaign by Kennedy 
when he ran for President in I960. 


LG: That case too, in my opinion, was a corollary - or 
at least caused "by the APL opening the door with 
their ethical practices committee. In other words, by 
setting up this ethical practices committee they were 
conceding that something new had to be added to clean 
up the labor movement. Of course the inevitable hap 
pened; some ambitious congressman would say, "Pine, 
we'll get in the act." 

Out of all these hearings and everything else 
you got Landrum-Griffin. In 1947 you had Taft- 
Hartley at the beginning of the Cold War. In 1957, 
at the tail end of the Cold War, even though some of 
the anti-labor stuff was beginning to phase out, you 
got Landrum-Griffin; helped along in the application 
of this campaign for wearing white linen by the APofL. 
This was also combined with a very aggressive campaign 
against Hoffa. 

Ward: With which the Kennedys had a great deal to do? 

LG: A great deal. 'Insofar as Hoffa and Bobby Kennedy 
were concerned, it became a real 'contest of wills. 
Hoffa was "a very interesting guy, a very, very 
American product; typical of some of the' things that 
developed in this country from initial immigrant 
population to the robber barons. 

Ward: What was his ethnic background? 

LG: Polish. Born in Detroit; worked in the warehouses - 
grocery warehouse, I believe. Kroeger, one of the 
big outfits in the midwest. Helped to organize the 
place where he worked sometime in the thirties; made 
the clink time after time for general picket line 
beefs. He was an effective leader; became the head 
of one of the big Detroit locals in the Teamsters 
Union, 299, I believe. 

Ward: Wasn't he trying to get back into it just before he 
was bumped off? 

LG: I'm not sure. His basic ambition was not in that 
direction; it was to get back in as the general 
president of the Teamsters Union. 

I'll have to go back a little bit ... I first 
met Hoffa in Hawaii. I was having dinner one night 
with a couple of people at the Tropics, v/here the 
Ala Moana Hotel is now, near Atkinson Drive. This 


LG: Tropics was a quiet place for dinner. They served 

a good meal there and I liked the fellow who ran the 
place. Anyway, somebody came to the table; might 
have been Tony, the owner. He said, "Hoffa is sitting 
over there with a group of guysr would you like to 
meet him?" I said, "I don't think so, not right now - 
I don't think it's a good idea." I finished my 
dinner and found out he was staying at the Royal. 
His executive board was meeting in Hawaii. This must 
have been around 1956 or '57, thereabouts. 

I called him the next day. I said, "I didn't 
intend to be discourteous or anything; sure I want 
to meet you, but I didn't think it was a good idea 
for us to meet at the Tropics." I said that we'd 
had all kinds of battles down here, and the ILWU was 
still having plenty of them and we are lining up 
with what you're trying to do. There were all of 
these preliminary moves going on within the Teamsters 
Union, which had its own system of manoeuvering; 
Beck had been indicted in Seattle. I forget what 
the .... 

Ward: Income tax, wasn't it? 

LG: Income tax and something about having sold something 
which had been entrusted to him and pocketing the 
money. It would seem sort of startling in view of 
the kind of salary he was paid. Anyway, Beck was 
still president of the Teamsters Union. 

Ward: But he wasn't present down there? 

LG: ; Yes, sure, he was there - he was presiding at the 

executive council meeting. Periodically, they move 
around; very common for them to rotate those meetings 
in different parts of the country. 

So I said, "There really wasn't any offense meant; 
I want to see you because I think we have a lot to 
talk about." He said, "Sure, let's get together. It 
might not be a good idea for you to come to the 
Royal, why don't you go over there. It might have 
been the Princess Kaiulani across the street. Harold 
Gibbons has a suite there; I'll meet you there." So, 
we set up a date for lunch and we had an interesting 
few hours, just kicking the gong around, talking. 
Harold at first was there; Harold is ... 


Ward: Harold? 

LG-: Harold Gibbons is a person all of Ms own. He's 

still on the executive council of the Teamsters 
Union. He was the head of the "big St. Louis local. 
Harold, I "believe, at one time was a Socialist, 
together with some other people who at that time 
were in the Retail and Wholesale Employees Union 
(Wolchok's outfit). 

I know that Larry Steinberg was one of those, and 
they decided to throw their lot in with the Teamsters. 
The amount of progress they made in the other 
direction didn't amount to much. Harold was bright; 
he later became head of the (Teamsters') Central 
States Conference. Recently, I think his work has 
been pretty much confined to executive board member; 
I'm not sure that he's in charge of any of the other 
major enterprises right now. 

Harold had had some clashes with our union, parti 
cularly with Bob Robertson in the city of St. Louis, 
primarily in a place called Rice Warehouse. Harold 
used to say it was the toughest damn fight he'd ever 
been in - he' didn't know what the hell held the ILWU 
up, because apparently he had the whole city organized 
against us, hammering in every direction. Our thing 
just had to fold, so he had a lot of grudging respect 
for our union. 

He knew who I was and I knew who he was, of course, 
having spent some time in St. Louis. He was doing 
quite a bit of needling, at first. Hoffa finally 
turned to him and said, "You know, Hal, I'd like to 
hear what this fellow has to say; after all, they've 
done quite a job here in Hawaii. I'd like to know 
how they put those sugar plantations together and 
things like that." 

Obviously, Hoffa was pretty well versed on what 
had gone on in the Islands and the unions there. He 
knew that the only ma.jor viable organization at that 
time was the ILW. Later on there were the Public 
Workers, and the Hotel Workers grew up; but in terms 
of a tough, fighting outfit that had broken the grip 
of feudalism, it was the ILWU. He was quite curious 
about it. Well, I went into a lot' of the background, 
the whole structure of the Islands, the economic 
picture, some of the problems he would have. 


LG: Also, I told him that any battle between the Teamsters 
and the ILwTJ down in Hawaii didn't make a damn bit 
of sense; the only people who would profit would be 
the employers. 

We didn't want any of his teamsters, particularly 
in Honolulu. On the outside Islands, yes, that's 
different because certain problems caused by mechani 
zation were coming up in sugar; workers would be 
looking for other jobs and they would figure they had 
first dibs on them and wouldn't give up without a 
struggle. Anyway, I think he understood those things; 
but it was a good session. I saw him after that . . . 

Ward: Let me ask you at this time, was there any contact 
between him and Harry Bridges? 

LG: Not at that time - later on. 

Ward: You were the first, then, - you were the first ILU 
leadership to contact Hoffa? 

LG: Yes, I was the first. But - oh, Harry later got to 

see a good deal of Jimmy and did a lot of talking with 
him, particularly during the time when Jimmy was 
really being pushed around. 

You have to remember that after Kennedy was 
elected, Bobby Kennedy became Attorney General, and 
then he did something that is almost unheard of. He 
had a special task force whose sole purpose was to 
get Hoffa; they had to find something on him to put 
him away. 

Ward: There was something going on though before that. 
Before John Kennedy was elected President, hadn't 
relations started between ILWU and Hoffa? 

LG: Yes. 

Ward: And Bobby Kennedy came out here and went to the bank 
which was patronized by Glads tein - (the ILWU law 
firm) - and demanded to see Gladstein's personal 
account. The bank officials asked for a court order. 
Kennedy said, "I don't need a court order." "Well, 
who are you?" "I'm Robert Kennedy, that's who I am." 
They said, "That's all right, sorry, Mr. Kennedy." 
And he wasn't even attorney-general at that time! 


LG: No, he was not attorney general then; he must have 
done that as counsel for the McClellan Committee. 
As a matter of fact, Bobby Kennedy had an unbelievable 
amount of chutzpah; there was no end to his brass. 

I'm not sure what year Hoffa was elected president 
of the Teamsters Union. 

Ward: Well, does that matter particularly? 

LG: I'll tell you why. I had seen Jimmy Hoffa a couple 

of times on some other matters; I believe by that time 
he had been elected president of the Teamsters Union. 
There had been a suit filed against the Teamsters 
Union by a so-called "rank and file" group, primarily 
in New York. This was really a self-appointed group, 
working in league with a notorious redbaiter, an 
attorney named Godfrey Schmidt. He's the one who 
put out a book called Red Channels, a blacklist of 
actors, radio and television performers. 

Ward: Yes, I've heard of that book. 

LG: All kinds of wonderful people, you know, were just 
run out of their jobs - Jack Gilford, Zero Hostel, 
endless numbers, particularly during the McCarthy 

I recall, somewhere about the time they were just 
beginning to struggle back, meeting Jack Gilford. I 
forget what thing he was in; it might have been "A 
Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum". He 
suggested I come by his house; they were having some 
sort of a party. I think it was his wife's birthday 
and it was a very pleasant affair. His wife used to 
work on radio imitating children's voices. She got 
blacklisted. Imagine how subversive that is, imita 
ting childrens' voices! 

So, this was the sort of thing Godfrey Schmidt 
specialized in; he had a hammer lock on these people. 
His whole idea was that he had them half scared to 
death. I think he shook down all kinds of producers, 
maybe not in the method of a guy walking around and 
saying, "Pay off or else the place won't be here 
tomorrow", but in his own way he'd get these people 
to contribute. I think he even put out a little 
bulletin as to what was going on in the theatrical 
scene in New York. 


Ward: What handle did he have with this group pursuing 

LG-: He "became their attorney. The charges were a whole 
melange of things - illegal election and so forth. 

I recall sending a memo back to Jimmy by way of 
Art Rutledge, right after Jimmy was elected. This 
suit was still going on. I said, "Why don't you 
make a straight proposition to Schmidt and to Bobby 
Kennedy that you are prepared to call a special con 
vention of the Teamsters; let them all say their piece; 
then conduct a referendum vote as to whether or not 
you stay in office." 

Of course, he would have won hands down, over 
whelmingly. Jimmy commanded the respect of the men. 
Another thing, he knew his contracts; he really had 
no fear of the employers. 

I'll admit he also had certain reckless aspects 
to his character. If going to this point from that 
point in a straight line was perfectly safe, I doubt 
he would have gone that way; if there were another 
route that went along the precipice, he would take 
the circular route along that precipice. Living a 
bit on the dangerous side was a part of him. 
Incidentally . . . 

Ward: He did it once too often? 

LG-: Probably; there's no indication that he's around and 
less indication that they'll ever find him. But he 
also had a wonderful contempt for the employers - he 
didn't think they were all that tough; he felt that 
they had a soft underbelly and couldn't take a fight; 
he was smart. 

He used to say, "These guys think we're going to 
tie up the whole trucking industry all over the 
country; let them think it - I don't care. If that 
makes them a bit frightened, no harm done. You think 
I'd do that? I'm not crazy. That would give them 
too much of a handle; we'll just take them a piece at 
a time . " 

He had that kind of power. He was the first to 
put together a national contract. He had the power 
to pull the employers together, because they either 


LG: went for a program like that - even if it might cost 
a few more bucks - or they ran the risk of being 
picked off, just as he said he would. No question 
about it, when he said things like that he was sincere, 
I don't think Hoffa bluffed. 

Anyway, Godfrey Schmidt was the representative of 
this so-called group. I can't recall their specific 
charges - something about an illegal convention, 
some of the delegates weren't elected properly; 
vague charges all put together. 

Some of them, I suppose, were true; that happens 
with every union or big organization. I'm sure that 
if you question the elections that took place prior 
to a PTA convention you'd find that some of them 
weren't exactly in keeping with their by-laws. 

One of the results was that they held up Hoffa 1 s 
taking office as president. The compromise finally 
offered, I guess by the court or through Godfrey 
Schmidt, was that he could take the office of presi 
dent if there were a group of monitors set up to 
supervise the affairs of the union. I guess Hoffa 
figured what the hell can they do? Everybody else 
was bothered a lot about it except Hoffa; he didn't 
give a damn. He knew perfectly well that the whole 
machinery of the union could operate effectively 
whether those guys were there or not. 

He also felt very strongly that they had nothing 
to hide. Sure, the average guy in our union, if he 
saw some of the expense accounts of some of those 
officials, wouldn't be very happy; but on the other 
hand those expense accounts were within the consti 
tution of their union, no question. 

They weren't going to find any peculations; some 
body rifling the cash register, or anything of that 
sort. Later on, with all their charges against the 
Teamsters, they couldn't show that sort of thing. 

It had to be something else, namely, certain 
types of investment. The important thing here is 
that I was in San Francisco; by that time I knew 
Hoffa and we were on a good talking relationship 
where I could call him. I got a call from Herb 
Resner (who, after the Mooney case, became a member 
of the ILWU law firm); Bartley drum (an attorney who 
had gotten his start in San Francisco) was in town. 


LG-: Herb said, "Bart would like to talk to you; can you 
have dinner?" I said, "Sure," and we went down and 
had dinner someplace, either the Poodle Dog or the 
Fly Trap. Bart's story was quite simple. Godfrey 
Schmidt, as a result of this litigation, had submit 
ted a bill to the Teamsters Union in excess of 

Ward: Attorney's fees? 

LG-: Attorney's fees, I guess. I think this was in 
addition to what he was picking up as a monitor; 
he'd make these regular trips to Washington. Godfrey 
Schmidt had hired Bartley Crum to try to collect this 
fee. That's the background on this McClellan Commit 
tee hearing. 

Ward: What a strange position . . . ? 

LG: A strange position for Bartley Crum. As a matter of 
fact, I knew Bartley Crum back in the thirties when 
he was in John Francis Neylan's office; the 
conservative if not reactionary lawyer whose claim 
to fame - 

Ward: General counsel for the Hearst press! 

LG: Right, but he had also defended Anita Whitney against 
the Criminal Syndicalism Act. I met John Francis 
Neylan during that time. This is about the only 
thing he wanted to talk about; not the rest of it, 
because he was also representing Safeway. As a 
result of that meeting I met Navy Bill Ingram from 
Gal (the University of California). 

But I had known Bart Crum, who used to move in 
progressive circles here. He wrote this book on 
Israel called Behind The Silken Curtain. That was 
after the 1948 war of independence in Israel. I 
always considered Bart a very friendly, pleasant guy. 

Well, Bartley Crum's position, at least in regard 
to Hoffa, was really quite simple. Crum said that 
Godfrey Schmidt had retained him to collect his fee. 
Crum said I should know his position on things like 
monitors or court interference in unions; he didn't 
believe in it, very bad. He thought the best thing 
to do was to have the thing paid off, and maybe the 
monitors would go away. 


LG: Well, I was skeptical about the whole thing. I knew 
a bit about Godfrey Schmidt. I trusted Bart Crum. 
I didn't see how he could get mixed up in anything 
peculiar, but the thing that went through my head 
and kept going through, at that session - and later 
on as I pursued it - was Godfrey Schmidt using 
Bartley Crum the way he was using everybody else; 
that he was trying to double cross him too, or to 
put the whole thing together as another big Communist 
Red plot. 

Of course that would give Schmidt just the head 
lines he wanted - Communists and racketeers; 
Communism and corruption. Communism by itself wasn't 
enough, because here you had the APofL going hell 
bent- for- election on the issue of corruption. That 
puzzled me. 

I told Bart Crum - he wanted to know if I could 
talk to Hoffa - "Sure, that was no problem, but I'm 
not going to talk to Hoffa unless I know where 
you're going to go and what you're trying to do. 
I'm not so concerned about you as I am about Schmidt 
because this man is a most unsavory character." 

Bart Grum never had a kind word to say about 
Schmidt - he was very careful about that - or if he 
did, he didn't say it to me. Anyway, Bart Crum kept 
in touch with me and I said, "My feeling is that 
Hoffa' s reaction would be that all this guy is try 
ing to do is to collect a hunk of change. I don't 
think Hoffa would trust him as far as he could see 
him. I wouldn't and I don't think anybody else 
would. " 

I said, "It's up to you; I'm not anxious to get 
mixed up in something like this. I'm prepared to 
talk to Hoffa if you can't talk to him yourself/ 
which I would be in favor of. Just go talk to him." 

"Well, "he says, "There's no use - Hoffa would 
just refer me to his lawyers." By that time, Hoffa 
had a whole staff of lawyers around him, on the 
Bobby Kennedy issue and on the monitors and what 
have you. The lawyers were having a field day. 
They were practically living at the Teamster build 
ing there. I guess the cost of these things doesn't 
make that much difference - they're a very wealthy 
union, you know. 


Ward: Yes, the $200,000 was not such a terrible thing. 

LG: I think to them $200,000 would have been chicken 
feed; it would have been very small, compared to 
the kind of dough they put out in every direction. 
Let me go upstairs and look for something . . . 
(Goldblatt disappears briefly, returning with a 
telegram in his hand.) This is a wire that I got 
in 1959 .... 

Ward: This is addressed to the ILWU, signed by Bartley 
drum. It says, "Dear Louie: Important that 
Schmidt's fees as monitor be paid if plans to go 
forward. Have you contacted Hoffa? .... Bartley 
Crum" I didn't notice the date. 

LG: It's 6-19-59. 

Ward: All I can make out of it is "19". Okay, it's 6-19- 
59. What happened prior to this? 

LG: I talked to Jimmy about it and he was very skeptical 
about Schmidt, naturally. He figured the whole case 
in the first place had been contrived; that Schmidt 
was just riding the coat tails of .... 


Ward: We left off talking about the coattails of Bobby 

LG: Right. I made it clear to Bartley Crum that I had 
talked to Jimmy about this: "I wouldn't say there 
was no interest; but he has no way of knowing what's 
going to happen other than that Godfrey Schmidt is 
going to pick up a great big hunk of money, some 
thing close to a quarter of a million dollars, and 
the net result will be that he'll be right there 
and things will be as bad as ever." 

They had three monitors - one, I think, was 
designated by the union; an attorney; one was 
designated by the plaintiffs who brought the suit; 
that was Godfrey Schmidt. There was a third. While 
life was not untenable for Hoffa, he was managing? 
obviously he would like to have them off his back. 


LG: I told Bart that. I said, "I don't think you're 

going to get very far." And Bart said, "As I told 
you when we first met, I'm opposed to this outside 
interference within unions. I think I can work 
something out where Godfrey Schmidt's fee is paid; 
he will pull out as monitor and I will take his 
place." Well, of course, that was an entirely 
different kettle of fish, if it could be made to 
stick. That was the problem. I said, "Okay, I'll 
talk to Hoffa again;" Hoffa indicated that if that's 
going to happen, that's another story. 

Ward: Substituting Crum for Schmidt? 

LG: Or Schmidt getting out of it, at least. I asked 
Hoffa, "What do you think of Bartley Crum?" "I 
think he's a pretty decent guy; I've always liked 
him; chances are that he'll follow a policy of the 
least interference is the best interference." So, 
I think the thing could have jelled, and that ex 
plains this wire. In other words, at that point 
Crum was moving very quickly trying to get the thing 
wrapped up. 

Ward: It's odd that he would have used the wire instead 
of the telephone. 

LG: Yep. I don't know, maybe it had something to do 
with what happened later, but I doubt it. Well, 
all this was 6/19, 1959; and then July 3, I get a 
wire that 'I had been subpoenaed by the McClellan 
Committee for Friday, July 10. 

In between that time, I met with one of the guys 
who was one of their plaintiffs; he struck me as 
someone who was completely on the make; how to make 
a buck, that's all. He had as much interest in 
trying to clean up that or any other union as the 
man in the moon. And why Bart wanted me to meet 
with him, I have no idea. Maybe it was to show me 
that he was still active. 

In response to this wire, I went east for the 
hearing. I talked to Bart Crum: "If you can make 
the thing stick, all right - I think you have some 
thing going; you can set up a session with Hoffa." 
I had talked to Jimmy and he said, "Sure, if he 
wants to come down here and talk, fine." Next thing 
I knew, I got the subpoena. I went before the 
McClellan Committee. 


LG: I had met with Bart; we had breakfast together. He 
said, "I think this whole thing is off. Let's 
forget it." I said, "Pine." 

Ward: Did he give you any reason why it was off? 

LG: No, he was very, very nervous - extremely; he seemed 
to be completely out of sorts. The conclusion I 
reached was that Godfrey Schmidt had given him the 
business, too. Might have used him as much as he 
could. It could be that Bart Crum's idea was only 
Bart Crum's and that he simply assumed that Godfrey 
Schmidt was accepting it; and nothing of the sort 
was about to happen. 

The Kennedy Brothers 

LG: To get back before the McClellan Committee; that 
was the time I told you I met with Senator John 

Ward: He had an interest in the Hawaii election that was 
coming up at that time? 

LG: Yes, because he was a close friend of Jack Burns - 
Ward: Kennedy was? 

LG: Yes, Jack Burns was the delegate who fought for 
statehood and made the big gamble; his political 
career was on the line. He decided to let Alaska 
go first, even though Hawaii had a larger population 
and a much more thorough-going record in fighting 
for statehood; but there was all this hostility 
about the population composition. He said to let 
Alaska go first; then there's no way for the Congress 
to turn us down. He won the gamble and an election 
had been ordered in Hawaii. Jack Burns should have 
won in a walk. The Republicans threw a rather 
popular and able campaigner - (William F.) Quinn 
was his name - into the race and for some reason 
the thing looked closer and closer .... 

Ward: There was a lot of redbaiting going on too, wasn't 


LG-: Yes, a lot of redbaiting going on against the ILWU 
and Jack Hall, but it rubbed off on Burns. Burns 
appeared at the ILWU convention in 1959, end of 
April or early May. He was one of our principal 
speakers; and Burns was always a very courageous man. 
Whatever he thought, he said. He said that the or 
ganization that was entitled to the principal credit 
for breaking the back of feudalism in Hawaii was 
the ILWU. Of course, this was picked up by the 
employers and they made a hey-day out of it because 
everybody in town knew that Burns was a good friend 
of Jack Hall's, and had been for a number of years. 

My feeling was that, in view of the situation 
there, all they needed was some big headline about 
Hoffa, Bridges, Hall and Goldblatt in one cabal to 
take over Hawaii, and they would definitely use 
this in the election; that's the reason I met 
Kennedy. I told the Senator, "Frankly, I think it 
is a terrible disfavor to Jack Burns; he's a good 
man. I'm not trying to duck this committee. I mere 
ly suggest you defer my hearing for about two weeks." 

Ward: Till after the election? 

LG: Until after the election, yes; it was two weeks 
away, as I recall. Hawaii was all revved up for 
the election; they finally had gotten statehood; 
for the first time they were electing their own 
governor. I said, "I'll be back here; there will 
be a telegram to the committee. The longshore 
negotiations are going on, and it will be perfectly 
plain that my time might be better spent in negotia 
tions right now; and I'll be back." 

Not that I felt all that jubilant in going before 
that committee or any other because, believe me, all 
committees are alike. When you got into one of 
those committee hearings, just hang onto your balls 
and hope that when you got out, they're still intact. 
That's the best you can do; if you come out a draw, 
you are a winner; that ain't no place for any of us. 
It's not our forum. 

So John Kennedy said he'd talk to Bobby Kennedy 
and Bobby Kennedy, I heard, would see me the next 
morning, the day before the hearing. I went by there 
together with Jeff Kibre, our man in Washington at 
the time. That was a very abrasive session. 


LG-: Bobby Kennedy said, "Well, we think you ought to talk 

to the committee and tell us whatever you know." I 
said, "About what?" "Well, about your union, the 
Teamsters and so forth." I figured there was just 
no purpose getting into that kind of a conversation 
with him. I said, "You know perfectly well that 
our union is clean as a whistle - there can't be any 
of these charges that you are talking about in the 
case of other unions. You know that." 

He said, "Yes, I know that; it has nothing to do 
with the case." I said, "e don't belong before 
this committee - that's all. My request is very 
simple; I'll be back here; I think you have a tele 
gram." "Yes, I have." And I said, "My time would 
be better spent in those negotiations right now. 
I'll be ba,ck in a couple of weeks." 

He said, "Well, I'd like to find out from you 
first how close are your relations with Hoffa?" "We 
get along' very well, we talk to him; trade union 
relations. After all, we have a lot of interests in 
common, namely, warehouse, and if we can patch up our 
relations there and do a joint job, we'll be doing 
very well . " 

In 1957 we initiated the first moves for coopera 
tion with the Northern California Teamsters; that's 
a story by itself - 

Ward: Local 860 and Local 6 - 

LG-: 860, Local 6, Local 315 across the Bay, Local 12, 

Local 655, Sacramento, San Francisco; the beginning 
of the Northern California Warehouse Council. 

Ward: Let's get back to Bobby Kennedy. 

LG-: Okay, except we'll get back to this 1957 thing 

another time. 

Ward: Bobby had just asked you what were your relations 

with Hoffa. 

LG: I told him and he said, "No - no, I want to know 

more than that. What do you know about all these 
legal troubles he's in and so forth." I said, "Just 
what I read in the paper." He said, "Do you know 
Bart Crum?" I said, "Sure, I know Bart Crum; I've 
known him for a long time." He says, "What have you 
been talking to Bart Crum about?" 


LG: Some bells "began to ring; I said, "That's a matter 

of a relation between a man and a lawyer - a personal 
relationship. If you ask what I've been talking to 
Bartley Crum about, you ask Bartley Crum." He said, 
"Why don't you cut out that shit?" Just like that. 
Well, that obviously was the end of the conversation. 
No deferment of the hearing. More important . . . 

Ward: And Burns got defeated by 5,000 votes. 

LG: As I recall that was the margin; thanks to the 
Kennedy brothers, yes. 

Ward: Later on, he made it. 

LG: Oh, yeah. Sure. He was elected maybe three times. 

Ward: Is he still alive? 

LG: No. Burns died around four years ago. He died of 
cancer. Died on the Big Island. 

Ward: Well, what happened at the hearing? 

LG: Okay, that gives a background to the hearing; all 
the backwards and forwards and the other crap that 
was floating around. These things are very, very 
distasteful, and to say you're not scared is a lot 
of bullshit. And then you are likely to get into a 
fight, like I did at the un-American Activities 
Committee. But at least in this one, I kept my cool. 
And they were going round and round on different 
questions and some of them I answered. 

They hadn't gotten to the questions that dealt 
with the internal workings of the union. Then, all 
of a sudden, I think it was Bobby Kennedy who asked 
the question, "Do you know Bartley Crum?" I said, 
"Yes." "I'd like to know about your conversation 
with him." All of a sudden everything added together 
in my mind. If you put one light on the thing which 
Godfrey Schmidt, I am sure, would have done, it would 
have been tampering with the courts. The monitors 
were court-appointed. 

The position that Hoffa took - and I agree with it 
100 percent - was, what good was it paying this fee 
if the son of a gun was going to stay in there? I'm 
sure the coloration Godfrey Schmidt would have put on 


LG: the thing would have "been exactly that it was a try 
to bribe him to get out. Here was this upstanding 
citizen, court-appointed, doing his best to clean 
up the union and collecting his per diem and every 
thing else. And along come these Machiavellian 
characters in the ILWU and the Teamsters trying to 
bribe him. Pay him off, get out. 

I immediately decided this was the end of this 
hearing. I didn't need an attorney to tell me that. 
So, I decided to clam up and said, "That's a rela 
tionship between lawyer and client. I don't plan 
to answer that." Then, they started on the usual 
questions: are you a member of the Communist party, 
and so forth. I just fell back on the Fifth Amend 
ment. No more questions - that was the end of the 

It was after that, I went over to John L.'s 
(Lewis) office to say, "hello." I usually stopped 
by to say "hello" to him when I was in Washington, 
D.C. He said, "By the way, I understand some other 
people have been trying to talk to you this morning." 
He had a teletype there: "Yes, here it is" - a news 
release, you know, had come over the wire. 

I talked to him of trying to put something together 
with Jimmy Hoffa to put on a real push to organize 
the south. I knew Hoffa was very interested in doing 
that, "But it takes somebody like you, Mr. Lewis, 
to head the thing up; you're a man with prestige 
and what you've been able to do in the way of organi 
zing the unorganized and the south is very ripe, 
long overdue." 

Ward: What did John say? 

LG: Oh, he liked the idea, and of course he knew the 
value of flattery. He said, "Well, you don't use 
your head just to hang your hat on," or something 
like that, "but I'm afraid that little man has a 
lot of troubles ahead." John L. knew a lot of 
things that were going on. 

When I got back to San Francisco the next day I 
picked up the paper; there's a story about my 
testifying before the McClellan Committee, and right 
after that was a long piece about Bartley Crum before 
the same committee. 


LG: He didn't .lust sing; that man sang soprano, bass 
and everything in between. He sang like a whole 
chorus of canaries. The only really amusing bit 
about the whole damn thing was that he was so 
anxious to sing and so determined to give the com 
mittee anything it wanted that some of the Republi 
cans sitting on the committee - (Roman) Hruska was 
one, isn't he that guy from Nebraska? 

Ward: Yes, I think - sure, very conservative. 

LG: A senator - yes, a very conservative guy; he took 
over the questioning of Bart Crum and realized 
very quickly that anything he asked Crum, he would 
answer "yes" to; so that the record becomes hilarious 
after a while. 

Bart Crum goes into this whole business about 
the ILWU and the way we control Hawaii; of course, 
all the Hawaiian newspapers carried accounts of the 
hearing because the election was going on. The word 
got around very fast while this guy was on the stand. 
Bart Crum pictured the ILWU and its power, partly 
to give the impression that we could have put this 
whole monitor scheme together. 

I don't know if he actually made the flat 
statement that he was offered the job as monitor, 
but in effect he implied that everything else they 
wanted to know was true. He didn't say point blank 
that there was an attempt to buy off Godfrey Schmidt 
to get him out as monitor, because that would have 
made him party to the whole thing, right? I don't 
know enough about the law, but he'd be at least an 
accessory or probably the principal conspirator. 
After all, he was the one who initiated all these 
goddam meetings in the first place. 

The only conclusion I could come to afterwards 
was that he was reached by Bobby Kennedy and Schmidt 
turned Kennedy on to Bart Crum; they really gave 
him the business, and he just folded completely. 

But Hruska saved the day for us in a crazy way 
when he went after Bart Crum. He said, "Well, does 
the ILWU control the Democratic party in Hawaii?" 
"Oh, yes, from top to bottom - complete control, 
just like they control the whole state - no question 
about it. They have everything organized just like 
in sugar and pineapple and everything else." 


LG: "Well, if they're that powerful in Hawaii, do they 

also control the Republican party?" "Yes, certainly, 
the Republican party too!" (laughter) By that time, 
Hruska was just having fun and he didn't give a damn; 
Bart Crum, of course, looked like an utter fool. 
Anyway, the net result was that nothing came out of 
the hearing. 

Ward: Except the job on your candidate? 

LG: Yes, a smear job. I think it was a sad thing about 
Bart Crum, too. He had been a good egg. I know he 
ran into some difficulties with John Francis Neylan; 
then he went east. He went to work for one of the 
Roosevelt brothers' law firm and that didn't work 
out too well. About a month or so after the hear 
ing he committed suicide. I think this is a good 
stopping point. 


(Interview 27: 19 September, 1978) 

An Analysis of Jimmy Hoffa 

ard: Now, Lou, you said you'd like to talk about your 

relationship with the Teamsters. 

LG: We wound up on the McClellan Committee with every 
body on the committee figuring that Crum was a 
completely unguided missile. 

It was a very hectic period with a great deal of 
travel, a great deal of conversation, a great many 
telephone calls. I got to see Jimmy Hoffa a good 
deal and I got to know him fairly well. 

He was a different kind of a man; to simply try 
to slot him in with other labor officials, whether 
they be labor statesmen or politicians or guys on 
the make, would not be accurate. He was a typical 
American product; could just as easily have been a 
robber baron, but he was just a little bit late on 
the scene. I think he would have been completely 
at home with guys like Henry Morgan or John LaPitte. 
To him .... 

Ward: Except he didn't have any money to start with. 

LG: No, but I don't think it ever phased him particular 
ly. He thought you did these things by sheer hard 
work, brute strength; he was a tough little guy. 
Not that he would go around fighting; he wasn't the 
kind of a guy that was always in a beef. 


LG-: A man in the rough section of Detroit organizing among 
people like the warehousemen couldn't grow up without 
getting to know some of the guys on the fringes of 
society. To think if you lived in that section of the 
world you spent your life at Sunday school picnics 
would be completely unrealistic. 

I don't think he ever found these people necessarily 
disagreeable. I don't think he saw them as friends or 
allies - they were merely people he got along with. He 
probably knew early in life that you don't try to do a 
job as a union man and also keep up a running battle 
with these fellows, who played under a completely 
different set of rules. Neither did you ever get the 
impression that such men could claim Jimmy Hoffa as 
one of theirs. I am sure he was never part of any of 
their machines. I don't think he was a party to their 

Ward: You said he was of Polish derivation. 

LG-: Yes, Polish extraction - so is his wife, Josephine. I 
think he met and married his wife when she was part of 
a laundry workers strike, so they were of workingclass 
background. He lived a modest life. 

Ward: He got a big salary, though? 

LG: He got a big salary later on. I think he got a small 
salary when he was head of Local 299. He got a big 
salary later, yet he was never a gambler. You would 
never put him in the class of a high roller. 

He had his own way of handling his personal finances. 
I went to dinner with him a number of times, and to 
lunches. I never saw him use a credit card. When the 
bill came along, he just pulled out a handful of bills 
and paid it. So, he operated out of his own pocket. 
I think, in part, it was a business of distrust of the 
whole Internal Revenue machinery; as far as he was 
concerned, the source of his money was none of their 
business. If he was getting money separate and apart 
from his regular salary I don't know; he might have. 

A lot of things go on in the union movement that 
never completely surface. When people begin to achieve 
a good deal of strength and power in connection with, 
say, pension funds, the matter of whether somebody can 


LG: get a handle on a pension fund becomes a very attractive 
thing. Hoffa would be a member of the pension trustees; 
he would not make a loan as such. The trustees would, 
I suppose, once they were approved by their auditors 
or financial wizards. 

Sure there were all kinds of criticisms; the 
government has endless documents about what they call 
bad investments, and so forth. The simple truth of the 
matter - and this, of course, the newspapers don't 
carry - is that the pension funds are completely sol 
vent. The returns on those funds are perfectly adequate 
and do better than most other funds. Now, maybe they 
lost a buck in a couple of real estate operations in 
Florida or something like that, I don't know. 

But they have so many; these are huge funds. 
'Whether this was any source of income to Hoffa, I doubt, 
because the way he lived didn't make that much difference. 
He didn't spend any time chasing women; he didn't drink. 

Ward: Not at all? 

LG: Nope, never saw him take a drink in my life. If he 
did, he might have had one at a dinner party. 

Ward: Yery unusual .... 

LG: Very unusual; he had a work schedule that would kill 
a mule. Nothing for him to get started around 5:00 - 
5:30 in the morning; he expected others to be there 
too, and just because somebody else wanted to stay 
out until two or three, that made no difference to him; 
goddamit, he'd be on deck. On that score he was a 
very tough taskmaster. He expected people to get paid. 

I remember being there one time and Sid Zagri, 
their legislative representative came in; he was 
complaining. Sid spent a lot of time on the Hill and 
he enjoyed it; he liked meeting with the senators, 
lobbyists, representatives. He got around; that was 
part of his job. By the way, Sid Zagri and Jeff Kibre 
had been at UCLA at the same time. 

Sid died - he was some place having dinner in one 
of these topside restaurants; fire broke out, the exits 
were either locked or something, and he was burned to 
death. Sid did a good job and worked hard. Nothing 


LG-: for Sid to get going in the morning around six and 

keep going until around one the next day. He was 
complaining that he ought to be paid more money; 
Jimmy finally turned around to him and said, "Look, 
we're not going to change the pay scales now. We 
can't do that man by man; it won't work out. Anyway, 
what the hell's the matter with you? Don't you know 
how to make out an expense sheet?" - and he let it go 
at that. That was the end of that conversation. 

Nobody could call Jimmy a skinflint either. He 
wasn't tight-fisted. The man who had been secretary- 
treasurer of the union for many, many years was John 
English, a real oldline Teamster, tall, slim; at one 
time must have been a bull of a man; he was in charge 
of the finances, and they were in good shape. 

He was also the man who made the most dramatic 
speech at the time of the Teamster expulsion; I mean 
the expulsion of the Teamsters by the AFofL, particul 
arly on the record of the Teamsters as a loyal member. 
Hoffa and John English got along very well. John might 
have felt that some of the beefs Hoffa got into were 
expensive, but on the other hand the Teamsters were 
used to spending money, if they thought there were some 
results there; they had it and they didn't feel that 
they had to sit on it. 

I got to know Jimmy; for one thing, he trusted me. 
He thought I would level with him and I did; never lied 
to him; the word would have seeped back. The mocassin 
telegraph inside the Teamsters union is far more effect 
ive than Western Union. Nothing much happens in that 
union without the word going around. 

I learned a good deal about the Teamsters' structure. 
While their constitution is a highly centralized 
document with an enormous amount of power in the hands 
of the general president and the executive board, very 
little of it is really spelled out. The use of the 
referendum is a rarity; practically unknown. 

On the other hand, there is an element in the 
Teamsters that is different from many other unions. It 
is tantamount to a form of syndicalist anarchy; while 
you have this centralization of structure, a lot of 
power in the hands of the International, a lot of power 
in the respective conferences .... 


Ward: You mean regional? 

LG-: Well, there are four main conferences. There's the 

Eastern Teamster Conference, the Middle west, Southern 
and the West. The West, I guess, is the biggest 
geographically; membershipwise, I guess about even- 
Steven with the central states - the Central States 
Conference; the South, not so "big; the East, quite 
large. They were like baronies in some ways. 

Part of this stems back to the general thinking of 
Dan Tobin of the Teamsters Union, the philosophy that 
the one requirement was that the locals pay their per 
capita on time and that beyond that they generally 
abide by the laws. Then again, within the Teamsters 
there was an enormous variation on how they operated. 

Ward: Each barony did it more or less to suit itself? 

LG: To suit itself; then the locals within them would not 
be uniform, necessarily, in the way they operated. 
Tou would find some locals where they had a heritage 
of progressive thinking. For example, Harold Gibbons 
and Larry Steinberg. Harold Gibbons went in for many, 
many things, not just ordinary things like credit 
unions; he built a very substantial housing project 
for senior citizens. The union there was neck deep 
in all kinds of civic affairs. 

His friend, Larry Steinberg, was in charge of the 
Toledo local, Local No. 20; that was a very big local 
and they were a consolidated, merged local. Some of 
these locals were built strictly along craft lines; 
others were general locals. Steinberg's was a general 

Hal Gibbons' was a general local; they would have 
teamsters and warehousemen. I think in the case of 
Larry Steinberg they had the Cadillac Hotel workers 
as part of his local; a very elaborate piece of 
machinery, scattered over a large area. There he 
depended in large part on a stewards' council which 
became a consultative assembly which he used periodical 
ly to bounce off ideas and get a feedback from the 
membership . 

Larry and I became friends. I liked him very much; 
he was a character all of his own. He was born in the 
Soviet Union and came to this country at the age of 14. 


LG: Larry "became an assistant to Jimmy Hoffa when Hoffa 

went in,. so that he worked out of the Washington office. 
When I was back there I always spent time with Larry 
Steinberg; talking to him, I learned a good deal about 
the structure, manner of functioning, and so forth. 

Ward: Well, what was the linkage between the ILWD and the 

LG: The actual linkage between the two outfits to begin 
with was zero; remember, the background was anything 
but pleasant. We had gone through some ugly fights. 

Ward: Yes, but now you had this Hawaii first meeting with 
Hoffa and apparently you got along fairly well in 
discussion of what was going to happen and what was 
not going to happen in Hawaii? 

LG: Yes, in terms of Hawaii, I think Hoffa accepted my 
appraisal of the Islands and what should be done at 
just about face value. 

Ward: All right, how did the second meeting come about? And 
the third and fourth and so on? 

LG: The meetings came about thereafter when he moved on 
towards the- presidency. At that time the court was 
stepping in, the monitors were stepping in; then the 
Bart Crum thing broke; I had seen Hoffa, as I recall, 
once or twice, just by going east. I dropped by the 
Teamster headquarters, met Larry Steinberg and spent 
some time with him. 

Hoffa was always cordial. They had a lunch room 
right there in the building and we had lunch together 
there, and he'd ask questions about the west coast and 
the ILWU. He was a very curious man with a very 
retentive memory. There were some other faculties 
about Jimmy Hoffa that floored the employers. I mean - 
he - - 


Ward: We were discussing how Hoffa had qualities that con 
fused the employers. 

LG: Oh, the employers were flabbergasted particularly when 
Hoffa began to move on what was one of his prime 
ambitions, namely, to pull together a national agreement 


LG: covering particularly long haul trucking; the same 
peculiar empire structure that they had in the 
Teamsters reflected itself in these contracts. You 
would have one type of contract, let us say, for the 
drivers in the western region and another one in the 
central states, and so forth. 

Hoffa's idea was 100 percent sound to try to pull 
the union together as an effective organization. Any 
way, what the employers were flabbergasted about was 
that Jimmy would come into these negotiations actually 
better prepared, in terms of a genuine knowledge of 
the industry, than the employers themselves. He was a 
very quick reader, picked things up very fast and had 
a highly retentive memory; he met all the qualifica 
tions of competency. He wasn't a hack. 

I mentioned several times that even during the 
worst days of our conflicts with the Teamsters, we 
made every effort to maintain a good relationship with 
the rank and file teamster. This paid off, because 
they never could really mount the kind of crusade where 
their membership took part. On the other hand, the 
hatred among some of our guys towards some of the 
teamsters just knew no bottom. 

I'll never forget a session we had at our house 
here when I had a whole group of our people; oh, George 
Valter was here, Curt McClain, (who later became 
secretary-treasurer of the International), Paul Heide, 
Chili; I raised this question that the time had come 
for us to move for an effective working alliance with 
the Teamsters. 

George, who could get pretty angry, was literally 
storming around the garden here like a bull; oh, 
screaming, he was so angry; "The son-of-a-bitching 
bastards; now is the time to raid them." He yelled, 
"They're staggering around, they don't know where the 
hell they're going; let's finish them off." 

He was so hot, so angry; all the years of struggle, 
the terrible beatings, the fist fights on the picket 
lines, the undercutting, the double-crossing and 
everything; it just sort of welled up. So it was not 
an easy thing with our own people. Actually, it was 
easier when it came to handling some of the Teamsters. 


An Interesting Phone Call 

LG-: ell, I go back into some of these things "because they 
fall together. As a beginning, it was in 1957 the 
Teamster contract was open, and they had a provision 
in their contract whereby if they could not reach an 
agreement by a certain date, the issue would auto 
matically be settled by arbitration; that was the wage 
issue; it was open on wages only. 

The Local 6 contract was also open. However, the 
Local 6 contract did not have a provision for 
arbitration; in the event of a deadlock we had the 
right to strike. We had climbed out of that period 
of scrambling for our lives in some of the agreements 
we had to make in 1951 and '53; we were in better shape, 
I got a call from Joe Dillon. 

Ward: Oh, yes. 

LG: One of the guys that had gone over the hill. Later on 

we found out that he was one of those who tried to put 
together this raid on Local 6 which turned out to be a 
bust. He said he wanted to have lunch with me. I 
didn't know what it was all about, but I saw no reason 
why not. He didn't want to eat downtown where we'd 
run into anybody; that's the usual business - these 
guys with the red horrors. 

He wanted to meet at Julius' Castle (a famous 
restaurant on Telegraph Hill) - not too early. So I 
met him at Julius' Castle around 1:30. We spent, I 
guess, two, two and a half hours, a lot of it just the 
usual bullshit, going round and round reviewing old 
times, and in most cases lying about it; and finally 
we got down to the issue. 

I said, "What's it all about?" He said, "Your 
contract is open and so is ours, you know, on arbitra 
tion." I said, "We don't think you're going to do 
too good on arbitration. I've seen what the arbitra 
tion decisions are around here and the kind of figures 
the employers are using. They're using the standard 
cost of living jazz, etc., etc., and once those 
standards are set out in a single arbitration those 
same figures are picked up by each guy and used the 
same way, with variations and permutations." 


LG-: So, I said, "Let's just have one agreement, and if we 
can make this thing stick, we'll see what we can do 
later; nothing else. I don't want to see you guys go 
to arbitration." He says, "Well, how do we do that? 
The agreement is plain; it says we gotta go to ar 

I said, "One of the things that can always be done 
in an arbitration, or with any hearing, is to find 
ways and means of not having it; not having it because 
you can't get around to having it. There's no reason 
why Ted White of Local 860 can't take off; he's under 
the weather, he likes to play golf, and there are all 
kinds of places he can go. You should disappear for 
a while; the other officials should be instructed they 
are not empowered to handle any of these things - 
Ted White is the only guy in charge." 

I said, "Just make sure that there's no arbitration, 
that's all. We'll go into our negotiations at once; 
we're going to take a strike if we have to, and I'm 
convinced we can get -more; nobody will get less. If 
worst comes to worst, we'll settle for what I know 
you're going to get anyway, which will be six cents. 
No reason why. we can't give it a try. My hunch is 
that unless the employers can push you into arbitra 
tion, we're going to do better." 

He thought about it for a long time. He knew it 
could be done, sure, because that's no big deal; if 
you have an arbitration due on October first, you 

Ward: Put it up a month? 

LG: Yes. Then a day later you find out the man who is 
supposed to handle your arbitration calls you up and 
says, "Sorry, it's impossible; there's another case 
I've taken and I don't know when you'll be ready." 
So, that's another three weeks and you just screw 
around and buy time; they did buy time. It never went 
to arbitration. We went into negotiations and picked 
up 15 cents. 

Of course, as far as the Teamsters were concerned, 
this was just manna from heaven. They couldn't have 
gotten a nicer gift. There was no arbitration, no 
cost involved, and they just picked up 15 cents. 


LG-: As far as they were concerned they just went "back and 
reported to their membership that they did it. That's 
okay - no great problem. 

When Dillon accomplished this, he took an enormous 
amount of personal pride in putting this thing together; 
this stroke of brilliance in sitting down with the 
devil of the opposition - I was always in that class - 
and that I was the guy who figured out these things 
and that's the reason they were having troubles, etc., 
etc. The usual bullshit people develop because the 
invention of devils is terribly important in this 

After this came about, Dillon suggested a few of us 
ought to get together. I said, "That's fair enough - 
the contract will be open in another year and it will 
be open on a lot more things than wages." So, we 
began a series of meetings; some of the guys who were 
brought in were pretty good union guys, like Frankie 
Farro from Local 853, the east side of the bay, Alameda 

Ward: The big locals on the' other side of the bay are - or 
were - 70 and 315? 

LG: No, local 70 is the drivers local in the east bay; 

by the way, it has a long record of being a rebellious 
local. That is the local where Cliff Lester was 

Ward: It was taken over after Charlie Real (former leader 
of local 70) got into trouble. 

LG: Charlie Real got into trouble, and Cliff Lester took 
it over and Cliff Lester was heaved out with the help 
of the International. We were up to our ears in that 
fight. Cliff was a good friend of ours. As a matter 
of fact, we had big demonstrations down there because 
Cliff Lester thought they were going to move in with a 
lot of guys and dump him. 

But Cliff Lester didn't hang on. He still had a 
long, rebellious background. It's still one of the 
locals where they elect the business agents - in some 
of the Teamster locals, the secretary treasurer is 
the key official and he appoints the business agents; 
Local 70 was different, and come election time that 


LG: street along Hegenberger Road (in Oakland) where their 
headquarters are gets to be a lively place with stick 
ers and signs; it's like a typical political election. 

Anyway, Local 70 was a separate local. Our rela 
tions with them by and large were good, but they were 
not the warehouse local. Local 315 was a mixed local 
of warehousemen, teamsters and everything else - a 
miscellaneous local; their base is Contra Costa (county); 
local 853 is confined to Alameda county. 

Ward: Is that a miscellaneous local also? 

LG: Warehouse local, a good sized local. From that we 

started this larger series of meetings which brought 
in a good many of the Teamster locals around here. 
Dillon was very anxious to be part of it. Local 853 
was in there, Local 860. Ted White was still there. 
Mark O'Reilly of 860 was an excellent ally and support 
er. Local 315 got in the act with guys like Vince 
Aloise, a good man there. Fred Hoffman was in charge 
of Local 287 down in San Jose; they sort of rode along, 
doing a good job, sometimes" playing their own game. 
And a Teamster local from Vallejo. 

All of them got in the act because they felt nothing 
could be lost and a good deal to be gained. The 
membership in the warehouse field was almost evenly 
divided between ILWU Locals 6 and 17, a total of 
somewhere between 11,000 or 12,000 members; the 
Teamsters had approximately the same number, so we 
were talking about some 25,000 members in Northern 
California. The .-jurisdiction stretched from Fresno, 
where there are some warehouse locals under a guy 
named (Harry) Kachadoorian, up to the Oregon border, 
including some places like Eureka. 

This began to flourish into joint bargaining; it 
even developed into a complete set of rules. By that 
I mean we set up the Northern California Warehouse 
Council. The Northern California Warehouse Council 
was headed by George Mock, a vice-president of the 
Teamsters, headquartered in Sacramento. The local 
from which he came, Local 150, was a miscellaneous 
local including warehouse; they were part of the 
Northern California Warehouse Council. 


LG-: He was co-chairman together with, myself. e were the 
co-chairmen of the Northern California Warehouse Coun 
cil, which is still in existence to this day, starting 
from that first business of the 15-cents we picked up 
in place of arbitration. 

After the negotiations got more complicated and more 
detailed, we also began to introduce strictly IIAVU 
measures. At first the Teamsters were as jumpy as a 
cat on a hot tin roof because the idea never occurred 
to them; their contract negotiations were really quite 
simple. They would call a membership meeting, formu 
late their demands. Almost anything anybody wanted 
was thrown in there. The negotiating committee was 
invariably the same group; officers, and where 
necessary, the trustees; the basic structure of the 
Teamster local. 

ILWU warehouse negotiations, of course, are quite 
different. Warehouse negotiations start off first 
with a long series of bull sessions; these are just 
informal meetings where members, stewards take part, 
contract differences are aired, members have a chance 
to give their own emphasis on what they think is most 

Then there is an attempt to sort these things down; 
finally there is the Local 6 convention, attended by 
five to six hundred delegates, where the contract 
demands are finally formulated. Then the negotiating 
committee is elected by each division - these do not 
include the officers, they are in addition; an entirely 
different structure. 

Also in the course of negotiations, step by step, 
the full committee - there might be the strategy 
committee, as it was generally called, because- it also 
served as the strike committee when necessary - would 
get complete reports. 

The teamsters would constantly make remarks, because 
we'd break up a meeting, say, at 7:30 at night with 
the employers; we'd have to skip dinner so as to make 
an 8:00 o'clock meeting to give our reports. So, they 
got to the point where they asked, "Don't you guys do 
anything but meet? You seem to be meeting all the 
time - you should be worn out." Of course the secret 
is - nothing terribly mysterious - keeping in constant 
contact with the membership so that if you do have to 
move, they'll know what the hell the fight is all about. 


LG: In the case of the Teamsters, we decided the best thing 
we could do was to have a joint stewards -meeting. The 
first .-joint stewards' meeting took place at Scottish 
Rite Auditorium; the hall was jam-packed; not just our 
own guys, "but a tremendous turn-out from the Teamsters 
union. This was the first time that they had had meet 
ings like this, where they would have this kind of an 
input and get a full report on what was going on. 

e decided we would take joint strike votes; later 
on we not only took joint strike votes, we had a set 
of regulations that when you settled a contract, while 
the votes were taken separately in the locals, they'd 
all be pooled for the purposes of counting; a simple 
majority. You couldn't have just one local turning 
the thing down and the others going along. The 
machinery got perfected as it went along. The stewards' 
meetings were very stirring affairs. 

Ward: How did you work out the chairing of those meetings 
and all that? 

LG: Oh, we had George Mock handle the chair. 
Ward: He cooperated pretty well with you fellows? 

LG: Yes, as a matter of fact, extremely well. George Mock 
would then call on me for the report. They had to 
introduce every single one of the officials; some of 
them had something to say; most of the times, they 
didn't. Just a matter of Georee chairing the meeting 
and turning it over to me for the report; a certain 
number of questions from the floor. 

The big thing that really came out was a powerful 
feeling of unity on the part of the members, a thing 
never to underestimate; the steam and power that comes 
out of the unification of a group of workers who have 
instinctively known for years that their fighting 
power really lies in sticking together; that they have 
artificially been kept apart, and all of a sudden it's 

I forget if it was the next year or the year after, 
we went into joint negotiations and again a number of 
things got worked out, including some improvements we 
wanted on health and welfare. Some of the plans 


LG: differed very sharply, so that you could not completely 
reconcile them. In the case of health and welfare you 
could fight for a certain amount of money. 

In the case of pensions, their pension structure was 
different than ours. They did not go backward and 
forward on "benefits. In those days, anytime the ILWU 
negotiated pension improvements, the people who were 
retired got the same increase as those who were going 
to retire. The Teamsters didn't do that. They began 
to do a little bit of that later on, primarily under 
our prodding. 

In the case of health and welfare they had some sort 
of contract language which included - as the spokesman 
of the San Francisco Employers Council, Murray Parker, 
used to say - "to maintain the benefits". In other 
words, they would guarantee the benefits during the 
life of the contract, BUT the benefits were not so hot. 

It was several years before they offered their 
members a choice of the Kaiser (preventive medicine 
and hospital coverage) Plan, as well as the insured 
plan. They were completely sold on the insured plan 
because of their own thinking, or because they were 
taking their advice from their insurance agent. Some 
of them might have believed that Kaiser was a form of 

Ward: That was not an uncommon thought. 

LG-: Yes. I spoke very openly about the advantages of 

Kaiser. I said, ""Why have a pain in the ass? We don't 
have these bothers with health and welfare. If some 
body doesn't like Kaiser, we say that's fine; at the 
end of the year, switch to the insured plan. If some 
body says that the insured plan is lousy, doesn't take 
care of my kids, we say you picked it; so at the end 
of the year, switch back to Kaiser. 

"Why the hell should I go fighting somebody, telling 
our members the insured plan is better, or Kaiser is 
better. I give them the plans and say, 'Go talk to 
your friends, talk to your wife; think it over, you 
have plenty of time. You have a month's notice before 
you make your choice; go ahead and make your pick.' 
That makes a lot more sense." Finally, they got around 
to it, but not in a very encouraging way. 


LG-: Different unions work differently and think differently; 
it piles up over the years. One of the first things 
we did was to insist on trying to get some health and 
welfare for the pensioner. Initially we got a penny an 
hour, which made a sufficient fund to buy - not exactly 
the same Kaiser coverage as the regular coverage - a 
special coverage that Kaiser was cooperative enough to 
work out. 

It had some sort of co-payment; didn't cover the 
whole family, "but did cover the pensioner; it was a 
step forward. Later on, of course, we had to keep 
getting more and more money for it. Now I think it's 
3-4 cents an hour, maybe more. 

Ward: "What do you mean, 3-4 cents an hour? The total hours 
the man had worked or what? 

LG: So many cents an hour for the total hours worked in the 
industry by everybody. In other words, if you had 
10,000 people and they were all working 2,000 hours a 
year, then you'd have a penny for 10,000 times 2,000; 
that would be the number of pennies. It makes a tidy 
sum, and we were able to buy some benefits for the 
pensioners. One of the things I wanted to equalize, 
and for which we got agreement from the Teamsters was 
this pension question because they finally realized it 
was a two-way street. They said, "Okay we'll go for 
it," and we finally won it. 

Frankie Farro (a Teamster official) was an interest 
ing old curmudgeon with a bit of a sense of humor; we 
finally wound up on that item and we went out for a 
cup of coffee. Frank was deep in thought for a while; 
finally he turned to me and said, "You know, Lou, I 
know we got that penny or whatever it is for the 
pensioners. I'm trying to figure out what the hell I'd 
do with it." 

I said, "Well, it's to buy health and welfare for 
the pensioners." He says, "You knew, in my case, the 
number of pensioners I've got, I think I can buy each 
of them a Cadillac." I said, "How come?" "We've got 
around 200 pensioners in the local; something like that, 
maybe less." Well, here was a local of about 4500 people, 
maybe 5,000, with only that number of pensioners. You 
suddenly realize what the whole background of his union 
is compared to ours. 


LG-: One of the things the Teamsters had offered the employ 
ers over the years - the thing that has made the 
Teamsters so attractive to employers - was free and 
easy discharge. "When a man began to push something 
like 50, he sure as hell is not going to cut the buck 
like a kid out of high school - nothing but piss and 
vinegar ! 

Pretty soon the older guy was out with nothing much 
to protect him, so that the ratio of pensioners 
compared to the membership of his local, oh, must have 
been better than 10 or 15 to one. We had a very high 
proportion of pensioners; people of Local 6 stayed with 
Local 6. Local 6 provided them with the kind of 
security where they could stay on the job, work out 
their years, and pick up a pension. Quite a difference! 

Later on some of these things had to come out at 
Local 6 conventions when it became even more clear that 
the Teamsters were able to get things because it was 
cheap to the employers. The employers, of course, at 
all times were trying to find ways and means to disrupt 
this coalition; some of it had a bit of an effect; at 
one point, almost a disastrous impact, but we managed 
to get over it. 

I'm covering negotiations that went on over a long 
period of time; they didn't all happen at once. There 
was one set of negotiations which led to a brief strike, 
around three weeks. One reason the thing fell apart 
was on the question of health and welfare - - 

ard: That was a joint strike? 

LG: Yes. It was the first joint strike in the history of 
the industry. It also turned out to be the first 
strike that any of these Teamster locals had ever been 
mixed up in, over all these years. 

ard: They never had a strike? 

LG: hy did they have to? They had somebody else doing 
the striking for them. It was the kind of a strike 
where we were all geared up, ready. One of the essent 
ials of a strike is to make sure you get your doughnut 
wagons around, just for the good will and the morale; 
somebody having the pickets move around from line to 
line to say "hello"; and, of course, putting out 
bulletins every day. 


LG: It got to the point where we found out we had to print 
more and more "bulletins. As soon as the bulletins were 
put out to the warehouses, some of the Teamsters' 
warehouse guys would be over to pick up some. They 
never got a word of information from their locals, which 
never geared up to even put out a bulletin during the 
strike. So the Local 6 bulletin was the official strike 
bulletin; we came out of that strike in good shape. 

We also had to work out a different technique on the 
question of independent houses, something the Teamsters 
had never struggled with. Those negotiations were not 
predicated upon a basic struggle. 

For example, in the warehouse industry there were a 
whole series of master contracts. There was the master 
contract with the Distributors Association, the 
principal outfit we dealt with; then the San Francisco 
Employers Council had a master contract that was pri 
marily with Local 860, and a few other shops in the 
Teamsters Union. 

The Peninsula employers had their so-called master 
contract; nobody ever could figure out what 'the hell 
that was. The United Employers had a half-assed master 
contract with Local 853; and then there was a contract 
with plumbing supply houses, run by a man named Alec 
Hauften. He was a rather pleasant guy, but he sure 
didn't have any stomach for the kind of negotiations 
which hit a tough level. Kis was more the personal 
relationship sort of thing; labor relations of the 
shake -hands type. 

Local 6 also had a large number of independent 
houses, houses that did not belong to our master con 
tract. By and large, they maintained the same wage 
scales as the master contract and generally followed 

Well, the Teamsters for years, when they had these 
separate houses plus master negotiations, would simply 
let the independents sign what are called "me-too" 
contracts. In other words, the contract said, "Once 
the negotiations are completed with the other houses 
they would automatically sign the same thing." 

We decided that this was just a free ride. In the 
event there was going to be a shut-down in the 
industry, I saw no reason why these independents should 
get off scot-free. They had to carry some of the load. 


LG: The device we worked out in that case featured 

stipulations of a different kind. If an independent 
wanted to function after the strike deadline, - they 
did not automatically have to be struck, but they might 
be - they would have to sign a stipulation which grant 
ed certain provisions in excess of some of the demands 
in the master negotiations; additional items such as an 
extra holiday with pay, perhaps some additional sick 
leave, a higher shift differential. We put in some 
higher wages, subject to renegotiation when the strike 
was over. On the wage item .... 

Ward: Except on the wage item? 

LG: No, only on the wage item. The one thing we didn't 

want to live with afterwards was disparate wage scales. 
That would raise too much hell. But the fact that one 
warehouse had an extra holiday with pay, or extra sick 
leave or something else, we figured didn't mean a 
thing; the employer, let him pay that if he wanted to 
take a free ride. My position was that if every single 
employer joined the Association, we were better off. 

Ward: You gave these independents an incentive to get into 
the Association? 

LG: Right. If I could have kicked them into the Association 
which you can't do - better yet. Well, this was so 
diametrically opposed to the Teamster thinking that it 
was very hard to get our ideas across to them. It 
eventually got across, primarily because it worked. 
That is the only mark, as far as they are concerned. 

Ward: So, this pretty well establishes the Joint Council in 
Northern California, so far as warehouse is concerned. 
What relationship does this Northern California situa 
tion have to Hoffa and the negotiations that began 
between the International officers of both unions? 

LG: Insofar as Hoffa was concerned, he became a strong 
supporter of the warehouse negotiations without any 




Ward: You were saying, Lou, that Hoffa was a strong supporter 
of the warehouse operation in Northern California - 

LG: Oh, yes. Einar Mohn also "became a strong supporter of 
the Northern California Council - 

Ward: He was the head of the Western Conference? 

LG-: Yes. He became very friendly; his office was always 
open to me. I used to spend a fair amount of time 
talking to him, haying lunch. However, Einar Mohn 
didn't see eye to eye with Jimmy Hoffa; he was mixed 
up with too many different kinds of people - put it 
that way . . . 

Ward: Was Einar Mohn a little more pure, might you say, 
than Hoffa? 

LG: Einar Mohn was a labor statesman, and not in a dis 
paraging sense. He was a well read man, had a better 
grasp of a lot of things than the average teamster. In 
many ways, he stood head and shoulders above them. He 
knew his industry quite well and was an excellent 
administrator. He had various divisional councils. 
The headquarters at Burlingame were very cleverly 

He was constantly calling in the representatives of 
the various councils - Bakery Wagon Drivers, Milk Wagon 
Drivers, Over the Road drivers, warehousemen, you name 
it. The Burlingame headquarters were very close to the 
San Francisco Airport. It was quite simple for the 
members of a council to fly in of a morning, take a 
cab over to the Burlingame headquarters, hold their 
meetings and be back home the same evening. It was a 
well organized operation; he knew what he was doing. 

I recall one session; the I960 warehouse negotiations 
or '63 - thereabouts - we worked all night and finally 
wound up with a good agreement; Jimmy was in town. He 
called up and said, "How did you make out?" I said, 
"We came out fine. As a matter of fact, we're having 
a meeting this morning to go over the agreement, and I 
think it will be recommended by everybody - no problem." 


LG-: He said, "I'd like to come by there; where are you 

meeting?" I said, "Our headquarters, 150 Golden Gate." 
And bango! up he comes, bounces right up to 150 Golden 
Gate, delighted to meet everybody there. We let him 
talk to the council after the report was given; he was 
very flattering to the whole bunch and flattering to 
our union and to me. He knew where the work was getting 

This did not make it easy all the time because the 
Teamsters, like any other big organization, has wheels 
within wheels.- On another occasion we were in late 
negotiations - it must have been around 2:00 o'clock 
in the morning and we were still meeting. The deadline 
was the next morning; we had set a strike date after a 
joint strike vote at one of these big stewards' meetings 
at our longshore hall. It was hard to get large enough 
halls for these big stewards' meetings. 

Somebody calls me out of negotiations, saying, "It's 
important; you have to take it." Jack Goldberger had 
been sitting in on the meeting; he was one of the 
personal representatives of Hoffa, but he also made his 
own judgments; he always considered himself to be sort 
of a kingpin in most situations. 

Anyway, it was Jimmy Hoffa from the airport and he 
said, "I get some pretty discouraging reports about the 
negotiations; looks like they're going to break down. 
The report I get is that it really doesn't call for a 
breakdown and that there ought to be a settlement around, 
I said, "By and large you're right; I don't think there 
ought to be a breakdown - might be, you never can tell, 
but right now, I'd say the negotiations look all right. 
I think we have another couple of hours before this 
thing cracks; it's moving in the right direction, but 
not fast enough. " 

He says, "Well, how do you feel about it?" I said, 
"I think it's worthwhile going on - we can sweat it 
out. We're not looking for a strike; if we play this 
one to the hilt, we'll win it." Obviously he had been 
goosed into this call; he didn't get one of these 
reports by pulling it out of the air. Somebody had 
been bending his ear; these guys felt that any situation 
I was in had to be a strike, you see. After all, that 
was my nature. 

Ward: They were scared? 


LG: They never did get completely unscared, which is just 

as well. I said, "I think we'll manage okay, I'm not 
all that worried." "Well, I'm glad you feel that way," 
he said, "Just stay in there, fuck r em." Sort of typical 
of Jimmy, you see. (laughter) He "didn't have any 
fear of employers. 

Ward: Prom what you've told us, one would never know that up 

to this point Harry had anything to do with the Teamsters 
and their International, or Hoffa. 

LG-: He didn't handle warehouse negotiations at all - except 

later on under rather disturbing circumstances. Ware 
house negotiations were strictly "between Locals 6 and 
17 and the Teamsters; it was very much my responsibili 
ty. Harry was mixed up at the time primarily in 
Longshore and the beginning of his work on the mechani 
zation agreement; that began in Portland. I didn't 
attend that caucus in 1957. 

During these warehouse negotiations, Harry was kept 
posted; I told him where they stood, but he did not 
take an' active part in them. The negotiations were 
between, initially, members of an informal committee - 
that's all it amounted to. Later on it became a joint 
committee, which still later matured into the Northern 
California Warehouse Council. The Northern California 
Warehouse Council later on got power-of-attorney from 
all the locals to negotiate jointly for all of them, 
ratification to take place jointly. 

Ward: Well, let me ask you - Harry was informed as to what 

was going on in warehouse, but you used to sit in with 
him on important longshore negotiations. Were you still 
doing that in this period? 

LG-: I sat in on the longshore negotiations in 1961, the 
mechanization agreement, definitely, and got into a 
very sharp clash. 

Ward: With whom? Harry? 

LG-: With Harry and Bodine. (Howard Bodine, an ILWU official). 

While Harry didn't take part in the warehouse nego 
tiations, he had his relations with Jimmy Hoffa. He 
had seen him a number of times . . . 

Ward: When did that begin? Sometime after you first met 


LG-: Yes. Harry spent a good deal of time with Hoffa, 
particularly when Hoffa was "being plagued "by Bobby 
Kennedy; Kennedy became Attorney-General and they had 
the task force, and then the indictments against 

Ward: Did you introduce Harry to Hoffa? 

LG-: Not that I recall. The relations were pretty good. 
Harry would pick up the phone and call Jimmy .... 

Ward: - it started some place? 

LG: Yes, I suppose, somewhere along the line there - 

Ward: But you don't have any feeling of having arranged the 

LG: No. It might have been that I played a small role. 

Harry spent a good deal of time with Jimmy, trying to 
convince him that the right kind of a campaign against 
Bobby Kennedy was a mass campaign where he went to the 
Teamsters, his membership. Harry felt very keenly that 
the Bobby Kennedy cabal was just a deliberate hounding 
of Hoffa. 

Ward: Harry was the expert on the subject of hounding. 

LG: Right; he also felt strongly that Jimmy should not just 
be making like a lawyer. Jimmy got to the point where 
he thought he knew as much as the lawyers did, or more; 
days and weeks were spent at the Teamster headquarters 
with all this staff of lawyers. Then there were the 
various indictments, you know, against Hoffa: that 
Louisville case. 

Ward: That was subornation of perjury, wasn't it? 

LG: I'm not sure whether that was the case. But there was 

one case where he brought in Joe Louis, (a famous prize 
fight champion) just to sit there and shake hands with 
Jimmy, you know, friendly. He won that case hands 
down! (laughter) Jimmy had this flair for things. 

Whether that was the case where he was later tried 
on perjury, I don't recall. But the stable of stool- 
pigeons they used against Jimmy was unbelievable; 
particularly the key guy who, I guess, was primarily 
responsible for his conviction - guy by the name of 


LG-: (Edward Grady) Partin. He had a police record longer 
than both your arms - assault and battery, robbery, 
mayhem; all of which .... 

ard: Did they use a man like that as a witness against . . ? 

LG: Yes, and all these other cases somehow got washed out. 
Partin was the key witness .... 

Ward: He was worth a lot to Kennedy. 

LG: Oh, god, yes. I don't know where in the hell he found 
these rats. Then they got Hoffa on subornation of 
perjury, that he tried to buy witnesses, or something 
like that. But that was a different scene. It didn't 
really overlap into Warehouse. 

Ward: Well, do you want to go into that? 
LG: Might as well. 

Ward: All right, we're talking about the Teamsters and the 

LG: We got a lot of things done. I think it was in 1967 
when we had this short strike in warehouse, partially 
over welfare. 

One of the things we had agreed upon with the 
Teamsters was that we would both take a certain amount 
of reserves that, we had in health and welfare and set 
up a pilot drug plan; we ought to at least try to get 
drugs for our members; at that time Kaiser wasn't 
offering them. I also had some ideas at the time that 
maybe we ought to merge the two health and welfare 
plans. I knew we'd get nothing but good results; if 
for no other reason than the incidence of utilization; 
our people used the plans much more than the Teamsters. 
In the case of Local 6, we v/ere out telling the people 
what the plan was, constantly pounding away; "The plan 
is yours, use it; don't just let the money sit there." 

Well, there was such a contrast between the two 
plans that I thought if we could merge them things 
would be better. But any major plans on health and 
welfare died off; the Teamster trustees, particularly 
some of those from small locals, were fearful that if 
a joint plan were set up their little jobs would be 
tossed out the window. 


LG: For example, when they found out we never paid a 

trustee, they couldn't "believe it. So, I guess the 
merger idea stepped on too many eggs. But the joint 
pilot drug plan would have been a very good thing. 

Well, shortly after the agreement was concluded, the 
the Teamster employers went ahead and put in a drug 
plan for the Teamsters; we were left high and dry. It 
was a crucial thing because we were bound to get an 
awful lot of reverberations. 

This came on top of a development three years ear 
lier where somebody had made a miscalculation on how 
much money we needed for health and welfare to make 
sure that the Kaiser benefits would be covered. We 
ran out of dough, and I had the extremely unhappy job 
of going to the membership and telling them they would 
have to pay a dollar per visit. Let me tell you, 
everybody had to swallow awful hard. They took it all 

The whole nature of a coalition of this sort is 
something that is hard to' get across to people. Number 
one, there is no such thing as a substitute for 
competency; secondly, you have to decide in advance 
that you are going to do 95 percent of the work and 
give somebody else 100 per cent of the credit. 

Ward: The first time you said that you allowed yourself one 
per cent! 

LG: Well, okay, whatever it was. But the membership knows; 
these things come through like osmosis. 


(Interview 28: 6 October, 1978) 

A Very Smooth. Operator 

Ward: Lou, I'd like to ask you what happened along in the 
middle fifties when the tensions which had been 
bothering everybody over many years began to die down. 
Life became easier for the ILWU, and then new tensions 
arose. Could you describe them to some extent, please? 
For example, the advent of St. Sure into the picture? 

LG: Well, the advent of St. Sure was part of a sequel to 
a determination made by the shipowners after the 1948 
strike that the way Prank P. Foisie and Gregory 
Harrison were attacking the union was self-defeating. 

If it doesn't work and the union fights back 
successfully, wins hands-down in big situations such as 
the 1948 west coast longshore strike and the 1949 strike 
in Hawaii longshore, then another development takes 
place inside the union, never to be underestimated. 
There's an enormous feeling of solidarity and strength 
that springs out of such a situation. It's like a 
group of men who have gotten used to fighting in a 
squared circle, all of them back to back, fighting off 
every enemy. 

It's not a question of getting any weird ideas of 
invincibility, but they do develop a certain working 
class confidence; they are just not goins to be taken 
on and taken over; they can handle these characters! 

Well, the shipowners obviously reached that con 
clusion and started off with a new group which became 
the Pacific Maritime Association. The first to head 


LG: it up was Henry Clark, an easy-going guy, an older man; 
whether or not he was there just temporarily, I don't 
know. His place was then taken by Vic Pearson. Vic 
Pearson was out of the shipping industry, an old sea 
captain. Vic Pearson was a very decent human being, 
easy to get along with. 

Ward: I understand he got into trouble with the shipowners 
because he had his picture taken with some of the 
leaders of the ILWU. 

LG: It could be; Pearson was one of those who testified 
as a character witness for Harry. 

Ward: Yes, that sort of thing too. 

LG: But on the other hand, I don't think that was fake, 
because there were a number of shipowners who lined 
up the same way. There was Hubert Brown of Pacific 
Par East Lines; Ken Pinessey of States Line, I think. 
Walter Buck turned up as a character witness for Harry. 
I managed to talk to most of them. Even old Doc 
(Doctor) Leo Eloesser, (a prominent surgeon) turned up 
as a character witness, so I don't think that made too 
much difference in Vic Pearson's standing. 

But Vic Pearson developed cancer and after a while 
he had to resign. Then his place was taken by St. 

Ward: St. Sure had been advising them for some time, just as 
a lawyer - 

LG: St. Sure might have been advising them, because he had 
a long background in labor relations. St. Sure for a 
number of years had been the head of the California 
Processors and Growers, an organization made up of all 
the canneries or cannery owners. 

Ward: You had had a run-in with him years before, hadn't you, 
over at Santa Cruz Packing? 

LG: Yes, that was back in the thirties. It was not a 

pleasant run-in because he was out-and-out strike 
breaking. I recall one session where I said, "Well, 
somewhere along the line, we're going to get even, 
I'll tell you that." He interpreted that as a threat. 
It wasn't a personal threat, of course. Later on, 


LG: Harry in one of Ms more difficult moments decided that 
I had threatened to kill St. Sure - no less. One of 
those things, "but the (Santa Cruz Packing) case didn't 
end there. 

ard: It went to the Supreme Court, didn't it? 

LG-: That's right. That's why the run-in wasn't one of 

those quick encounters which are just as quickly for 
gotten. The Supreme Court ruled for the union on every 
single score. I recall there was a substantial group 
of workers who had been "blacklisted, - run out and 
their places taken by scabs, who collected back pay; 
but meanwhile the job had been done. The union was 
wrecked at Santa Cruz Packing. 

Ward: How long would the time lag be? Eight years? 
LG: It was closer to five - six years. 
ard: The people had dispersed? 

LG: People dispersed, took other jobs; life was fairly 

comfortable or a little more comfortable, they made new 
friends. They were not going to gamble that away, in 
most cases. 

Ward: They take their back pay? 

LG: Yes, that's all. They consider it a union victory, 
but it's not a true union victory because the union 
itself is not established full strength as it was 

As a matter of fact, a number of companies to this 
day follow this technique. J. P. Stevens (a textile 
manufacturer) is as good an example as any. I don't 
know how many times they have been cited by the 
(National Labor Relations) Board; how many times they 
have been found guilty. This goes on and on indefinite 
ly. J. P. Stevens made the decision a long time ago 
that it paid them. Keep firing people, force them 
into unfair labor practices hearings, go out with the 
most blatant union- breaking program. 

They have their lawyers drag it out, take as much 
time as possible, and then the payoff is, "Okay, so 
it costs us a couple of million bucks in back pay." 


LG: That's chicken-feed compared to what it would cost if 

they had a genuine union in the place. They make 
those cold-blooded calculations; nothing unusual. 
That's what happened at Santa Cruz Packing. 

St. Sure was a real charmer and a very bright guy; 
highly competent. I recall one day we were down at 
the PMA office for some meeting; it was over with and 
I was about to leave. I walked by the door and he 
happened to catch me and said, "Let's talk for a 
minute, Lou." 

He just wanted to sit down for a personal talk; he 
was very blunt about the thing. He said, "I've always 
wondered if you still carried a grudge about the 1935 
Santa Cruz Packing strike." I said, "No, not really, 
we finally won in the Supreme Court. I don't think 
that surprised you too much." He said, "Really, it 
didn't; but I was just hoping it was something that 
wouldn't affect our relationship now." 

That was a charming way of going at it. I said, 
"You can assume that it won't and we'll take things 
on their merits." It wasn't a love match or anything 
like that, but I didn't see any purpose in hanging on 
to something of that sort over all those years. 

An Amazing Change 

LG: Plus he was a different guy. It was a rare thing for 

a guy in St. Sure's position to come out flatly against 
the right-to-work laws. Getting his support became 
very valuable to a lot of unions, and it was used 
constantly in publicity. A few other employers came 
along as a result. St. Sure knew what he was doing. 
The employers themselves literally called the whole 
situation on the waterfront "A new look." 

Ward: Yes, I remember that. 

LG: That was the title of it. That "new look" included 
regular meetings with the top staff of the union to 
discuss problems before they came to a head; even the 
setting up of a semi-official structure designed to 
head off some of the more difficult disputes before 


LG-: they reached the stage where there was nothing left 

except a confrontation. They set up what they called 
a "crisis committee", composed of a group of principals, 
namely, shipowners themselves, not vice-presidents or 
labor relations men; the principals themselves, includ 
ing the head of PMA, I suppose St. Sure, and principals 
from the ILWU. In the event either party felt that some 
situation was getting out of hand, trouble, the crisis 
committee would meet. 

Mat son Gets The Brush-Off 

LG: The fact that the "new look" had a certain genuiness 

to it was tested in 1949 in a funny way. Matson busted 
their balls trying to get the PMA to take on the union 
because of our refusal to handle any cargo going to 
Hawaii unless it was cleared by the union. We had a 
position that we would send certain foodstuffs and so 
forth; Matson 1 s position was that we had a contract. 

As to what happened at the other end, this whole 
business of strike-breaking down there, that was no 
concern of the court up here. That's when they went 
before Judge Harris for an injunction; I mentioned the 
incident where I had some conversation with Randolph 
Sevier, who repeated it in court. 

Well, it didn't phase Harris a hair. He said, 
"I don't know about that conversation, but going back 
to the merits of the thing, why don't you gentlemen 
consider sitting down and talking about these things? 
And by the way, what's so wrong with arbitration? 
That's not terribly un-American." 

Then he said, "What if I do issue an injunction? 
What good will it do really? What if the men are 
dispatched from the hall as they're supposed to and 
never get to the ship?" Which is, of course, what 

These were Matson' s efforts, on their own; PMA was 
not represented at the injunctive hearings. What was 
being tested was whether or not the "new look" meant 
what it said or whether Matson' s efforts to get the 
entire PMA lined up for a break with the ILWU would 
succeed. Their technique - which had also been worked 


LG: out with. Aim on Roth and Foisie - the retributive 

technique, was that if there was a shut-down on one 
ship, they would shut the entire port down. 

Everybody was watching Mat son, and I will say PMA 
held up. As a matter of fact, they went so far that 
by the tail end of the Hawaii strike, PMA allowed a 
special provision to be written into the contract - 
it's still there - that in the event of a strike by any 
ILWU local, we did not have to load cargo which would be 
handled by strike-breakers or cargo that had been loaded 
by strike-breakers. I mention these things because 
with the "new look" there came - 

Ward: A new man? 

LG: A new man, St. Sure; and also came a situation where 
the employers decided they were going to get a lot 
further through a policy of gentle diplomacy, reason 
able understanding. I wouldn't say that somebody sat 
down and said, "Look, these guys can be bought off." 

It was not a situation like some unions people read 
about in the east, where somebody decides, "That guy 
can be reached; give him a couple of bucks." I think 
PMA decisions were made on a much more intellectual 
level, and I would credit St. Sure with that. 

A man like St. Sure would say, "If we act on the up 
and up; when we think we're right, set our heels and 
don't budge, that's that; but if there's any indication 
that we're wrong, under no circumstances should we bull 
our way through or try to hammer our way to a victory 
regardless of the consequences. If the union raises 
any issue which does not affect the basic managerial 
rights of the employers, we are better off to agree 
with it than to make it another issue just to be mean 
and to quarrel." 

It was a well designed, a well thought-out program 
in the belief that effective class collaboration could 
be achieved. And they turned out to be right. Gains 
were made. This wasn't a business of the kind of union 
you've seen develop where, in effect, the understanding 
is that the employers will see to it that the union 
stays in line and the membership pays their dues. 

Ward: Like a dues check-off and all that? 


LG: Yes; as a matter of fact during all that time the union 
never even put into effect a provision of the longshore 
contract which provided that any time we wanted the 
union shop, we could have it. The "new look" "brought no 
big change, but bit by bit labor relations, which had 
been pretty acerbic over the years, took on an entirely 
different tone. 

Ward: More relaxed? 

LG: Yes; everything was on a first name basis; in the main, 
very friendly. To say that none of our people at the 
International were unhappy with this thing would be 
very wrong. Later on, this showed up in various ways, 
particularly in the mechanization program where there 
were some very sharp differences of opinion. 


Pensions. Dental Plan, Housing 

LG: I'll give you an example of what happened when we 

negotiated the first pension agreement; we were deter 
mined that we were going to get a $100 a month pension; 
it meant shaking up the whole pension concept that 99 
percent of industry was working under, this idea of 
full funding. 

Well, these employers are all of the same family; 
they meet with these insurance people, they are com 
patriots, they belong to the same clubs, have lunch 
together. You'd think they would be highly influenced 
by something of that sort. They think that's the way 
the system should operate, just using that as an example, 

But it didn't seem to phase them when we said, "We 
think we can put together a pension that will pay 100 
bucks a month." "Well, they said, "we don't know 
whether you can or can't; all we can tell you is that 
the total amount of money we are prepared to put into 
a pension is blank." It was 15 cents an hour, the 
blank amount being 15 cents. 

I'm sure they must have been disturbed with some of 
the contacts they had with the big actuarial firms, 
insurance people they knew. They must have gotten more 


LG-: than their share of ribbing along the street, "because 

it was the general talk in the industry that the pen 
sion plan would go belly-up in no time. And it was a 
very odd pension plan, again, a reflection of this 
"new look." 

Ward: Do you recall what year this was? 

LG-: Pearson was the head of the PMA at the time we nego 
tiated that pension plan. I remember that. 

Ward: St. Sure was already advising them? 
LG: I gather so - I didn't know at 

Ward: He says in his oral history that he had been advising 
them for a time after the dismissal of Foisie and 

LG: That could very well be, in that transition period 
before he took over. I don't know whether St. Sure 
had any problems on the question of heading up the 
PMA. He was also the head of a very large employer 
group, the California Processors and Growers which 
set up a large scale organization in conjunction with 
Vandeleur*and others in the AFofL to make sure that 
they forced out all the left-wing unions, including 
UCAPAWA; later on the whole thing was turned over to 
the Teamsters union. Whether the shipowners felt this 
was a conflict of approach, I'm not sure. Eventually, 
it must have been reconciled; St. Sure became the head 
of both. In addition, he had a law firm. 

Ward: Well, he said he virtually gave up everything. He 
began a general law business, but reached the point 
that he had no time for anything else except labor. 

LG: I think that would be true. 

Ward: He said his law firm became almost totally involved in 
labor cases. 

LG: Right; he wasn't the only member of his law firm. 

There were others we'd bump into now and again, most 
of them reflecting St. Sure's general philosophy; not 
professional union-busters, but no patsies or pushovers, 
They put up a battle for their principals, but they 
were not conducting a crusade against the unions. 

* Ed Vandeleur, secretary, California Federation of Labor 


Ward: Well, anyway, the "new look" really worked and it had 
its effect on the ILWU? 

LG: Right. It worked; people dropped their guard. Our 

people found life was a lot easier than busting their 
backs on two-bit issues where the employer was being 
difficult, in effect saying, "You're not going to get 
a goddam thing out of me unless I'm absolutely forced 
to do so." So, of course, that changes the scene. 
That's the reason I say this designed program in no 
way resembled the other situations where the employers 
feel they can reach union officials, pass money under 
the table, or any crap like that. 

Ward: I don't think anybody has been accused of such a thing 
in that ILWU-PMA relationship. 

LG-: I'm quite sure that is correct. 

Ward: And whatever favors were done, they were open and above 
board, weren't they? 

LG-: Yes, and I don't think there were that many favors 

really. It wasn't that kind of a relationship; I don't 
think it even was much of a social relationship, except 
an occasional luncheon. 

Ward: You don't think Harry was invited over to St. Sure's 
home or vice versa? 

LG: If he did, it must have been a rare occasion. 

Ward: You weren't invited over? 

LG: No - no; which is just as well. 

Ward: Well, I'm not asking you to second-guess what happened 
between Harry and St. Sure, except as you saw it. 

LG: Obviously, the change to the so-called "new look" put 
labor relations on a more intelligent and constructive 
basis. We were able to pioneer the first dental plan, 
which was for children. We initiated the first one 
in the country; we decided that instead of trying to 
get dental plan coverage for everybody we would con 
centrate on youngsters up to 16. There was a very- 
elaborate system of double checking on the kids, 
making sure they kept their appointments and reminding 


LG-: the mothers. Our feeling was that if you got some 
decent dental habits into the kids up to 16, they 
would keep these for the rest of their lives. This 
was a very novel program; I don't recall any resistance 
to that. Sure, they priced it out. 

Later on in the sixties I happened to get the idea 
that there was no reason why the pension funds should 
just be laying around being invested in high grade 
securities. Later on other things happened with the 
pension plan, where they decided to put some of the 
money in common stock, but that's a story by itself. 
I thought there was no reason why that money shouldn't 
be used to build some low-cost housing. 

Initially the man I tried to work with was Kenneth 
Saysette, the treasurer of the PMA. He was pretty 
much of the old school. He wasn't too hot to try it; 
I remember dragging him down to what was part of the 
old Mills Estate, down the peninsula because that land 
was up in the market and I thought that might be a 
natural for housing built through the pension fund. 

I knew a little about what I was trying to do, 
because my brother had been a builder for years. In 
conversation with him, I picked up how much money was 
taken off the top before a house was sold. He was 
convinced that between the interim financing, for which 
they really rip you off, the advertising, speculation 
in terms of the amount of profit, altogether there was 
at least 20 per cent that went off the top, leaving 
aside profit to the guy who was doing the building. 
This was all money that could be saved. 

Ward: The Mills Estate wasn't a worker's neighborhood. 

LG: No. The place that appealed to me a great deal more 
was Tennessee Valley, right near Mill Valley, only 
about a ten-minute commute to San Francisco. There was 
some big acreage which would have lent itself very 
nicely to a lot of individual home building; I tried to 
interest Saysette in that. He dragged his feet on the 

Finally what did break things through was that I was 
approached by Justin Herman of the Redevelopment Agency, 
They had torn down a large part of the Western Addition 


LG-: (a nan-down district in San Francisco) - and the land 
was lying there fallow for years. The more I looked 
into the thing, the more I was convinced that the main 
purpose of the Redevelopment Agency was to assist the 
real estate speculators, builders, and contractors. 

By using the power of eminent domain, they could 
assemble large parcels of land for large scale develop 
ment as no individual could do. When an individual 
goes after a project, let us say, to assemble a square 
block of land, the name of the game then is who's going 
to hold out to the end; in other words, the last guy 
figures he has the hammer. The outfit putting it "all 
together has to have this piece of land. 

There's a story about one of these huge office 
developments in New York City where they simply could 
never work out a deal with some little old lady who 
had a small house in the middle of the street. They 
finally worked out a deal with the city on the question 
of air rights and built the whole damn thing right 
around it. There it was - this little house. 

This is the area where redevelopment could play such 
a highly essential purpose. "What they were doing in 
tearing down some of those slums made some sense; but 
what they were not doing was replacing the slums with 
anything that any of the people who had lived there 
would have any chance under the sun of coming back to. 

In one part of the V/estern Addition, the most 
attractive part, you have Cathedral Hill and all the 
churches; oh, you can get a blessing in every direction, 
I think, except I don't recall any synagogue there. 
Pick whatever you want, Unitarian, Baptist, the big 
Catholic church. No shortage of that going on. 

Well, Herman came to me and said that there was a 
big hunk of land available. He thought it ought to be 
suitable for low cost housing, perhaps on a cooperative 
basis. He was convinced that if we put in a proposal 
for building St. Francis Square, which is what it was 
called, he was quite sure it would be acceptable. 

I had two long sessions with St. Sure on that and 
he said, "Go ahead." The trustees were generally 
amenable, but a little bit skeptical. After all, it 
was a financial venture; was it prudent; would it pay 


LG-: enough returns? I thought all those bases could "be 

covered, and eventually they were. It "became a compli 
cated thing for many reasons. For one thing, I think 
Saysette got to one of our trustees, because half a 
dozen times they practically dumped the project and I 
had to bail it out again. 

Ward: Your trustee would? 

LG-: And Saysette; they decided they didn't want to go ahead 
wih it - 

Ward: In other words, he was just making trouble for the 

LG: Yes; he had it in mind that these were going to be 

instant slums. Meanwhile, I had gotten the Interna 
tional to put up some seed money. It did not amount 
to a great deal, something like $2, 500 'or $3,000, only 
for the purpose of making a submission. 

Marquis and Stoller were the architects and I had 
some advice from Jack Baskin (a builder), although 
later on he said he wouldn't bid on the project when 
he saw the drawings. We had the idea that we'd build 
cooperative housing to meet certain income limitations. 
If it was a family of three or four, there was a 
certain ceiling on what their income could be; if it 
was a larger family it would be more. 

We made a presentation, and all of a sudden (Joseph 
L.) Eichler turns up in the picture, coddling up to me 
at the hearing and saying, "Why do you guys want to 
get into building for? You don't know anything about 
it. I'm an expert on this sort of thing and I already 
have plans for building these Eichler Towers out there, 
and I could expand the whole project." 

Just one of these things where the guy is going to 
build a huge monument to himself. And I said, "No, we 
thought we could go ahead; we want a different kind of 
housing - we want middle income housing and low income 
housing." This was bothering him, because why have 
this alongside of his nice, new development? That's 
where Jack Shelley (who had become congressman and 
later mayor of San Francisco) lived for a while, 
remember? So, the net result was a lot of hard work. 
I accused Justin Herman of working with Eichler, and 


LG: after getting us interested, doubling back and telling 
Eichler that he'd better move. "If we're turned down," 
I told him, "there are going to be some heads rolled 
down Market Street, and none will be mine." We didn't 
get along too well; and things got more difficult as 
we went along. 

It did get accepted; instead of paying heavy interim 
financing, I persuaded the trustees to go down to the 
California Bank, which had been the fiduciary agent 
for our funds. They did the coupon clipping, banking 
the money, a nice profitable banking function. There 
was no good reason why they couldn't give us the 
interim financing at a reasonable rate, which they 
did - something like 6 percent. 

How To Save A Million Dollars 

LG: Then the architects came along with their plans, which 
did not fit the budget because the budget was built 
backwards. We took the number of apartments which 
could logically be built, leaving a large amount of 
open area in the interior. On that score the archi 
tects did an excellent job; the housing is all around 
the periphery of these squares. The center portions 
are like huge parks or playgrounds, and they turned 
out very successfully. However, other parts of their 
plans did not work out as well. 

The idea was to first decide how much we could 
spend for the 300 apartments we planned to build; 
based on the amount that was put into the thing. Could 
we then meet a certain rental or payment schedule? 
These would be co-ops; there was to be an initial down 
payment of $500 or $600, and then the regular monthly 
payments, as you would have in any cooperative project. 
Well, on that score we worked backwards. 

When the architects' plans came in, Jack Baskin was 
one of those who looked at them. Jack Baskin was a 
man I knew only casually in L. A. - he had broken up 
with his wife and decided he wanted to move north. He 
was very anxious to get into something. 

Ward: He was an architect? 


LG-: He was a builder and an engineer. Very competent and 
knowledgeable. When the plans came in we said, "Now 
we have to put them out to "bid." He said to go ahead, 
but "I'm not going to bid on them." I asked him, "Why?" 
and he said nobody was going to come in at our price. 
It could not be done inside the budget we had planned, 
which would allow enough money both for building and 
to give a fair return to the PMA on its money, which 
we wanted to be somewhat higher than their average 
rate of return. Also the bid would have to meet the 
standards we had in mind in terms of monthly cost. 

He was right; when the bids came in, the closest 
one was a million dollars over what we had estimated. 
So, I went back to talk to Baskin again as to what 
the devil was wrong. 

He said, "I could have told you from the very 
beginning; the plans are over-engineered in certain 
ways, absolutely unnecessary, don't make sense. It's 
not my job, after all * to tell you how to do these 
things. If you're interested in coming within the 
budget, I guarantee some architects I know can do it. 
I'll give it. to you at a fixed price." (With a very 
low rate of return for himself - I think 4^- percent). 

He was right; one of the architects,, Claude Stoller, 
had lived in one of the Amalgamated (Clothing Workers 
union) housing projects in the east - he was born in 
one of them - and one of the things he thought would 
be highly effective in a co-op was a huge central 
heating plant like is needed in New York City; steam 
heat. So, he had planned a central heating plant 
from which you would pipe the heat to the various 

Jack's position was, "You have to be out of your 
minds to do that here. For one thing, you don't need 
that much heat; secondly, people differ so much here; 
some people like warm apartments and some people don't 
like any heat at all. You install wall heaters and 
you build at a fraction of the cost." 

A couple of minor changes, and bingo! he had a 
million dollars knocked off the cost. Well, we went 
ahead with the project and it was very successful; 
still is. I was over there for the fifteenth anni 
versary of the completion; it was finished in 1963. 


Ward: It was pretty much your baby, wasn't it? 

LG: Yes, I was president of that project. Bill G-lazier 
was also a help. Everything came out to the letter; 
Hal Dunleavy (a housing consultant) was acting as our 
advisor: Jack Baskin knew FHA (Federal Housing Adminis 
tration) - they had an enormous amount of confidence in 
him "because he had "been very successful as a builder 
around San Diego and they trusted his judgment. 

So there was no great problem in getting the 
progress payments that were required. The pension 
funds got their return. A small hitch I can recall 
was, at the tail end we had spent more money on land 
scaping than we had anticipated. 

They were going to put in specimen trees, initially; 
you can't have a kid and a fragile tree at the same 
time, because that kid is going to climb that tree; 
you put" in these specimen trees and by the time a week 
is gone, the branches are broken. : I said, "Put more 
money into heavier kinds of trees," which stood up 
extremely well. 

And secondly, with all the designing, there was no 
sound-proofing between floors, so we put a bunch of 
dough into carpeting. Come the end of the project, we 
had a cost overrun, somewhere around $20,000. 

Ward: That's the only over-run? What was the cost of the 

LG: About $5,000,000. 

Ward: And you only had an over- run of $20,000? 

LG: A very small over- run. I didn't want to take it out 

of any of the funds which were going to the PMA and I 
didn't see any reason why we couldn't clean up the 
whole record. I remember having a very humorous lunch 
at Jack's with Pick Ernst, the (PMA) attorney, and Jack 

I said, "We're closing up the books now, and the 
quicker we get out of the thing the better." The way 
the co-op rules operate, as soon as you sold off 95 
percent of the units, I think it was, you could turn it 
over to the co-op and get out of it completely. Then 
it would be their baby. I wanted to cut the umbilical 


LG: cord as quickly as possible; I didn't want to see the 
union "be a landlord. That could become a hopeless 
situation; you have a strike on and the guys would say, 
"Jesus Christ, we've got to pay rent to you fellas too." 

So I said, "We've got this cost over-run; let's get 
rid of it here and now. I think part of it ought to 
be paid for by the contractor and part of it by the 
attorney." And the amount I wanted to be paid by 
Baskin was somewhat more, though the allowance for 
attorneys' fees in the whole budget was substantial. 
Jack Baskin stood up like a champ and said, "That's 
okay, I'll pay my share." Ernst swallowed a couple of 
times, but finally had to go along. So we wound up 
the project. 

That didn't end things, however, because I later 
had to go to Washington where we changed the coopera 
tive laws. For one thing, the way these laws read, 
if somebody got an increase in pay which put him in 
excess of the income limitations, he would be forced 
to move. He could sell his equity back to the co-op 
housing project. The equity would be only the amount 
of the down payment, less what was required for repair, 
and the new tenant would move in. 

Well, if you did that you would wind up with what 
amounted to public housing with a down payment; plus 
the fact that I thought the feeling of ownership was 
essential to make the project work. So, Dick Adams, 
(an associate of Dick Ernst) and I went back to 
Washington and had a roundy-go-roundy with EHA. 

They had become very jaundiced on cooperatives; 
too many of them failed, I think failed in part be 
cause they failed to tackle these problems of ownership, 
a feeling of pride in the project. We made two basic 
changes - one, if somebody's income exceeded the 
initial limit, the interest that they would pay would 
become higher than the special interest rate that 
prevailed on this kind of housing. 

This kind of housing was semi-assistance public 
housing under Title 221-D3, part of the Housing Act, 
with money from the government at 3i percent, which 
of course is an extremely good buy. Rather than be 
evicted, the individual would pay a rate which could 
go up as high as the regular FHA rate, 5~k o r 5-3/4 
percent. That money would go into the co-op, and it 
would have a few extra dollars in reserve. 


LG: Secondly, we made provision that the individual could 
develop an equity in the housing project. There were 
a number of changes we made along that line, which 
resulted in a remarkable difference in attitude toward 
St. Francis Square as compared to a place like Milpit- 
as. There, a housing project sponsored by the Auto 
Workers went belly-up; St. Francis Square, to the 
contrary, became highly successful. As a matter of 
fact, all of Justin Herman's brochures on the Redevel 
opment Agency always featured St. Francis Square for 
years after that; the man who practically killed it. 

Ward: You had a lot of trouble with him? 

LG: Oh, yes. Well, once the thing was done, it was done. 

Ward: Well, then, you had the cooperation of the PMA and St. 
Sure was very helpful? 

LG-: Oh, yeah, his attitude was fine. He said, "That's 
what the pension money is there for." 

Ward: What return did the investment pay to PMA? 

LG-: I think it was somewhere in the neighborhood of six 

Ward: For those days, that was a good return. 

LG: Well, the average return for the fund in those days 
was somewhere between five and five and a quarter. 
I was determined that it would be something in excess 
of that, so . . . . 

Ward: It gave PMA a good deal? 

LG: Yes, and St. Sure's attitude in the deal reflected a 

very shrewd approach to labor relations. He said that 
the pension money wasn't there to see whether we could 
make a bank rich or buy a lot of stocks in big corpor 
ations; the pension fund was there to pay pensions. 

Ward: So, you gave 300 families a city living at comparative 
ly low cost? 

LG: Oh, yes, the lowest cost in the city, and all in an 
ideal location; if you were working anywhere around 
the Civic Center, you could walk to work. The bus 
service there is excellent. The project turned out to 


LG: be so successful that it became a showplace for visi 
tors from other countries; to show that this wasn't 
an all-capitalist country; here was a cooperative 
housing project. 

Going by the Square one day I heard a group talking 
and I couldn't make out the language exactly. It 
sounded Russian, so I stood behind and listened to them; 
somebody from the State Department was giving an 
explanation about St. Francis Square. It turned out to 
be a group of Poles. 

The last group from abroad that I met there was a 
group of Chinese, about forty of them, who were with 
Luxingsha, the tourist agency. They were over here 
in preparation for these large-scale travel arrangements 
between the United States and China. They asked me to 
come by just to talk to them. It was just before Terry 
and I were taking off for China. They were all fas 
cinated by the Square; it has become quite a show place. 

The composition of the Square continues good; one- 
third white, one-third Asiatic and one-third black; a 
good mix. Something over a hundred of the cooperators 
have been there from the day one. 

So, it was one of the best things we ever did, 
although there was a lot of sniping; Howard Bodine 
spread rumors around that my brother had made a piece 
of money off the project. I finally nailed my brother 
down and said, "Did you ever have anything to do with 
the thing?" "Yeah, Jack Baskin was trying to buy a 
whole bunch of doors and couldn't make contact and I 
knew some guys in L. A. who wanted the work and could 
make them up in a hurry for him. So, I put them in 
touch with him; big deal." (laughter) That sort of 

This sniping went on; the only way I can figure it 
out is that even within PMA there were people who were 
not accepting this new look the same way. Guys like 
Ken Saysette. Anyway, the project went through. 
Saysette was very anxious that we move into common 
stock, something that I opposed bitterly and not 
completely successfully, but at least avoiding those 
insane portfolios whereby 50 per cent of the money was 
put into common stock. Our portfolio never did go over 
ten or eleven percent, primarily on account of my hell- 


LG-: I mention St. Francis Square because it was an indica 

tion of what St. Sure felt about these things. I think 
he had a more positive vision of the project than 
Harry himself. Harry, for some reason or other, got 
very jaundiced on the whole thing, even though a number 
of warehousemen lived there. 

It's true that not all the longshoremen were eligible 
because their income was too high, but the "B" men were; 
a number of them moved in. Leroy King,*who lives out 
there still was an original cooperator, and was chair 
man of the board of directors. 

Ward: Doesn't he make too much money for that? 

LG: Leroy? No. He then paid the higher interest rate. I 

remember him bringing a new manager by and introducing 
him to Harry. Of course, this man was very impressed. 
Harry's immediate reaction was "Well, that's the last 
goddam one like that we'll ever build." He got bugs 
on these things, some of which I gave up trying to 

When they tried to impose the regular tax rate on 
St. Francis Square, I appeared on the co-op's behalf 
before the Board of Supervisors on the tax appraisal. 
I said, "You can't use the same measure on a co-op 
housing project that you can, let us say, on a 


LG: And the reason for that was very simple - it was not 

like a condominium. You couldn't go out and sell it 
in the open market. If you wanted to sell your 
apartment you had to sell for whatever you had in it; 
you couldn't make a nickel profit. 

How in the devil can you put a co-op owner in the 
same class as someone who bought a condominium for say, 
$30,000, and now you appraise it at $60,000, a so- 
called "fair market value." There is no such thing as 
a fair market value on this. It has nothing to do with 
the market; it has to do with the rules of the co-op. 

*Leroy King, secretary-treasurer of ILWU Local 6. 


Ward: So how much of a cut did you get on the Square's tax 

LG: It was quite substantial. I recall Harry getting 

terribly indignant because he had to pay his taxes 
on fair market value and here were these guys getting 
a free ride on the union! Of all the petty things! 
Completely ignoring the question of what you do about 
the tremendous need for low-cost housing. 

Ward: I wonder if that accounts for one of the differentia 
tions St. Sure made between you and Harry, that 
apparently Harry's vision was strictly trade union, 
whereas yours want beyond trade union into housing, 
health, dental care . . . 

LG: Yes, I got mixed up in all these things - 

Ward: Old age; he felt that these things were not strictly 
trade union affairs? 

LG: St. Sure realized that I thought union resources, union 

strength and union funds, including joint funds, should 
often be put to work in ways that were different from 
standard "business unionism." There was no reason why, 
if we had a pension fund, we must turn it over to an 
insurance company to have fun with; no reason why we 
couldn't handle things ourselves. 

Ward: But obviously this honeymoon with St. Sure, at least 
as far as you were concerned, didn't last forever? 

LG: It didn't break off, either. Oh, it got tough at 

certain stages with the mechanization agreement; that 
comes in '61 and in '66 and '71; those were different 
scenes. But at the period I'm talking about, these 
were not conflict points. 

St. Sure knew perfectly well how I felt about these 
things, like the pilot dental plan for kids. I thought 
it was very good. Harry helped carry the ball on that; 
Goldie Krantz (director of the ILWU-PMA welfare fund) 
of course was very helpful, and the trustees were sort 
of going along, although I got a feeling that they 
didn't hear any marching music with it; the same thing 
was true of housing. 

Later on I helped set up this Council for Health 
Plan Alternatives, a broad scale organization. We had 
just about all the key unions in the state engaged in 


LG: an attempt to see what we could do about the scanda 
lous increase in health costs; we sought the promotion 
of more (Health Maintenance Organizations) HMO's or 
things similar to Kaiser. Einar Mohn was the chair 
man; I was secretary. 

It also had another interesting aspect; here was 
the ILU, considered to be a left-wing, maverick 
union, almost a pariah, and yet suddenly we became 
part of a very broad coalition. Well, I think that's 
part of the job of the leftwing, not to throw away 
your principles, not trying to be a good guy by show 
ing you're just as much of a bum as the next guy. 

Hang on to your principles and at the same time try 
to find focal points where you can develop united 
activity that would do everybody a lot of good. I 
still consider that to be the secret of successful 
leftwing trade unionism. The Teamsters always knew 
that; it was not uncommon for us to get into lengthy 
discussions on everything, foreign affairs and what 
have you. 

"Conformance and Performance" 

Ward: Well, you said yourself that St. Sure came to exert 
a very powerful and very unfortunate influence over 
Harry Bridges. How did that begin to manifest itself? 

LG-: Well, it manifested itself in a number of ways. First, 
there was the program launched by the employers - I'm 
sure directed primarily by St. Sure - that they called 
"conformance and performance". It was a very clever 
program for which you couldn't fault them, as employ 
ers. They said, "Look, we're not arguing about the 
agreement; you think there ought to be more money 
there, we'll take this up when the demands are open. 
If you think there ought to be other things in the 
agreement, we'll take those up." 

Bear in mind, we were making good progress in all 
these agreements, picking up wage scales, good 
pensions; had done extremely well in health and welfare; 
had proliferated in the whole field of vacations, 
eventually even getting some holidays with pay. 


LG: St. Sure said, "We made a deal and we'll pay. The 

least we're entitled to is that there be conformance 
with the agreement and performance with the agreement." 

For example, one of the issues which became a 
subject of continuous discussion at caucus after 
caucus was the system that had developed during World 
War II, I think, which was called "four on, four off"; 
that was a system whereby if you took a gang of say, 
eight men in the hold of a ship, four guys would work 
the first four hours, the other guys taking it easy 
and then the other way around. 

Then, many of the locals began to perfect this in 
their own way. They had an understanding among them 
selves; okay, you guys get the first four hours - these 
guys would come down and work four hours, then knock 
off. They didn't even stick around the job after four 
hours. This was particularly true of night gangs, 
because there is less supervision; it's one of the 
reasons that some guys like to work nights. By one 
o'clock the guys were making the last drinks at the 
bar, and they're supposed to be at work and they are 
being paid the full eight hours 1 

Ward: At overtime, too! 

LG-: At overtime; so "four on and four off" became a big 
issue. In some places it never was a sticky thing; 
in Portland there was a different attitude; the idea 
of the guy walking off the job at the end of four 
hours was not accepted. On the other hand, in places 
like San Francisco this became just a standard method 
of work. In Los Angeles, they were the ones who began 
to perfect the business where at the end of four hours 
you were finished for the day. 

Those, obviously, were legitimate beefs by the 
employers. St. Sure was smart - he knew they were 
not issues where the union could tell him, "Go to hell; 
if you're screwed, you're screwed." 

Instead you had the countervailing situation with 
the union picking up gains, the relationship improving 
with the employers, the fact that we were making a 
number of changes - you would feel a certain obligation 
to get these things straightened out. In other words, 
not to give the employer a great big break, but at 
least give him what he paid for. So "conformance and 
performance" became an issue all by itself. 


LG: When it came to the question of performance, in many 
cases our 'guys developed rules that took no end of 
imagination and invention. For example, in Los 
Angeles, the gangs that worked around the docks - a 
truck would come in and unload a lot of cargo on the 
floor of the dock. They'd have to make up the thing 
on pallet "boards, so they would have dock gangs for 
that purpose; but then in other cases the pallets 
had to "be discharged and put into loads or high- 
piled for storage on the docks. 

The guys invented rules to divide the work. If a 
guy was in a palletizing gang, he would not do depalle- 
tizing. (laughter) Now, all these things were pure 
inventions. What they amounted to, really, were 
devices for featherbedding; taking it easy and making 
the job as comfortable as possible. 

Bear in mind, they were also doing a lot of hard 
work, because most of the work was still being hand- 
handled, that's all; and handling longshore cargo, no 
matter how you cut it, is still rough work. It could 
well be that four hours of that work at a steady pace 
is plenty. Frankly, my own feeling about the "four 
on - four off" set-up was actually in some respects 
a setback for the men. Eight men working together 
at a half-way decent speed is really much easier on 
them than four men working at one time and trying to 
meet the hook, working at high speed. 

Ward: Well, the way I've seen it in the hold of a ship, the 
guys in the gang have 30 minutes on and 30 minutes 
off. The guys who were off would just lie around and 
get out of the way. In that way, the guys who were 
working really put out. 

LG: Well, that was just another variation of four-on and 
four-off. Half on and half off, that had all kinds 
of names. But I'm not actually sure the guys were 
doing themselves a favor. On some jobs, where a good 
deal of machinery was being used, like fork lifts in 
the hold, maybe I could see where that could work out 
very comfortably and make the job very easy. 

Meeting the hook was still what the employers would 
be watching, namely, the hook cycle to determine how 
much cargo was going in or out. Where you have to be 
humping cargo all the time, four men trying to meet 
the hook where eight men could do it much more easily 
and at a better pace would have made more sense, I 
think; but habits and practices of work develop, and 
nothing much you can do about it. 


Ward: Well, did this campaign of St. Sure's, starting out 
with what you call the legitimate complaints of the 
employers, did it get into complaints that were not so 

LG: Every once in a while, but there you never got a feel 
ing that St. Sure was pushing too hard. Individual 
employers might try that, yes, but you never got a 
feeling that St. Sure was breaking his neck on it. He 
was very shrewd, he knew what the limitations were and 
he knew when he was on firm ground; he knew that on 
the question of conformance and performance, he 
definitely was on very strong ground. 

All I'm trying to put together here is a framework 
to show how the thing developed .... 

Ward: Very gradually, very .... 

LG: Right, and very cleverly. I'd say that St. Sure as a 
person would not feel that he was doing anything wrong. 
Here was this man, J. Paul St. Sure, son of a Federal 
judge, eminent attorney in his own right, a very 
bright negotiator, an effective administrator. I don't 
think he ever sat down and said to himself, "Now I can 
take over that union through a series of devices and 
techniques for corruption and undermining, wooing them 
and then screwing them." 

I don't think any characterization of St. Sure like 
that would be correct. I think it would be more 
accurate to figure that St. Sure felt that this was 
actually a more intelligent way of conducting labor 
relations. He knew that the ILWU was a very tough 
union and that even with all the camaraderie which was 
developing in the new relationship, still by and large 
there was a very tough core in this union that couldn't 
be pushed around. 

Ward: In other words, then, you seem to be saying that St. 
Sure was being honest with himself ', when asked if it 
was true that he had corrupted Harry Bridges, St. Sure 
replied, "No, I don't think so." 

LG-: I think that was a perfectly honest answer. 

Ward: But still you think he had a bad influence on Bridges? 


LG: I don't think he corrupted Bridges; I think that 

there was a stage when Bridges went along with his 
program. In other words, it sort of was bound to 
mature that way. That's harder to put your finger on. 

Ward: Who was it said that the road to heaven is downhill? 

LG: Or hell is paved with good intentions. But more and 

more, there came a feeling on the part of the men that 
- not that the union had sold out, that wasn't it - 
the union was getting different, that it was becoming 
more and more of an administrative body, an elaborate 
contract body. 

Here you had a contract covering about 15,000-16,000 
men up and down the Coast, two full-time Coast Commit- 
teemen; in addition, Harry was a Coast Committeeman 
when he sat in on it, also other officers would parti 
cipate, as assistants; an elaborate piece of machinery 
for a single agreement. 

The agreement became more and more complicated - I 
met a chap in L.A. from Local 13 when I went down there 
awhile ago, and I asked him how things were working 
out. He said, "There's nothing wrong with the 
agreement as such - the money is good, the money is 
good - but Jesus Christ! this agreement is getting so 
complicated to administer. I don't think we can afford 
to go with this two on, two off anymore." 

What he meant by that is that they have a rule in 
Local 13, the same as Local 10 and most other Pacific 
Coast longshore locals, that when you are elected to 
office, you can serve only two years and then you have 
to go back on the job. And his point was very simple. 
He said, "Christ, it takes about a year to learn the 
agreement, with all its ins and outs for administrative 
purposes - not just the ordinary way of learning it on 
the job - and by that time, if you run for reelection 
and get reelected, you figure, why bust my ass?" He's 
getting to the end of his term anyway. 

Something has to change, because more and more the 
union has become an administrative body. On the other 
hand, if you look at the thing historically, maybe you 
also have to accept the fact that this was inevitable. 
In other words, that dynamism, the concerted and almost 
daily militancy that was the name of the game and was 


LG: characteristic of the industry between 1934 and '48, 
oould not go on forever* Bear in mind, Poisie and 
Harrison gave it their "best shot in 1948 and couldn't 
win it. The other employers were a lot more intelligent 
about the thing and were getting a much better job 
done, particularly when it came to making a major 
transition to containerization. 

Ward: Well, now we ride on the lip of that one - shall we 
leave it for now? 

LG: Might as well leave it at that point. 


(Interview 29: October 10, 1978) 

Velvet Glove On Steel Hand 

Ward: We were talking about St. Sure and his relationship 

with the ILWU; the fact that he had been very coopera 
tive in the beginning years of that relationship. 

LGs Yes; as a matter of fact, he sort of continued in that 
role during the time he was the head of the PMA. I 
forget exactly what year he died, some time I think in 
the late 1960s. 

Ward: I think so; '69, I believe. 

LG: As I recall, somethiig happened in the sixties which I 
guess was a pretty bad blow to him. He had been the 
head of the California Processors and Growers for years. 
It was a multi-employer group of canneries that had 
worked out the arrangements with Ed Vandeleur (former 
head of the California State Federation of Labor, AFofL) 
at the time of the UCAPAWA and the transition they made 
into the Teamsters. Well, all of a sudden, the cannery 
people dropped him. 

What the internal politics were I'm not sure; whether 
this was a palace revolution or that the line he was 
taking with the ILWU was so different from the one they 
would consider to be correct for the California Proces 
sors and Growers. 

I do know that he took this development very person 
ally. He had spent so many years putting the thing 
together and holding it up. The implications were that 


LG: toward those later years his primary concern was with 
the ILWU, rather than with any other groups, although 
his law firm handled any number of employer accounts; 
their primary interest was in labor relations. 

It was during St. Sure's period that a number of 
changes began to take place in the ILWU contract; 
became a bit of a handle for the employers. I mean 
it's not that I think that all employers are alike; 
that when they come home at night, the first thing 
they do is kick the dog, whack the kids and then beat 
up the wife. Some of them can be quite pleasant and 

Then there's some degree of difference between the 
people who represent employers and the employers 
themselves. The employers keep their nose on that 
dotted line all the time, watching the financial 
operations from day to day. The more competent labor 
relations people for the employers have a somewhat 
broader vision. 

There's no doubt in my mind that St. Sure's apprais 
al as to what ought to be done in the case of the ILWU 
had a good deal more breadth than that of the other 
employers. He was dealing with a complicated industry, 
much more complicated than appears on the surface. 

The shipowners are really the principals. They are 
the ones who invest the big money in the ships and the 
long term leases on piers and terminals. You've always 
had the stevedoring contractor; all he does, basically, 
is to sell a longshoreman's work. This was particul 
arly true during the earlier days of stevedoring 
operations before the advent of new machinery, the 
forklift, various types of machines such as the one 
called the robot. 

All a stevedoring company needed to go into business 
was a couple of save-alls, some rope slings, maybe a 
couple of pallet boards, perhaps one forklift or a 
jitney and they're in business. The stevedoring 
companies were always shrewd enough to stay fairly 
close to most of the unions. 

It was not uncommon to get rumbles back from the 
waterfront that yes, the shipowners were opposed to 
this, that and the other thing, but not the stevedoring 


LG-: companies; they were prepared to go along. In some 
cases, I think they were entirely happy to go along 
because when they are selling somebody else's labor; 
the more of it you have to sell - and you figure a 
certain amount of override - the more you get. 

It's one of the reasons I'm convinced that during 
World War II, certain changes in working conditions 
developed on the waterfront which became well nigh 
irreversible because the army and navy, and various 
branches of the maritime commission that were handling 
shipping for the War Shipping Administration practical 
ly didn't give a damn how much of a cost the stevedor 
ing company ran up; it made no difference to them. 

As far as the stevedoring company was concerned, it 
it wasn't a damn bit interested in how fast the job 
got done, either. If the company had a job that 
ordinarily would be done in four days and the company 
stretches it out to five or even six days, that's just 
a little more money to him. So why bust his neck on 
these things? 

Well, it isn't too long before. any longshoremen who 
know their business - and they know it inside out - 
get a grasp of what's going on and they figure fine, 
if this is a merry-go-round, we'll take a ride too. 

I think a lot of things such as the four-on, four- 
off and other work practices developed during that 
time, some of which they were able to recoup and some 
which they never could. But four-on, four- off became 
an invidious practice; just pure invention. 

They were able to get by because, as far as the 
stevedoring contractor was concerned, that didn't 
bother him a great deal. Sure the stevedoring contrac 
tor had to deal with the shipowner; that was the man 
from whom he had received his contract. 

On the other hand, the stevedoring company could 
sort of play it both ways. On the one hand, be 
friends with the union and say, "Look, we can get alone:, 
fellows," and at the same time tell the shipping 
company, "G-oddam it, there's only so much I can get 
done with these guys; they won't work any faster and 
we can't do any better than that. We'll just have to 
live with it." 


LG-: So, you had these contradictions. I think that with 
the setting up of the Pacific Maritime Association, 
they even began to change the voting rights in many 
ways, so that these stevedoring companies did not 
have that much of a voice on the whole question of 
policy, contracts, and so forth. Anyway, these were 
complications that St. Sure had to find his way through. 

Ward: In his oral history he complained about several thousand 
alleged violations of the contract on the part of the 
ILWU. I suppose that is what you're discussing. 

LG-: Yes, he figured that each one of these things was a 

violation; four-on, four-off by a gang is a violation. 
That's one violation and the next gang is doing the 
same thing, so that's two violations. If you start 
counting that way you count up pretty fast. 

Ward: Then there were other things too. 

LG: Right; for example, there was the question of unneces 
sary men. These are some of the things that later on 
led to the mechanization agreement. We began to develop 
in effect what amounted to "observers" on the job. Let 
me give you an example: at one time, scrap iron used 
to be handled in the hold of the ship where they have 
huge clam shells that would take the scrap iron, dump 
it in the square of the hatch; then the men would have 
to haul it back to the different sides of the hatch to 
try to get a level load. 

Later on, they developed a scheme whereby instead 
of using a clam shell, they used a huge magnet which 
dropped a tremendous amount of scrap iron at one time. 

They began to use huge bulldozers to push the stuff 
around and level it off, but that did not change the 
minds of our guys; they still required the regulation 
gang, eight men in the hold. The other men just stood 
around. There were actually some humorous examples; 
I recall one instance - I'm not sure that anyone did 
this seriously - where the employers maintained that 
the union men demanded a television set on the job 
because when the men had to sit around, they wanted 
something to do. 


Yarns Of The Docks 

Ward: That sounds like the story of the longshoreman and the 
nine pairs of women's panties. 

LG-: Yes, you always have a certain amount of that. Of 

course, when you get into stories of pilfering on the 
waterfront, they go on and on - 

Ward: And the grand piano and all that .... 

LG: That's right; grand pianos and Sullivan with the 
Japanese silk, which I think is still the classic 
story. Banana Nose Sullivan was working in a gang 
discharging bolts of Japanese silk. It was getting 
towards holiday time and he said, "This is exactly what 
my wife would like - she could make herself some 
"beautiful dresses and some for the kids." 

The question was, how do you get the damn thing off 
the ship - you can't just throw it over your shoulder 
and walk off; guards around all the time. He finally 
figured that just before the shift was ready to "break, 
he took off his clothes and had the guys wrap him up 
in part of a "bolt of silk; maybe not the whole bolt; 
that would have been too big since there was an awful 
lot of it. 

Then he got his clothes back on and with the help of 
the guys got up the ladder all right. He starts 
walking down the dock and the guys notice he's turning . 
a very deep purple. Apparently, what happens is that 
once you wrap something in silk, the silk begins to 
bind, getting tighter and tighter. And somebody sud 
denly realized either they unwrap Banana Nose Sullivan 
in a hurry or he is finished! 

So, you had the sight of these guys stripping off 
his clothes and unwrapping him right in the middle of 
the dock, before he left this world entirely! (laughter) 
There are all kinds of yarns like that and a lot of 
them are very colorful, but we can't just go back into 
all these things. 

Anyway, it was a different atmosphere. When it came 
to a lot of the issues I guess the employers must have 
taken a certain amount of heat. I'm sure when they 


LG-: went to their own private clubs they belonged to, they 
must have gotten plenty of flack from the people in 
the trade. 

"When it came to the business of launching a pilot 
dental plan for kids, their attitude was good. St. Sure, 
by and large, was the one who stood up best on the 
thing. I don't think he had that kind of support among 
some of his staff people, who preferred to do just the 
ordinary day-to-day pencil pushing, and the less work 
the better. St. Sure's attitude on these things was 
good; at the same time, I'm sure he felt that along 
the line these things would all pay off. 

He was one of the few people who came out against 
the right-to-work law, a referendum he spoke out against. 
I think he had a feeling that it was the right thing 
to do, partially, I'm sure, because he knew this would 
bring back day-to-day guerilla warfare, which would be 
the way any self-respecting union could survive. 

He was far more of a complicated character than would 
appear on the surface, yet to put him in the classifi 
cation of a missionary who decided that his objective 
in life was to see what he could do for the downtrodden 
would be a serious error - 

Ward: You seem to be saying that he knew what he was doing, 
and the time was coming when he wanted some favors in 

LG: I think he felt that sooner or later that would come 
along. To pinpoint any particular development in the 
relations between Bridges and the Coast Committee and 
St. Sure, and to say "there was the turning point," 
would be a mistake. There was a transitional period, 
there was a good deal more confidence in each other. 
They didn't have their fists up all the time. 

Ward: Were you a member of that Committee? 

LG-: No, but I generally took part in negotiations. I was 
a member of the negotiating committee - 

Ward: I see, but not the Coast Committee. 

LG: Not the Coast Committee. No, the Coast Committee was 
elected separately; during that time Howard Bodine was 
a member a good deal of the time; Thomas was later on. 


Ward: Those two men had the reputation of being on the 
conservative side in the ILWU, didn't they? 

LG-: Not particularly. L. B. Thomas was more of a maverick 

and an individualist, I'd say. Howard saw nothing wrong 
with simple straight unionism. Why not do this or that 
if you get something out of it? 

Ward: Well, that was going on then in this transitional 
period, just naturally? 

LG: Right; it was falling in place. I remember some pretty 
violent arguments we got into around the mechanization 
program; while the philosophy was pretty well identical 
at the start, it began to diverge on the question of 
what sort of rights are retained for the workers, what 
sort belong to the employer. 

In other words, some felt whatever conditions had 
been built up over the years were all for sale at the 
right price. Well, the mechanization program arose 
primarily because of the advent of the container. The 
container was coming in. 

Ward: As early as '59, that was obvious, wasn't it? 

LG: As early as 1959 but actually, I think, a little ear 
lier. In 1957, the longshore caucus in Portland, was 
where it v/as first discussed. In 1959 the union and 
the PMA negotiated an agreement that contained the 
first down payment, so-called, on the mechanization 
program. That was a down payment of a million and a 
half dollars. 

The first full-blown mechanization agreement was 
negotiated in 1961, a five year agreement, renewed in 
1966 for another five years. That's the one that ran 
out in 1971, at which point there was a strike that 
broke out all up and down the coast, when St. Sure v/as 
no longer around. Whether that would have made any 
difference, I have serious doubts. By that time a 
number of things had happened within the longshore 
ranks; the mechanization agreement broke down on some 
very fundamental issues. 

Ward: Well, in '61 and '62 there were groans and moans from 
all over on the west coast about the mechanization 
agreement, weren't there? 


LG: Not particularly; but there were a few things where 
there were moans and groans, yes. One of the things 
that happened in the '61 agreement was agreement 
abolishing unnecessary men; so you were bound to get 
moans and groans where the men are accustomed to work 
ing with certain gangs, a certain group of men, and 
suddenly they find this cut down. 

There were moans and groans because there was 
language in the contract to the effect that any new 
or changed operation would mean that the old 2100 
pound sling load was no longer applicable. If a fac 
tory load came down, let us say, instead of having 
2100 pounds, it had 3,000 pounds, then all of a sudden 
the men were seeing a 3,000-pound load - 

Moans And Groans 

LG: Well, the moans and groans you heard in '61 had to do 
with the fact that there were many changes. In other 
words, the men were used to working a certain way and 
of course making changes is always a difficult thing. 

Ward: And the sling loads and things like that. 

LG: Now, I might be getting into an area here - sometimes 
it looks like hair-splitting, but it's not; there are 
much more important considerations. 

Fundamentally, I think that the idea of the 
mechanization contract was sound. We were not going 
to be able to keep witnesses on the job any more 
successfully than the railroad firemen were able to 
keep their witnesses on the job; no longer required 
because of the diesel. Legislation finally cut 
through that whole thing on behalf of the railroads 
and to all intents and purposes legislated these guys 
out of a job. 

With containers coming along, what do you do, break 
down a container after it hits the dock and fill it up 
again? A container is putting somewhere around twenty 
to forty tons of cargo into the hold in one crack; when 


LG-: your crane is operating efficiently it does so within 
a four and one-half minute cycle. When they are con 
tained in cells, there would be sort of slides called 
runners on which the containers are dropped into the 
hold. Once the cycle is begun, let's say a container 
ship comes in from another country, they empty out 
one cell. Then they start a process where one comes 
in and one comes out, so that the cycle is four and 
one-half minutes . . . 


Ward: Taking one in and one out? 

LG-: Usually empty out; a full one in. Well, the turn 
around on vessels like that changed the whole industry , 

Ward: From ten days to a day or two, huh? 

LG: Many a ship could be turned around in 18 hours, like 
the Matson ships. The total number of man-hours on a 
regular ship might be 10,000; on a container ship, 
several hundred, by the time you got through. Highly 
revolutionary changes, bound to disturb the men. A 
job to which they would be accustomed for many, many 
years . 

Let us say, oh, a ship from Hawaii comes in with a 
load and taking a load of general cargo going back; 
you pretty well figure that there would be three or 
four days of discharging and another four days of load 
ing. So, you had a job of about eight days on the 
ship, and the practice was that the gang which started 
the job finished the job. 

Well, these changes, while they might appear subtle 
at first, were deep-going; even more deep-going was a 
feeling on the part of the guys that the conditions 
that were built up over the years, such as the 2100- 
pound sling load, were going down the drain. 

I recall, for example, Bjorne Hailing storming up to 
the office; he was just fit to be tied. Bjorne was a 
very good longshoreman; the guys always called him a 
working fool. He believed when you worked, you worked; 
none of this four-on, four-off ; he generally worked in 
the hold. 

And there was fire shooting out of his eyes, scream 
ing at Harry, "Three thousand - no, 30 sacks - on a 
goddam sling load; a 3,000 pound load, and then they 


LG-: were belly- packing them on top of that." Harry said 

something would have to "be done about that. Something 
was finally done; they had to put them on rollers, or 
what have you. 

This was a breakdown on conditions, as the men saw it, 
These unnecessary men might be unnecessary on one job, 
had an easy job for one day, but the next day they 
might be on some other cargo where they were humping 
all the time; they were digging constantly because it 
was much tougher work. They might be shoveling copra 
or handling hides or cement, so they didn't see the 
thing the same way. In other words, I think too much 
of it on our part was a quick approach and missing the 

The basic idea of the mechanization program would 
have been all right limited to that idea and not 
extended into other peripheral areas which finally 
resulted in much more fundamental changes, some that 
have gone very deep. The basic idea saw the folly of 
resisting a machine blindly and in effect conducting 
a Luddite program of seeing that the machine does not 
go into effect. 

The Japanese longshoremen were doing just that; 
when they were building grain elevators there - a much 
more efficient and intelligent way of handling grain, 
by the way, instead of by hand, sack by sack - these 
Japanese longshoremen tore them down whenever they 

Well, those things, we knew, had a limit, so the 
basic idea was of accommodating to change, but making 
the employer pay for it; of getting a good, substantial 
hunk of the machine. That, in my opinion, is a perfect 
ly sound thing. 

(Editor's note: The following vignette is an after 
thought of the narrator's, inserted here as a colorful 
sidelight on the problem of mechanization. It is not 
voiced on tape.) 


An Evening With Chaplin 

LG-: Speaking of the Luddite philosophy reminds me of a 
time, after Charlie Chaplin came out with his movie, 
Modern Times, when I had dinner with him. I had a 
friend from college days, Dan James, whom I used to 
visit at his home at Carmel. "Well, he was working 
for Chaplin on The Great Dictator, and one day Dan 
called me and said Chaplin would like to talk to 
Harry and me. So we fixed up a date and Harry and 
I went down to Los Angeles and had dinner with him. 
His wife at that time was Paulette Goddard. She was 
at the dinner table with us, but disappeared right 

'While talking about The Great Dictator, Chaplin 
would jump up every now and then and act out appoint 
he was making very comical. After listening and 
watching for a while, I said, "I get the feeling 
it makes me wonder if there might be some kind of 
Luddite thinking behind "Modern Times." 

Chaplin replied, very proudly: "I am a Luddite. 11 

I shut up, but sometime later in the conversation 
I just had to make another remark: "But don't you 
realize that if Luddite thinking had prevailed in 
the world, there T d be no such thing today as motion 


The comedian's instant retort was: "That would be 
just as well!" Never blinked an eye, (End of Insert) 

As a matter of fact, I put together a book on 
Men And Machines - a photo story, done primarily by 
(Photographer) Otto Hagel; I worked on the text and 
the editing, making the point that there were certain 
fundamental things we got out of the mechanization 

One was the concept of shrinking the work force 
from the top; that as mechanization came along you 
can't apply seniority in the usual way. On most jobs 
if a machine comes along where out of a half dozen 
workers you displace two people, then the two guys on 
the job most recently are the ones who go. Seniority 


LG: is terribly important, because you have to safeguard 
the older guy; otherwise he would be out on his ass 
first. Seniority has been one of the fundamental 
things that workers fight for from day one. 

In the case of mechanization, our idea was that the 
way the worker shares in the saving of the machine is 
to shrink the work force from the top; let them retire 
with a substantially higher pension, as well as a 
cash- out. 

A man could take an earlier retirement at age 63; 
he'd have a bit of bridge that would carry him over 
from 63 to 65 the bridge being the amount of money 
that he would be short of Social Security; then pick 
up the Social Security at age 65. This was the pro 
gram of shrinking the work force from the top; I think 
the program was eminently sound. It gave the older 
men a chance to retire; it gave the younger guy a 
chance to move up into some of the more skilled posi- 
ti ons . 

A guy might have been working in the hold of the 
ship for years waiting for a crack at a job such as 
a winch-driver or a fork lift driver. That wouldn't 
come to him until one of the older guys retired, 
because the general principle on the waterfront is that 
the older men are the ones who get the jobs which are 
a little easier. 

It was a well-kept tradition, and enforced. The idea 
of some young guy coming down to the waterfront and 
spending a half a year on the heavy work and then 
getting a softer job; no way - he couldn't get by with 
that. There was a kind of self -discipline among these 

Even the grievance machinery, under the contract, 
is administered by the union. If the employer is 
unhappy with the result of the union grievance mach 
inery, he then can make an appeal; otherwise it just 
sits; the union makes the determination. The 
fundamentals of the mechanization program, if 
confined to this, was 100 percent sound; plus the 
fact, as to whether you got enough or didn't get 
enough, as long as you have a union around that's 
tough, that's something you bargain out later. 


LG: Okay, so you got 29 million dollars out of the first 

mechanization agreement - or whatever it amounted to - 
and you found out later that it wasn't a good bargain, 
the next time around you come in and ask for more; 
that's how simple it was. As a matter of fact, we 
did ask for more, but it took different forms. I 
recall the '61 negotiations which ended up as fishbowl 
negotiations, where the entire committee was in the 
Santa Maria room. You remember that room at 150 
Golden Gate? 

Ward: Seated about 200. 

LG: Yes. Well, the committees sat across the table from 
each other; then all the delegates sat in; a very 
healthy thing because we were discussing something 
very new and different, and the mechanization 
agreement, when discussed in those terms, was very 

But to give you what might appear to be a very 
miniscule thing, there was a provision in the 
agreement, that in the event the employers happened 
to load outsize loads, something over 2100 pounds, 
the slingload limit was kept in the contract. 

In other words, if something were done in the 
traditional way, cargo comes in and is put on the 
skin of the dock, then along comes a longshore gang 
and has to make up a sling load that goes in the 
hold of the ship; that would be a regular slingload 
and the limit was supposed to apply. 

But there was a provision that if there were any 
new or changed operations, such as a pre-fabricated 
load or a pre-palletized load, it could go into the 
hold as is, with an additional bit of language 
designed for our protection which read that if the 
men were forced to work under onerous conditions 
they could stop work until the arbitrator made a 
ruling. This provision was almost never exercised. 

One of the things I do know is that the average 
longshoreman has a tendency to meet the hook. If the 
sling load comes down at a certain speed, he's going 
to meet that. So, a 3,000 pound load is coming down - 
thirty 100-pound sacks, instead of 21 100 -pound 
sacks; he's going to try to meet that load; the 
necessity to maintain that cycle is built into the 
nature of his work; to meet the hook. He's going to 
try to meet the hook regardless. 


LG: Howard Bodine's attitude was absolutely contemptuous. 

He said, "You don't know anything you're talking 
about; you haven't the slightest goddam idea. "What 
you don't realize, Lou, is that these employers add 
men and machines in their own interest, they do it 
in their own interest to get that ship out faster. " 
I said, "That doesn't apply if the men are going to 
meet the hook anyway. They are going to work harder, 
that's all." 

That gets back to Bjorne Hailing. Mechanization 
has broken down all the conditions the guys had 
known for years. They don't care whether this goddam 
load has been made up at Pillsbury Flour Mill, or the 
dock. All they know is that the load had 30 sacks on 
it instead of 21 sacks; weighed that much more; plus 
they had the job of belly-packing. Some were even 
screaming that some of the loads were so goddam high 
they could hardly reach up to get the top cases. 

These things all make a difference in terms of the 
day-to-day conditions of the men. That's where you 
heard this rumble about what had happened on the 
waterfront. Not on the mechanization agreement per 
se; on the idea of early retirement; increased pen 
sions; the guys by and large were happy with that. 

ard: This difference of opinion between you and Bodine, 
how did that affect Harry? 

LG: Harry just sat through the discussion; nothing changed. 

Ward: He didn't take sides? 

LG: No, but the language was left as is, including the 
reference to "new and changed operations." 

Ward: St. Sure approved of the change, of course. 

LG: Of course. St. Sure knew perfectly well what he was 
doing. He accomplished two things: one, getting rid 
of unnecessary men; two, loads must be accepted as 
they come in. 

Ward: Big things! 

LG: Those two things in themselves would be a radical 

change, because all other things trail along behind 
them; even before the steady-man beef came along; 


LG: an issue that developed later on and "became a big 

thing. Steady men wasn't so much of an issue in 1961 
as it was in 1966, "because by then containerization 
had come along quite a ways. There is no question 
about it but that a container crane is a big invest 
ment ... 

Ward: You can't handle those weights with the shipte winches? 

LG: No - no. Usually, ship's gear has a jumbo boom that 
will take some heavy loads when properly rigged. 

Ward: Couple or three tons, maybe? 

LG: No, it can handle 20 or more, but it works much more 
slowly and doesn't work the whole ship. On a con 
tainer, you work the whole ship. Ship's gear is not 
going to have any thine: like the container cycle. 

Taking a good sized container ship, two container 
cranes can handle that ship moving back and forth 
from hatch to hatch. There's no question that the 
investment in a container crane, even in those days, 
would be at least a million dollars ... 

Ward: Then the ship had to be either rebuilt, or ... 

LG: Cranes were built to suit the ship. You had one type 
of container crane built for the Matson ships for use 
in Hawaii and on the mainland; fundamentally, the 
same crane, handling a 24 foot box. Later on the 
standard container became 40 feet. 

As a matter of fact, there was all kinds of 
hassling and haggling going on in Washington, D. C. 
in an attempt to get a uniform size container box 
all over the world; the one that has finally been 
pretty well established is the 40-foot container. 
That's the one you see on the highways; they carry 
a lot of tonnage, and then the cellular structure 
within the ship is built accordingly. 

You have a ship built to take 24 foot containers, 
and that's a different story from 40 foot containers; 
they don't adapt themselves that easily. They tried 
to get some that were adaptable, but Matson, in their 
case it didn't make too much never-mind; they had 
control of both ends of the line, anyway. It wasn't 


LG: as though they were running into docks or ports 

somewhere else where there was a whole variety of 
container ships requiring different kinds of gear, 
different kinds of cells, and so forth. 

Matson had a tight-knit operation and was doing 
"beautifully on the container ships. They made 
tremendous inroads into the longshore work force, 
here, and even "bigger ones in Hawaii; there, for 
all intents and purposes all shipping was Matson. 
You had the changeover from sack sugar to bulk, all 
ships "being loaded "by "bulk; also the changeover from 
piece-by-piece cargo handling to containers. Before 
long you saw a work force in Hawaii that had been 
over 2,000 men shrink to less than a thousand. 

Ward: as that about the same percentage of loss as on 
the west coast? 

LG: I'd say it was higher .... 

ard: In Hawaii? Well, for instance, Local 10 in San 

Francisco had about 8,000 members - how many has it 

LG: When you're using the figure of 8,000 members you're 
talking about an unusual period - you're talking 
about the period during the war. That was a complete 
ly artifically inflated thing. I'd say before World 
War II it would be 4,000. Now, I'd say they have 
about 2600 jobs. 

In Hawaii, a port like Hilo, which had a certain 
amount of general cargo because it serviced all the 
Big Island, its only export was sugar, dropped from 
600 men to something less than 80; places like 
Kahalui went down to a handful. So, those are drastic 
changes that went on. 

Ward: Were there any other problems that affected relation 
ships with St. Sure? 

LG: Not particularly; fundamentally our attention was 
directed towards the mechanization concept per se 
which I thought was good. I thought we ought to 
concern ourselves to make sure that we had all the 
necessary men and secondly, when it came to the 
business of accepting loads in whatever form, I 
thought the question of conditions to be fundamental. 


LG-: Those are the areas where we got the first kickbacks 
on the agreement. Of course, G-leason's crack was 
partly wisecracking, a technique of sniping at the 
I1WU to make the ILA look a bit better. He said, 
"Aah, you don't have a mechanization agreement, you 
just sold the Rule Book." 

Ward: "Who said this? 

LG: Gleason, Teddy G-leason from the ILA; just being snide, 
but his crack about the Rule Book to some extent was 
correct. "When it came to the question of putting 
the emphasis where it belonged, you allow for certain 
changes, but you don't allow for basic changes that 
affect the work patterns of men, the workload of the 
individual man. 

Now, the contract reads that the men had the right 
to stop work if they consider the workload to be 
"onerous"; in other words, if they're putting in 
extra heavy loads and the employers don't add men, so 
that it's an onerous work situation, the men can 
stop work; in this case an arbitrator is called down - 
the men don't leave the job - and takes a look. 

If he considers the work onerous, he directs a 
change and the men are paid for time lost. If he 
doesn't consider it onerous, he can direct the men 
to go back to work and they don't get paid for time 
lost. But at least there was some attempt at fight 
ing back on the question of the onerous work. 

Now, you can say that these things become theoreti 
cal; they do, in the sense that as the containeriza- 
tion spreads, the old work form disappears complete 
ly; it isn't as though they have a load that is made 
up in a different way; it's in a container, period. 

What kind of a load goes in that container? What 
the hell difference does that make to anybody? In 
many cases containers are not loaded on the docks or 
anywhere near the docks; some of them not even at 
container stations; they are loaded right at the 

Containers have enormous value to employers. You 
take an employer who is shipping electronic equipment, 
a lot of it fairly delicate - doesn't want to see it 
bounced around, wants to make sure it is packed 


LG: correctly, doesn't want to get a lot of claims on 
"breakage. He finds it a lot "better to have a 
container delivered to the factory and have it loaded 
there in his way, with the necessary padding. He 
gets a good tight load and is also protected, not 
only in terms of damage, "but also in terms of pilfer 

So, these things are bound to happen and some 
sound theoretical, "but you can't overlook the residue 
of anger that this "built up. The guys knew it was 
an end of an era; "break "bulk cargo was going. 

The average man knew he wasn't going to "be able 
to stop the container indefinitely; to go down there 
with a bunch of bunsen burners and destroy them as 
they came down wouldn't work; nothing else would work, 
Eventually the employers would take the bugs out of 
any attempt to screw it up. 

Comparisons With The ILA 

LG: The ILA insists that when they have container 

operations they still have a full longshore gang; and 
the rest of them just watch it; take turns in the 
operations. Just how true that is, I don't know; you 
get different accounts. "While today the problem 
becomes more and more theoretical as the container 
comes along, at that time it wasn't. 

ard: Are you saying you are not sure whether the ILA got 
better conditions under mechanization? 

LG: I don't think they did - no. 

Ward: That's the general belief, I gather. 

LG: The general belief was that when it came to the 

guaranteed annual wage they got a better deal than 
we did at first. It's no longer true. Initially 
they got a guarantee of a 40-hour week, 52 weeks out 
of the year, and they got a system through which a 
lot of the men really didn't have to work. They were 
.lust riding the gravy train, because under their 
dispatch system through these waterfront commission 


LG: halls they had men classified in different groups - 
A, B, C, D, E and P. Well, let us say a guy was in 
the A group; the guy in the P group would be called 
first, and he would be the one who had to take the 
job. If the guy in the A group knew there wasn't 
going to be any job, he just went and checked in at 
the hall and drove his cab for the day. At first 
that looked good but a lot of it has been 
straightened out. 

I guess the other feeling that developed around 
the west coast waterfronts was that with all these 
changes coming about, and with the union leadership L s 
willingness to give up on some of these things with 
out more of a battle - there was a determination not 
to accept everything. 

The G-uaranteed Annual Wage 

LG: I think there was a developing feeling that things 

were going by the board too easily. The mechanization 
program was good, but some of the things that were 
let go were not good. This became more distinct when 
later on the mechanization program was changed over 
to the guaranteed annual wage, which prevails right 
now. The mechanization program per se is different. 
You have early retirement at 62. The pensions are 
high; a good pension. 

Ward: How much is it? 

LG: Pour hundred and fifty dollars and Social Security. 

I guess they still have the bridge between 62 and 65, 
so it isn't as though they haven't made progress. 

But something else has happened. I think people 
didn't read the membership right, because while there 
were a number of workers who felt that the guaranteed 
annual wage was a big deal, many of them - and I think 
this is still true of the vast majority of the long 
shoremen up and down the coast - don't want a 
handout; they would rather have the work. With some 
people the idea just never sat right -that in order to 
pick up your guaranteed annual wage, - your pay 
guarantee, PGP, as they call it - you also have to 
pick up your unemployment insurance, where a port had 


LG: unemployment. San Francisco was a good example. 

Also there were some men who had a completely differ 
ent attitude toward work. If they never worked a 
day and picked up the pay guarantee, that was fine 
with them. And then they might pick up another little 
job if they wanted a bit more money. With the pay 
guarantee pushed up to somewhere around $12,000, 
$16,000 and $18,000 now, they figured if they never 
did any work it was okay with them. 

There would be a lot of manoeuvering to get on 
"dead boards", boards that rarely moved, like a night 
dock board. Those would be men hired for dock work 
at night, whereas in most cases the dock work is done 
during the day. A guy on a night dock board might 
not be dispatched once a month. As far as he was 
concerned that was okay. The employers didn't like 
the idea, either because they wanted to force the 
people to work or force them out of the industry. 
They began to think of all kinds of schemes to force 
these men off the dead boards. 

Then you saw another thing happening: the guy who 
wanted to work, but there wasn't enough work around 
in some ports. These days things have improved a 
little bit, but then men were lucky to get three days 
a week. Well, the man who got three days a week was 
not eligible for the pay guarantee. He was guaran 
teed 36 hours a week; if he got 3 days a week .... 

Ward: Twenty-four hours? 

LG: No. They get nine hours pay for eight hours work, 
and they are guaranteed nine hours pay. Three days 
a week would be 27, and four days would be 36 hours. 

If a guy found his work diluted because they were 
dissolving a dead board, then he was all out of shape. 
He would say, "I don't eive a goddam if that guy 
doesn't want to work, that's his business; let the 
employer pay for it. I don't want him diluting what 
ever work opportunity I have. I don't feel like using 
this. guaranteed wage. Most of us looked at it to 
begin with as something simply to fall back on in case 
of a crisis - and that's all." Instead it became a 
vay of life. There are some ports where the pay 
guarantee, if it is used at all, is so rare that it 
is almost unknown. In ports like Portland and Los 
Angeles, it is rare. San Francisco has had a very 


LG: bad siege, a very substantial decline in work. I 
don't think it's because the shipping lines are 
passing up the port. It could be just traffic 
patterns, where the cargo is emanating from and 
where it is going. 

It might be that San Francisco no longer carries 
the same prominence as it did before. A lot more 
cargo these days is moving through Los Angeles. 
Portland, which everybody figured would die because 
you have the long haul up the river, instead is 
prospering, doing extremely well. I think the 
situation warrants study. 

Then other problems grew up; under the '66 agree 
ment the employers were allowed to have steady men. 
The employers were arguing that these new cranes 
were expensive equipment; they didn't want green men 
on the crane on account of the possibilities of 
damage . 

A great deal of damage could be done, particularly 
if somebody failed to handle a container right, or 
it wasn't properly slid into the cell. They wanted 
what they called steady men and the union agreed, 
based on whatever deal the employer could make with 
the individual man. In other words, the individual 
man could bargain for whatever he could get. Natur 
ally, it would have to be above the union scale. 

With the advent of steady men something else took 
place, the dilution of work opportunity for the other 
men in the hall. Let me just give you an example: 
Portland has container piers now and they do a lot 
of container work. They are all convinced that no 
man should work steady for an employer. So the 
crane drivers are all rotated through the hall; all 
competent men and they all do a good job. 

Ward: Any member? 

LG: No, not any member. Men who are qualified crane 
drivers; to be a qualified crane driver you take 
training and pass a test. No, no, you just can't 
walk in and say, "Okay, put me on the crane driver's 
job." It has to be a qualified man and they maintain 
this rotation. 


LG-: The same rotation took place in the port of Seattle, 
where the employers broke through in a vicious and 
terrible way which does a lot of harm. There's no 
way of looking at it happily, even though you might 
understand it. They got a group of black members to 
go steady as crane drivers - some ten. 

That became a rankling issue in the local. Here's 
a union that fought all its life for racial equality, 
particularly in the business of promotions. The 
union had a big battle in getting blacks into the 
skilled categories; getting blacks, for example, to 
be hired as walking bosses -which we had done . 
These are big accomplishments and here the employers 
use the blacks as steady men in conflict with the 
rest of the guys. It is an issue that rankles. 

Of course, the black man could say with just about 
equal right that he's been screwed out of these jobs 
for years; here's a chance to finally go steady and 
get a better break in life, and he has the right to 
take it. I don't think the logic holds up. I think 
it is far more important that he remain a good solid 
comrade to the guy in the hall, even though it can be 
said that okay, the black man still has to carry an 
extra burden. 

I think he does, yes, because the fight isn't done 
until you achieve basic equality. The conflict 
around the steady man issue resulted in dumping the 
last contract just a couple of months ago in the port 
of San Francisco; but the ports voted for it as a 
whole. In the northwest local it won handily, and it 
passed in Los Angeles by a small majority, but San 
Francisco voted against it. I'd say the main reason 
that vote took place was because of this issue - 
what they call 9.43 steady men. 

Veil, the steady man issue became a highly symbol 
ic thing to the employers. I can understand where 
they need steady men, but its real deep-going 
implication to the employer is that once you're able 
to get a steady man, this would amount to the same 
situation as the preferred gang before the union 

Once you have a steady man, the loyalty of the 
man goes to the employer first and not to the union 
first. I think the men smelled it. At least, a few 


LG-: changes were made in the new contract which ought to 
improve the situation. They are forcing the employer 
to double the number of steady men and perhaps triple 
it, so as to dilute their hours. Of course, if you 
made every crane driver a steady man, no problem 
then, everything would be even-steven. 

The whole principle of equalization of work oppor 
tunities is what it amounts to. We don't have 
equalization of earnings under the contract; we have 
equalization of work opportunity, the basic idea 
being that under the system of rotary dispatch a man 
took his job as his turn came along. Come the end 
of the year their earnings in each category would be 
approximately the same. 

Obviously, the winch driver would have an earnings 
differential; but a hold man or a dock man, come the 
end of the year, his earnings would be the same as 
the others in his category. With the advent of 
steady men, the concept of equalization begins to go 
out of the window. The split is most dangerous 
because the men are pitted against each other, with 
some of the guys attached to the union and some of 
the guys attached to the employer. 

As some of the union guys put it, "Christ Almighty, 
the men in the union hall are the overflow guys, and 
when the employers need some men in addition to the 
steady men, they go to the union." Quite true; there 
aren't that many steady men. The total number in San 
Francisco can't be more than 200. It sure raises 
hell; that's when the guys began to feel that what 
they called conditions .... 


What Are "Conditions"? 

Ward: You were just about to mention something else as the 
cause of complaint. 

LG-: Well, the longshoreman's idea of conditions is quite 
different from that of the average worker. The 
average worker feels that conditions on the job mean 
he's not worked too fast, he gets a decent coffee 


LG: break, an adequate lunch, time, there are clean rest 
rooms, and supervision isn't looking down his neck 
all the time. The longshoreman was much more 
independent. There is a whole background and tradi 
tion to this; an awful lot grew out of the '34 strike 
and the victory and all the battles that went on 

Mien St. Sure talked about all these so-called 
violations of the agreement, he wasn't so far off by 
his standards, but the longshoreman wasn't all that 
upset by it. He didn't figure it was a violation of 
the agreement. He said, "So, what the hell, we final 
ly got some decent conditions; the employer is making 
his money, we know that; he passes it along." 

Conditions included working when you pleased. If 
you wanted a day off, you took a day off. If you 
didn't feel like working that morning, so you didn't 
turn to. The next day you'd plug in; the low man out 
system, you'd take your turn if you worked. 

e had guys who for years never worked the week 
when the horses were running; they'd work Friday 
night, Saturday and Sunday - figured they made them 
selves a paycheck with three days at overtime. Come 
Monday, they were down at the race track. Their way 
of living, that's all, and the waterfront meant that 
to them; other guys would work all the time. There 
weren't many who were mavericks to that extent. 

In some of the things written by Eric Hoffer 
(a longshoreman whose writings have been widely 
published) he talks about life on the waterfront. 
Eric Hoffer was always a good longshoreman and a hard 
worker. He had a practice that before he left the 
job, he would build a load for the next gang; that 
was his token of transferring the work, rather a 
comradely custom. About longshoring, one of the 
things he wrote about was the beauty of the freedom. 
"When he wanted a day to think, to walk through Golden 
Gate Park - he was writing all the time - he just 
took a day off to do it. This feeling of liberty is 
not necessarily important whether you exercise it; 
it's whether you have it. 

So, these are the things a number of the guys saw 
slipping away from them. It became more and more the 
underlying cause for the flare-up in 1971, when the 
contract ran out; the strike was inevitable. 


"Ward: ell, did Harry "blame you? Who got the blame for 
this loss of conditions? 

LG-: It pretty well centered around Harry and the Coast 
Committee. e had some bad explosions in 1961 or 
1962. I think it was in 1961 or 1962 when the ILWU 
agreed with the PMA on something concerning workers 
at the east bay marine terminals - Encinal, Howard 
Terminal, Parr and Richmond. The workers belonged 
to Local 6 and they had been organized back in 1934 
and '35. At that time the longshoremen didn't even 
want them because they were getting less than the 
longshore rate of pay. 

Terminal workers are sort of warehousemen, and 
the Local 6 guys did a hell of a job in organizing 
them; they brought their contracts up to the same 
rate of pay as the longshoremen, except for the eight 
hour day instead of the six. The terminal operators, 
on the other hand, were having themselves a picnic 
at the expense of the shipowners, passing the bill 
along to them all the time. The shipowners had to 
use the terminals because those were where the ships 
went in; the areas that had the biggest dockside 
storage, both for assembly and discharge of cargo. 

The Coast Committee made an agreement when I was 
out of town, or something. "When I got back I found 
out the Committee had agreed to turn these terminal 
workers over' to Longshore. So, I said to Harry, 
"Turning them over to Longshore might make sense; 
fundamentally they are longshoremen and have been 
for years; they have their pension fund, they have 
their dowry, the mechanization fund. But on the 
other hand, I'd be much opposed to turning them over 
unless every single thing they presently have in the 
way of conditions and rights, such as seniority 
rights and so forth, is guaranteed." 

Harry said, "ell, if you don't go along with the 
agreement, we'll just send the longshoremen in there 
to do the work." And I said, "Oh, no, you don't! 
That's not going to happen because those longshore 
men are not going to go through the terminal workers 
picket line; I think you know these terminal workers.' 

They're a very tough group - a very loyal group. 
Christ, you could have a beef anywhere in Oakland and 
whistle and all those terminal workers would be off 


LG: the job in five minutes. Bob Moore and Paul Heide 
worked down, there. So did Chili. Anyway, I wasn't 
going to get pushed around by that. I met with Chili 
and the others and said, "What do you guys think of 
this?" Veil, they were disturbed and upset. 

Ward: It's a hell of a thing, right in your own union, to 
get into a mess like that. 

LG: Plus the fact that the terminal workers were guys 
who not only stuck with the union but had taken on 
every beef you could think of. I remember the time 
we had that big battle at Gal Pack .... 

Ward: Was this Harry's idea, or was it St. Sure's idea? 

LG: It was St. Sure's idea; he wanted the terminal 
workers . . . 

Ward: And Harry went along with it? 

LG-: Sure, he went along with it. 

Ward: Veil, what did St. Sure have to gain by that? 

LG: They wanted to get rid of the terminal operator - 
oh, the terminal operator could still operate the 
terminal. The employers wanted to have those guys 
in under the Longshore contract so as to have a 
degree of control over them. 

Ward: The conditions were a little more favorable too 

from the employer's point of view, under the Long 
shore agreement than under the Warehouse agreement, 
isn't that so? 

LG: The Warehouse agreement set down rules that were out 

of this world in terms of conditions. If, for example, 
a few cases had to be picked up somewhere, you'd 
have your forklift driver; then a warehouseman would 
go along with him to load those few cases on, and a 
clerk would go along at the same time to check them. 
Even when it came to discharging trucks, they had 
complete control. 

The truck driver was given ten feet from the tail 
end of his truck, you see, and that's where the stuff 
had to be left. He couldn't move all over the place 


IG: and drop his cargo just anywhere around the dock, 
whereas in longshore they were watching these 
teamsters bring down their own fork lifts, in effect 
using the entire dock area as their own. 

Big differences there, Mg changes. The terminal 
workers had really maintained conditions over the 
years, so this became a very sharp point of conten 
tion. I said, "I'll take charge of the question. 
The issue is not whether they move over; let's get 
that one out of the way. I'm not going to have that 
kind of a fight, although if you try to force it, 
there will be a fight." I said, "The only thing 
I'm concerned about is that these men be protected." 
And I drafted a four- way agreement. I wouldn't 
recommend it to the terminal workers at all until 
it was signed by both the ILWU and the PMA, by Local 
10, by Local 6 and finally ratified by the terminal 
workers; it had to be a four- way agreement so nobody 
could chisel out later. 

Ward: It was signed by all four of them? 

LG: Yes; it gave the terminal worker full seniority 

rights as though he had been a longshoreman from the 
day he started as a terminal worker. If he had twenty 
five years on the terminals, he went in to Longshore 
with 25 years. 

That also meant that if there was an opening in 
the (ILWD Ship) Clerks - and that is also based on 
seniority - if he had enough seniority he could have 
a crack at the job. I remember later on getting 
some flack, completely unwarranted in my opinion; I 
think a lot of it was just straight Warehouse baiting, 
because guys like Smitty were just plain insane. 
Smitty (Carl Smith) would say, "We don't want those 
men - we just want their work." I said, "You're out 
of luck, that's all." 

Ward: Were these black longshoremen who were bumped down on 
account - - ? 

LG: They weren't bumped down: it just meant there was 
somebody in ahead of them, yes. That was the 
agreement made by the PMA and I was going to carry- 
it out to the letter - not just any vague language, 
"men and machines may be added," or any crap like 
that. There was going to be firm, tight language. 


LG: The document is still around and it protects the 
terminal workers, including setting up a terminal 

Ward: It's almost as though you were discussing a merger 
between two separate unions. 

LG: Damn near; I'll never forget, Harry and the Coast 
Committee were working on something or other and I 
said, "Well, I'm leaving for this meeting on the 
terminal workers." Harry or somebody had been talk 
ing to St. Sure, because he turned around to me, 
terribly angry about something, and said, "Don't you 
try to fuck St. Sure around on this sort of thing." 

I said, "Oh, he can take care of himself." I went 
right ahead. I don't think I was ever quite forgiven, 
because Harry was that way. It was one thing, if 
you disagreed with him and later came back and said, 
"I made a mistake," and kissed his ring which he 
carried in his back pocket. 

Ward: Was that the first serious time you crossed Harry 
on St. Sure? 

LG: Yes. That was the first time I really crossed him. 
At the opening of the 1966 negotiations we got into 
a clash. I was going to make a motion before the 
Coast Committee and Harry was inviting me to make 
the motion, because he knew that I might get a 
second to it, but that it would be voted down. 

St. Sure took a position in the second negotia 
tions in 1966 that they had already paid for the 
mechanization agreement in '61 and they "weren't 
going to pay for the same refrigerator twice"; that 
was it. So, I took the position, "In that case, 
tell the employers the negotiations are finished, 
that's all. We'll go the hard way." 

Ward: And you made the motion? 

LG: No, I didn't make the motion. Harry said, "Why don't 

you make the motion?" But then it would have died. 
To make a motion that is lost, then you're worse off. 
That's the internal politics of the situation. 


LG-: I felt keenly about it and I said, "We told you at 
the time that nobody knew whether we got too much 
out of the agreement or too little; we didn't know 
whether the employers got the better end of the 
stick or the short end. That's the reason contracts 
are around and that's the reason they're open once 
in a while." 

ard: I've heard the explanation of Harry's position on 
the '61 mechanization agreement; he didn't realize 
something that St. Sure very well knew: the vast 
extent of the containerization program, how world 
wide and how important it was going to become. 
Would you say that's so? 

LG: That could be so. I really don't know. I don't 
know whether St. Sure knew, but I do know what 

Ward: Well, what happened? 

LG: The containerization program just bloomed all of a 
sudden. I mean whoof ! 

Ward: Once they had the agreement. 

LG: I don't think it had anything to do with the agree 
ment. I think it had more to do with top-level 
decisions that were being made all over the world 
by different shipping companies in Norway, in Germany, 
in the United States. They were being made where 
all kinds of shipowners were making decisions, some 
of which had to be made years in advance. They're 
constantly making decisions; this ship has a certain 
number of years of life. In making a decision ten 
years before a ship is finished - or its normal 
utilization is finished and you're going to sell it 
off as a tramp - the decision then is what is the 
new vessel you order? You're not going to order a 
Liberty any more; is it going to be a C-3 or a 
container ship? 

Ward: Now, you were on the negotiating committee in '61? 
Weren't you? 

LG: Yes. 

Ward: Now, did you personally have any idea of the world 
wide scope of this planning you have been describing? 


LG: No, I did have a feeling that mechanization was com 
ing along and there was nothing could stop it. 

Ward: But you had no idea of the scope? 

LG: No; for example, the principal mechanization we saw 
in '61 was Matson; questions arose in our minds. 
I know that I started reading a lot of stuff to find 
out whether or not containers could "be introduced in 

A number of people who knew a good deal about 
Japan said, "We don't think so, because their high 
ways won't take it; the streets are too narrow: how 
in the hell are you going to manoeuver a container 
around those streets?" They were quite wrong; 
containers were introduced in Japan on a big scale. 
Everything coming from Japan now is in containerized 

Ward: Well, all right, so you weren't aware of the scope. 
Would you say it is safe to assume that St. Sure was 
aware of the potential scope? 

LG: He might have known more - yes; but a labor relations 
guy for the employers isn't necessarily privy to all 
their executive discussions. Shipowners in many 
ways are very cagey. They go to great efforts to 
keep certain trade secrets away from other employers. 

For example, somebody came along with the idea 
of the LASH ships. That's sort of a big barge 
aboard ship. It's not a barge in the small sense 
of the word; it carries about 800 tons. The barge 
is loaded, the ship is enormous. I don't know how 
many feet it runs, but it must be well over 300 feet. 

It has two huge lifts at the ass end of the ship. 
These barges come alongside, are pushed in by a tug 
and picked up with these lifts. They go inside the 
ship on rollers, one barge after the other. I went 
down there not too many years ago when PPE (Pacific 
Par East) had introduced the LASH ships, and I 
happened to be talking to Bob Pfeiffer, head of 
Matson, a very smart shipowner and operator. I 
asked, "What do you think of the ships?" "Yon 
couldn't give them to me," he said. 


LG: Here was an outfit that had been in containers all 
these years; they were not too happy with their 24- 
foot containers "because they could not be made 
universal. They had ventured into a joint understand 
ing with the Japanese. They taught the Japanese the 
container method, at which point Mat son thought they 
would be operating out of Japan. 

Only one small thing happened; Matson discovered 
that the cargo disappeared. Japanese employers are 
so goddam tight that once they had picked up the 
container technique - and they were very friendly 
about all this; I'm sure they thanked Matson and took 
them out to dinners - when it came to soliciting 
cargo, the Japanese went to Japanese. All Matson got 
was a lot of experience and nothing more . . . 

Ward: And a lot of dinners? 

LG: And a lot of dinners. Whether St. Sure knew the 
proportions of ... 

Ward: Well, what I'm trying to get at is whether he withheld 
information deliberately to insure his success in 
negotiations; anything a little bit tricky. 

LG: Yes, let's say he knew all that. I would not expect 
him to tell us all that across the table. 

Ward: If Harry ever suspected that he did, art least Harry 
didn't resent it? 

LG: Oh, on that sort of thing I think Harry had an 

intelligent approach to negotiations. He didn't see 
negotiations as the employers coming in with a Bible 
on which they had to take an oath of honesty. He 
figured they were in there to do the best job they 
could; and the union's job was to do the best job we 

If the employer happens to take a screwing, well, 
that's our good luck; the other way around, well, 
win some, lose some. It's a much more salutary way 
of looking at negotiations than this business of 
getting morally indignant because the employer is 
being a bad man. What is he anyway, an angel? 

Ward: But I got the impression a while ago that you were 
saying "Well, if we didn't get enough in '61, we'll 
do. something about it in '66," and here is St. Sure . , 


LG: That's the reason I got so pissed off in '66 when 

they said they were not going to pay for that 
refrigerator a second time. 

Ward: He didn't pay for it the second time, did he? 
LG-: Oh, they had to pay for it another way .... 

Ward: Miat other way? 

LG: The first mechanization program provided a fund of 

$29,000,000, which included the so-called "down 
payment" prior to 1961 of $1,500,000. Of the 
29,000,000, a portion was set aside for pensions 
and a cash payout to pensioners of $7,900. By 1966 
the wage guarantee portion of the fund, not having 
been used, was divided among the "A" men, with each 
man getting $1,300. The 1966 agreement included 
improvements in pension, as well as an increase in 
payout on retirement. But later we phased out the 
cash payout and moved into the pay guarantee plan. 
So they did have to pay for the refrigerator again. 

But, as to whether they paid enough, is another 
story. A lot of the members felt the employers had 
never paid enough, which is understandable. Here is 
a group of longshoremen; they see a vessel and they 
know that ordinarily it was an eight-day job, or 
something like that, with regular handling of cargo. 

Now they see the cranes and everything else and 
know that that ship is going to be turned around in 
less than 24 hours. It'll be in and out, and then 
there's the next job to be looked for. So, there's 
bound to be a very deep-seated feeling that the 
employers have gotten an awful lot out of this thing; 
and no matter how much the men get, it's not enough. 

I think that is a by-product of change. I don't 
think you're ever going to completely change the 
thinking of people on that score. You might under 
a socialist society, where the benefits come in other 
forms - and they do come in some other forms. 

Other things happened, too, in other words, some 
of these things - these freedoms longshoremen saw 
going down the drain because of the pay guarantee. 
You had to be available, be down at the hall, work 
or no work, a certain number of days. A lot of the 


LG-: men resented the loss of freedom of movement; taking 
off days, working when they pleased. It was more 
difficult in a place like San Francisco, where the 
work was slim pickings. If you were going to pick 
up a pay guarantee, you had to be down there every 
day. No longer could you take just weekends or four 
days; the work was not as easily available. 

There was what really amounted to surplus men, in 
the case of San Francisco. e registered far more 
longshoremen in San Francisco than was necessary. A 
lot of the guys, particularly the old-timers, felt 
that this was something that was done because St. 
Sure wanted it. The employers wanted it, so we 
registered that many more men. 

Ward: Did Harry have any control over it or was that Local 
10' s business - the extra registration? 

LG: No; actually the Coast Committee has a lot to do 

with it, because when a longshoreman is registered 
now he gets coast-wise registration. 

Ward: I see, so then Harry did have something to do with 

LG: Yes, he did; he went along with the idea. They 

registered 750 men at one crack; you remember the 
lines; my god, some 5,000 applicants turned up. 
Everybody wanted to be a longshoreman; big pay and 
good work. 

Ward: And you say that this was part of St. Sure's program? 

LG: Yes, he wanted the extra men. At that particular 
time maybe the work was good. It was for a little 
while, but it fell off. Other ports handled -the 
thing much more wisely and much more slowly - they 
didn't agree to so many registrations, the net result 
being that they are not as badly off. 

In other words, internicine quarreling takes place 
the moment work is short. If work is good in any 
port, the mechanization agreement doesn't mean much. 
If work is plentiful and good, the guys are fairly 
well satisfied. 


ard: It's interesting; I can see why St. Sure wanted it, 
but I can't see why Harry went along. 

LG-: I don't know why he went along. At that phase of 

the game, Harry was pretty well going along with 

every thing St. Sure wanted; at least it struck me 
that way. 

ard: I've heard you say that so far as Harry was concerned, 
St. Sure could do no wrong. 

LG: Just about. St. Sure could charm the birds out of 

the trees. He was a very likeable scoundrel. 

ard: Well, do you think we have fairly well covered that 
relati onship? 

LG: I think so. To Harry, the pay guarantee was one of 

the biggest achievements in the world. He can't 
understand, for example, how anybody can object to 
that last longshore agreement. Most of his remarks 
were "How can anybody object?" Look at what the pay 
guarantee is going up to; it's a substantial hunk 
of dough. 

Ward: About 018,000 now? 

LG: Yep; well, he kept saying, "How can they object to 

that?" I think what Harry is missing completely 
is while that may be acceptable to some of the guys, 
there is a hard core of simply unreconstructible 
militants. These are guys whose philosophy of life 
is leftwing, anti-capitalist. They may have to 
adjust to the system because that's where you get 
your paycheck, but they sure as hell don't think 
with it in any manner, shape or form. 

And they know the other things that go on. They 
see that pay guarantee as a control on their freedom. 
If the longshoremen were angry about something, they 
walked off the job; if there was an un-American 
Activities Committee in town that they figured was 
ripping up our union, all of a sudden there were 
3,000 longshoremen in front of City Hall. I don't 
think that made the un-American Activities Committee 
very happy. 

Ward: This way of thinking and acting is not confined to 
American longshoremen; it's pretty much world wide 
and has been for hundreds of years. 


LG: It's a chronic trait among longshoremen all over the 

world; longshoremen are a lot more internationally 
minded because they are in contact with international 
workers all the time; seamen from different parts 
of the world . . . 

Ward: That was how you won the '48 strike . . . 

LG-: Yes, the '48 strike was a "big thing, but the show 

down you're referring to came in Washington, B.C. 
in 1946. 

Ward: That's right - '46. 

LG: Yes, and all that support from all over the world. 

You're right; it's a very common thing. 

Like that funny incident; my wife and I took a 
trip on an Israeli ship. We had to pick it up in 
Montreal and I was way under the weather and was 
taking some time off. I managed to grab this ship 
because it was going to Israel and I wanted to spend 
a few days looking around. 

Well, we left Montreal late, towards winter, so 
we were stuck there about a week. Luckily the 
skipper on the ship turned out to be a guy I'd met 
before; he was both translator, friend, chess 
companion and guide - a great guy named Aaron Stark. 

Ward: He was the guy who helped you out in Genoa? 

LG: Yes, so I asked him one day, "I'd like to have some 
of the longshoremen for lunch." He said, "Great, 
bring them here for lunch. Anything we can do, you 
know, to make friends with these guys . . . 

Ward: What port was this? 

LG: Genoa. So, we bring them down to the ship and 

they're all sitting with their backs to the port 
holes and I'm sitting together with Stark and Terry. 
The longshoremen are a sort of a tri-partite group; 
the leadership is divided between Social Democrats, 
Communists, and people who are neither. 

One guy, very tough, obviously the Communist of 
the group, knew a lot about the operation and I told 
him, "You know we were tied up in the stream there 


LG: for three or four days." And he said, "Well, it's 

your fault; you could have sent us a telegram and we 
would have sent a "boat out." I asked, ""Why was the 
ship tied up?" "Oh, we had a little bit of a strike 
on." ""Why?" "Well, mostly it had to do with the 
men working nights before the holidays; they wanted 
holiday time." I said, "Is everything straightened 
out now?" He said, "Oh, yeah, sure; there are no 
problems of any kind and the port is working fine." 
And I'm looking out the porthole and there they use 
gantry cranes on the dock. It's not yet 12 o'clock - 
nowhere near it, about 11:30. We were having drinks, 
about to have lunch, and I see the guys climbing 
down the gantry cranes; one after the other, they're 

And I turn to this guy and I say, "Everything's 
settled now - everything is fine?" "Oh, yeah, yeah." 
I said, "Well, how come all those guys are walking 
off the ship?" He turns around; he knew what was 
going on, clear as a bell; these guys had some 
beef which hadn't been settled yet, and all the 
union officials were aboard our ship. "Okay, fellas, 
now do you understand what we're saying?" (laughter) 



(Interview 30: 17 October, 1978) 

Conventional Operations Disappear 

Ward: Lou, when you were discussing the effects on the 

longshoremen of the Guaranteed Annual Wage you had 
something more to add to that. 

LG: Yes, I mentioned some of the side effects; part of 
it, I think, was done with honest intentions but 
without recognition of a certain basic fact - the 
work habit of the longshoremen in meeting the hook 
in regard to the size of the load. I think there 
could have been much more stringent protection of 
the men in conventional operations: it's true, , 
however, that the conventional operations were also 
disappearing very quickly. As a matter of fact, as 
of this time, conventional operation is an exception, 
not the rule. 

One of the other factors that arose before long 
was not just a question of availability. A whole 
series of disputes arose; some of them were resolv 
ed so that in the event men walked off the job - as 
they had done before because they felt the work 
wasn't being handled right or because it was unsafe - 
they could walk off rather than, continue and risk 
life or limb. In matters of safety there were 
certain improvements. 

There was a provision written in the contract 
on onerous work; if they considered the job onerous 
they could work around it until the arbitrator got 
down there and made a ruling. 


LG-: But if the men walked off a ship or stopped work 

for whatever reason, initially the employers would 
attempt to penalize the entire port. I think it 
has been narrowed down so that the penalty doesn't 
apply to all the longshoremen, but it does apply 
in terms of eligibility for the pay guarantee of 
the men involved. 

Well, when work in a port is good, that doesn't 
make much never-mind, because they're not going to 
draw the pay guarantee anyway. If there is a lot 
of work in the port and for one reason or another 
they have to stop for some protest or demonstration, 
they're just going to stop; the work is there any 
way and they're going to earn more than the pay 
guarantee would provide. 

However, where work was not good, where men 
were getting three days a week, or four at the 
most, then penalizing them could be a very heavy 
deterrent to taking any stop-work action. 

Ward: I think you said that stop-work for any cause had 

virtually disappeared from the waterfront, compared 
to what it used to be. 

LG-: Yes, there are still the stop-work meetings; those 
that are provided for under the contract. 

Ward: But not the spontaneous things? 

LG: The spontaneous walk-off s, the demonstrations. I 
recall when we had this big mass meeting in front 
of the Federal building at the time of the bombing 
in Birmingham. Such things became more and more 
of a rarity, practically unknown. Some of the 
actions taken by the longshoremen, like the refusal 
to handle cargo to Chile after the assassination of 
President Allende, were a bit difficult to implement 
because of the penalty provisions involved. 

It's understandable; the employers were insis 
tent on that for obvious reasons - they were not 
going to pay a guarantee to men and have them off 
for several days during a political demonstration. 

As to how you weigh these things; what it does 
to the whole historical background of the long 
shoreman, the tradition of the equalization of work, 


LG-: the high degree of democracy, the willingness to 

walk off the job and exercise their economic power; 
as to how you measure these things over the long 
pull, I guess the "best way to judge is to see how 
things change as the years go by. 

But it is a new era; longshoring is just not the 
same as it used to be. The container has made 
unbelievable changes, and also in the handling of 
large pre- fabricated loads, such as lumber. The 
industry was bound to change; whether these changes 
would result in a kind of work force that was more 
highly subjected to discipline, more comparable to 
an ordinary factory job, would be an important 

How you measure that is hard to say. Some of 
the old timers just simply say, "Well, it's the 
end of an era - that's all." Their right to walk 
off the job; in many cases the discipline was 
moderate or almost non-existent. 

Ward: Well, the contracts didn't give them the right to 
walk off, did they? 

LG: No. 

Ward: They didn't penalize them, either? 

LG-: Not to speak of, particularly where the union felt 

that these walk-off s were called for. Sure, some 
of these things might have been done with a bit 
of .... 

Ward: Whimsical? 

LG: No, not whimsical. In some cases you had that, 

yes, but when you had all these scrap iron beefs - 
those were not whimsical at all. Sure there might 
have been an understanding; the Chinese understood 
very quickly because they realized if there was a 
picket line down there, the men wouldn't go to work, 
That didn't take a lot of communication or convic 
tion of anybody; the way the Chinese community felt 
about the Japanese invasion was so strong, you were 
bound to get these demonstrations. 

Whether these things were by-products of the 
nature of the industry as it was constructed at 
that time is another question. Were they an 


LG: aberration in the history of American trade union 
ism? These are questions that are hard to weigh; 
it's also a serious question, open to discussion, 
as to whether all the emphasis should have gone as 
it finally did to the question of pay guarantees - 

It's true, the hourly rate had gone up very 
substantially, particularly in the last contract, 
a good contract, by and large. On the question 
of steady men, I think the union has begun to find 
the road back. 


LG: During those years - 1957 and 1958 - as I recall, 

there were very intensive discussions. As a matter 
of fact around one of those contracts - it might 
have been the 1957 contract or ' 58 - there was a 
sharp division in the union on just cutting the 
workday down from nine to eight hours. 

The way the longshore gangs were handled up and 
down the coast up until that time, it was generally 
assumed they worked a nine-hour shift. During the 
day you worked six hours straight time and three 
hours at overtime; at night it was a nine-hour 
shift, all at overtime. That's the way the long 
shore contract reads - there's only six straight 
time hours in a day; that was the maximum. 

After hectic discussion in negotiations and with 
our own committee, there was general agreement that 
the main push ought to be to cut the workday and 
the first move had to be from nine to eight. 
During this period Harry kept hammering, I thought, 
very correctly and with good sound trade unionism 
behind it, that the important thing was to cut the 

Ward: That was also because you had the surplus member 
ship at that time, didn't you? 

LG: Not particularly. There was a problem of surplus 
membership for a short while in San Francisco at 
the end of World War II, but that problem had been 
resolved. The ratio between the size of the work 
force and the work was in a fairly good balance. 


Ward: Why were you cutting down the hours of work, then? 

LG: That's where I think Harry was very much on the 
beam. What had happened, particularly during 
wartime, was that the guys had gotten accustomed 
to getting in a lot of overtime work; a lot of 
overtime pay. This can become a real, insidious, 
habit-forming thing where, in effect, the guy is 
living on overtime. He assumes that overtime is 
part of his paycheck. 

I recall discussions in the longshore caucus 
where good guys - like Gordon Giblin from Los 
Angeles - were arguing, shortly after the war, that 
the men couldn't afford to take vacations at the 
regular 36 or 40 hours pay; they were accustomed to 
making much more. He said, "Why, just to cover our 
regular bills takes more than that." 

This can become a real sickness, you know. It 
can eat into the whole psychology of guys, particu 
larly where you start chasing that buck, with the 
emphasis we have in this country on material things. 
These were serious arguments. 

A night man - they used to be called "sun dodgers" - 
was accustomed to working nights all the time, nine 
hours every night; sometimes an extra hour, because 
a ship had to sail or shift. That man at the end 
of the week has worked five or six days; all over 
time hours. 

You then talk of his vacation; one of the things 
we always fought for was that when you got a 
vacation, you took a vacation. You were absolutely 
prohibited from working longshore. You got these 
rumbles all the time, "Look, I've got a hardship 
case; I need money. Why can't I just collect my 
vacation pay?" 


These were things the union fought against very 
strenuously. So, it was either in '56 or '57, 
thereabouts, when the contract provided finally for 
cutting down the normal work day - with certain 
exceptions - from nine to eight hours. The coast 
wise vote on that was very close - it passed by 
only a few hundred votes. To the guys that meant 
a cut in pay, even though we got a pay increase 


LG-: at the time. Maybe it didn't quite make up every 
nickel of the loss, "but it approximately did. 

The Shorter Work eek 

LG-: Harry's position was that cutting the hours of 

work is an issue that should be handled on merits. 
The slogans that you see around such as "30 hours 
work with 40 hours pay" are really misleading. 
Anybody is in favor of that; anybody who is working 
a regular job, 40 hours, eight hours a day, just 
raise the slogan "let's cut back the hours to 30 
hours"; unless the man is out of his mind, why 
should he want to work 40 when he can work 30 and 
be done? 

But that's not the way it works out; the moment 
you put the issue in that form then you in effect 
say that you've got to get the 40 hours pay before 
you can cut the number of hours of work. If the 
labor movement had followed in that direction in 
definitely, I doubt if the work week would ever 
have been cut. 

In the initial eight-hour day movement, the 
program was eight hours work, eight hours rest, 
eight hours leisure; a cut to eight hours. From 
a trade union point of view, once you cut the hours 
of work, they just automatically take care of 
themselves; there's bound to be a push to get that 
lost money up there so there is an adequate income 
at the end of the shorter work day. 

In longshore we also got what was called a 
"short shift"; where the employer wanted to get 
more than 16 hours of work out of a day, he could 
call in a short shift. That was a shift that 
worked for five hours from, say, 2 a.m. to 7 a.m. 
and then got paid for nine hours work; in other 
words, a rate slightly higher than even the over 
time rate. 

Ward: They must want to have the work done pretty badly 
to pay that kind of wages. 


LG: Only when they wanted to ship out in a hurry, you 
see. Fundamentally, as far as the employer is 
concerned, that ship only makes money when it's on 
the high seas. Once in port, it's losing money, 
so the turn-around speed on a vessel is very 

I haven't kept close track in recent years, but 
I would say the cost of keeping a vessel in port 
an extra day must "be somewhere at least between 
seven and eight thousand dollars; so that the bit 
of additional money in wages in a short shift, to 
save that seven or eight thousand dollars didn't 
make much difference. 

In 1958 there was a big push up and down the 
coast; a lot of discussions - stop-work meetings. 
There was a stop-work meeting in San Francisco and 
the guys were all asked to bring their lunches with 
them. This was a .joint meeting of ship clerks, 
longshoremen and, I think, walking bosses, where a 
program was finally adopted that the big push would 
be for a six-hour day and a 30-hour week, plus a 
substantial increase in pay. 

Ward: And no normal overtime? 

LG: The whole objective was to just cut the workday. 

Ward: The 30-hour week really meant the 30-hour week? 

LG: Initially, back in 1934, this was said to be a 
dream of the longshoremen. If you could get 30 
hours of work a week, that would be great; if he 
could get a buck an hour, which was the demand, 
that meant $30 bucks a week; he had it made. But 
things corrupted themselves; the employers kept 
the men working eight hours, with two hours over 
time. Pretty soon, in one of the contracts, once 
a man was put to work, he had to be given eight 
hours; so you had compulsory overtime. 

Ward: Then, it was nine hours after that? 

LG: Then the work shift became nine hours by custom, 
not by contract; the employers wanted to keep the 
nine hours because then they got 18 hours of work 
on the vessel. 


ard: Well, talking from the employer's point of view, 
the longer the day the less the productivity of 
the man, isn't it? That last hour or two, I would 
think the productivity would be low. 

LG-: Some of the studies have indicated that; and some 

don't necessarily "bear that out. Let me explain 
why - a lot depends on the cargoes you are handling. 
Let's say it's containers; productivity is not 
going to differ the last hour from the first hour, 
because the crane is doing the work. It's all by 
machine. Sure, there might be a bit of a slowing 
down, putting those containers under the crane, 
but by and large it wouldn't make that much differ 

The fact is the workday cut was excellent, a very 
worthwhile and educational thing. 

ard: Well, what came out of this thirty -hour week meeting 
you had? 

LG-: They adopted unanimously a program for a 6-hour day, 

a 30-hour week and a substantial increase in pay. 

Ward: And how long ago was that? 

LG: 1957 or ' 58 - 

Ward: But they are still working eight hours? 

LG: Right. It fell by the wayside later on. The more 

we looked into the thing the more we found out; 
all right, we can't cut the work day to six hours, 
why not cut it to seven? You would think there 
should be an appeal, even to the employers, for a 
seven hour day. Let me explain why. If you are 
working say, three seven-hour shifts, that's 21 
hours. You allow a lunch hour for each shift 
because working through without lunch, in my opinion, 
is absolutely impermissable - 

Ward: I think it's against the law, too. 

LG: Well, no, you have certain penalty rates the em 
ployers have to pay in the event they work more than 
five hours without a meal. I think the whole 
principle of working seven hours without a meal is 


LG: very bad business, very bad on the man and very bad 

in terms of the psychology of the industry. But 
if you had three seven hour shifts, each one taking 
a lunch break of an hour, that would make 24 hours. 
You'd say, "Now, that is the most logical thing in 
the world - why don't the employers support some 
thing like that?" Three seven-hour shifts. The 
ship then would get the maximum number of hours of 

But we found out that there were other factors 
involved which don't meet the simplicity with which 
I put the issue. To the employers, this meant 
additional supervision; hiring a whole additional 
crew for supervision. 

It also met with a great deal of resistance 
among the supervisors because people like the 
walking bosses or super-cargoes got considerable 
benefits in the extended work shift. Even today, 
with the general eight hour day, they get overlap 
time - an hour before and an hour after. Coming 
to the transfer of work from one crew to another, 
there could be a good deal of resistance from that 
end too; those workers also are in a fairly high 
income bracket. 

It also meant adding supervision all the way up 
the layers, and that might have been one of the 
major factors as far as the employers were concerned. 
"Whether it also extended as far back as the offices, 
and to what degree, I'm not sure. 

I'm sure it had some effect as to the teamsters 
and delivery of cargo; as to whether one part of 
the cargo movement could be placed on a straight 
seven hour day while other sections were not. 
There might have been other problems as well. 

The resistance continued by the employers and 
the eight-hour day did not come easy; eventually 
the drive for the six-hour day fell by the wayside, 
which I think is unfortunate. In more recent years 
there hasn't been much talk of the six-hour day. 

A number of guys were prepared to fight for the 
seven-hour day and the three seven-hour shifts if 
necessary, but three seven-hour shifts with the 


LG-: limitation of work to seven-hour periods. That would 
be a distinct counter-balance to mechanization. Very 
clear; you simply have to add another shift; you have 
to add one man for every two men. 

If you have two shifts, each working an eight with 
an extended hour, say nine, eighteen hours of work, 
then you don't necessarily add more men. 

The moment you go on straight three seven-hour 
shifts, then the only way you can do that, if you 
don't allow doubling back - a gang coming back and 
continuing on another shift which, unfortunately, is 
still being done in a couple of ports like Tacoma - 
then the extra shift literally means adding addition 
al men. You're putting the tax on the machine for 
adding additional men to the work force and for 
cutting the work day, which obviously ought to be one 
of the things to come out of mechanization. 

The retirement plan is a good plan, the "mech" 
agreement, I think, basically was sound. The lump 
sum payment was perfectly sound; the reduction of the 
normal retirement age down to 62 is a good thing; the 
"bridge", an additional amount of money between age 
62 and normal retirement at 65 for social security 
factors - all these things are good. 

The one thing missing in the whole picture - and 
I think it not only applies to longshore, but 
eventually to all industry - is the length of the 
workday. My own observations are that the drastic 
change in the productivity of the individual, the 
enormous stepping up of capital investments brings 
on the result that at this moment I doubt if you 
could put everybody in this country to work on an 
eight hour day, 40 hours a week. The productive 
capacity is so enormous, I don't know where that 
total output would go. 

I think that the fight for the shorter work day 
is without question the highest priority of the 
labor movement. The break-through hasn't come, 
except in a very few industries. 

The Auto Workers have tried to tackle the issue, 
with longer vacations and sabbaticals; they figure 
that instead of trying to fight through - which I 


LG: had hoped they would - on the shorter work day, they 
shifted the fight to the shorter work year. I don't 
think it has any impact at all when it comes to doing 
something about unemployment. 

The only thing I know of that the trade union 
movement can do in the field of putting people to 
work is to cut the work day. Here is something that 
is within its economic power. Anything else is just 
a makeshift arrangement; sort of a stop-gap, a CETA* 

Sure, there are other ways of providing employment. 
Some of the recent studies done on the amount of money 
spent on military - leaving aside the moral questions - 
show that the amount of money spent on military does 
not provide the kind of work opportunity or the hours 
of employment that the same money would provide in 
other areas, which are equally essential: "building 
hospitals, "building roads, or what have you. 

This is what is "behind what are called "transfer 
amendments" in Washington, D. C.; the object is to 
transfer a certain amount of money out of the 
military budget into the kind of work that is pro 
vided for through federal taxation, but which is far 
more labor-intensive. 

These are some remarks on the by-products of the 
mechanization program. The fact of the shorter work 
day, as of this moment, appears to be in hiatus. In 
my opinion, it will pick up again, although it's a 
very hard thing to fight for in periods of inflation; 
every hour of overtime counts; certainly the guy 
needs it. It is quite different from the ordinary 
period where the worker sees, through union's 
strength, a gradual picking up of the standard of 

Ward: But if we get a touch of deflation, then? 

LG: Then you might have some talk about it, a lot more 
push. But for the moment, there's no question 
that the inflationary pressures create a certain 

"Comprehensive Employment Training Act 


LG: atmosphere within the labor movement that makes it 
very rough to fight for shorter hours. We've even 
had debates with some of our own members in Warehouse. 
Somebody was telling me about a big argument that 
went on at National Gypsum, one of the places we have 
organized, where the employers wanted to add a third 
shift and the guys were opposed to it. Why? Because 
they were getting about 11 hours on each shift; sure 
they were making pretty good dough, but they were 
sure busting their ass to do it. And a lot of that 
is hard work. 

Ward: Gypsum is rather heavy stuff, as I recall? 

LG: Sure, it's heavy stuff, although a lot of it is 

handled by machine now. Oh, when we're talking about 
a place like National Gypsum, one of their main 
products is gypsum board, the stuff you see used in 
housing. Almost all present housing doesn't use wood 
panels anymore; they use gypsum board. 

Ward: Warehousing is more akin to factory work than long 
shore work? 

LG: Much more; part of warehousing these days is factory 
work, the part that's not the traditional warehouse. 
A few places are; Woolworth's is a traditional ware 
house, where you are constantly order- filling, shipping 
the stuff, carrying inventories, and what have you. 
Genuine distribution warehouses, public warehouses, 
there are only a few of them left. 

A good deal of warehouse organization these days, 
particularly in areas like coffee, are all production 
or semi -product! on warehouses. A place like Best 
Poods is a production warehouse; the gypsum plants 
are; so that the nature of the membership itself 
begins to change. More and more of it is factory. 
Blake, Moffitt and Towne, an old-time paper house, 
or Zellerbach's, are still traditional types of 

Ward: I wonder if it is worthwhile going back a minute to 
discuss the difference between the '61 and '66 
mechanization agreements. You indicated, I gathered, 
that you didn't quarrel too much with the employers 
on the '61 agreement, primarily because of the 
understanding that if you obviously deserved more 


Ward: money than you got in '61, you could raise the 

question again in '66. And then in '66 Mr. St. Sure 
said that he didn't want to pay twice for the same 
refrigerator, and at that point you took umbrage at 
his position, didn't you? How did that express 

LG: Oh, I think I mentioned to you that at one meeting 
I was just about to make a motion saying that we 
just break off negotiations. 

ard: Is that the one where you couldn't get a second? 

LG-: I could have gotten a second. The motion was never 
put - rather than come out on the short end of the 

Ward: In making that motion - in even thinking about it - 
you were in effect opposing Harry, weren't you? 

LG: Pretty much so, because Harry felt the thing could 
be negotiated out. I also felt that some of the 
things we had coming under the '61 agreement had not 
been forthcoming. For example, one of the things 
as I understood the '61 agreement - and I believe 
the committee did too as a whole - was that once we 
agreed to permit the introduction of mechanization 
and the elimination of unnecessary men, we would 
retain other protections. 

One Crucial Word 

LG: There was some disagreement on such issues as what 

happens to extra large loads; whether men or machines 
"may" be added or "must" be added. Even though it is 
only one word, there can be a very fundamental 
difference. It might be giving the employers too 
much of a free hand, which I think did materialize. 
There was an awful lot of cutting of corners by the 

We agreed to the modernization of the industry and 
the advent of the container. Perhaps we didn't judge 
exactly the speed or the degree with which it would 
take place, the rapidity .... 


Ward: The scope of it? 

LG-: The scope has "become universal, arid applied not only 
to containers but even things like logs, where you 
have cranes that can pick up 45 tons of logs. Even 
though we might not have measured that perfectly, 
there was still a "basic understanding that whatever 
work was left on the docks was to "be longshore work. 

That is a very fundamental thing, one of the 
reasons around which the terminal workers had to be 
switched over; which became another source of con 
tention, separate from the agreement itself. 

Under the '61 agreement, as I recall, even the 
loading of a truck had to be in a certain specified 
area like on an apron outside on the loading dock; 
any use of the forklift around the waterfront would 
be longshore jobs. Some of it sounds jurisdictional 
and some is; you can say that this is make-work; 
well, some of it is and some of it isn't. 

I recall lengthy discussions with the Teamsters, 
because by that time, I began to know them quite 
well because that had begun earlier, with my initial 
meetings with Hoffa which go back to 1956 in Hawaii. 
Our attitude was that if the Teamsters figure that 
they're going to lose out on any work because of 
these palletized loads - a truck could be discharged 
very quickly by using a forklift - then they should 
move for a mechanization program. You could take a 
load off a flat-bed truck in 15 or 20 minutes with 

We were determined that we would keep the work for 
longshoremen because it was work that was being done 
around the dock. Talking to Teamster guys like Ted 
Merrill, who led the fight against the Longshore 
agreement, I said, "The only thing for you guys to do 
is to just catch the employers at the other end; in 
other words, this mechanization is not just affecting 
us. The palletized load that is made up in the 
cannery and goes into that truck - bang, bang, bang! 
is going to come off the truck the same way - 
palletized loads, all made up that is not going to 
affect just the longshoremen, it means the teamsters 
too." That means that the teamster's rig can be 
loaded in 15 or 20 minutes at the warehouse or the 
cannery or wherever he's going. 


LG-: He can make that -many more trips a day; that's big 
money, of course, for the guy who owns the truck. 
Our attempt was to pressure the Teamsters into fol 
lowing a similar program of making the machine com 
pensate for some of the impact of mechanization on 
the men affected. 

But the Teamsters never quite went that way. 
Hoffa made one move in that direction when he put a 
tax on trucks that were piggy-backed; piggy-backs 
came into operation at that time. In other words, 
there was a whole revolutionary change in material 
handling; it was not limited to one aspect of the 

Many employers found it more profitable to take 
the whole chassis, including the load of freight on 
it, and shove it on a freight-car; even if they were 
big ones, two could get on one flat car; you would 
see these strings of a hundred freight cars going 
cross country. I'm thinking about the piggy-backs; 
they figured that in terms of wear and tear, drivers 
and everything else, the cost compared to transporting 
cross-country on piggy-back was profitable. That's 
where Sea-Land went into the whole area of container- 

"What happened was that there were some sharp 
arguments, after the '61 agreement, with the Teamsters, 
There were some stoppages of work in San Francisco, 
particularly around the coffee operation. They 
maintained that making up the load of coffee on the 
dock was their work, including putting the pallet 
board on the truck, so then they would bring down 
their own forklifts. 

I recall a meeting we had with Einar Mohn over at 
the Palaee Hotel on this issue. I recall Harry was 
there. I'm sure members from the Coast Committee, 
both Howard Bodine and L. B. Thomas, were there. I 
maintained, among other things, that the real beef 
from the Teamsters was not coming from the drivers . . . . 

ard: Coming from the lumpers? 

LG-: Right; and the lumpers are a breed of their own. 

Even in Warehouse we found ourselves in some pretty 
serious clashes. I recall during a crisis stage in 


LG: one of our negotiations some of the business agents 
of Local 85 i the drivers* local, were going around to 
the warehouses telling the employers they must hire 
a lumper to load that truck. 

That was work we were doing. If a driver wanted 
to load himself, fine. If the driver wanted help, 
the warehouseman would help him. In some cases, if 
the driver just left the chassis, then the ware 
houseman handled it, the attitude of the warehouseman 
being that if the driver just drops the chassis, let 
us say, to pick up another load and drive it somewhere 
else, then we considered it to be the same as a freight 

It was there, stationary, without a driver connect 
ed to it; that was warehouse work. There, the 
Teamster warehousemen were completely united with us 
in telling Local 85 to back off. They were just as 
tough as any of our people in their determination to 
maintain their jurisdiction. The employers tried to 
use it; there are all kinds of angles on this thing. 

In the case of longshore, a number of these things 
were eroded very quickly - 

Ward: Under the '61 agreement? 

LG-: Right. In the session with Einar Mohn I kept 

emphasizing, "The real beef coming here is from the 
lumper. The moment work slows up a bit they go 
shopping around all over town looking for any kind 
of a job they can pick up from somebody else; that's 
just the nature of the thing. Then they go back 
screaming to the business agent - they have nothing 
else to do and they are the ones who sit around the 
Teamster hall screaming at the business agent, 'Look, 
you s.o.b., why don't you go out and get work for 
us?'" So, the pressure is there from the lumpers. 

Ward: The pressure is that the labor force is greater than 
the work need. 

LG: In the case of the teamsters it was; the lumper 

literally did extra work. The way he picked up a 
pay check, he might hang around one of the big 
warehouses or the docks where some of the long-haul 
drivers come in. A guy comes in with a big load; 
he ' s been on the road eight or ten hours - 


Ward: And there are a couple of guys waiting for him . . . 

LG: And he wants time off and here are a couple of guys 

who say, "Don't you think you ought to have a lumper?" 
If they think they hare to pressure the guy, they 
pressure him. The teamster at that point wasn't 
particularly opposed to having a lumper; why should 
he be? He wanted some rest, he wanted coffee, a 
drink, anything; just some time off, his kidneys had 
been banged around for eight hours. That's how your 
lumper started making a buck. Later on they attached 
lumpers to some places permanently; they were there 
all the time. 

These things were by-products, and a lot of them 
disappeared with the container, which by-passes all 
these operations. The container comes down to the 
dock and is taken off with a special piece of 
equipment that is run by a longshoreman. A straddle 
truck is used; sometimes they pile containers one on 
top of the other if they don't have the space, and 
they move the containers on a special chassis under 
the hook. Of course, when an operation like that 
comes along, all these other things I'm talking about 
disappear. Instead of these things materializing, 
full blown, they were whittled away. 

There was some blame put on the San Pedro (ILWU) 
local because they backed away from the issue by 
observing a Teamster picket line, not against their 
employers but against the longshoremen. 

So, I remember Einar Mohn's attitude was, "ell, 
I guess we'll have to give them absolution." Einar 
Mohn was a little more far-seeing; he realized that 
the day of the lumper was a hangover of times long 

So, the '61 agreement achieved certain positive 
results in the mechanization agreement, and at least 
was an attempt to meet the issue of mechanization 
without fighting a completely defensive fight until 
it destroyed you, as happened to many other unions, 
like the Railroad Firemen. 

There was an attempt at least to grapple with the 
issue and use union power to get a piece of the 
machine. I think those aspects of it were good, but 
the degree of change which we allowed was excessive; 
we did not get all the things we thought we were 
entitled to under the agreement. 


Ward: You seem to be saying that the agreement advanced the 
cause of the employer more than it advanced the cause 
of the worker. 

LG: I don't know how you measure those things. 
Ward: In other words, the union lost something? 

LG: I think the union gave up more than it should have; 
it did not get all it was fundamentally entitled to, 
such as recapturing all work on the waterfront. The 
failure to keep a rein on conditions to the degree 
it could have done created real havoc among our 
people. On that score, I was looking forward to the 
'66 agreement as the time where we could make a lot 
of changes. 

As a matter of fact, there was a period where we 
went through the whole matter of .jurisdiction and 
work on the waterfront. There were some major tie- 
ups. The whole port of Portland went down and stayed 
down. The whole Columbia River went down. 

There was an attempt on the part of the employers 
to lease off a part of the port to some sort of auto- 
handling. The attitude of the longshoremen up there 
was simple; it's inside the longshore area, the work 
is ours, and that's the way it will be. Well, in 
some places they made it stick; in some places per 
haps not to the same degree. 

This became a big issue and was still kicking 
around as late as 1969; by that time we were under 
the second mechanization agreement. Of course, there 
was also the shift over then from the mechanization 
agreement to the PGP, the pay guarantee plan, as well 
as a change in the pension agreement. 

Fundamentally, I don't think the guys lost anything 
as against the cash-payout on the mechanization 
agreement and the new pensions they secured. But my 
general feeling in '66 was that we just didn't get 
enough and some of the things we were supposed to get, 
we didn't get. 

Ward: Well, did that change your relationship with St. Sure? 
LG: Not particularly. 


Ward: It wasn't "buddy-buddy at any time? 

LG: No - no; I got along all right with St. Sure. 

ard: Well, you said you didn't think it would be fair to 

say that St. Sure's program was deliberately intended 
to destroy the Longshore union. In view of all you 
have described here, would you now feel that it would 
be fair to say .... 





A Bigger Share Of The Pie 

Ward: Would it be fair to say that St. Sure, with the 
cooperation of Bridges, had with some success 
attempted to amend or reform the Longshore union 
more according to the needs and desires of the 

LG-: What I was trying to get across at that point, Estolv, 
was that St. Sure had decided, either because he 
was on top of the '48 strike or he learned his lessons 
extremely well, that any effort in the direction of 
trying to destroy the union was a basic mistake. 

Secondly, I think he figured that the whole at 
mosphere that prevailed prior to 1948, a running 
battle with the employers, was a mistake. I think 
St. Sure was determined to see to it that the contract 
was lived up to; that his attitude towards any 
employer trying to chisel on a contract would be one 
of considerable impatience. 

What St. Sure proceeded to do, I'd say that he 
accomplished, to some extent. What he did succeed 
in doing was to create an atmosphere in which it was 
easier to deal. If ever there were indications that 
the union was right, in many cases he would give it 
the benefit of the doubt. 

I might have mentioned such an issue as in-lieu 
worktime where the men would put in a claim for work 
that they should have performed that was done by some 
over- ambitious sea captain who decided to uncover the 
hatches before the ship got into port so he could 


LG: save a little time and a little money for the ship 
owner. Claims of that sort were generally honored. 
On all those scores St. Sure followed a very consistent 

This at the same time led to something else which 
doesn't make St. Sure out a scoundrel per se but led 
to a situation where he could say, "Look, we're hold 
ing up our end of the bargain - now there are some 
things to which we're entitled in the way of 
'bonformance and performance," where his objective 
really was to push the union into a more acceptable 

I think I began to tell you something that is 
really my philosophy, not necessarily related direct 
ly to St. Sure. Somebody in our office had taken a 
poster put out by the AEL-CIO and put it in the 
conference room where negotiations were going on, so 
that all the guys would see it. 

It was one of these posters put out by the JLFL-CIO 
and it read, "We don't want a bigger share of the 
pie; we just want the same share of a bigger pie." 
Many unions figure their job is to get as best they 
can their share of the general increased productivity. 
Well, that is not my thinking. I always thought the 
job of a union was to get a bigger share of the pie. 
I think St. Sure knew that. 

Ward: I think you said that the union provided an 
acceptable legal way of sharing the wealth. 

LG: The main job of the union is to redistribute the 

wealth. You can say it's one of the few legal ways - 
we're not going out and using a gun - but the power 
to strike, organize effectively and build a rank and 
file union that under stands the issues and is willing 
to fight for a larger and larger share is something 
that you do have the right to do; that's legal. 

I still feel that's part of the job of a union; 
namely, to re-distribute the wealth. When people 
used to ask me "What's your job?", I'd say "My job 
is to redistribute the wealth." I recall some chap 
on a plane who asked me that question, and he said, 
"Oh, you're with Internal Revenue." (laughter) And 
I said, "No, not quite." 


LG: My philosophy still remains the same; otherwise you're 
saying that the worker has to reconcile himself for 
ever to exactly his status in life. In other words, 
he is a junior partner of the economy and that's his 
role; there are many labor movements which think just 
that way, in this country and abroad. 

That was one of the things that bothered me about 
the union people I bumped into in England. I finally 
figured out that they are too docile; the one thing 
about the American labor movement that is so distinc 
tive and so beautiful is that it has a certain element 
of rambunctiousness. 

It has a tendency, once in a while, to kick the 
slats out of the playpen. I used that remark once 
up in Montreal. The Teamsters have a tendency to 
invite some of the employer representatives to some 
of their big conclaves. "Whether this is part of 
their general policy of getting along with the 
employers or figuring that it's a good thing for the 
officials to hear all sides of the story, they do it. 

Some chap had spoken in Montreal, representing the 
trucking interests of Quebec; he had a long peroration 
about the Teamsters overreaching themselves, asking 
for too much. I was called upon to speak the next 
day and I said, "Before I make a few remarks about 
what's been happening in Warehouse, I just want to 
say something about what this chap has to say yester 

"All he's saying there is that he's a bit irritated 
with you fellows for kicking a couple of slats out of 
the playpen. He thinks he has it built just right 
for you and that's the way it's going to be and even 
if the union has grown up a bit, that playpen is not 
going to get any bigger." 

There was a Catholic, a Monsignor from Temple 
University, yes, and he and I got into quite a 
discussion before the delegates; he was addressing 
himself to the same point. I just decided I would 
take off and give him my own philosophy about the 
American working class and what I thought about it; 
it had certain anarchistic trends to it. It also had 
things that were very distinctive and never to be 
sold short - a willingness to fight and to take on 
long battles. 






LG: Quinn was his name! That's it, Francis Quinn. Well, 
later that year I got an invitation from him to come 
back and speak at his commencement exercises! 

Well, apparently, you and he didn't disagree too 

No, not too much; he knew at that time .... 
Did you go? Did you accept? 

I didn't go, no. Next time I saw him, I said, "That 
was a very flattering invitation and I appreciate it; 
I sent you a letter and told you as much." The 
substitute he got for me was the Secretary of Labor. 

Quinn was one of those in the Catholic Church who 
supported the Farm Workers; he knew I did. As a 
matter of fact, even though here I was working very 
closely with the Teamsters, I was an outspoken 
supporter of Cesar Chavez and the Farm Workers. 

It doesn't mean that you take on every beef and 
every cause blindly or stupidly; and it doesn't mean 
that you never back up. Sometimes you have to re 
treat; I told you the story about taking a wage cut 
at a Hawaii plantation. Phil Murray used that as an 
occasion to tee off on Harry. 

But on the other hand not to reconcile yourself 
to just the same slice of the pie. I think once 
a union has done that, it's bound to lose some of 
its real makings. 

Ward: Well, I think you would say that St. Sure was a 
shrewd, effective employer's representative. 

LG: And St. Sure never made any bones about the fact that 
he represented the employers. He never sat across 
the table and said, "Look, I'm doing this for your 
good"; none of that jazz; none of this business you 
get out of some employers, "Well, I'm an old time 
progressive." They're the worst ones to deal with; 
impossible! St. Sure was an employer's representative 
and a damn effective one. 


Ward: Well, I'm thinking "back to the comparison he made in 
1957 of the difference between Goldblatt and Bridges. 
He said the employers as a rule would rather deal 
with Bridges - found him easier to get along with. I 
presume you felt at all times that St. Sure was 
getting the most he could for the people he represent 
ed and you on the other hand were getting the most 
you could for the people you represented? 

LG: That's right - that was my job. 

Ward: So obviously that would bring ideological and funda 
mental clashes here and there between you and St. 
Sure, wouldn't it? 

LG: Yes; on one occasion I remember mentioning to St. 

Sure, "Look, I don't want to kid you or anybody else. 
I know there's so much money in the pot and I know 
what we don't get, you take; and that's how simple it 
is." George Valter used to be much more outspoken; 
he had this heavy Russian accent, and he'd get angry 
in negotiations and turn to the employers and say, 
"You got it, ve need it and ve gonna get it!" 

Fantastic Economic Power 

LG: It also means that you have to reconcile yourself 

to some things that are not all that easy, and some 
of them get to be rough decisions. For example, from 
1958 to 1960 on, when we began to drive harder and 
harder in Warehouse to lift the wage scales and to 
get some very basic and big improvements in the 
contract, I was aware that once you negotiated a 
contract, you had to figure on a certain number of 
casualties, because it was different than shipping. 

The shipping industry has a feature that should 
never be underestimated - the economic power of the 
longshoremen is fantastic compared to most workers; 
the amount of economic leverage they have. How does 
a shipping company run away from you? If they don't 
like the conditions in San Francisco, they'll build 
a port in Salinas? Take those ships over the 
mountains somehow? In other words, it's a captive 


LG: How is cargo going to move if it doesn't move by ship? 
I'm not talking about a handful of flowers from Hawaii 
or a couple of small automobile parts that have to be 
shipped from Detroit; of course, those will be air 
freighted. I'm talking about the big movements of 
cargo, everything from grocery supplies to lumber and 
and sugar. 

The amount of economic power you have in longshore 
is fantastic; it's an industry, for example, where 
fundamentally you cannot store inventory. Let us say 
the steel industry plans on a shut-down or they are 
going to take on a beef. They can get orders ahead, 
they can work a lot of overtime, they can fill those 

In shipping they can do that only to a very limited 
extent. They can divert cargo in a few cases, but 
basically they can't do the same thing that other 
employers can do - storing up inventory, and figuring 
well, instead of having a shut-down in September this 
year, they'll have one when the contract comes up. 
So, it's a different thing, and consequently, the 
relationship of bargaining is different. 

In places like Warehouse you might figure that in 
a small warehouse either the employers pay the going 
rate or it's too bad. If you start negotiating every 
contract predicated on ability to pay, then you are 
going to get down to a point of diminishing returns. 

It's not true, for example, that we can get every 
body in Warehouse around here up to the master 
contract rate. We have been organizing a number of 
industries that have been unorganized for years; the 
rates of pay are extremely low - three bucks an hour. 
The chance of pulling those people up to the contract 
rate of pay overnight is impossible. We're aware of 

Some people call them sub-standard houses. They 
aren't sub-standard. Many of them are borderline 
industries, some of them fly-by-night, some of them 
the unorganized type. All need organizing very badly. 
They form a large reservoir of unorganized workers; 
that takes a lot of hard work. When you do organize 
them, if you can get them a basic increase in pay, 
fairly substantial, and a few things such as seniority 


LG-: rights, vacations, holidays with pay, and particularly 
health and welfare, the workers themselves say okay, 
they'll settle for that, for the time being. 

You can't go "back and tell them, we're going to 
pull you out on strike for the full master contract; 
they themselves wouldn't believe you, and they wouldn't 
be prepared to take on that kind of a fight. So you 
have to do these things. That does not get me away 
from what I still think is the basic concept about 
that pie. 

Ward: Yes, well, as I said, a man like St. Sure and a man 
like Lou G-oldblatt are bound to meet and there are 
bound to be clashes. Apparently, this was true of 
Harry at one time, but not later. As you said, he 
was very amenable to any suggestion St. Sure had to 

LG-: Well, that is a hard one to measure. I'm not making 
any secret that I disagreed with Harry on a number of 
things, and later on some of the disagreements got 
to be pretty sharp. But unless you see the thing in 
its proper perspective, frankly, I don't think you 
do Harry .justice; and I'm not here as an apologist 
or anything. 

Look at the foundation of the Longshoremen's union, 
broken in the '20s and started again in the '30's; 
the '34 strike; then a running fight that went on 
endlessly to 1948; and combine with that all the other 
things that impinged at the same time, the continued 
trials of Harry Bridges, the falling out with the CIO, 
the Cold War and the redbaiting, the Association of 
Catholic Trade Unionists and the raiding. 

Finally, the employers make a decision to enter 
into a new era - call it an era of semi-class 
collaboration; they're going to try to make it look 
attractive. Well, what sort of reactions do you 
expect from someone like Harry, then, who has been 
battling for all these years? 

Finally, the employer says, "Okay, the fight's 
over. If there's any justice in a grievance, it's 
yours. We're not going to see how difficult we can 
make life for you. We're not going to take the 
attitude of a man like Gregory Harrison." 


LG: I think I told you of the incident in the 1948 

negotiations. The item on the table was when the man 
who has earned a vacation happens to die, does his 
widow get his vacation pay? Gregory Harrison's 
reaction was, "hat for? He's on permanent vacation." 
Then you get a situation quite the contrary where the 
employers are in a position to come in, in effect, 
with clean hands. 

Pretty soon the Coast Committee finds the employers 
are amenable to straightening out most beefs. But 
then the committee decided the men are wrong in some 
cases; that's a question of values, and even more 
important, procedure. 

I start off - at least I did all my life - with 
the assumption that the workers are right. Not to 
say that they are right all the time, but I'm not 
going to start off by saying they are wrong. If I 
then find out they are wrong, it's my job to go con 
front them and say, "Look, you screwed this one up, 
but good; lay off. You have to straighten out on 


I don't believe in a policy of just continued 
job actions and what have you. I think that is self- 
defeating. At a certain point you lose your own 
people on that program. Also, it becomes too handy 
a manoeuvre for all kinds of individuals, completely 
self-serving. You could tell when somebody was about 
to run for office; all of a sudden grievances piled 
up, there was screaming and yelling going on, special 
stop-work meetings. 

Some locals start to play games - like some of 
them holding back on ratification of the contract 
until they see the contract is going to be ratified - 
then they vote "No." "Why would they vote 'No'? 
Because the guys who advocated voting 'No' would have 
a campaign issue when they ran for office; they were 
against the contract all the time. 

So, those are things that happened. Maybe some 
of it was an inevitable by-product of a democratic 
union. There is no question that a democratic union 
at certain points is going to border on anarchy; but 
do you stop it at any cost? That's the point! Once 
the guys figure that members of the Coast Committee 


LG: are wrong before the workers have had a chance to 
make their case - that doesn't have to happen more 
than a couple of times .... 

Ward: They figure the Coast Committee is wrong? 
LG: Look, I'm paying you, fellow; yep. 

Men's Opinions Of Each Other 

Ward: Ah, yes. We have reached the end of that particular 
question, the influence of St. Sure on the union, 
haven't we? 

LG: I think so, there are dozens of specific examples on 
it, but I think we have covered it. I really don't 
know how much more can be gained. I think the job is 
really somebody else's, who has done an interview 
with St. Sure, to figure those things out. 

Ward: Well, I've read the interview with St. Sure. 

LG: I never have; I didn't even know there was one around. 

Ward: Incidentally, it might interest you to know the ILWU 
librarian showed it to me. 

LG: Who was that? 

Ward: Carol Schwartz, and I read it. Very interesting and, 
I think, quite important. I noticed the date and the 
name of the interviewer, a woman named Corinne Gilb. 
This woman interviewed him for the U.C. Department 
of Industrial Relations in '57. I asked Carol, 
"Where did it come from? How did you get it?" And 
she said, "Well, when we cleaned out Harry's office, 
this was one of the things that came into the library." 

LG: That's news to me; I wasn't even aware of such an 

Ward: St. Sure had quite a bit to say about things I have 

already told you; he went into considerable discussion 
about the differences between Bridges and Goldblatt. 
This was in '57. He redbaited you a little; he said, 
"His opinions, his motives may be communist, maybe 
not, I don't know." That's the way he put it. 


LG: Well, I never made it any secret of beine a left- 

Ward: I know; it was Ms way of giving you a little red 
paint. He didn't say you were a "bad man. He told 
the story of questioning you one day about your 
motivations. He said, "Well, when the revolution 
comes, I'll bet you'll find me on the workers' 
committee." And he quoted you as saying, "I don't 
think you'll make the workers' committee - I think 
they will have shot you by that time." Yes, that 
interview was a little gold mine. 

(Interview 31: 26 October, 1978) 

Ward: All right, Lou, you have some further comments on 
St. Sure? 

LG: Yes; you mentioned some statements he made. I went 
back and read that transcript you were referring to. 
Obviously, he was in error when he used the number 
either 25 years or 35 years he said he's known me. 
The tape was done in 1957; if the number of years he 
v/as using was 25 years that brings us back to 1932. 
I didn't know St. Sure in '32. I was still at the 
University of California at Berkeley. I was not 
at that time a member of the ILWU. 

And I frankly don't recall that conversation he 
alludes to. I'm not saying it could not have taken 
place; he does mention the fact that we met in 
conjunction with a big warehouse strike we had over 
in Alameda. I do recall that strike - that was a 
consolidated warehouse operated by Gal Pack or a 
number of the canners. 

It was a major shipping depot which we had organ 
ized. The company in that case signed a backdoor 
agreement with Vandeleur of the State Federation of 
Labor. I do recall a major confrontation there, 
where the whole Alameda police force was called out. 

Ward: Is that the one where the guys with the shotguns 
were shaking? 


LG: That's right - yes; and that's where Ralph Dawson 
had a complete map worked out how we were going to 
re-man those picket lines, "but .... There were 
a number of guys hurt in that beef and the thing was 
broken up pretty badly. 

Ward: Well, St. Sure was definitely the villain in that 
case, wasn't he? 

LG: I'm sure that he was connected with the employers. 
We did not win that strike. We didn't have the 

Ward: Was this before or after your tangle with St. Sure 
on the Santa Cruz Packing thing? 

LG: The Santa Cruz Packing thing had taken place earlier; 
that case went to the U. S. Supreme Court. They 
ordered a whole group of men reinstated with a lot 
of back pay. But I don't recall any specific conver 
sations with him in regard to Santa Cruz Packing. 
There might have been some concerning this consoli 
dated warehouse in Alameda. 

Ward: But didn't you tell me that when he came back into 
the ILWU picture as president of the PMA, he called 
you aside and said that he hoped you wouldn't have 
any hard feelings because of the early row with 
Santa Cruz Packing? 

LG: Yes; and perhaps he was referring also to the one 
at Cal Pack. 

Ward: But apparently he thought he had met you at Santa 
Cruz Packing? 

LG: Or in conjunction with it later on, perhaps. It 
could be. Oh, there's no question that he was in 
the scene there. 

Ward: And he was much more militant on the side of the 
employers then than he became later? 

LG: There's no question about his program in terms of 

pulling the employers together and making a decision 
that they were going to make book with the State 
Federation of Labor. Later on, I think the whole 
thing was turned over to the Teamsters; no question 
of his attitude there. 


LG:- As to his particular reference to me and Ms brag 
that in case of a revolution he might "be serving on 
some workers' committee, I may have said that he'd 
"be hung "before then, or shot, and that I said it 
without a smile - it could very well have taken place, 

I don't consider it terribly important anyway. It 
only had some importance later on, in 1961 or '62, 
during that time when they made the agreement that 
would have shifted the terminal workers over to 
Longshore. That was the time that I entered the 
picture very aggressively on behalf of the terminal 
workers, who were a very strong and loyal group; a 
lot of them came from the west side of Oakland, now 
almost an entirely black ghetto. 

And it was during those negotiations that Harry 
made some remark which rang very peculiarly in my 
mind - something like "Don't try to pull any fast 
ones," or not to take advantage of St. Sure. My re 
action was to shake my head .... 

ard: The indication was that you were trying to take 
advantage of St. Sure? 

LG: Something like that; only when I read the transcript 
now do I get what must have happened. Somewhere 
along the line St. Sure must have mentioned some 
confrontation with me. 

Harry would figure, I guess in his own way, that 
I was trying to even up scores or something. Which, 
frankly, was not true; plus the fact that the reason 
I shook my head was because I was just puzzled. I 
didn't know how anybody could take advantage of St. 
Sure. This man was a seasoned, tough negotiator 
who knew exactly what the employers' interests were 
and where he was going all the time. 

Ward: Well, I've heard - and this seems to be apropos - 

I've heard that at one stage of the game, Harry said 
that during Santa Cruz or this East Bay Terminal beef 
you had threatened St. Sure's life. 

LG: Right. . Now that I see the transcript, there's only 
one place he could have gotten it from - 

Ward: St. Sure? 


LG: Obviously; couldn't suck it out of Ms thumb! So, 
I'd say that St. Sure was a charming, competent 
scoundrel. I guess I mean it that way - maybe not 
in the ordinary dictionary sense of the word. I'm 
not saying he was guilty of any peculations . . . 

Ward: But to blow up a normal incident into a threat is 
not being very truthful, I'd say. 


LG: Yes, and to finish up on his being a charming 

scoundrel, there's no question that he was a maverick. 
Perhaps some of our thinking or Harry's thinking 
rubbed off on him. Those were changing times; St. 
Sure's general attitude towards unions was quite 
different from the open shop employers. 

His feeling that straight open shop campaigns were 
fruitless and self-defeating, I think is a very 
accurate appraisal. I think he had learned a great 
deal from what had happened in that era from 1934 to 

Ward: I nearly fell over in 1944 or early 1945 when I walked 
into the California Labor School to find Paul St. 
Sure conducting seminars on labor relations. Some 
thing had happened to the man in between. 

LG: It wouldn't surprise me. On that score I think he 
was a good deal his own man. One of the things in 
later years, not too long before he died, that did 
him a lot of injury was when the California Processors 
and Growers decided to make a change, either because 
they felt they wanted to adopt a different line or 
that St. Sure was devoting too much of his time to 
the PMA. 

Ward: He indicated himself that he was pretty well absorbed 
in the PMA. 

LG: It could be, but they made a shift and let St. Sure 
go. I think he considered that to be quite a 
personal blow. 

Another example of what a maverick he was: do you 
recall the incident in 1959 where Kruschchev came to 
the west Coast? Tou remember the greeting he got in 
Los Angeles where the mayor was very hostile? 


Ward: Where they wouldn't let him see Disneyland. 

LG: Well, he never got over that one. We in San Francisco 
decided that we ought to do everything possible to 
see that his visit here was in complete contrast to 
L. A. George Christopher was mayor. 

Ward: Yes, and George went down to the airport and met him. 

LG: Right. The hospitality here was entirely different 
than Los Angeles. There was a warm reception here, 
with a "big turnout at the Palace Hotel when he spoke. 
We invited him to the Longshore hall. Of course, 
all of us were quite excited about the prospect of . 
his coining; the word we had gotten was that he would 
try to make it. 

I happened to be down at the Longshore hall talk 
ing to some of the guys in the event he did get there. 
We figured it would be around the noon hour, and if 
so to try to get the guys when they knocked off work 
to drop around and have a chance to meet him. 

Somebody suddenly rushed into the hall and said, 
"Look, Mr. Kruschchev is outside in a car!" and I 
walked out and met him and his wife. They had driven 
by the hall to take a look at it and apparently he 
had already made up his mind to come by there. 

Well, St. Sure was one of those who joined with 
Harry to invite Kruschchev in to visit the Longshore 
hall. Kruschchev did come in. The man with Krusch 
chev from the State Department was Lodge - 

Ward: Henry Cabot Lodge? The State Department was lousy 
with Lodges .... 

LG: . Or from the same family. I remember when Kruschchev 
came in the hall Lodge seemed to be quite concerned 
and I said, "There's nothing to worry about." 

Kruschchev walked into the hall, and one of the 
longshoremen handed Kruschchev his white cap which 
the Russian promptly put on. He then said a few 
words to about 500 guys from up and down the front 
gathered there to welcome him. It was a warm 
reception; nothing untoward, no hostile remarks - 
quite the contrary. I know he was quite impressed. 


LG: The State Department man and the police who were 
assigned to protect Kruschchev remained as incon 
spicuous as possible; no attempt was made to keep 
people in some segregated sections. It was like the 
usual thing at the Longshore hall. St. Sure would 
see this as something that, if he felt like doing it, 
he'd do it. 

Ward: We were somewhere in Europe and we read all about 
this, probably in the International Herald Tribune, 
including the incident of the white cap; and also the 
incident which showed Nikita Kruschchev being shown 
through Pacific Heights with its mansions and so 
forth. He turned to Christopher and asked very 
cynically, "These are workers' homes? I'd like 
to see a worker's home." 

Christopher said, "Maybe." Kruschchev turned to 
the policeman who was driving him and said, "I'd 
like to see your home." Right then. And there was 
time, so the guy said, "Do you mean it?" "Sure." 
"Well, just give me ten minutes to phone my wife!" 
And by God that's what happened - they went to the 
police sergeant's home, saw the kids and his wife. 

LG: That sounds very much like Kruschchev' s visit here. 
By and large, I'd say that San Francisco made an 
excellent impression. When you look at the fact 
that this was the city where the UN (United Nations) 
had its initial session, it's a very colorful chap 
ter. I never had a feeling that St. Sure had the 
Red horrors. 

Ward: No, I don't think so. You read his quote in the 
transcript about possible Communism in your back 
ground, but he didn't say it in an unpleasant way - 

LG: Oh no; this wasn't in the tone of the times that it 
was part of a grand conspiracy to destroy America 
or anything of the sort. Now, on the other hand, 
I don't think he ever lost sight of what the 
employers wanted. 

Ward: And he got a good deal of what they wanted. 
LG: I think so. Frankly I think so. 



Changes In The Union Membership 

Ward: All right, let's change now if you like to the 

situation that during all the years of the employer- 
government attacks upon Harry, he was pretty damn busy. 
Those hearings and trials took his time and energy 
and in the meantime other people would tend the store, 
primarily you, because you were the second in command 
of the ILWU. 

When the BRS case was finally won and Harry had 
time to relax and look around, there had been a big 
change. What had originally been a union that was 
90 or 95 per cent longshore and the rest warehouse, 
had become an international union in which longshore 
was in the minority of the membership. The newer 
membership with which Harry did not have close contact 
was west coast warehouse and particularly Hawaii. 

It was the majority of the union; Hawaii itself 
was damn near half the union - just that one local, 
amalgamated Local 142. This, I gather, led to certain 
changes in Harry's approach, particularly to you and 
those who had had helped you. Can you comment on that? 

LG: Oh, there's no question that the union had begun to 
change. It was changing even prior to the 1949 
indictment of Bridges, Robertson and Schmidt, which 
was a renewal of the onslaught against Harry, a lapse 
there of some ten or eleven years since the first 
trial. Meanwhile the warehousemen had been growing 
very rapidly. We had begun organization of Hawaii 
on a large scale. Harry was down there during the 
pineapple beef in '47. He was down there in the '49 


LG: longshore strike, particularly where it reached the 
national level, both in the Congress and with Cyrus 
Ching, the Federal mediator with the Chinese name. 
Harry did a good job on it, the kind of a job where 
he is very adept. I think it was in the meetings with 
Cyrus Ching where he put forward some ten or eleven 
proposals on settling the Hawaii thing, all of which 
in one way or another would have accomplished pretty 
much what we wanted. 

Harry saw the growth in Hawaii; numerically he 
could see the thing was changing. True, during the 
war, the longshore division also grew very rapidly. 
I forget the exact number of longshoremen they were 
using in San Francisco. 

ard: Didn't you say that at one time it had reached a 
peak of about 8,000 - 

LG: Or more, yes, because of the enormous movement of 
cargo out of here. Bear in mind that during that 
time all cargoes were being handled in the old 
conventional fashion so that they required a very 
large work force. A great many men were added to 
the work force, and the longshore division played a 
very strategic role. 

But in terms of the changing composition of the 
union, Harry was thoroughly aware of it. I think 
that Harry's reaction to it was that once some of 
these things were out of his hair, he would become 
very, very active where he had not been in prior 
years, particularly in Hawaii. He began to make more 
and more frequent trips and participated in some of 
the developments in the Hawaii scene, some of which 
worked out and some of which were not the happiest 
things in the world because relations between him 
and Jack Hall were not the best. 

ard: Harry and Jack did not get along? 

LG: Right - but that was not in '49; I don't recall it 
becoming that much of an issue in '49. I thought 
that during the '49 strike, the role of the west 
coast longshoremen was absolutely essential. Had 
they not dropped the anchor, I think the chances of 
winning that strike would not have been good. 


LG-: But later on between Jack and Harry .... Harry 

made some references where he said maybe Jack was in 
his cups - could be, Jack liked to drink - and that 
he and Harry got into some hard words. This was 
sometime in the 1950s, I believe. 

In the initial stages of the 1958 sugar strike in 
Hawaii I recall Harry being there. Jack started off 
handling those negotiations entirely on his own. I 
was sort of drifting out of the picture, or trying, 
to a good degree. 

In many ways, the guys in Hawaii had never really 
become genuinely autonomous and able to handle their 
own affairs. There was always "Big Daddy" coming 
along. You can't keep holding their hands forever. 

I recall some lengthy sessions down there, partly 
by the prodding of Harry; he kept saying, "Jesus 
Christ, these guys have got to begin to start hand 
ling some of these things themselves," And I was 
inclined to agree. 

We had some sessions with the leadership down 
there; we said, "Let's try to break up some of this 
responsibility. Maybe you have to have back-up 
teams by the International in some of the major 
negotiations like sugar; there will have to be some 
direct help from Longshore. On the other hand, you 
have dozens and dozens of other smaller contracts. 
Let the guys get going on these things. Handle 
them on the local level, on the specific island. Let 
the regional director step in there. Let the region 
al office act as a sort of a backup, if a guy gets 
stuck, even before you call the International." 

To some degree, this worked out. There was the 
beginning of a transformation. Today you have local 
business agents who handle all negotiations; you 
have divisional directors down there who handle con 
tracts. True, on some of the major contracts, the 
International continued to play a major role, but 
that's to be expected; that's the role of the 
International, longshore on the west coast, sugar in 
Hawaii. The geographical location doesn't make any 


The 1958 Sugar Strike 

LG: In ' 58 I was getting deeper and deeper into warehouse 
again. But in '58 there developed a very lengthy 
sugar strike, I think 128 days. For some reason 
Harry thoueht that Jack was running the guys around 
the track exercising them; or maybe he was trying to 
assert his own leadership. 

During the initial days there were sharp exchanges 
"because Harry was absolutely convinced that there 
was an agreement around. Jack, I thought, was quite 
patient about the whole thing. Some genuine efforts 
had been made to try to deal with the employers, and 
Jack kept pressing guys like Boyd MacNaughton 
(president of C. Brewer) to make an offer. He and 
his friends had been going around talking their heads 
off to groups like the Chamber of Commerce, announc 
ing that a strike was inevitable. 

It was all part of their publicity facade, trying 
to hide the employer position. Their idea was you 
go through the motions; you make what you consider 
to be your proposal; then you just sit until the 
union cracks. Well, that wasn't about to happen. 
The employers put something like a four cent offer 
on the table and they just wouldn't budge .... 

Ward: What were the sugar workers asking? 

LG-: Twenty five cents! It didn't necessarily have to be 
in one year, but as a matter of fact that's the way 
it later worked out. We got what we wanted, spread 
out over a couple of years. I didn't like the feel 
of the thing. I didn't like the feel of Harry that 
somehow Jack, or Jack with my assistance, was running 
the guys around the track just to exercise them. 

Ward: You didn't feel that the strike was unnecessary? 

LG: If the employers refused to budge, I felt that the 

strike was inevitable. After a good deal of struggle 
on the goddam thing, we finally set up a meeting with 
the principals. I told you that the Hawaii employers 
maintained this fiction that the principals would 
never meet with you. 


LG-: Sure, you might see somebody from Castle & Cooke, 
but you wouldn't see Alec Budge; or you might see 
somebody there from C. Brewer, but you wouldn't see 
MacNaughton; or you might see someone from American 
Factors, but you wouldn't see H. C. Eichelberger; 
or Sandy Walker, or whatever his name was, the head 
of American Factors. Eichelberger, I think ? came 

But, we finally did get a chance to meet with the 
principals. It was downtown somewhere, at the 
offices of one of the Big Five. Jack was there, 
Harry was there, I was there. There was a painstak 
ing explanation to the Big Five that we were not 
there looking for a strike and that this propaganda 
flack - which after a while could become a self- 
fulfilling prophecy on the part of the employers - 
just wasn't true. 

We got nowhere - they had made up their minds. 
This was a lengthy strike, over 120 days. We got a 
lot of support from the mainland, the longshore 
locals in many cases voting $5 or $10 assessments. 
They came through very big, and so did warehouse. 
The strike was finally won. But again, the suspicion, 
and Jack's obviously impatient reaction, even though 
he tried to keep his cool - and I think he did. 

We went through all these efforts to try to clear 
the air, so that the union would be united. What 
could be worse, going into a strike of those 
proportions against a powerful foe like the Big Five 
and the sugar industry and to have the union divided 
within itself? Particularly where one of the top 
officers was not in agreement that' the strike was 
warranted; that's the kind of strike you lose. So, 
in retrospect, I think the efforts were worthwhile. 

The fact that these things leave scars is 
unfortunate. I don't know what the hell you can do 
about it. The only guys who seem to manage these 
situations are professional fighters. I'll never 
forget the remark made by Archie Moore, remember him? 

"Ward: Yes. 

LG: A grand old man; he finally got a crack at the 

heavyweight title years after he was over the hill. 
For years he couldn't get a fight at all, unless he 


LG: was willing to tlirow it, and he wouldn't. I recall 

Archie Moore fighting a Frenchman and watching the 
fight on TV; a French-Canadian who was as tough as 
a mule; Archie Moore must have "been knocked down 
five or six times in the course of this fight. 

For a while you'd think this fight was over with - 
but no, it wasn't; Moore won the fight "by a knockout, 
He was interviewed at the end of the fight and to my 
amazement he said, "Well, I hope everybody enjoyed 
the fight as much as I did. It was a hell of a good 
battle." (laughter) 

Ward: That wasn't the way with Harry and Jack? 

LG-: No. But people can't all be built that way, can 

they? And this was not Jack's reaction to it, I'm 
sure. It's too bad. I was deeply involved in the 
situation itself, but I was partially outside of the 
personal situation. While some of these things 
affected me directly, I obviously had quite a differ 
ent reaction. 

Ward: Well, when you are talking about what happened 30 
years ago, that's something else. 

LG-: Right. Or when you are talking about a situation 

twenty years ago, and you look back at it histori 
cally and see that it was worthwhile doing. 

There was nothing wrong with Harry saying, "Do 
we really have to take a beef here; have we explored 
everything?" I see nothing wrong with that. But if 
you are personally involved you might say, "Well, 
that isn't the real reason you're raising this ques 
tion. The real reason is to cast aspersions as to 
my ability or honesty." 

Ward: And you wonder if it is the real reason? 

LG: Yes, because you're so deeply involved individually, 

you have so much at stake: your own credibility, 
your own role in terms of leadership; whether it's 
being abused, whether it's being handled stupidly, 
your own competency and devotion. It's different; 
you can't see it the same way as Archie Moore did 
at the end of that fight. 


LG: So, all I can say is that when I look "back at 20 
years ago, it was worthwhile doing these things. 
There's nothing wrong with an international official 
coining along and offering a warning. Striking is the 
easiest part, in many cases; winning a strike is 
quite a different thing. 

You're never sure of winning when you strike, no 
matter how right you are or how strong you are and 
even if you have covered all the bases. It's a lesson 
many of us learned very early. It's hard for people 
to "believe these days. 

During one set of office workers negotiations, 
with our own office staff, here they were with a 
string of demands longer than your arm. And I said, 
"You don't have that kind of bargaining power, and 
you simply assume that every time a union asks for 
things that they win them." I said, "And we lose 
strikes too. I just came away from Sacramento - 
we just lost our ass in a strike, where Frank Thompson 
thought he could win one up there." 

Well, there's some guy from the Teamsters I bumped 
into and-he told me, "You know, this is tough country 
up here -I'm not sure you can lick that guy." Some 
big guy by the name of Gerry Stiefyater who ran this 
big plant that processed nuts, by the name of 
Continental Nut Company. Prank Thompson- figured he 
could win a strike there; well, we lost it. 

I go back and say that the fact that these ques 
tions are raised doesn't necessarily imply that there 
is all this motivation that has nothing to do with 
the strike itself; in other words, asking; why Harry 
would raise these questions. The fact that you cover 
these bases, including meeting with the principals 
- a very unusual thing - was worthwhile; it's just 
one of the things that had to be done, that's all. 
It should be done, or attempted. It's not the way 
Jack reacted; no two ways about that. 

Ward: Wasn't there a rumor around that Jack was making 

noises like running for the presidency of the ILWU 
against Harry? 

LG: I don't know; you hear all kinds of rumbles. 
ard: At least you don't think there was much to it. 


LG: No; I don't think Jack ever made statements with that 

Ward: You knew Jack quite well? 

LG: Yes, we were very close friends from when I first 
went down there. 

Ward: You got along well together? 
LG: Yes, - 

Ward: Even if you disagreed, you disagreed in a friendly 

LG: Oh, yes; we had our disagreements and we could "be 
up half the night arguing about these things, but 
the working relationship was good. It stayed good 
until the day he died. 

Ward: I suppose there were occasions when this difficulty 
between Harry and Jack inevitably caused you to take 
one side or the other? 

LG: Not particularly; I thought in 1958 that Jack had 

done a competent job. Perhaps I had been in closer 
touch with the situation than Harry had been. The 
employers had taken this position and launched that 
kind of a campaign. 

When I saw all the clippings with the speeches 
being made by people like Budge and MscN aught on, I 
knew how to interpret them. I knew enough about 
the Hawaii scene by that time so that I did not 
feel that Jack was walking in blind; nor did I think 
he was trying to run the guys around the track. 
Neither one of those statements was correct. 

I thought Jack was competent and patient. After 
the '58 strike, I'd say that the employers in their 
relationship to Jack Hall were a heck of a lot more 
constructive; at least they laid off going out on 
these an ti -union crusades, or this business of just 
laying down their position and seeing if they could 
make it stick. 

There was a good deal more give and take in 
collective bargaining, and there was a good deal 
more acceptance of Jack. I'm trying to recall when 
the Circuit Court of Appeals threw out Jack's case. 


Ward: I think it was '58, wasn't it? 

LG: I think, yes, it was January, '58 when they threw 
out his case. The sugar strike was shortly after 


The sugar negotiations were going on prior to that. 
They had started in late 1957 with the contract 
running out, I think, in February or March. The 
strike took place later on in the year. 

I don't know whether the employer position had 
jelled "before the appellate court ruled, or whether 
the decision had come along and the employers decid 
ed that Jack was out to show that now he could even 
up all scores. The strike finally wound up with 
two wage steps to make 23 cents, plus classifications 
and a uniform 40-hour week for the whole industry. 
It was the only agricultural field in the country 
that was on a 40-hour week. 

Ward: It was a very nice gain. 

LG: Yes - very good gains. In other words, all the 

exempt weeks were eliminated; up to that time we 
had exempt weeks on some of the plantations; weeks 
where the employers could work 48 hours without any 
payment of overtime. 

Ward: Did this change or amend Harry's original skepticism 
about the strike? 


LG: It did not in any way alter unmitigated support by 

the rest of the union. The Longshore division alone, 
I know, brought in an awful lot of money to help the 
strike; much of it came out of a whole series of 
Longshore caucuses in that period, and this could 
not have been accomplished without Harry's support. 

Ward: So he supported the strike? 

LG: Oh yes, he supported the strike; his skepticism 
. might not have had the implications that Jack 

attributed to them. We're back to that same point 
again, that the skepticism might have been simply 
one of the techniques used to exhaust every avenue 
for a constructive solution without a strike. 


Whispers vs. Facts 

ard: I got the impression that fundamentally Jack Hall 
felt that Hawaii was his apple. 

LG-: Yes - no question, he felt that way. Bear in mind 
that Jack had "been very active in attempts to 
organize Hawaii before the ILWU made its push. Jack 
was in the '34 strike. 

Ward: Even though there was a story that he had scabbed in 
the '34 strike. 

LG: That's another thing which is really awfully sad; -a 
pure invention, terribly unkind and completely un 
called for. No reason for it at all. 

Ward: Except that Harry maybe was just striking back at . .? 

LG: No, this was quite a bit later on, much later on. 

Ward: Well, the situation didn't improve? 

LG: No, it was in the late sixties. 

Ward: That was at the convention of . . . .? 

LG: No; Harry never made the statement in the convention. 
I don't think he ever made the statement in writing, 
or made it publicly. 

Ward: It was whispers? 

LG: Whispers, yes, and naturally unwarranted. I chased 
it down; I even called Morris Weisberger on it - he 
was the head of the SUP then. "That story got back 
to me too," he said, "Absolutely untrue. Jack Hall 
has complete clearance on the strike, did picket 
duty, the whole shebang. The only thing that is true 
is that Lundeberg made Jack a member of the 99 year 

When Lundeberg didn't really like somebody - this 
was after '34 - he would expel him for 99 years. 
They had a group of guys who called themselves 


LG-: the 99 year club. "That was uncalled for and I 
finally straightened that one out." In fact, 
there was a nasty scene one time up in Canada. Eddie 
De Mello was a member of the ILWU Executive Board 
at the time and he had been a very good friend of 
Jack's. Eddie was from Hawaii, the Big Island. 
Eddie's dead now. He was our legislative represen 
tative, quite a competent guy. I recall a confron 
tation in British Columbia. 

Unfortunately, much of it was my own mistake. I 
should know better than to argue with Harry when he 
starts having a few beers and I'm having a few 
drinks. Somehow the subject of Jack Hall came up 
and I made the statement to Harry, "This crap has 
to be stopped, this business of Jack Hall scabbing 
in 1934." He said, "ell, maybe he didn't scab - 
he finked." A very fine definition: a scab is one 
who takes a guy's job, and a fink is a guy who re 
fuses to come out on strike. 

I'm not sure if Jack was still around - I think 
he was. I'm sure Jack heard these stories before 
he died, unfortunately. Harry said, "I have the 
proof." And I said, "Well," - George Martin was 
sitting there too - "here's G-eorge Martin and here's 
Eddie De Mello, an old friend of Jack's, both 
sitting here, and if you have the proof, show it." 
"No," he said, "we'll do it at the right time" - the 
usual business. "I've got it right here." (Tapping 
his pocket). And I said, "That's a goddam lie." 
I had no business saying that. 

Ward: What did De Mello do? 

LG: He came away from there shocked to the gills. Eddie 
De Mello was very close to Jack and very loyal. As 
to whether Jack felt that Hawaii was his kuliana - 
it's a Hawaiian word. 

Ward: What does it mean? 

LG: Kuliana is like your province - your jurisdiction. 
It's also your headache. In other words, it's an 
area of your concern where you are in charge. There 
is no question he felt that way; and from the time 
I first met Jack, which must have been around 1944, 
the first trip I made down there .... I felt the 
same way. 


Ward: You recognized Ms feelings? 

LG-: Not only recognized Ms feelings, but I also felt 

that if there was any guy who had a grasp of the 
thing, deserved to have something named his kuliana - 
not that I believe in private ownership - in terms 
of his work and his ability and responsibility, he 
was entitled to it. I didn't feel that he was any 

Ward: You were rather careful not to trespass on Ms 

LG-: I felt that I shouldn't .... 

Ward: You were helpful, very helpful? 

LG-: Yes. That's quite different. I did not feel that 

he had quite the same contact with the longshoremen 
that he did with the sugar workers. 

Jack met all the qualifications of a really 
competent union guy, not only the devotion of work, 
which is essential. He wasn't afraid of work. Jack 
thought nothing of packing a bag and going out to 
the islands such as Kauai or Maui, Hawaii - the Big 
Island - and just spending days going from planta 
tion to plantation, going to the fields, talking 
to the workers, spending the eveMngs with them. 
He had the faculty of keeping an open mind until he 
got a real reading. 

Ward: He was a good listener? 

LG: He was a hell of a good listener, and came closer 
than most people in personal rapport with indivi 
duals on the work level; I relied on him very, very 
heavily in things like the sugar negotiations; on 
how far we could go and what we could do; his 
judgment was good. 

Secondly, Jack was fantastic with figures. He 
had an amazing capacity to absorb them, whether it 
was just reading financial reports or keeping notes 
and working out the math erne tics and cost elements 
of a contract. He was extremely good at that. 

Jack also knew the industry, the whole inter 
locking structure and relationship. He knew a 
great deal about the people of the Islands, not 


LG-: only the workers; also lie had a faculty of picking 

up and understanding what was going on at the 
managerial level. Not in all cases, "but a good 
many. He was extremely akamai, as they say - that's 
another Hawaiian word. In talking about Jack, 
Hawaiian words fit. A K A M A !E is an Hawaiian word 
meaning "not just having knowledge," - it's a 
combination of knowledge, understanding and a feel 
for something. 

Ward: I think you put it once that he knew where all the 
handles were. 

LG: And a guy who is really akamai is on top of some 

thing - he can actually smell where it's going. 
When someone is akamai it does not mean that he just 
has smarts, like we use the expression, "He has a 
lot of smarts." It doesn't mean that he is merely 
learned on a subject; akamai , he has something more 
than that - very much a feel for it. 

I thought that if Jack felt this was his kuliana, 
he was correct. This was reflected in the way I 
worked with him; it didn't mean I never disagreed 
with him - you would know better than that; I'm just 
not a hinge-head. It doesn't mean to say we didn't 
argue, sometimes quite loudly; we hashed out a lot 
of things. Some times it took days, but this never 
interfered basically with a very solid working 
r el at i onship . 

From the very beginning in Hawaii, although I 
played a very active role, any time it came to 
issuing a statement, very rarely would I make a 
mistake by talking about what was going on there; 
only when a reporter would catch me coming off the 
plane, or something like that. In the main I saw 
to it that any statements on the union's position 
would go out on behalf of Jack and the officers of 
Local 142; that's the way it should be. 

So that the locals down there would not feel - 
'at least that was my position, and it still remains 
the same - that the International comes in and pre 
empts their authority. The membership should not 
feel that way. After all, the local people are the 
ones who have to live with the situation when you 
leave. If they're going to take responsibility for 
an agreement, let them take it. 


LG: You don't make the agreement and then walk away and 
say, "Okay fellow, you live with it." I don't 
"believe in that; take some of the bounces as you 
can, but bear in mind that it's still the local 
people who wind up with the day to day work, who 
have to keep the confidence of the membership. This, 
I think, was reflected in my relationship with Jack. 

Ward: It must have exacerbated whatever other difficul 
ties you had with Harry, as time went on. 

LG: He didn't like it particularly, I can tell you that; 

he once made a funny crack that somebody ought to 
talk to Yoshiko - "Oh, what the hell, Lou goes down 
there and spends half the time at your house." 
Yoshiko 's reaction was, "Veil, at least we get to 
see him that way, and Jack does too." 

As a matter of fact, Yoshiko felt it was a 
terribly important and worthwhile relationship. I 
recall she was talking to me and she said, "In some 
respects, it's very good when you come down here. 
Jack has a tendency to become very involuted." 

She used the word in a very interesting way; 
Jack had these long spells of introspection, and 
after some of the battles were done, including the 
'58 sugar strike, he might have gotten more so. I 
think it was easier for Jack when the battles were 
on, the organization, all the contract negotiations, 
and the constant struggle. 

I'm not saying he enjoyed these attacks, any 
more than you'd enjoy having an ulcer - that would 
be a very peculiar form of enjoyment - but there's 
a difference between those days of turmoil and what 
happens when that particular period is over with. 
Jack struggled mightily to branch out into addition 
al fields, to have the union become deeply involved 
in political action something that always 
fascinated Jack. 

He knew the political scene very well. And of 
course, he had a long personal relationship with 
Jack Burns. He began an effort to get some low 
cost housing. He spent a good deal of time on it, 
which unfortunately never came to fruition. Also, 
he was interested in some plantation housing over 
on the Big Island. 


LG: He felt a need for the union to move beyond the 
immediate realm of the contract. That might "be 
what Yoshiko was referring to. 

Ward: What prompted the removal of Jack? The Halls moved 
to San Francisco some years ago before he died; 
health, or what? 

LG: No. He decided to run, after Chili died, for 

vice-president. Bob Robertson was retiring; that 
was 1969. And it had nothing to do with his health, 
although Jack had had a siege of illness. 

Ward: Diabetes, eye trouble . . . ? 

LG: Well, the eye trouble must have been congenital, 

I think, because he always wore heavy lenses. This 
did not interfere with his reading; Jack read 
prolifically. Whether he could have driven or not, 
I don't know. He didn't drive, but he could have 
driven a hell of a lot better than most of the 
people you saw on the road. 

Ward: Well, if he came here and thought of running for 
vice-president, that must have disturbed Harry, 
because the enmity was very sharp by that time? 

LG: He didn't like it .... 


Ward: Did he fight it openly? 

LG: No - that's a chapter we'll have to go into. It 
has to do both with Chili dying and the ambition 
of Bill Chester (then a regional director) to 
become a vice-president; Harry's support for Bill 
Chester; Jack's decision to run. I don't think 
that Harry would have cared for a confrontation 
between Chester and Chili .... 

Ward: But between Chester and Jack? 

LG: He might have, yes. I take the responsibility for 
deciding that a conflict between Jack and Chester 
was not a good thing for the union. We would be 
better off to have two vice-presidents. 

Jack and Chester ran too. Two vice-presidents 
instead of one. We'd had two vice-presidents 
before, then we went back to one. I decided that 


LG: rather than have a contest, it would be better to 
have two. 

Ward: You worked it out that way? 

LG: Although, Jack's attitude was, if Chester wants 

to run, fine. Jack's attitude was like that of 
any candidate - when you go, you go. 


(Interview 32: 31 October, 1978) 

Formation Of The ILWU-Teamster Joint Council 

Ward: Lou, you were going to get some dates on the 

development of the Teamsters ILWU Joint Council. 

LG: Yes, in 1957 we were going into Warehouse negotia 
tions. The Teamsters were pretty well locked into 
arbitration and the understanding I had with Joe 
Dillon was that they would at least spin their 
wheels until we had a chance to give our 
negotiations a whirl. Local 6 warehousemen had 
the right to strike. 

We came out okay; the Warehouse agreement ran 
for three years, until 1961, the first two years 
covered by a fixed increase, which was a good deal 
more than we thought we could have gotten in 
arbitration. The Teamsters were quite happy with 
the result. 

Then it was in I960 when we put on a major push 
in conjunction with the Teamsters, including a 
joint program to strike if necessary; we managed 
to get the most substantial wage increase that we 
had had for many, many years 21 cents across the 
board, which in those days was quite a hunk of 

Out of that grew the formal machinery which 
later matured into the Northern California Ware 
house Council, ILW-IBT (international Brotherhood 
of Teamsters). Joe Dillon was the co-chairman, 


LG: and later on it became G-eorge Mock, a vice-president 
of the Teamsters. I believe he is now first vice- 
president. Our working relationship was good, the 
important thing. And there began to emerge some 
other developments in the labor scene, previously 
mentioned, not to be taken too lightly. 

If there were things going on within the trade 
union movement which were not in keeping with 
certain sound principles of trade unionism, or were 
somewhat off-color, the way to handle these things 
was not through expulsions and suddenly the labor 
movement trying to adopt this mantle of super- 
respectability; these are problems within the 
family of labor to be argued out and fought out 
within the family of labor. 

Sure, to say the unions are 100 percent clean 
is misleading; but on the other hand, they sure as 
heck don't have the degree of peculation that goes 
on among bankers. As a matter of fact, there was 
an interesting statement, I think by John L. Lewis 
before one of the committees where he pointed out 
that there were a heck of a lot more bankers in 
jail than there were labor leaders accused of 

The laws were on the books and if anybody was 
guilty, it didn't require special laws; neverthe 
less the AZL went through this business -of 
conducting its own respectability clean-up, and the 
ILA was one of its first targets. It started off 
with the ILA and it was not too long thereafter 
where the union headed by Dave Beck was under the 
gun of the APofL; eventually the Teamsters were 

Old JohnEnglish, who was the secretary of the 
International Brotherhood of Teamsters, a big 
lanky Irishman and a fairly tough trade unionist 
in his own way, made speeches to the effect that 
they never were going to go back to the APofL, not 
after the way they were treated. They had been 
loyal members; they paid their per capita on time; 
they observed the rules and the regulations. 

Sure, they might have had some domestic prob 
lems but those were their own problems and they 
would take care of them. They didn't need anybody 


LG: sitting in judgment on them. Within a short period 
of time the ILA had "been expelled, the Teamsters 
had been expelled; there had been some other work 
ers, the Laundry Workers, and so forth. 

As soon as we were fighting our way out of the 
period of harassment of the ILWU, we launched a 
pretty intensive program around the question of 
labor unity; we held that nothing was settled by 
unions fighting unions, by unions being expelled. 
It wasn't as though we were scrambling to try to 
get back into the AEL-CIO .... 

Ward: It was an extension of the idea behind the Maritime 
Federation, behind the CMU? 

LG-: Exactly. What was essential was that the unions 
try to coordinate their efforts, stop the inter 
necine warfare, stop the cannibalism, stop all 
these stupidities; all they were doing was 
destroying themselves. The employers, of course, 
were perfectly happy to sit on the sidelines and 
say, "G-o at it, fellows, you're doing a great job; 
although we just remembered there are a couple of 
other people in this other union you haven't gotten 
yet." They would be glad to sit back and point 
out targets for you. 

Of course, the politicians moved into the scene; 
the McClellan Committee, with Robert Kennedy as 
counsel and Senator John Kennedy as one of the 
members of the committee. That became a political 
instrument in the campaign for Senator Kennedy; 
election to the presidency. There's no question 
what role Bobby Kennedy played; it was the fore 
runner of the passage of the Kennedy-Landrum- 
Griffin bill. Senator Kennedy is the one who 
later on .... 

Ward: His name doesn't appear on it, though. 

LG-: That's right; he fought valiantly to have his 

name taken off, after the fact. 


Dealing With Jimmy Hoffa 

LG: Well, our support of the Teamsters had nothing to 

do with what was going on in the internecine affairs 
of the Teamsters' union; that was their business. 
The Teamster-Kennedy clash became one of the most 
unbelievable chapters in the attempt at interference 
in the functions of 'the unions. Bear in mind, 
Hoffa took office somewhere around the - 

Ward: Late fifties, wasn't it? 

LG: Around December of 1957, thereabouts. 

Ward: That would be about a year after you first ran into 
him in Hawaii, wasn't it? 

LG: Yes, right; but by 1957 there were all kinds of other 
problems in the Teamsters; -that was when the suit 
was filed by a group of so-called rank and filers 
against the convention, against the way it was 
called, against the way Hoffa was elected. 

These monitors were set up. I believe the judge 
who handled the whole thing was named Judge 
(Dickinson) Letts. A battle took place within the 
monitors; Godfrey Schmidt; I told you his role and 
the testimony of Bartley Crum. 

Bartley Crum went so completely out of his head 
at the McClellan Committee hearing that he even 
accused Edward Bennett Williams, chief counsel for 
the Teamsters and a prominent Washington lawyer, 
of trying to bribe him to get him not to appear. 

Crum also accused some general who was head of a 
public relations firm in Chicago, to the point where 
the Washington Post issued quite a blast against 
Bartley Crum and the use of the McClellan Committee 
as a forum for every kind of irresponsible accusa 
tion, where a witness couldn't be held to account. 
Bartley Crum looked like a complete fool by the 
time he got through - that, combined with this 
other testimony that I mentioned to you. 


LG: Later on, Schmidt was removed as a monitor, and 

there was an attempt to put in another monitor who 
had been with the FBI; the Teamsters could show that 
he had played a prominent role against the Teamsters 
Union, so that all the struggle to get impartial 
monitors didn't work out. 

Hoffa was trying to hold a special convention in 
I960, as I recall, while this battle was going on, 
particularly with Bobby Kennedy. Bobby Kennedy even 
set up a special bureau of the Department of Justice 
when he got into office as Attorney-General, a 
special team which was out to get Hoffa. 

Finally the monitors were shook loose by the 
Teamsters; they had their convention in I960 and it 
was finally okayed by an appellate court where 
Judge Letts was over- ridden, and the thing got back 
on the beam. There's no question in my mind that 
there was a combination of Bobby Kennedy, the Mc- 
01 ellan- Committee, the forces that were behind 
Kennedy-Landrum-Griffin and the AFL-CIO, to do a 
job on one man and on the Teamsters Union. 

Ward: So Hoffa found a friend in the ILWU? 

LG: Yes. I don't think it ever meant that Hoffa changed 

his thinking. I recall a great deal of time was 
spent trying to convince Hoffa that he might do 
better figuring out ways and means of going directly 
to his own membership than to rely entirely on the 
manipulations of the lawyers. At- one point it got 
to the stage where Hoffa was out-lawyering the 
lawyers. He had a whole staff of these people back 
there. Harry met with him a number of times on the 
thing. I discussed it, but I wouldn't say with a 
great deal of success - 


Ward: You were saying that you were trying to persuade 
Hoffa to go more to his rank and file - 


Men With Brass Balls 

LG-: And to go to the public. As far as I could see the 

accusations against Hoffa were unfounded. I'm not 
saying he didn't know some of the people with the 
brass balls - the ones I described to you. There 
were some very admirable things about him. 


His move toward a national contract did not mean 
that he intended to do any of the things for which 
he was being accused. There was an atmosphere that 
the McClellan Committee and Bobby Kennedy were 
trying to build up where the objective of Hoffa was 
to have a quickie strike of all the trucking indus 

Hoffa discussed these things very frankly; he 
said, "That would be damn foolish. I'd be better 
off, in the case of a showdown, to take these things 
conference by conference, rather than going to a 
national showdown." He understood leverage, parti 
cularly in an industry like that, which is quite 
complicated. He managed to put it together; the 
national conferences of warehouses, conferences in 
the areas of airlines; in the various divisions of 
the Teamsters Union - 16 different divisions - so 
that he was doing a job of building up their 
bargaining structure. 

When we talked to him about a transport federa 
tion he was more than a little receptive - he saw 
this as a natural in terms of the general bargaining 
power of the unions involved, their ability to make 
substantial gains, not necessarily by arduous or 
expensive strikes; in other words, the ending of the 
jurisdictional battles, the pooling of the bargain 
ing strength, would get very salutory results. 

I think he had visions of a transport union not 
too different from the Transport and General Workers 
of England, which encompasses trucking, porters, as 
they call them, and longshoremen all together in 
one union. 


LG: There were a lot of sessions with Hoffa. Hoffa was 
more than receptive about sitting down with "both 
the ILWU and the ILA with the general objective of 
seeing if some sort of a rapport could be establish 
ed; some machinery to consider some of the juris- 
dictional problems that were looming as a result of 
c ontaineri zati on . 

There was a session in the fall of 1958 at the 
Teamster headquarters. Both the ILA and the ILWU 
were invited to attend. It is true that later on 
Hoffa sort of soured in his relationships with the 
ILA, making the remark, "Please don't ask me to put 
together another session with these guys." He felt 
that they did not have the proper kind of independ 
ence nor the same degree of reliability in keeping 
their commitments. 

Ward: Did you agree with him more or less on that? 

LG: I didn't completely agree. Maybe because we're a 
more persistent bunch; but you couldn't argue with 
what he was saying. 

Ward: It was easier to deal with Hoffa than the ILA, 

LG: Oh, no question about that. It could also be that 
he smelled something that turned out to be pretty 
accurate; the primary push on the part of the ILA 
would be to go back in the AFL, which they eventual 
ly did. They were in a position to say, okay, now 
Ryan is out; we've cleaned things up. 

The New York Port Commission had moved in with 
the waterfront hiring hall, or the Waterfront 
Commission as they called it - the Bi-State 
Commission of New York and New Jersey. As a matter 
of fact, the Waterfront Commission moved in and by 
a tax on the industry - I forget how much it was - 
got the funds to set up waterfront hiring halls, 
which are still in operation to this day, even 
though the ILA wanted to shake them loose and tried 
to take over direct hiring themselves, like we have 
on the west coast. 

That was a typical example of what happens when 
bureaucrats have a chance to build themselves an 
empire. They moved in and stayed there, that's all. 


LG: They got the head of the camel in the tent, and the 
camel has been there ever since. These things were 
used by the ILA to clean up their credentials for 
re-admittance into the APL-CIO. 

In the case of the ILWU, things moved very quick 
ly with Hoffa; he didn't stall around. For example, 
when it came to setting up some machinery to try to 
coordinate our mutual interests and to take care 
of overlapping jurisdictional problems, the machinery 
was set up on the west coast .... 

Ward: The Western Conference? 

LG: Right, with Einar Mohn; the machinery on the west 
coast was set up in 1958 to take care of some of 
these problems; the committee was supposed to meet 
quarterly. No matter what the accusations were 
about any hanky-panky in the Teamsters anywhere 
else in the country, they sure as heck didn't apply 
out here on the west coast. 

It might have. been one of the reasons why Einar 
Mohn felt very keenly about having an insured 
pension plan; his huge pension plan on the west 
coast is still insured by Prudential. It is not a 
trusteed plan, even though I think insured plans 
are on the heavy side, a bit expensive, and not 
nearly as responsive to the needs of an industry as 
a trusteed plan. It could very well be that was 
Einar Mohn's way of walking around problems which 
had arisen in places. 

The McClellan Committee: what bothered us was 
that they knew perfectly well what kind of a union 
we were, and that they were making cooperation 
. sound like corruption, solidarity sound like sin. 
We said, "Sure, we have dozens and dozens of 
overlapping problems; in the case of longshore, the 
problem of jurisdiction; who does what work around 
the waterfront." 

We had made painstaking efforts in that regard, 
not all of them completely successful. Particularly 
when the 1961 agreement was first launched, there 
were problems with the Teamsters, and we tried to 
resolve them. I recall spending a lot of time with 
Ted Merrill; he was with the Teamsters in Los 


LG: Angeles and was chairman of the Teamster side of 

this joint committee. I was trying to convince him 
-later on it had a little bit of success- to go 
for something similar to what the longshoremen have 
gotten. I said, "You want a piece of the machine." 

Ward: The savings created by the machine? 

LG: The savings created "by the machine. They made a 

bit of progress later, when they began to tax some 
of these piggy-back trucks, a truck body on wheels. 
I don't know whether you've ever seen these strings 
of freight cars going across country sometimes; a 
hundred at a time. The trucking companies dis 
covered that was a lot cheaper than driving the 
truck all the way to the east coast; simply roll 
them on to a flat bed freight car and there they 

The Teamsters finally did impose some kind of a 
tax, but that's as close as they came to something 
like the mechanization that we launched on the 

Bear in mind, these were all unions that were 
not affiliated with the APL-CIO; the ILA, the 
Teamsters, the ILWU. I think that in many ways 
Harry identified with Hoffa's problems. In other 
words, it was just another effort to put away a 
union guy who was a pretty effective leader. He 
had a lot of charisma. Even the papers like The 
Wall Street Journal ran stories to the effect that 
the best they could find out, at the peak of the 
McClellan Committee action against him, was that 
certain poor investments had been made by the Central 
States Conference. 

Ward: I think it is fair to say that nobody ever called 
Harry a crook. 

LG: No. 

Ward: And no one ever called Hoffa a Red. 

LG: Yet, as far as the System is concerned - and there 
I use a capitalized letter, System - in its own 
crazy way crooks and Reds wind up in the same bag. 


LG: Sure, the people who make the accusations approach 
things from different ends of the spectrum, but if 
you take a look-see at the net result in terms of 
whether a union has the right to elect whom it 
pleases and to change whom it pleases, you get down 
to the fundamental issues, the rights of the union. 
In a crazy way all of these efforts really add up 
that it's another way of saying that the membership 
is not competent to run its own affairs. 

I know all the arguments on how tough it is to 
make changes at times, and I know how tough it can 
be, too. I'm aware that there are times when good 
solid progressives like George Andersen resorted to 
some court action because of the "B" membership of 
the Boilermakers (Union) for black members during 
the war. 

Yet in the long pull, I can't see where these 
courts, Landrum-G-riffin or Taft-Hartley, have done 
a damn bit of good. I subscribe in full to what 
Lewis said before the McClellan Committee; by the 
way, that was his swan song, I guess. I think it 
was 1959 or '60 when he appeared before the McClel 
lan Committee, or this alter ego of theirs - I 
forget the name of that committee. He held forth 
for about three hours on what was wrong with the 
McClellan Committee in its efforts to police labor 
and he did a fantastic job. 

Lewis had that qualification; without notes, no 
prepared statements, and yet every sentence complete 
ideas, complete thoughts. Lewis was also quite a 
dramatist; a forum of that sort was perfect for him. 
The fundamental issue, the point he kept driving 
home, was that all these efforts were to take over 
the affairs of the unions because the natives could 
not handle things themselves, 

ard: Well, why didn't the rapport between the ILWU and 
the IBT spread beyond the warehouse situation? 

LG: There was an attempt; in the initial west coast 
committee set up with the Western Conference of 
Teamsters, the efforts were to resolve problems 
around jurisdiction, because of the container mov 
ing in on the waterfront. It is true that the 
longshoremen did not have the same immediacy of 
rapport with the Teamsters Union that the ware 
housemen have. 


LG-: The longshore contract could pretty well stand on 
its own feet. It was a separate document, not 
necessarily contingent on joint operation with the 
Teamsters. An understanding with the Teamsters was 
very important, not just to resolve any problems of 
overlapping jurisdiction, "but also in the event of 
any kind of economic difficulty, to insure support. 

It did not mature into the kind of full-blown 
organization the Warehousemen developed for obvious 
reasons; in the case of the Warehousemen, the nub 
of our relationship with the Teamsters was right 
here in the bay area; here, of course, we had as 
many chips on the table as they had. 

ard: Doing the identical work under identical conditions? 

LG-: Yes, and in many cases overlapping contracts; in 
some cases dealing with groups of employers where 
even though the employer groups might be somewhat 
different, fundamentally they were all dealing with 
warehousemen, one way or another. Warehouse, of 
course, was bound to have more possibility for direct 

For example, it was in the sixties; Harry was 
under the weather, very bad cold, and the Western 
Conference of Teamsters was meeting here in San 
Francisco; I came down to address them. Here were 
a lot of the guys against whom we had gone into 
battle, but the reception was cordial. 

We never stopped our efforts to get along with 
the Teamsters' Union, although it's true that 
things got sticky, insofar as the Teamsters them 
selves were concerned, with the renewed attempts to 
get Hoffa which finally wound up with his indictment 
and conviction; then, of course, (Vice -Pre si dent 
Frank) Fitzsimmons took over. 

Ward: Did he attempt to carry on with these ideas? 

LG-: Yes, we did try to carry them out with Fitzsimmons. 
He was, and has continued to be, very friendly with 
the ILWU. No great headache in that regard. I 
began to attend the annual meetings of the Teamster 
Warehouse Division, and I was there as secretary of 
the ILWU. There was a good deal of admiration on 
the part of these Teamsters for the job being done 
in warehous e . 


LG-: The master agreement was something new to them, in 

most cases. e noticed that many of their agreements 
were separated by industrial groupings. In other 
words, public warehouse agreements might "be one 
agreement, sometimes separated by locals, dependent 
on the size of the area. Los Angeles, for example, 
your grocery warehousemen were in one local, while 
the public warehousemen were in another local. 

Our working relationship was good. Even after 
we set up the Northern California Warehouse Council, 
on several occasions we would foray out and give 
locals in other parts of the coast a hand. They 
would be primarily Teamster locals; we made appear 
ances in places like Seattle and Portland when the 
contracts were reaching a deadline. Where we needed 
Teamster help in the case of warehouse negotiations 
in L.A., invariably we could get some help from the 
Teamsters Union. 

I'm not saying it was easy; it takes a great deal 
of patience. In the 1950s the Teamsters in some 
organizing campaigns would put out leaflets alleged 
ly by the ILWU. Later on I used to rib them and 
say, "If you're going to put out leaflets in our 
name, at least check the copy; we might not have any 
objection at all." 

During those years, the forties and the fifties, 
the Teamsters would organize because they were 
going to save the employers from that dreadful ILWU. 
It required a good deal of patience; you just had 
to keep your eye on the main goal, that we were 
able to get results out of the ILWU-Teamster alliance, 
particularly in Warehouse. Never got quite as good 
results in Longshore, true .... 

Ward: So the cooperation existed on the west coast where 
both unions had warehouses, but really didn't go 
beyond that? 

LG-: There were efforts to go beyond that. Again I have 
to go back to the atmosphere of the time, and 
particularly Hoffa's role. I mentioned Hal Gibbons; 
he was at that meeting of the Western Conference. 
Hoffa was there; Einar Mohn was chairing the meet 
ing. We had some headache with the office workers 
around the warehouses; Hal's reaction was to support 


LG-: us on it, although there again you have this anarchy 
within the Teamsters where sometimes leadership can 
"be applied and sometimes it can't. 

Another example, where the Teamsters in the 
course of one of their Executive Board meetings, 
must have had a discussion of the whole role of 
warehousemen in the loading of trucks. There had 
always been this problem around warehouses; we had 
taken the position that if a truck was left there 
without the driver, then it's no different than 
freight cars and a warehouseman loads it. 

In some places, the Teamsters put on quite a 
drive to put lumpers on the docks; lumpers origin 
ally were just part time labor. Sometimes they 
became regular workers around the docks working 
for the trucking company. This became a running 
dispute in some cases. By and large the Teamster 
Warehouse locals supported us around here, including 
some very trying times. 

But it was during that .time when there was a 
discussion of the same issue in the General Execu 
tive Board of the Teamsters Union. Hoffa took the 
lead that any member of the Teamsters could load a 
truck - a Teamster warehouseman or a driver. Around 
here that would be perfectly okay, if it did not 
exclude the ILWU. 

About two or three weeks after that I got a copy 
of a letter that had been sent out by the San 
Francisco Employers Council: they were soliciting 
members from among warehouse employers, including 
warehouse employers who had contracts with the ILWU, 
and the main sales argument they were using was that 
if they joined up with the San Francisco Employers 
Council, through their relationship with the Team 
sters their warehousemen could then load the trucks. 

I remember taking a trip to Washington with a 
copy of this and taking it up with Hoffa. I said, 
"Look, see what they're doing here - the employers 
are using it to raid the ILWU, or to encourage 
raiding." Hoffa didn't hesitate a hair to clear 
that one up. He called in his secretary, dictated 
a clarification and gave me a copy. 


LG: "I just want to make it perfectly clear that anything 
referred to in the General Executive Board as to 
what Teamster- Warehousemen could do in loading a 
truck, applies equally to ILU Warehousemen," he 
said. So, the guy could be very forthright and 
very quick and very direct. 

Because of Hoffa, in 1958 or '59 - there was an 
attempt to resolve the running battle that had been 
going on between the ILWU and the Teamsters in Haw 
aii. That was the struggle between Jack Hall and 
Arthur Rutledge. It must have been in I960 because 
we had won the 21 cents wage increase, which really 
stood out very sharply. 

Larry Steinberg, who was an assistant to Hoffa 
and an old friend of Harold Gibbons, went out to 
Hawaii to hammer out an understanding with Rutledge. 
Einar Mohn had a much more constructive attitude 
than anybody could automatically expect. His 
attitude, for example, on Rutledge was that it was 
a waste of time - his wearing two hats. He wore 
the hat of the Teamsters Union, and he also wore 
the hat of the Hotel Workers Union. 

I pretty well had a good understanding with 
Steinberg and also with Einar Mohn and Harold Gib 
bons, although none of them were very successful 
in getting across to Rutledge. This crazy anarchy 
goes on in the Teamsters Union; at times there's 
an enormous amount of autonomy; at other times 
they can impose a fair amount of discipline. 

But the point I kept hammering over the years, 
was, "We've got certain rights here in Hawaii in 
terms of the pioneering of organization in all 
these outside islands.' Let's leave Honolulu alone 
for a while, but the people who did the organizing 
in sugar and pineapple over on Maui, or Kauai or the 
Big Island were members of the ILWU." 

Now mechanization is coming alone;; mechanization 
which is the result of the ILWU pressing for higher 
and higher wage scales. I discussed this at great 
length with Jack early in our campaigns; we felt 
there were to be enormous changes after the war, 
and those did take place. 


LG-: Out of World War II came all kinds of new equipment, 
new machinery, the sort of things they were using 
in the South Pacific. Pretty soon, these were being 
adapted to mechanical harvesting; roads were being 
built, huge turna haulers were being introduced. 
Instead of the cane going on little tiny railroads 
or on flumes, it was being hauled by trucks up to 
40 tons. 

The industry was being revolutionized to the 
point where all handcutting of cane disappeared and 
enormous amounts of mechanization took place. My 
point to Steinberg, Einar Mohn and others in the 
Teamsters Union is that we are the ones who pioneer 
ed in the organization of the outside islands. 
Hotels were coming along and our people would be 
looking for jobs. There's no other place to work, 
because on most of those islands the work available 
to people is negligible. 

Ward: Plantations and/ or hotels, huh? 

LG-: Right now, for example, you take a look at an is 
land like Maui; if you eliminate sugar, there's a 
pineapple plantation - Maui Pine; there are two 
sugar plantations, HC&S and Pioneer Mill; you 
eliminate those - the tourist industry is not an 
industry, it's a service - and you have eliminated 
90 percent of the work force. 

Obviously, the push on the part of our people 
would be that if these jobs opened up and the jobs 
began to shrink on the plantations, this is where 
they would be looking for work. A lot of our 
people were phased out on a plantation like Kohala 
on the Big Island. A good many of them found work 
at the big hotel, the Moana Kea, the Rockefeller 
hotel on the Big Island. So, they understood this. 

The man who would never accept this was Rutledge. 
After a while it became manifest why; the Hotel 
Workers Union had what they called certain top- 
drawer deals. The top-drawer deals were with 
outfits like the Sheraton and with Hyatt House; 
maybe with the Hilton, too. So, there's been an 
understanding between that union and these big 
chains that as new ones open up they almost auto 
matically get recognition. 


LG-: I suppose that the employers were not going to 

"bargain for any trouble with the union in other 
places, though to what degree they would have had 
any trouble is another story; but Mohn and Steinberg 
never saw it that way. They thought that the posi 
tion the ILWU took was pretty logical. All kinds 
of attempts were made to straighten things out with 
Rutledge, but they didn't work out. 

ard: He still has the Hotel Workers? 

LG: He still has the Hotel V/orkers, although he lost out 

there in an election. Somebody else got elected. 
He still has the Teamsters Union there. I recall 
one trip; Mohn was down there when we met with Rut- 
ledge; Mohn was saying, "Look, if you don't move, 
Honolulu is going to settle down into an open shop 
town like Los Angeles. You have the chance to move; 
the ILWU is willing to work with you, set up a joint 
organizing committee," - which we did for a while. 

But the moment it was convenient for Rutledge to 
jump the traces, he did. Just start at the airport 
and work your way down, organize every damn thing 
in sight. The Teamsters don't have even all the 
teamsters organized. Mohn's attitude was very 

Ward: Harry got along with Rutledge pretty well? 

LG: No; when it came to these basic issues of organiza 

tion, he didn't fundamentally disagree with Jack 
(Hall). Maybe Harry wasn't too happy about the 
organization of the hotel workers, but he could see 
why we were moving there, or why Jack did. He liked 
some of the successes that were picked up; places 
like the Moana Kea Hotel, big places like the 
Kanapali and a number of hotels we have under con 
tract right now in other sections of the tourist 

However, the running feud with Rutledge has not 
done any good. In -some cases like the project in 
Wailea, it's Inter-Continental under a contract 
with Alexander Baldwin, it just stays open shop. 
That's what happens when you get this kind of 


LG: All I'm pointing out is that it was a very rapid 
development, the cooperation with the Teamsters 
there . 

Teamsters v. Farm Workers 

Ward: Wasn't there a period when ILWU cooperation with 
the Teamsters got in the way of any help the ILWU 
might have otherwise given to Cesar Chavez and the 
Farm Workers? 

LG: Yes and no .... 

Ward: Harry was supposed to have "been pretty opposed to 
Chavez and the Farm Worker movement at one time. 

LG: That's at a later date; unless these things are 

seen in time sequence, I don't think it holds up. 
While it is true that he was hostile to Chavez for 
a while, sonje of the accusations made were com 
pletely unfounded and uncalled for .... 

Ward: You mean that Harry made against Chavez? 

LG: Yes; but I maintained a friendly relationship with 

Chavez during all that time - 

Ward: But were Harry's accusations against Chavez based 
on his relationship with the Teamsters or what? 

LG: No, I don't think so. Frankly, I don't know what 

they were founded on. I recall a session over at 
Harry's house with Cesar Chavez. At that time, 
both Harry and I were telling Cesar that he might 
do much better working with the Teamsters, or even 
as a division of the Teamsters. 

He was in the AFofL and he was on the move; I 
think they had started that peregrination from 
Delano to Sacramento. 

Ward: Oh, yes, it was to wind up in Sacramento on Easter 
Sunday, and Governor Pat Brown wouldn't attend. 

LG: Pat Brown was 


Ward: He was having Easter with his family someplace else. 

LG: Or down at Palm Springs with Fraik Sinatra. But I 
recall at that session, Harry was very cordial with 
Cesar, very friendly. Cesar's attitude at the time 
was "Well, we could do with two ILWUs." Interesting 
formulation. In other words, a Farm Workers Union, 
somewhat along the same principles and ideas and 
policies of the ILWU, would be a good thing. 

But that gets into another scene. During those 
periods when Cesar started organizing, I was seeing 
a great deal of the Teamsters. Einar Mohn was very 
cooperative in setting up the Council for Health 
Plan Alternatives, where we were able to get the 
entire labor movement encompassed in a program for 
some alternative to the existing method of deliver 
ing and charging for health care. 

Mohn was very helpful there. Stuck with it for 
a long time until it ran out of money. But at that 
time, there also emerged the Alliance for Labor 
Action. Do you recall the time when Reuther (Walter 
Reuther, president of the United Auto Workers) left 
the APofL in the sixties? 

Ward: Oh, Reuther, yes. 

LG: When Reuther left he set up the Alliance for Labor 


LG: I was very outspoken in my support for Cesar. I 

went so far as to try to set up machinery with the 
Teamsters, the Auto Workers and the ILWU to act in 
consultation with Cesar Chavez and to try to avoid 
some of the jurisdictional problems that were crop 
ping up, particularly things like moving packing 
sheds out into the fields, one of the developments 
going on for some years and changing the nature of 
the industry. 

But it's true that there were times when I might 
have been the only person who insisted that I was 
going to maintain a relationship with both the 
Teamsters and the Farm Workers. I don't recall its 
ever resulting in a real beef with the Teamsters. 
I don't think they were too happy about it. 


LG-: Mohn never felt that keenly about the organization 

of Parm Workers, "but I think he went along with it. 
He was a little bit irritated about the role of the 
Catholic bishops; he thought they would be doing 
better just taking care of our souls. I'll admit 
there are some things in the Parm Workers which are 
a little bit hard to handle, like the Lady of 
G-uadalupe . 

On the other hand there's no question that Chavez 
was doing quite a job in making a breakthrough when 
nobody else could. As a matter of fact, the ILWU 
tried, sometime in the fifties or early sixties. We 
had a man named Lou Krainack. He had some experience 
with farm workers and we had him on our payroll for 
a while to see what could be done, but he couldn't 
find the handles to make it move. 

Ward: Let me see; there were before him some attempts, 
three or four, to try to get somewhere, but they 
didn't really jell. 

LG: That's right; none of it jelled. The Packinghouse 
Workers; then UCAPAWA tried; they settled down and 
tried to get something done in the canneries. We 
made a bit of an effort and got no place. But 
Cesar found the handles. 

What's more important, though, I don't want to 
get off of Hoffa. This was a period of very rapid 
movement there in '57, '58; these developing alliances 
and understandings with the Teamsters Union; our 
attempts to work things out with the ILA, even to 
get a common expiration date. At one point we had 
the longshore contract so written that we could 
shift the expiration date and provide a common 
expiration date with the east coast. But none of 
this ever panned out with the ILA. 

Ward: But the ILA contact ended with the Hawaii convention, 
didn't it? 

LG: I think so. 

Ward: It seemed to me rather dramatic; the decision not 
to get along. 


LG-: Yes. I felt the ILA thing was stumbling all over 

the place long before then. I was one of those who 
recommended that "Velson be pulled back from the 
east coast because I felt that it had become strict 
ly a brain picking operation. He was able to help- 
out in some regards, but in terms of getting anything 
fundamental done, even a simple thing like coordin 
ated bargaining or a common expiration date - not 
even reaching the maturity of the Northern California 
Warehouse Council - we weren't coming anywhere near 

The closest we ever got was joint action in 
Washington, D.C. around the Longshore and Harbor 
Workers Act, even though we had given them unstint 
ing; support. It just didn't jell. We came fairly 
close in 1955, but it kept sliding. With Hoffa in 
the picture, perhaps it could have shifted. 

Ward: Would you say that Hoffa's conviction and incarcer 
ation was damaging to attempts at rapport with the 

LG: With our rapport to the Teamsters? Or cooperation? 
Well, the California Warehouse Council remains 
intact to this day .... 

Ward: But on a national level - 

LG: But on a larger level, yes, I guess it stumbled 

somewhat, yes. It didn't have the same amount of 
drive. If Hoffa had been in charge, it might have 
been a different story. 

That brings us to a different era. I'm talking 
about this period of very rapid development and 
cooperation with the IBT, the efforts on the part 
of Hoffa to pull together the ILWU and the ILA and 
his concurrence with the idea of a transport 
federation, something that would be very effective. 
These days, there's a more apparent need for it 
because your seafaring unions are not doing too 

There are enormous inroads by mechanization as 
in the case of longshore; so it's a common alliance 
that makes a great deal of sense. Hoffa stood four 
square for it; so did Harry; but the ILA dragged 


LG: its feet. It could never get beyond a conversation 
between ourselves and the Teamsters, and that wasn't 
quite enough to do it. As to whether the seafaring 
unions would come along, that's all retrospective; 
there's no way of measuring that. 

ard: Well, can we move on to the time when you actually 
discussed affiliation between the ILU and the ILA? 

LG: Okay, an attempt to wind up that whole era and 
mention a couple of things that happened during 
this time. In 1958 we were making gains when most 
unions were not. In 1960, which was generally 
classified as a lean year for labor, we did very 
well. The Hawaii statehood battle finally was won 
in 1959. I've already told you how the McClellan 
Committee helped Quinn win out in Hawaii over Burns, 
even though, by and large, the election should have 
been a victory for us. 

Not too long after the election of Quinn, he 
appeared before an II WU convention and made a 
pretty shabby attack on the union. I guess part of 
it was just grand- standing, bearding the lion in 
his den. He came before an ILWU Local 142 conven 
tion to tell us that we had done a great job but 
we should keep our noses out of things like foreign 
policy, war and peace, and what have you. 

I figured it was my job to answer him, so I dug 
up some of our convention proceedings; I think it 
was in the 1963 or 1965 convention where we adopted 
a ten point program on peace. Each of these points 
might have been premature, but right just the same. 
So I took a bit of time there at the convention to 
answer him and we got some good reactions on that, 
and the delegates at the Local 142 convention 
promptly adopted a statement of policy reaffirming 
our position on all these things. 

Harry was subpoenaed by the un-American Activi 
ties Committee some time in April of 1959, and the 
counsel for the committee suggested that perhaps 
we wouldn't get visas to Japan. He was partly 
right - I didn't get a visa. The All-Pacific and 
Asian Dockworkers Conference took place in May of 
that year in Japan. 

ard: That was because of your trouble in England? 


LG-: I don't know. I think it was a matter of them just 
looking for any excuse; they had one handy in my 
case. What do you call it? Token diplomacy? So, 
these were some of the developments. It was in '59 
when Kruschchev visited the Longshore hall; both 
Harry and St. Sure were there, I mentioned that. 
This is where you get into this odd dichotomy in 
St. Sure's character, you see, which I'll admit you 
can't explain all the time. I think he still felt 
that as an individual he could do thinars, even 
though he was there primarily to represent the em- 
ployersjand still to me the guy was a fairly decent 
guy on some scores, which he was on things like 
civil liberties, but he was not going to do a bum 
job for the employers either, and he finally did. 

In regard to the first mechanization agreement 
in '60, which went into effect in 1961, I want to 
make one correction. I made a statement about "men 
and machines may be added in event of - " 

Ward: Oh, "may" changed to "shall"? 

LG-: It wasn't exactly the way the thing was written. 
It was finally written that "if the workload was 
onerous, the employers would add men or machines". - 
The employers could always decide it was not oner 
ous; that was the problem. And that became a long 
controversy by itself, because the guys could see 
this as a breakdown of conditions. 

But by and large, the mechanization agreement 
was adopted by better than a two to one vote of 
the longshoremen. Later on, we began to get a 
little feedback when they realized how the employers 
could implement it. 

How Kennedy Beat Nixon 

LG-: In I960 there was a joint mass meeting of the 

Teamsters and the ILWU over in Oakland, the Oakland 
Auditorium, sponsored by the educational committee 
of Local 70 of the Teamsters. Hoffa was supposed 
to speak, together with Harry. Harry spoke. 


LG: At the last minute the McClellan Committee sub 
poenaed Hoffa for the following morning on that 
running goddam debate of theirs so that he could not 
make the meeting; he had to address it by telephone. 
The afternoon he was supposed to appear, McClellan 
put his committee hearing over a month. 

Ward: It was just so Hoffa couldn't come? 

LG: Yes. Harold Gibbons spoke in place of Hoffa. When 
Chili was around he got along with Local 70 of the 
Teamsters very well. He always had a close personal 
relationship with a number of the officials in the 
Teamsters Union; part of the Portuguese group. I 
guess if anything we were driven further together 
by Kennedy. When John Kennedy ran for President, 
in a speech he made in Salt Lake in I960, he said 
that an effective attorney-general would get rid of 
Harry Bridges and Jimmy Hoffa. That effective 
attorney general later took office and .... 

Ward: He tried hard - Bobby Kennedy - and he got Hoffa. 

LG: Yes, he got Hoffa, but he missed when he came to 

Harry. In I960, early in the year, we had an 
enlarged Executive Board meeting on the question 
of political action and where we were going; the 
general reaction was that we weren't going to sup 
port anybody who had been constantly teeing off on 
us or on Hoffa, and that the McClellan Committee 
was a real disgrace; that everything that came out 
of it, like the Landrum-Griffin Act, was just 
another set-back for labor; on top of Taft-Hartley, 
now Landrum-Griffin. None of these things would 
accomplish anything in terms of the basic purposes 
of trade unionism. 

Ward: Could you round out the fifties? 

LG: I'd say they ended with the Kennedy election. We 

refused to endorse Kennedy or Nixon. The only part 
of the International which went its own way was 
Hawaii. Hawaii endorsed Nixon. Jack Hall felt that 
keenly about the attack on the Teamsters, the attack 
on Harry. I was in Hawaii when Nixon turned up there 
to speak as a candidate. 

Ward: That was the election where Kennedy beat him by a 


LG: Yes. That election warrants further investigation. ' 
The first results out of Hawaii were that Nixon won. 
I think that when they saw the results nationally, 
there might have been a quick recount. It's very 
funny how that got shifted around. 

When Nixon appeared down there, somebody called 
Jack and asked him whether he wanted to meet Nixon. 
I happened to be there at the time, and I came by 
Jack's house, talked about it and agreed that if he 
was going to meet Nixon, why not give him a document, 

We drafted a document simply trying to give him 
some kind of a labor policy that if elected he did 
not intend to play around in the camp of organized 
labor; that he intended to handle labor issues 
impartially, and do the job which the Department of 
Labor was assigned to do and not be party to any 

Actually, I think that's the closest we ever came 
to electing a President. If he had adopted that 
policy .... it didn't take many votes - either 
Illinois or Pennsylvania. 

Ward: Illinois, I think. Well, there's always been a 

belief that (Mayor Richard) Daley in Chicago swung 
the election to Kennedy by virtue of the Chicago 
machine . 

LG-: Both of these states had large union memberships, 
and we felt that there was a lot of hostility on 
the part of labor to the McClellan Committee. 

Ward: Did this meeting with Nixon take place? 

LG: The meeting took place; Jack handed him this envel 
ope - 

Ward: Did you go along? 

LG: No. Jack just met him, shook hands and gave him 
this envelope. The newspapers kept asking Jack 
what's in the envelope. Jack said, "If Mr. Nixon 
wants to release this, it's entirely his business; 
it's just a private memorandum." And he left it 
there; of course, we got ten times more publicity 
that way. 


Ward: Did Nixon ever do anything with it? 

LG-: He never released the contents. If you look back at 
the I960 election campaign, never did Nixon have any 
kind of a labor policy. It was never mentioned 
during the entire campaign. 

Obviously, when we entered the Kennedy era, it 
was not with a great deal of jubilation. Our union 
came out with this no endorsement position and I 
recall the thousands of mailings we did; we would 
take every fifth doctor and every fifth dentist, say, 
and point out what Kennedy had said, that the next 
attorney general would get rid of Harry and Hoffa. 
So, that rounded out that era. 

Ward: I see. That winds up the fifties. 
LG: I think it does. 


(Interview 33: 7 November, 1978) 

Sharp Disputes Among The Leadership 

ard: We were going to get into the sixties and the 
question of Teamster affiliation. 

LG: Let me go briefly over some things that were happen 
ing during the sixties. 

"Ward: Very good. 

LG: I tried to get across the idea that the end of the 

fifties began to see quite a change. The harassment, 
while not completely over, was pretty well gone. 
There was still some running guerilla warfare, like 
the attempt of the government to impose a fine by 
Internal Revenue; all the monies collected on behalf 
of the Bridges-Robertson-Schmidt Defense were 
personal income to the defendants, and they owed 
income tax on these funds. 

Of course, none of them had ever seen a dime of 
this; the defense committee had to work on a shoe 
string half the time. The attorneys were paid very 
little. Some of our members said, "To hell with 
that noise; if anybody owes anybody money, it's the 
government that owes us money - we had to dig into 
our jeans and pony up the dough on a lot of harass 
ment that didn't make a damn bit of sense." 

I recall the Internal Revenue case being; settled 
for some token amount, which as far as we were 
concerned was no admission of ffuilt or agreement 


LG-: with the government; it just turned out to "be an 

awful lot cheaper than having still another case in 


So, these things continued, as well as a number 
of moves against the unions who were friends of ours, 
like the Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers. As a 
matter of fact, there were a series of Taft-Hartley 
cases, including conspiracy cases. There was the 
endless campaign to destroy the Marine Cooks and 
Stewards, which finally was done. 

Ward: That was before the sixties - 

LG: Late fifties or early sixties. Come the end of the 
fifties, a lot of this had changed and a number of 
possibilities opened up, including some form of 
cooperation with the ILA. It sort of stumbled and 
staggered along. 

Ward: Climaxed in that Hawaii convention, didn't it? 

LG: It really climaxed earlier, because we couldn't even 
get the most elementary, simple trade union under 
standing with them, such as a common expiration date. 

Ward: If that's true, what was the point in bringing these 
east coast ILA leaders out to Hawaii and having them 
sit up there and have Teddy Gleason make a speech to 
the convention, and all that jazz? 

LG-: I personally became quite jaundiced with the whole 

Ward: Well, some people blamed you for dumping the ILA, 
isn't that true? 

LG: Yes, some people did that - it's this business of 
looking for witches. I don't think that I had to 
do that much. The union as a whole was very cool 
to the idea; a few supporters, one or two people in 
L. A., a young man who is dead now, pretty outspoken 
in support of the ILA. I don't think he had that 
much following in the membership. 

There might have been a little vestigial support 
among some of the locals which had been members of 
the ILA, even long after we had become part of the 


LG: ILWU; some up at Port Angeles. Well, I would say 
there was not that much support even in longshore 
for the ILA. There was no way for the men to see 
any real progress in this direction. 

Whatever progress there was we had to pump into 
it; blowing up little things, especially some joint 
legislative work around something that obviously 
was of mutual interest. But when it came to any 
trade union steps, the most preliminary steps . . . 

Ward: You mean questions like wages, hours and working 

LG: Yes, around contracts, around expiration dates - 

I'm not even talking about joint bargaining. There 
are all kinds of intermediate steps short of a 
complete joint bargaining structure. 

None of these things materialized, so if you ask 
why do they appear at the ILWU convention in 1971, 
the only conclusion I can reach is that notwith 
standing the fact that these things did not material 
ize, Harry was still more and more determined, 
particularly toward the end of the sixties, to see 
whether reaf filiation could be implemented. 

In those latter years in the sixties, he was 
speaking repeatedly of the offer on the part of the 
ILA that we could always go back as District 38. 
District 38 is what we had been on the west coast 
prior to disaf filiation from the ILA. 

Ward: Part of the sentimental value, I suppose. 

LG: This is where you get into a difficult area for me. 
When I start going through that period, I can't help 
but go through an awful lot of introspection. At 
what point did certain things begin to shift and 
change in the internal feelings within the ILWU, 
particularly as to how Harry felt about certain 
things and how I felt and which later wound up in 
a very abrasive situation, an attempt by Harry to 
impose retirement at age 63 at the 1971 convention? 

Ward: Which was aimed directly at you. 


LG: It was as clear as a "bell - a man would have to be 

blind drunk for the whole convention not to know it. 

Ward: Well, that was more or less within the union, except 
for gossip. As this thing got worse, Harry is quot 
ed in The Chronicle, without retraction, when asked 
who was going to succeed him, as saying, "Anybody 
but Goldblatt." That's getting pretty rough, isn't 

LG: Sure, but he was quoted in an L. A. paper where 
somebody asked Harry if he might be retiring and 
would I be running for president, and Harry answered, 
"Over my dead body." 

Ward: Well, that sort of statement has a background? 

LG: Exactly. That's the reason it gets so difficult 

for me to come to grips with it. Not that I can't 
come to grips with the facts because they're there; 
they speak for themselves. 

Ward: Well, instead of trying to analyze the facts, simply 
state them and let whoever studies this stuff in 
the future draw his own conclusions. I think that's 
the proper thing to do. 

LG: Maybe so - but - 
Ward: But, look - 

LG: I mean people don't need - that's very simplistic 

on your part, by the way. People don't give up that 
easy on questions - 

Ward: You mean that - 


LG: It's not just a question of me .... I think that 
that when you have spent your life at something and 
when you've had such a tight and effective working 
relationship around a good militant program which 
I thought was very much in keeping with my own 
fundamental beliefs as a socialist; my beliefs that 
the role of a union went beyond the question of hours 
and wages; that if you see the thing begin to un 
ravel and schisms develop, then you can't help but 
think "How did this take place? When did it take 
place? Why did it take place?" 



Ward: When you speak in ideological terms as you've just 
been doing, I've heard it said by people who should 
have some inside knowledge on the subject that Harry 
was never really a leftwinger; he was an anarcho- 
syndicalist. Would you subscribe to that? 

LG-: A lot of people say that. I'd say he was more of an 

anarcho-syndicalist than he was a Marxist. On the 
other hand, there's no question about his conviction 
that the Soviet Union is the first socialist country 
in the world. This was something that had his 
genuine adherence. 

To say that he had no political bent is mostly 
wrong because that is anarcho-syndicalism plus; 
it's to another power or with an added ingredient; 
that I think would be more accurate. 

A lot of people - and they have used it in 
discussions with me - talk about him as an anarcho- 
syndicalist or .lust a plain syndicalist. Some of 
the things to which he seemed to become more and 
more adherent, particularly in the late sixties, 
were definitely in this anarcho-syndicalist field: 
constant perorations against intellectuals .... 

Ward: Anti-student, anti the '64 thing (the Free Speech 
Movement) in Berkeley .... 

LG-: Right - right. So, these are things you start 

looking at and you begin to wonder .... Well, 
perhaps I just refused to recognize certain things. 
I felt I stuck by Harry like glue all through the 
period of harassment and all the personal diffi 
culties he had. Perhaps I didn't catch all the 
implications of his remark about St. Sure. It's 
one of the reasons why I would constantly turn over 
in my head, "Well, what's going on?" 

Ward: You mean in the Terminal situation, when he made 

that crack about your taking advantage of St. Sure? 

LG: Yeah. 


Ward: You still didn't see what the background was in his 

LG: I refused to accept the idea that St. Sure had got 
ten to Harry; or maybe the changing times or what 
ever it was .... 

Ward: Well, you mentioned the well-known fact that Harry's 
lodestar, in one sense, was the Soviet Union. If 
there was any one man who was responsible for the 
creation of the Soviet Union it was Lenin, who was 
an intellectual; he certainly wasn't a worker. 

LG: But this has nothing to do with Harry's thinking. 
Ward: Well, it indicates a very confused thinking. 

LG: Right and it's a terribly confused thinking. Harry, 
for example, is an omnivorous reader - always read 
a great deal; and yet, these constant perorations 
against intellectuals. What its source, I don't 

Ward: You're generally rated as an intellectual. 

LG: Well, it almost took the turn that if you read a 

book, you were an intellectual; if you had any ideas 
other than the most simplistic trade union ideas, 
you were an intellectual. The reference to the 
Free Speech Movement in Berkeley is very accurate, 
because at that point I began to recognize that 
something strange was going on. Now, these things 
could have had something else to do with a combina 
tion of personal factors. Harry was getting along 
in years; in '64 he must have been .... 

Ward: Sixty five then. 

LG: No, I think he was born in 19 ... 

Ward: When I first knew Harry I was four months older 

than he was; then I got to be two years older than 
he, somehow. 

LG: I recall that. Why that was important to him, I 
don't know, but on some trip to Australia - - 

Ward: He discovered a different record in some birth 


LG: Right. I think I made a mistake in another respect - 

Ward: Lou, you were just completing a sentence in which 
you were saying that for a long time you were 
convinced that Harry was one of the few people who 
had absolutely no boiling point. Now what do you 
mean by "boiling point"? 

LG: The way he managed to go through the trials - the 
expulsion from the CIO - the attempted raids - the 
1948 longshore strike - yet maintained his integrity 
all through that. They could never drive him into 

If you glance back, the tone of The Dispatcher 
remains the same in its devotion to issues; out 
spoken against the arms budget; it took on Kennedy; 
it took a good position on the Cuban missile crisis; 
it kept fighting off the redbaiters; kept plugging 
away at both China and Cuban trade; sent a delega 
tion to Cuba; support of the Mine-Mill people when 
everybody else had walked away from them; the tone 
of the paper, the tone of the union remained the 

All of these things convinced me the man had no 
boiling point. As a matter of fact, even when he 
and Nancy (Bridges' second wife) split up, my 
reaction was that it was because Nancy couldn't 
answer the bell for the fifth round; that somehow 
these things had gotten to her. 

When it came to trying to help as best I could 
during that period, I was making a trip back east 
and Harry asked -me- to talk to Bob Lieberman who was 
Nancy's brother-in-law. It was to carry a message 
that if there was any beef about the whole business 
of the break-up, it wouldn't do much good and could 
do a lot of harm . . . 

Ward: To whom? 

LG: To Nancy. And Bob was fond of Harry and Nancy. As 
a matter of fact, Harry used to spend a lot of time 
at Bob's home when they were in the east. I don't 
know whether I lost Bob Lieberman 's friendship, 


LG: which had "been a lone: friendship. In those things, 

you know, people drift in different directions. I think 
that was where I made a mistake. 

ard: Well, how could you lose by this talk between Harry 
and Bob Lieberman? 

LG: I talked to Bob Lieberman; Harry asked me to talk 

to him. 

Ward: Well, then, you weren't doing it on your own? 

LG: No; but if you do those things, you're party to it - 

Ward: So, it may have cost you something in your rela 
tionship with this Bob? 

LG: It might have, yes. I don't know as to whether that 

would have been too material because when families 
break up that way, they're messy. There's no way 
to account for what people do - 

Ward: Well, my father used to say - he was a lawyer in 
early life - the reason the law won't take the 
testimony of spouse against spouse is that nobody 
in his sane mind can understand the relationship 
between any male and female human being. 

LG: Well, he might have been as accurate as anybody on 

that. If humans have learned more since, I'm not 
sure. And I don't think that est or rolfing helps 
any, either. I think perhaps where I made a mistake 
was that maybe Harry might not have had a boiling 
point, but he had a cooling point. 

Ward: I was thj.-nlri.-ng that a turning point might have been 
a sharper definition than a boiling point. 

LG: This, I think, is what began to happen. I find it 

difficult to handle these things because I simply 
refuse to accept the idea that there could really 
be that much of a deep-going change. I refused to 
accept the idea of Harry's being hostile to me. 

Sure, I disagreed with him at times; that happens. 
Towards the latter part of the sixties, Christ 
Almighty! I'd sit down in an officers' meeting and 
he'd produce notes with ten different indictments 


LG-: scribbled out about my actions. And all of them 

meaningless. Was I secretly supporting the Black 
Panthers? Sure, I didn't feel terribly hostile 
toward the Black Panthers. I thought they were 
wrong; I think this reliance on guns is self- 

Ward: Well, you were a supporter of Jack Hall; maybe that 
had something to do with it? 

LG-: It might have had a little bit to do with it. Jack 

Hall was pretty outspoken. I told you about Jack 
Hall and what I thought was his kuliana. 

Ward: Also, the fact that when you came into the ILWU, 
Harry was president of the whole works. By the 
time of the late sixties and seventies, a membership 
showdown would have been something else than what it 
used to be. 

LG-: Sure, it would have been - there's no question about 
it. Harry might have felt abrasive, but if he felt 
that keenly about things there was an easy way to go 
at it. It didn't require this artificial nostrum 
that he was looking for - compulsory retirement at 
63, which was patently designed to be aimed at one 
person; a sort of ILWU bill of attainder. The easy 
thing for him to have done was to have nominated a 
candidate against me. There's no question he could 
have gotten somebody to run. He had enough of a 
loyal following among the longshoremen. He would 
have had great trouble in warehouse, and I think he 
would have had just as big trouble in Hawaii. 

Ward: Well, I think he was as well aware of that as you 

were. You weren't an Alvah Bessie or a Bill Glazier 
or Line Fairley or any of those ILWU employees who 
could be controlled like that. 

LG-: I don't think he ever controlled Line Fairley just 

like that; Line retired because it was his compulsory 
retirement date. 

Ward: I know, but just the same - 

LG-: Right. But Alvah Bessie was another thing. 

Ward: Sid Roger (former editor of The Dispatcher)? 


LG-: Sid Roger was another thing; much more clear. That 

stems from one of those crazy things that happened. 
You try to figure out what the devil is going on and 
how does it make a little sense. Sometimes you tell 
yourself "Don't try to find rational answers for 
irrational things." 

But no matter how often you tell yourself that* ' 
it's like trying to hit a golf ball right. You say, 
"You've got to keep your head down and swing through 
the -ball." You know exactly what you're supposed to 
do - it's oust a question why don't you do it all 
the time. 

Even though you have a rational answer, which is 
not to try to explain all irrational things, you 
can't resist the pressure on you to try to find 
something. You're looking for that turning point. 
What happened? Perhaps you flounder; I know I do. 
Could it be age? Could it be ego? But we all have 
that. To say that I have no ego, or that you don't, 
would be the biggest line of bullshit the world ever 

Ward: You have a threshhold somewhere? 

Back To 'The Womb? 

LG: Right. Or could it be that here was a determination 
to round out a chapter of labor by having it begin 
and end with one man? We know that the person who 
was responsible in the main for the formation of the 
ILWU on the west coast was Harry. Is the whole 
thing rounded out by returning to the fold after it 
is all over? 

Ward: Back to the womb? 

LG-: I don't think anybody as yet has an understanding of 
the geriatrics of people or of institutions. That's 
a sociological study for the future. 

Ward: I'm going to try to lead you back to the '71 conven 
tion in Hawaii. Why, in view of the failure to agree 
between ILWU and ILA, were those leaders invited to 
that convention? 


LG-: They were invited by Harry. I was talking to Freddie 
Field, a man I have always been fairly fond of, and 
they still had the standing proposition that we should 
come back into the ILA as the old District 38; I guess 
as far as Harry was concerned, that was adequate. It 
just wouldn't sell; I guess he might have felt that 
at the '71 convention maybe it would, but nothing of 
the sort happened. I heard a rumor that the ILA guys 
thought I was getting instructions from "Pete King." 
I said, "I don't know Pete King. Who is he?" Turn 
ed out "Pete King" was Brooklynese for Peking. 

Ward: It was supposed to be you who was getting the in 

LG: Yes. My feeling was that it was sort of a last 
desperate try; never give up. 

Ward: Well, suppose the attitude of the convention had been 
different; suppose you had re-affiliated with the 
ILA, what would have happened to his position and 
to your position? He would have been somebody and 
you would have been out, is that it? 

LG-: Oh, no. He kept insisting there was room for all 
of us, and the ILA kept making that noise too; 
later on there was a big '71 strike, where he was 
still plugging away for ILA. 

As a matter of fact, the whole longshore commit 
tee of which I was a part went to New York City to 
meet with the ILA in December 1971 or early January 
1972; I think it was early January. It was winter; 
we couldn't meet at the hotel they had because all 
the water mains were broken. 

Harry was very frank when our committee met by 
itself before we met with the ILA. Harry said point 
blank to the committee, "One reason I'm back here is 
that I think we belong back there in the ILA." There 
the effort was to get the ILA to give us the token 
support of tying up some of the container ships like 
the container docks over in Elizabeth, New Jersey; 
perhaps only for a couple of days, in support of our 
strike. Even this could not be accomplished; Gleas- 
on told us as far as he was concerned, it was one 
down, all down; he had a leader from that local who 
announced there was no way of tying it up. 


Ward: This conference in New York took place after the 

Hawaii convention of '71, after they left with their 
tails dragging? 

LG: Not with their tails dragging. 

Ward: But it must have "been quite a "blow when they got no 
support on the floor of the convention. 

LG-: Oh, they got a couple of supporters, but they knew 
perfectly well, as Johnny Bowers put it, "Well, I 
guess we laid an egg." But that doesn't mean any 
thing in Harry's case, where he's hell bent for 
something. The guy has unbelievable persistence and 
endurance. Christ, he'll hang in with a committee 
until the cows come home. 

Ward: Well, here you were in New York and Teddy Gleason 
wouldn't .... 

LG: As a matter of fact, while we were there the ILA 

was in negotiations with the employers in the same 
hotel where we were meeting. Gleason would shuttle 
back and forth, upstairs to meet with the employers 
and then come down. They wound up in agreement - 
the ILA did pretty well. I'm sure that the fact we 
were back there might have given the ILA a bit of 
a leg up, and the least he should have said was, 
"Thanks, fellas, for coming back and giving us a 
hand - that's okay." 

Instead, he gave us a lecture on how to bargain, 
which is one thing Harry did not need; or some of 
the others of us. The lecture being, you put the 
employers in a small, smoke-filled room and wear 
them down, you see. Your fellas can get in another 
room which is light and airy and so forth. 

I remarked to Harry as we walked out of there, 
"I guess you realize that Teddy Gleason .just got 
through pissing in your shoes." (laughter) He 
wasn't happy about that remark, although he realized 
we were getting absolutely no place at all. We came 
back from there empty-handed, but I could read the 
handwriting on the wall on that one long before. 


LG: Gleason was talking on how they pushed the Teamsters 
around; he always talks very tough. And I said, 
"Veil, you know, our relations with the Teamsters 
are q-uite good." And he says, "Well, ours are good 
too - if we have to be!" So, I made the point very- 
sharply, "You know, we have a good working relation 
ship with the Teamsters Union and we don't see any 
good reason for a battle with them, particularly in 

He said, "Oh, no - no, that's fine, that's fine." 
So, it was sort of all over the place, you couldn't 
get a clear answer. I think the committee realized 
sure there had been years of effort trying to get 
things together with the ILA, but they were coming 
a cropper. 

This was not true of our relations with the 
Teamsters. The economics of the situation, the 
bargaining relationship, the source of strength, the 
protection and the advancement of the interests of 
the members of your union, require a cold-blooded 

I said, "If our membership is going to consider 
any kind of affiliation, the logic of the situation 
would indicate that the Teamsters make more sense 
x to us than the ILA." I maintained this reservation: 
I said, "As far as our membership is concerned, at 
least at this stage of the game, I don't think they 
have any interest in any affiliation. They love 
the ILWU and they believe in it." 

It may not be a big union, it may not be making 
as much progress as some other unions. I know the 
general theories in the labor movement right now 
that a union has to be somewhere around a million 
members these days to effectively operate as a 
national organization. They're smitten with this 
Big Is Beautiful business. 

Ward: Who did you express these opinions to? Harry and 
the committee? 

LG: Harry, our own committee, the executive board, a 
series of workshops. Later Harry switched around 
and said, "Okay, let's talk about affiliation with 
the Teamsters." I said that so far even minimum 
efforts to get cooperation out of the ILA has not 
worked out. 


Ward: But the ILA showed some willingness, didn't they, 
to get the ILWU back into the ranks? 

LG: Yes, but again as District 38 under their constitu 

tion, but that constitution had changed in the 
interim. That's what I kept pounding away at Harry; 
I said, 'You're looking at a constitution that's 
back in 1934. If you read their new constitution 
it's another story. 

"Yes, I know what arguments you can make on the 
longshoremen, and they're appealing arguments; you 
can bargain for all coasts at one time; you can 
bargain with all shipowners at one time; if you shut 
down one ship, you shut them all down for the whole 

Those arguments have a certain power; it's the 
natural feeling of workers in any industry that if 
they are united in that industry, they'll be better 
off. On the other hand, our chance of bringing this 
about was almost zero. All that was being proposed 
was that we go back in there as the old District 38. 

As to what would happen to other large sections 
of the union which were now the majority, Warehouse 
and Hawaii, how can anyone show where there is 
anything to be gained? 

Bridges Makes A Switch 

LG: At the end of the sixties and the beginning of the 
seventies, Harry was pounding a line that the ILWU 
was going no place; it had gotten to the point where 
it was time to join the main body of labor, to get 
into another organization. At least the Teamsters 
Union had a little bit more logic to it. 

The warehouse alliance is an obvious one, and the 
dominant union, nationally as well as on the west 
coast, is the Teamsters Union. Of course we also 
had a certain bloc of strength, some big chips in 
that game; there we had seen in our personal 
experience with Teamsters around joint bargaining, 
notwithstanding a lot of problems, it had been made 
to work. 


LG: In tlie case of the sugar workrs, pineapple workers, 
the other people we had organized in Hawaii, at 
least there the Teamsters had done something. They 
had the cannery workers on the west coast; they had 
some of the beet sugar refineries, even though the 
beet sugar plants are split up, some in the Team 
sters union like Great Western up around Utah; 
maybe some in Minnesota. Then some of them are in 
the Liquor and Distillery Workers which are out here. 

In various efforts we made to pull together joint 
action around the Sugar Act, the Teamsters were able 
to muster the Distillery Workers to go along. To 
get much work out of them was quite another story. 
But, at least you had some contiguity of interests. 

Ward: Could you give me the approximate time when Harry 
said, "Okay, let's drop the ILA idea and think 
about the Teamsters." That would be '71 or '72? 

LG: Late '71 or '72, somewhere in there. Hack again to 
the economics of the thing. One of the biggest 
problems confronting the longshoremen was the 
question of containers? there you have the direct 
overlap with the Teamsters. At least there was 
some-possibility of straightening that out; a joint 
ILWU-Teamster committee had -been set up in the six 
ties to function on a coast-wise basis. 

True, we never managed to get the Teamsters to 
go along with the concept of getting a piece of the 
machine. So, the logic there was a great deal 
stronger than anything that you could present on 
behalf of the ILA. 

Ward: Who made the pass when Harry switched from ILA to 

LG: I think Harry went back and talked to either Fitz- 
simmons or Hoffa - no, I think Hoffa wasn't around. 
After our '69 convention, there was an important 
longshore caucus that took place primarily on the 
question of containers and whether all work around 
the dock area would be -done entirely by ILWU members; 
that was one of the by-products of the mechanization 
agreement. In some cases the PMA upheld us, like on 
the business of cranes; in other cases, no dice. 
Employers went their own way, they also went to court; 


LG-: the net result was that we could not successfully 
resolve the container beef. 

Fitzsimmons came out and spoke at the '69 con 
vention. It was also the time that the Teamsters 
and Auto Workers had formed the Alliance for Labor 
Action; sort of a brief-lived affair. I thought 
we ought to join and we 'arranged a meeting while 
Pitzsimmons was here with our executive board on the 
ALA. Of course, he was anxious to see us in there; 
anything to expand the organization. 

I thought at least it wasn't a rival labor 
movement. At least it indicated unhappiness with 
the existing structure of the API -CIO and the feel 
ing that something ought to be done other than making 
like there is nothing wrong with the world, no matter 
what. Reuther, I'm sure, was directly responsible 
and perhaps got the Teamsters to go along with it; 
at least Fitzsimmons was going along at that time. 
I don't think it's around anymore. 

Ward: The ALA? 

LG: No, I think it died; however, I saw this thing as 
something fresh, a place where the union could 
spread its wings. Again, I go back to the opening 
of all these possibilities of working with the 
Teamsters and with other parts of the labor movement. 



Definite Affiliation Negotiations 

LG: We were making steady progress in the warehouse 
group. It was not confined to warehouse. There 
were numerous efforts on the part of the Teamsters 
to iron out the jurisdictional headaches in Hawaii. 
God knows how many of the Teamster officials gave 
it a whirl. Steinberg tried it down there; I recall 
Gibbons being down there. Einar Mohn gave it a 
whirl. At one point, I recall Hoffa being so ir 
ritated with Art Rutledge that he said, "I'm just 
going to yank his charter, that's all." I remember 
some conversation with him either out here or back 
in Washington - my remark was "Look, you have plenty 
of headaches." 

Ward: That was because Rutledge wasn't getting along with 
the ILWU? 

LG: No matter how many agreements you signed with him 
(Rutledge) they were never adhered to. The first 
time there was a chance to jump the traces and make 
a separate deal, away he went. There was also this 
running headache with him where he was wearing these 
two hats. 

Ward: Well, anyway, so Pitzsimmons came out here and then 
there were some definite negotiations. 

LG: There were lengthy negotiations with the Teamsters 
and a number of documents exchanged. The one thing 
that was constantly adhered to was that the long 
shoremen would have their own division in the 
Teamsters Union; could maintain their own caucus 


LG: structure in the ILWU; elect their own Coast 

Committeemen; manage their own pension funds and 
things of that sort; conduct their ov/n strike votes; 
and they would also have the right to determine 
their own jurisdiction. 

Ward: This was the ILWU's position? 
LG: Right. 

Ward: That created the situation, I believe, where Fitz- 
simmons was quoted as saying, "The ILWU wants to 
join the Teamsters, but not to join them." 

LG: I felt that any discussion with the ILWU members 

which did not guarantee them their autonomy would 
fall on absolutely deaf ears. This is something 
that cannot be overlooked - I don't give a damn who 
it is; you can't wipe out years of history. 

People who grew up in this union not only love 
the union but it has become a way of life. The 
basic internal democracy of the ILWU has not changed. 
Sure, in some places it stumbles around a bit; you 
might not get the kind of attendance you want at 
union meetings; you might not get all the partici 
pation you'd like to see in the daily work of the 
union, but fundamentally the basic rank and file 
democratic structure remains; periodic elections; 
simple things like the recall petition, where 15 
percent of the members in a local can automatically 
recall an officer and then he has to stand trial; 
the business of being elected for only two terms and 
then returning to the job, which can be both good 
and bad. 

The good feature of it is the fact that it makes 
every officer highly responsive to the members. On 
the other hand, as contracts get more complicated 
with pensions and health and welfare plans and 
dental plans and vacation plans, there's a heavy 
reliance on experts. One of the reasons it can be 
done is because on a coast-wise level they have 
other machinery that has a good deal more continuity, 
like the Coast Committee and certain staff personnel. 


Problems With The ILWU Constitution 

Ward: And then you have the International officers too. 
LG: Right, and staff personnel. 

Ward: That part of the two-year rule started off with 

LG: Correct. And other things in the constitution which 
resulted in all kinds of difficulties in the union, 
some of them extremely unfair. I recall when I first 
joined the union there was a provision in the 
constitution where you had to "be a delegate from 
your own local to run for office. 

Well, some locals had a regular practice of 
electing, in many cases, very competent men and 
waiting for two years to deliberately knock them out 
of office by not electing them as delegates, a sort 
of peculiar anarchy; a business of defiance and of 
telling the International "That's the way we like 
it." Just make people bounce and jump. 

And I remember a whole series of casualties out 
of the Portland local. .Cole Jackman, who had once 
been a member of the Coast Committee and a very 
competent man, lost out because of the delegate 
rule. Roscoe Craycraft, who had been secretary of 
the International for a while, lost out for the same 

Matt Meehan, one of the first secretaries of the 
International union, the same thing. Matt Meehan 
was a tower of strength. And this was a regular 
practice until finally the constitution was changed, 
where if a man was in office, he had the right to 
run to succeed himself. Union democracy can take 
many forms, and it can raise a lot of hell, too. 

Ward: Well, now, the Teamster negotiations; how long did 
this minuet with the Teamsters continue? 

LG: For several years; Nixon was still in office when 

the thing was called off. I recall Pitzsimmons was 
out here. I think that Fitzsimmons might have 


LG-: continued serving on the Nixon Wage Stabilization 
Board, do you recall that? There was this pay 
"board established right in the middle of the long 
shore strike in 1971. Part of the wage increase 
that we had won was not okayed by the pay board 
even after a big presentation back there by Harry 
and others who went back. It was turned down. 

I know that at this meeting it was quite apparent 
that whatever discussions had taken place were not 
going to get much further. Later on I found out 
that there were a lot of wheels within wheels going 
on; one of which I thought we had effectively an 
swered. Let me give you an example: under the 
Teamster constitution all locals in an area belong 
to the Joint Council. 

There had been a steady, on-going battle in the 
Teamsters Union in the Seattle area on the question 
qf leadership. How much policy was involved, I don't 
know, but this battle had been going on for a long, 
long time. One feedback that I finally picked up - 


Problems With The IBT Constitution 

Ward: You learned something about Fitzsimmons, you were 

LG-: He was getting a lot of flack from the northwest. 
We have a lot of small locals up there; you have 
ports, let us say, that are 30 to 40 miles apart, 
a local in Bellingham, a local in Everett, a local 
in Port Angeles and other locals around Seattle, 
Olympia, another one in Tacoma, another one in 
Raymond, .another one in Aberdeen. I gather that 
under the Teamster constitution each local is 
entitled to five delegates - 

Ward: No matter what the size? 

LG: That's right, to their Joint Council, and some people 
up there decided that it could be bad business for 
them to admit us because they weren't sure how our 
people would vote; this would be the admittance of a 
large block of votes which made them a bit unhappy. 


Ward: It might upset somebody? 

LG-: Upset the apple cart. I recall one conversation 
with Fitzsimmons, or whomever I was talking to 
where I said, "e can resolve that one; in the case 
of small locals, you could have five locals combine 
or three locals combine to elect their five dele 

In fact, I didn't think it was of any importance 
because our reaction is always the more the merrier; 
the larger participation you can get, the better it 
is; the more you can broaden the educational forum, 
whether it be a Joint Council or a Labor Council, 
no harm done at all. 

This was bothering them, but I figured it was a 
rather minor thing. That apparently was one of the 
elements; a number of people were needling Fitz- 
simmons. The Teamster constitution leaves a lot to 
be desired. 

The Teamster set-up is something that's worth a 
lot more study than people have given it. In many 
respects I think it might be one of the most 
characteristic of all American unions. Here's what 
I mean about "characteristic"; it reflects the 
peculiar dichotomy within our sociological structure, 
the idea that big is good; a conviction on the part 
of a great many workers that if you're going to 
match employer strength these days you have to have 
large and powerful organizations, and at the same 
time a lot of local autonomy. 

Ward: Well, I gather it's a sort of a mesh, a democratic 
facade in a functional benevolent dictatorship; the 
typical American trade union constitution. 

LG: I don't think it's a functional dictatorship; I think 

people are wrong in their appraisal of that. I'll 
admit that you can run into all kinds of problems 
which are a by-product of the anarcho-syndicalism 
that is ingrained in the American labor movement. 

In other words, it's not confined to one indivi 
dual. It's a reflection of anarcho-syndicalism, 
together with a sort of fierce independence that you 
still get on the part of the average American 


LG-: worker; on that score he's a. much more independent 

character than his counterparts in Europe. I've 
never thought that the American working class is 
nearly as docile as the British. 

Ward: I wouldn't call the French and Italian workers 
docile, from my personal experience. 

LG: Well, I'm just making a comparison with the British; 

the Germans, too, not from personal contact but 
from reading and talking to people. Without an 
understanding of some of this, then it's hard to 
realize what can "be done in a situation. 

How Not To Conduct A Strike 

LG: Look, the bay area right now has been going through 

this long, drawn-out grocery warehouse strike. 
There's a long background to that, which reflects 
some of the peculiarities of the Teamsters Union. 
It's a business of understanding them and learning 
to live with them. 

At one time we had a number of the grocery 
warehouses; most of them have folded up or gone out 
of business, like Purity and Associated Foods. Some 
of them have moved out from under us - Safeway did, 
although we still have a Safeway warehouse up in 
Sacramento, and they are out in support of the 
Teamsters, as well as a couple of other Safeway 
plants. United Grocers decided to get out from 
under our union by moving to Richmond and they made 
a deal with the Teamsters. 

A few years later, the guy from United came to 
me and said, "You know, my company is really getting 
worked over now by the Teamsters. We sure would 
like your help." I said, "You're talking about 
United Grocers, aren't you?" He said, "Yes," and I 
said, "No matter what the Teamsters ask, it's not 
enough. You double-crossed us; you made your bed 
and you can sleep in it." 

Something else happens in that situation. The 
kind of discipline and unity and adhesion that you 
get under a master contract is taken apart when you 
get fragmentation. In some of the discussions I 


LG: was having with. Teamsters, they had headaches with 
the grocery warehouses. Why? Because they had 
"become a free-wheeling outfit - they were not think 
ing in terms of how you do the most for everybody 
involved, including all warehousemen, "but how do 
you do the most for me. 

Safeway was tabbed as an outfit that would never 
take a beef; they always paid before they took a 
beef, the reason for that being that in the case of 
a grocery warehouse you are not servicing the whole 
public trade; you are not selling to the general 

I think the Teamsters made good gains, but to have 
gone blindly onward, year after year, figuring there 
would be no point at which the employers wouldn't 
try to recoup, was a terrible mistake. And then, 
the peculiar autonomy of the locals can take on 
funny turns. You suddenly find attempts to build 
rank and file negotiating committees and everything 
else overnight. It doesn't happen in one fell swoop. 

Jim Mclaughlin is with the Retail Clerks, and I 
asked him, "G-ee, what's going to be the relationship 
between you and the Food and Drug Council?" The 
Food and Drug Council is an organization made up of 
Retail Clerks, Teamsters, Butchers; we belong to it 
in Southern California; I think we attend some of 
the sessions here. I said, "What effect is this 
going to have since the clerks went back to work?" 

I know it was a mistake for the Teamsters to 
picket the retail outlets almost immediately after 
going on strike; again, it's bad strike leadership. 
If you're going to spread a strike you first put in 
your own muscle and all your energies for a period 
of thirty days, at least. 

It's only when you've gotten everything into the 
strike and when you can convince other workers and 
other unions that the employers are not going to 
settle on reasonable terms, or that they are 
determined to break the union, then you start asking 
for support. During the interim period you pound 
away on the issues of the strike, so that you have 
some real basic grass roots support before you ask 
others to pull out. I was asking Jim what was going 
to happen now that the Retail Clerks voted to go back 
to work - 


ard: They went back? 

LG: Yes, they went back a month ago. He said, "Veil, 
our relations with the Teamsters are still good. 
I don't know whether you know this, but things have 
gotten pretty hopeless there." "Wha-t do you mean?" 
I said. "Well, in their negotiations they started 
to have rank and file committees, but - you go to 
one meeting and here's a committee, say, of five 
representing the membership; then at the next meet 
ing they are no longer there. They bring on a new 
committee of five." 

This is not really a rank and file committee. 
It more closely resembles undisciplined anarchy; 
you can't win a strike that way, without discipline; 
now the thing is riding rough. 

Ward: It looks bad. 

LG: These are by-products of the situation I was mention 

ing in terms of the Teamster structure and constitu 

Ward: I'd like to end up the Teamster thing; what happened 
to break off the negotiations? What can you tell 
me about it so that we can conclude the Teamster . . .? 

LG: I'd say that the negotiations quietly collapsed, 

really. In other words, they ground to a halt with 
Fitzsimmons taking the position, "Well, we still 
have our general constitution and we can't go around 
changing it." I know there were some people in the 
Teamsters who felt very keenly that he had either 
lost patience or was yielding to some of the pressures 
he was getting. We did not press the thing; I know 
I didn't, particularly. 

Ward: Would it be fair to say that the Teamsters felt they 

had two million members and the ILWU was a tiny little 
thing, comparatively speaking, and who the hell were 
you to tell them what to do about their constitution? 

LG: There was an element of that, but not as much as you 
put it. For example, it was a very minor element in 
Hoffa's thinking. Sure, he was proud of numbers; 
two million members are a lot of members, and it's 
a pretty effective piece of machinery if you can get 
it all together. Sometimes it's together and some 
times it isn't together - sometimes it goes its own 


Ward: Well, that does it for now - what are we going to 
take up next time? Newspaper Guild? 

LG: Oh, we can take up the Newspaper Guild, but I think 
what I'll do is go over some of these developments 
in the sixties. I think it "began to drive home 
that things were not exactly the same .... 

Ward: Oh., yes. In other words, the boiling point had been 

LG: It wasn't a boiling point - it was a cooling point. 


(Interview 34: 16 November, 1978) 

In Historical Period 

Ward: Okay, Lou, you wanted to discuss certain events in 
the sixties having to do with what you call "the 
turning point." 

LG: Why don't I just give you some of the highlights 

of the sixties, which was an historical period in 
sofar as it impinged on us as to national affairs, 
international affairs, and local matters. 

Ward: I think of Vietnam and student uprisings. 

LG: There were the student uprisings, the enormous 

push on civil liberties; there was the Vietnam War. 

Ward: We became painfully aware, just about then. 

LG: That's right; we were actually involved in the 

thing earlier. As Eisenhower pointed out in his 
own papers, the U.S. didn't permit the election 
to go ahead on the reunification of North and South 
Vietnam because we felt the United States would 
lose it. You had civil rights, the movement of 
the students and the Vietnam War, all of which 
dovetailed, overlapped, and enfolded one another. 
I say the greatest culmination of the sixties took 
place in Prance, not here, and that was in 1968 
where it was the student movement that triggered 
the general strike. 


LG: I mentioned those three elements. There were also 
some things that developed that were more specific 
to the west coast, and particularly California. 
One was the big farm worker movement; it was the 
period during which the farm workers organizing 
. drive really "began to take shape. The "boycott of 
grapes was initiated during 1965 or thereabouts, 
picket lines to stop the shipment of grapes around 
the docks and warehouses. 

During that same period, I helped launch the 
California Council for Health Plan Alternatives 
in conjunction with the Teamsters Union; later ex 
panded so that most of the AFL-CIO unions began to 

I mention each of these things because there was 
a definite drifting apart within the union. I'm 
not sure it was all ideological; some were just 
personal reactions to the people who were involved 
in some of these movements. A feeling which I knew 
was very strong in Harry was that you might latch 
up with other groups at various times, as we had 
with the American Committee for the Protection of 
the Foreign Born; but at the same time we had a 
very strong feeling that the number one base of the 
ILWU was the unions, and that in many cases there 
should be no movement at all unless we could get 
other unions to go along. 

Lessened ILWU Activity 

LG: This could also become a position which results in 
no movement. My feeling was that if the ILWU felt 
keenly about something, we should go ahead and do 
it; if others come along, they'll come along. 
After all, it was not too uncommon for us, from 
the initial days of the organization, to strike 
out on our own and launch all kinds of things; 
dive into certain issues even though other unions 
were a bit slow. 

This was true on everything from our standing 
policy of fighting on things like redbaiting, 
racial discrimination, the organization of Hawaii, 


LG: the agricultural workers, to the formation of 

steward systems. I felt very much identified with 
a lot of these things. You or others might have 
gotten the impression that there was a continuous 
running battle inside the organization; that was 
not true, really. 

ard: Not at that time, anyway. 

LG-: No; oh, I'll concede that come 1970 other things 

began to happen that directly affected the internal 
structure of the union and had its impact, I 
suppose, on the allegiance of workers. 

Ward: Some members say that it reached the point of a 
complete stalemate; the union couldn't do any 
thing because of the divergent ideas; when one man 
said, "Yes" the other man automatically said, "No". 

LG: That would not mean that the union couldn't do 

anything. It might mean that you did some things 
under much greater difficulties; that somebody else 
was stepping on your heels or making life a little 
bit on the complicated side, but it didn't stop 
you from doing anything. Even when things got 
pretty exacerbated I never felt that it stopped the 
union from going ahead. 

It might have acted as a deterrent on the part 
of a number of people becoming more active. I 
think one of the by-products was a tendency to 
discourage the kind of things that are so essential 
to the life of the union, such as broad collective 
leadership, the frequent calling of meetings of 
secondary leadership and rank and filers to hammer 
things out. A continuous discussion of opinion was 
always one of the characteristics of the union, and 
it did a great deal to promote its growth. That 
might have been seriously dampened. 

One feature of the union which obviously was 
neglected was the constant effort to develop and 
build new leadership. Bear in mind, the sixties 
also saw the passing of some of the old guard. 
This didn't limit itself to staff; Morris Watson 
retired; Line Fairley got quite ill during the 
sixties and luckily had an assistant, Barry Silver- 
man, who began to function and before long took 


LG: over. People like Henry Schmidt and Jerry Bulcke 
retired during that period. There was a changing 
of the guard. Bob Robertson retired in 1969, and 
there were some developments in that regard which 
created some pretty hard feelings, particularly 
following the 1965 convention in Canada. So, these 
things caused injury because anybody could see 
that the searching for new members and new leader 
ship would become a high priority. All you can do 
is speculate as to whether this caused a feeling 
that nothing new was to happen after Harry. 

"Ward: It's the sort of situation where the old guard 

doesn't see any need for new blood; that's frequent 
ly the case. 

LG: Right. One of these days somebody has to do a 
study on the geriatrics of leadership and the 
geriatrics of institutions. There's no way of 
short-changing anybody like Harry. His contributions 
were enormous. The kind of battle he put up, not 
only for organization in '34, but also against the 
attempts to deport him; the things he did in terms 
of the rights of resident aliens, amount to a 
chapter in the history of this country that can't 
be lost. 

Ward: Well, his brave stance was not only helpful to him, 
but the union, too; it made the members fight for 
citizenship rights and to have this alien or whom 
ever they wanted for their leader. 

LG: Correct. An interesting aspect of that was that 

one of the things that developed under the Kennedy- 
Landrum- Griff in bill was the attempt to enforce a 
provision that anybody who had been a member of the 
Communist party in the previous five years could not 
hold any official position in the union. 

Well, we had a known member of the Communist 
party who was a member of one of the committees in 
the Longshore Division, Archie Brown; he never made 
a secret of his membership. He ran for the publicity 
committee and was elected. The government filed 
action against him; there are certain criminal 
penalties. The union decided we would take on that 
section of Landrum-Griffin; eventually we had that 
section nullified, I think by an appellate court. 


LG: I think the Supreme Court denied certiorari Well, 
we fought that issue through; certain issues 
retained a "basic consistency with the union. 

On the other hand, the refusal to participate 
in some of these other developments meant that 
there was a certain pulling in; in other words, a 
tendency to live in a smaller and smaller shell. 
Later on, of course, it was put in another way, 
particularly during that period when Harry was 
pushing very hard for affiliation with the ILA. 
It was around the principle that the union was 
going nowhere, wasn't growing, and that the time 
had come to merge. 

I felt that this was a self-fulfilling prophecy. 
To say that it nullified the activity of the union, 
I think is incorrect. Where I think it did its 
basic harm was in the tendency toward a policy that 
was practically ingrown instead of constantly 
branching out, of constantly identifying with the 
underdog, of constantly seeing within such movements 
the important aspects of their cause. These things 
were gradually being hindered or nullified. 

Yet, during that same period, in a few specific 
situations the union showed up in excellent colors. 
There was a huge civil rights march in San Francisco, 
one of the biggest, around 1964 or 1965 , with the 
ILWU doing a great deal in the preparation of the 
march up Market Street and the meeting which took 
place at the Civic Center. I recall spending a 
great deal of time and the union putting a good 
deal of energy and some money into that. 

I recall the parades in Selma, Alabama, and the 
big civil rights movement. There were beatings at 
the bridge in Selma; the bombing of that church 
where the little girls were killed. I remember at 
that time pressing, and we finally called a stop- 
work meeting at noon time with longshoremen, ship 
clerks and warehousemen coming off the .lob and 
getting a number of other trade unionists there at 
the federal building. We jammed the whole street; 
they had to block it off. 

So, it isn't as though we didn't respond to 
these things, yet it was a response of only a cer- 
, tain form. On the other hand, when there were 


LG-: sit-ins at the Palace Hotel and the automobile 

dealers, the tendency was to walk away from it. 
Harry, for example, became terribly suspicious of 
a guy like Matt Burbridge - 

Ward: Who? 

LG: Matt Burbridge - he was the head of the NAACP 

(National Association for the Advancement of Color 
ed People); he was a scientist who worked, I think, 
at the University of California laboratories. I 
believe he was a Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy) He 
did a lot of work on the study of sharks. 

But he became very involved in the civil rights 
movement. He was a man who had personal difficul 
ties, no question about that. I saw quite a bit 
of him, just to see where the devil we could give 
them a hand. 


Ward: You were going back from the NAACP man to other 
issues at that time. 

LG: Okay, I'll mention a couple of highlights. There 
was the Free Speech Movement in '64. My immediate 
reaction to it was "wonderful". I had given it a 
whirl back in the thirties with only limited suc 
cess. History comes around and meets you once in 
a while. When I went to Cal, we had these meetings 
at Sather Gate. Sather Gate then was outside the 

Ward: You left your footprints there on the balustrade, 
didn't you? 

LG: I don't know if we wore it down that much, but we 

spent a good deal of time standing there, right. 
Some years later, Clark Kerr was head of the 
university when the student demonstrations took 

Ward: Yes, I know that very well. 

LG: Whether that broke his back or not, I don't know. 

Ward: He didn't last long after that - 


Tackling High Medical Costs 

LG-: No, but tie was still there when we formed the 
Council for Health Plan Alternatives, which was 
formed somewhere around '65 or '66. Einar Mohn 
was chairman of that. I was secretary. Later on 
it was helped by fairly good financial contribu 
tions matched equally between the Auto Workers 
and the Teamsters Union. Other unions contributed 
some money; we contributed a nominal amount. I 
think it was something like $3600 a year. For 
some reason or other, Harry was completely jaundiced 
about the thing; he would have no part of it. 

One of the things the Council did was to set up 
a meeting with Clark Kerr. The idea was to see what 
could be done by the unions, who were the single 
biggest purchasers of health care in the state. 
When you take the union members and their families 
the amount of money which we funnel into the health 
care structure comes by far from the largest or 
ganized group which has some influence to bring to 
bear. How could we do something to make sure that 
there was good medical care, and to do something 
about the escalation of costs. 

One thing that was apparent to us who had done 
some study on the thing was that we had become 
collection agencies for the hospitals and doctors. 
On that score we were better than any collection 
agency that ever came along. 

As soon as the contract was negotiated - and 
most contracts were for two or three years - most 
unions forgot all about health and welfare until 
the contract ran out. Then they would talk with 
their so-called consultants, 95 percent of them 
being insurance companies or plans like Blue Cross, 
which are the same thing, really a 

Their consultants or brokers would tell the 
unions the costs and say, "We're awfully sorry, 
but the costs will be that much more." Well, the 
one thing the unions could not take was a revolt 


LG: of the membership by cutting benefits, so the next 
thing was to put the hammer on the employer and 
collect the additional fees; they became a collec 
tion agency. 

What could be done to stop this escalation? We 
were very much in support of the Federal government 
idea that came along during that period, or a little 
bit later, called HMO - Health Maintenance Organi 
zation; Kaiser is a part of that. Mohn finally got 
around to realizing that perhaps only something 
like Kaiser, or the plan of Dr. (Russel Van Arsdale) 
Lee down the peninsula - the Palo Alto Clinic - 
were the only things that made any sense and gave 
some sort of control on this monster. 

There is literally no end to the appetite of the 
doctors or the hospitals. I'm not talking now 
about bad doctors, but there wasn't any necessary 
relationship between how much money was being put 
out and what kind of medical care people were 

Before long we had all kinds of people, like 
Milt Rohmer from UCLA, Arthur Carstens from down 
there, Lester Breslow, who was head of the 
Department of Public Health for a while in Califor 
nia, all very good people; they participated and we 
had a tremendous amount of assistance; people 
prepared to do all kinds of studies. We had a 
series of meetings with some of the medical societies. 

One of the plans we launched through the ILWU 
was the San Joaquin Medical Plan, and that was done 
because the doctors around Stockton were convinced 
that if they didn't move into some sort of pre 
payment plan, Kaiser was going to move in. 

We told them point-blank, "Sure, and if Kaiser 
moves in there, we'll be urging all our people to 
join Kaiser because we have no control over you 
guys." They sat down and put together a plan. 
G-oldie Krantz was very influential in that; she was 
head of our health and welfare department at the 
time; the plan amounted to paying through the 
medical society - they set up an association there. 
I think all the doctors in that area, except some 
five or six, became participants. They were paid 
so much a member and they disciplined themselves. 


LG-: In other words, it wasn't as though the thing 

couldn't be done. If enough economic pressure was 
put on, it could be accomplished. We met with a 
whole series of these medical societies, trying to 
encourage them to do the same tiling, with only 
moderate success. 

We also needed certain technical help with the 
idea and somebody said, "Look, you have the Univer 
sity of California at Davis, practically a branch 
of the farming industry in California. They do all 
kinds of research for the farmers. The University 
of California ought to be doing the kind of research 
that we want." People like Don Vial at Gal, Bruce 
Poyer, were very active with the Council for Health 
Plan Alternatives. 

So we set up a meeting with Clark Kerr; I recall 
Einar Mohn and several others from the Council and 
myself went over and talked to him; George Johns of 
the San Francisco Labor Temple was along. We put 
forward what we wanted and told them that certain 
research ought to be made available to us, the same 
as those that help the farmers through the Univer 
sity of California at Davis, and we thought the 
trade unions were entitled to the same help. 

Well, he was a bit vague but generally implied 
that he would look into the thing and perhaps help 
out a bit. We got a little bit of help, but not a 
great deal. I had a feeling that Mohn wasn't too 
happy with the reaction he was getting from Clark 
Kerr; he felt he should get a more positive response, 
with people specifically assigned right then and 
there, certain commitments made. 

Toward the tail end of the meeting Clark Kerr 
decided to try to give the session a little more 
levity; he turned to the group and said, "I want 
to tell you about the first time I met Lou here. I 
was studying at Stanford and I had a friend at the 
International House (in Berkeley). I was visiting 
him and he asked whether I would like to go down 
and hear some of the rebels on campus. So we went 
down there and that's the first time I heard Lou 
speaking at Sather Gate." 


LG: This meeting with Clark Kerr was after the student 

upheaval had taken place, part of which was won 
hands down, namely, the right to meet on campus, 
set up their card tables, the right to distribute 
literature. In the thirties, we couldn't even get 
a meeting place on campus - we met at the "Y" through 
Harry Kingman; if it hadn't been for him I don't 
know where we would have met. After Clark Kerr got 
through telling the story there was a bit of laugh 
ter about the whole thing. 

Ward: He was an arbitrator in a lot of labor cases? 

LG: Oh, sure. He -had something to' do with our beef at 

Pioneer Mill - he was down there as the arbitrator, 
I think designated by Nate Peinsinger. 

So, as we were leaving the meeting, the whole 
group standing around, I said, "Well, Clark, at 
least there's been one change since the time you 
heard me." He said, "What's that?" "They're 
doing the speaking on campus now." (laughter) 

The Free Speech Movement 

LG: But back to the campus beef. Two of my daughters 
were at Gal then: my daughter, Ann; her husband 
was also doing graduate work in marine biology. 
Eventually, the idea was to try to find something 
that would be a substitute for all these toxic 
poisons used in farming; something that would ar 
rest the generative process of insects. 

Ward: Make them infertile? 

LG: Right. Well, it made a lot more sense than DDT; he 
was a very good scholar. Ann was there, and my 
daughter Lee was there. She had gone to Oberlin 
for two years and then decided she didn't like that 
and wanted to come back to the west coast and to 
Gal. Lee was very involved in the whole free speech 
movement; she was one of those who took part in the 
sit-in at Sproul Hall. 

Ward: She got down to Santa Rita, (the Alameda County 
pri s on farm ) , th en? 


LG-: So, she wound up at Santa Rita. As a matter of fact 

when I heard she was in Santa Rita, I called a 
friend of mine, a bail bondsman and a union guy. 
I said, "I guess you will be handling some of this", 
and he said, "Sure." So, I said, "Veil, make sure 
that you don't let my daughter sit there indefinite 

I think she was one of the first ones out. I'm 
not sure she was too happy about that, either; 
after all, there's such a thing as solidarity that 
you have with the other kids at a time like that. 
But she was very active in the whole thing and 
working her head off. 

I decided this was something I was definitely 
interested in, wanted to see if we could do 
something about it. It's true, they wanted some 
ILWU speakers there. As a matter of fact there 
were some union guys who did speak there, George 
Hardy and Dick Groulx from the Alameda Council 
spoke there. 

When I mentioned that to Harry, he said, "Aw 
well, George has a hard-on for the university be 
cause he can't organize its workers and get a 
contract." But the fact that Hardy spoke there, I 
thought, was a damn good thing. We did not get the 
kind of union participation we wanted but we got 
some of it through our people in the ILWU. You 
recall those hearings before the Berkeley City 
Council? They had to do with ordinances and the 
question-of free speech. Bill Burke appeared from 
Local 6 - a good, solid guy, one of the business 

What was obvious to me was that the university 
couldn't take this position of no tables on campus, 
no meetings on campus, no literature on campus. 
That one was lost by the university. The only 
important thing was the attempt of the university 
to exercise reprisals against some of the kids who 
had taken leadership. The university was prepared 
to concede all these things, except there were four 
people whose scalps they wanted, as I recall - Mario 

Ward: Dolph Weintraub .... 


LG: And a guy named Art Goldberg - there four of them 
all together. Anyway, after some looking around 
and making inquiries I talked to the head of the 
U. C. Labor Relations Institute at the time. I 
talked to him, and while he was generally sympathe 
tic, he didn't do too much about it. 

Then, I ran down an individual who held one of- 
the top posts with the university structure. Try 
ing to get to Kerr was just about impossible; by 
that time he was caught in the crossfire - the 
students on one side, and all the reactionaries 
screaming at him, "Get those animals back in the 
cage." I bumped into Wayne Horvitz, who had worked 
for Matson; he was their labor relations man. He 
was a curious guy; he's now head of the Federal 
Conciliation and Mediation Service. 

I always liked Wayne. His dad had been a labor 
arbitrator. I guess he felt that should have been 
his field, but he wound up instead in personnel 
work. He dealt with the Mine Mill and Smelter 
Workers Union or UE somewhere in the east. American 
Cable Company - that was it. I'd met him a number 
of times, particularly around the mechanization 

He was pretty much a straight labor relations 
guy. He thought a lot of St. Sure. St. Sure did 
a thorough job representing his people, and pretty 
much the same thing could be said about Wayne 
Horvitz. Wayne tried to separate that from his 
personal beliefs; to what degree he succeeded, I 
don't know. 

I think he felt that it was important to get the 
university back on its feet and give the youngsters 
what they were fighting for. I felt that the 
demonstrations they had were mighty effective. I 
used to go over and attend them; at least walk 
around, see their picket lines. I thought the most 
effective thing they did was using these big IBM 
(International Business Machines) cards for picket 
signs; the names on them; the Free Speech Movement. 

We had a number of sessions with this chap, try 
ing to get the thing worked out, but the one thing 
he couldn't handle was just clear reinstatement; 
in other words, no retribution. 


Ward: That didn't happen? 

LG-: No, the situation reached a deadlock; there was a 

half-assed arrangement, finally. They went "back 
there on some sort of an odd settlement .... 

Ward: Savio didn't get back for a year or two. 

LG: Yes; the holidays came along; then they started up 

all over again; it went on and on. That's where 
the university made a terrible mistake, because the 
longer it went on, the more it was clear that the 
university was yielding to the pressure of these 
reactionary forces; they had to have some heads, 
like that of John the Baptist. 

Ward: I was told that Harry refused to speak. There was 
one hell of a mass meeting at night in the spot 
where the Zellerbach Auditorium now stands. It was 
some old athletic practice field at that time. Izzy 
Stone (I. P. Stone, famous leftwing writer) was one 
of the speakers, if not the main speaker. I was 
told Harry was invited and he refused because Paul 
Jacobs (an anti-Bridges activist) was also invited. 

LG: That could be - I don't know. I know Paul Jacobs 

was mixed up in the thing; something that wouldn't 
make me happy. I didn't think much of Paul Jacobs; 
he's just a self-appointed fink. 

Ward: Paul Jacobs wouldn't be the issue, I would say. 

LG: No; but I hung in there with the beef and did what 

ever I could. Wayne helped out a bit. 

Protests v. The Vietnam War 

LG: Finally, it worked itself out, but that ran into the 

Vietnam battles in 1965. You might remember the fam 
ous teach-in there. As a matter of fact, as far as 
Berkeley and the students were concerned, Harry used 
to make the remark, "Okay, we'll support them - we're 
not going to take any ships into the port of 
Berkeley." Because there are no docks there! 

Ward: He never heard of Ocean View. 


LG: No. 

Ward: That was the first wharf in San Francisco Bay; it 
was at Berkeley. 

LG: I don't know, Harry might have thought the thing was 

humorous. I doubt that the students thought so. 
I know I didn't think so. I wasn't too happy that 
the union wasn't doing what it could do; I felt it 
was a good beef. I've always felt that alliances 
with other parts of society are so essential, as a 
trade union and in terms of moving ahead some of 
the wheels of progress. 

To just draw into a little shell and be complete 
ly isolated and keep declaring that the working 
class is going to lead all changes, with everybody 
sitting around there waiting for the signal, that's 
not going to work. "What will work is identifying 
with these other groups; then, in case of crisis, 
whether it be a trade union crisis or a social 
crisis, the allies are around; something we've al 
ways recognized. During real times of crisis you 
make an effort to reach people. 

Oh, there might have been some differences of 
opinion; just a lone effort on my part. Whether 
this nettled Harry, I don't know. Of course, I 
don't want to underestimate how difficult I can be. 
I can be very, very stubborn; when I feel something 
is important and I'm determined to do it, I'll some 
times break my neck doing it. 

Ward: You said your mother was like that, too. 

LG: She was very similar, yes - so was my dad. I would 

not back away. That might have had some repercussions 
that didn't manifest themselves at the time. 

In '65 the ILWU convention took place in Canada; 
Vietnam was beginning to peak. By that time, the 
Tonkin Gulf resolution had been passed; two people 
had voted against it: (Senators Ernest) Gruening 
and Morse. We invited Gruening to our convention. 
Morse had spoken a number of times before us. 

"Ward: Gruening was from Alaska, wasn't he? 


LG: Prom Alaska, with, a fascinating history, you know. 

I think he was an M.D. ; he had "been the territorial 
governor of Puerto Rico, for a while. I believe at 
one time he edited the New Masses (a Marxist 

Ward: I didn't know that. 

LG: Yes, interesting; this guy was no youngster. He 

was well into his late seventies. I recall him 
arriving because it was fairly late at night, around 
11:30 or 12:00. I didn't think it was right for 
him to just arrive and have some of our local men 
looking after him; I went out to the airport to 
meet him, came back to the hotel, and we went up 
to his room. 

I asked him, "Do you want something to eat or 
something?" He said, "No, no, I had some food on 
the plane; how about a drink?" I said, "I think 
the bars are closed by now, I'm sorry, Senator." 
He said, "Oh, that's no problem." He carried a 
small brief case with a couple of bottles. He pulls 
out a bottle and wants to know about the convention, 
about the delegates. I told him as much as I could. 

He was particularly interested in who was down 
from Alaska. It wasn't too long before I said, 
"Look, I've got to be on deck first thing, you're 
due to speak early in the morning, too." So, we 
finally called it an evening. 

Gruening made an excellent presentation. He was 
a very thorough man - he had quite a volume of 
stuff, a lot of documentation on Vietnam and its 
background. After that we took up and adopted a 
resolution that has stood us in good stead. It was 
the first resolution I know of adopted by any union 
calling for getting out of Vietnam, calling for a 
cease-fire and letting the people settle things 

Ward: What position did Harry take on it? 

LG: Harry's position was in favor of the resolution. He 

thought that a lot of the introductory stuff was 
unnecessary, but he supported the brief resolveds 
at the end: "Stop the killing, cease fire, get out 
of Vietnam; let the people settle it themselves." 


LG: Of course, that left many unanswered questions, like 
"Do they get elections? Will they ever have elec 

At least it was the correct thing to do at that 
particular stage of the game; a position not too 
unlike the one for settling Korea, which we didn't 
win at first but eventually "became the position 
which was adopted. I won't say that the convention 
was unanimous on the Vietnam resolution. By the 
time it hit the floor, a lot of the objections had 
been answered. The general reaction was not too 
bad, but a number of our members felt very keenly, 
"Look, the country's at war, what the hell can you 
do about it? You stick with it, do your share." 

It was later on that some of our guys began to 
be much more outspoken on the Vietnam question; 
wonderful guys like Paul Keady. He was a fine 
longshoreman from Newport, Oregon; one of these 
fellows who wears suspenders and a belt; typical 
north we sterner; he had worked in the woods, gone to 
sea, then into longshoring. 

He made a very dramatic speech at a caucus or 
a convention, where he took responsibility for the 
fact that his kids had gone to war. They had asked 
him what did he think; should they go when they 
were drafted, or shouldn't they? He said, "I was a 
coward for telling them to do whatever they thought 
was right; I should have told them, "Don't go." 

So, the guys began to come around. Well, later 
on that year, still 1965, they had the Vietnam teach- 
ins over at Gal. Remember, they went on for about 
a week; some of them went all day and some of them 
went late into the night. G-ruening came there as a 
speaker. We were invited to introduce Gruening; 
I talked to Harry, as to whether he wanted to do it. 
He was very much opposed, and he was also opposed 
to me doing it. 

I saw no reason why I shouldn't; after all we had 
had Gruening at our convention. The only way I can 
figure that one out is that it was part of his 
feeling about the students; he was just not friendly, 

Ward: You did introduce Greuning, didn't you? 


LG: Yes. Anyway, well, that's just one of those things 

I can't figure out. In 1968 there was a trade union 
conference in St. Louis. Hal Gibbons was part of 
that meeting; as a matter of fact, it was held at 
his union headquarters. Emil Mazey (of the Auto 
Workers) was chairman. A number of the unions were 
there; Jerry Wurf of the State, County and Municipal 
Workers; and the UE was there, (James; Matles and 
(Albert J. ) Fitzgerald. 

We had a pretty fair representation from the 
II WO. What was the name of this woman, I think 
from Detroit or Chicago - Myra Wolfgang - Hotel and 
Restaurant Workers, a good progressive person; she 
was around. Leon Davis and Moe Poner were there 
from the Hospital Workers, so the representation 
was good. Harry was at that meeting. By and large 
it was a good session, yet his reaction to the 
students was absolutely negative. 

Of course, student movements are not the easiest 
thing to work with, because they don't have dura 
bility. After all, the student movement is built 
around the life span of the student's time at school, 
so that it is a constantly changing situation; it 
doesn't take the same form as any kind of stable 
organization. It can also be that there was a feel 
ing that when students get rolling, they move in 
many directions at the same time .... 

Ward: They're liable to go to extremes? 

LG: A lot of it is very tangential. But that's the 

nature of student movements; just because they're 
students doesn't mean that suddenly they are out 
casts from society or hermits. Neither one is true, 
and for a union or anyone to be part of a process 
of isolating them, putting them in educational test 

Ward: That seems a little odd, Harry's attitude; I recall 
very vividly he had no hesitation whatever coming 
over to the academic world in Berkeley to progress 
ive people's homes during the late thirties, 
particularly in regard to Spain. I know that when 
a progressive Berkeley hostess was going to give a 
cause party, if she could get (Dr. Robert) 
Oppenheimer that was good; if she could get Bridges 


Ward: that was big; "but if she could get both of them, she 
had the world by the tail. 

LG-: Yes. He'd speak at these things. I remember him 
speaking at San Francisco State (University) when 
he was in a running battle with (Dr. Fred) Schwartz 
of the Christian anti-Communist crusade; this 
Australian who made quite a profession of redbaiting. 
I remember Harry speaking at State. I remember also, 
there was a debate with Schwartz at the Fairmont 

There you got a good picture of Harry and how 
he handles himself in these debates. The guy has 
a lot of individual courage, you know; no hesitation 
to go after the other guy's jugular or gonads, and 

Ward: He was better in a fight than just making a set 

LG-: As a matter of fact, I remember him speaking to a 

Local 6 meeting, a big meeting in the Civic 
Auditorium. Somebody sitting on the platform said, 
"Jesus Christ, Harry doesn't seem to be awfully 
interested in the meeting," until some guy got up 
and made some crack attacking Harry. All of a 
sudden he really heated up; then he took off with 
all engines. He had that real fighter's instinct, 
no question about that. Don't underestimate his 

Ward: Well, was there any retribution on Harry's part 
when you went ahead and introduced G-ruening? 

LG-: What do you mean by "retribution?" 

Ward: Well, I mean afterwards did he show resentment? 

LG-: Oh, sure, he wasn't happy about it. More and more 
he got a feeling of "This guy (me) is going to do 
what he thinks he ought to do" ... 

Ward: "iVhether I like it or not". 

LG-: That could be true. I'm not the easiest person in 
the world, either. Those might have been contri 
buting factors in building up friction. 


Supporting The Farm Workers 

LG: The Farm Worker thing was somewhere around that 
period. I think it was in 1966; it was the year 
that (Governor) Pat Brown ran for a third term 
against (Ronald) Reagan and was defeated. It was in 
'66, at the time of the Easter recess; for some 
reason or other Harry got the idea that the whole 
purpose of the Farm Workers' demonstration was to 
embarrass Pat Brown. 

Ward: Oh, yes, that was the Easter Sunday thing. 

LG: Well, nothing could have been further from the 

truth. I mean, these guys had been on this long 
peregrination as they call it; a march which started 
somewhere around Delano - 

Ward: All the way up the (San Joaquin) Valley .... 

LG: All the way up the valley. I don't know how many 
weeks they had been on the road, getting a little 
help in some places, hooting and booing in other 
places. It was a real mobilization for the Farm 
Workers, a pretty dramatic thing. 

Ward: Catholic bishops along and a cross or two, and all 
that sort of thing. 

LG: And they had the Lady of Guadalupe; I'll admit, it 
puzzled me. 

Ward: That would have bothered Harry. 

LG: Well, I don't see how it could have bothered Harry 
more than it bothered me. 

Ward: Well, the only time he was in Rome- I think the 
only time - he scandalized the Italian comrades 
because he wouldn't go to St. Peters. 

LG: Yes. Well, I went to St. Peters as a matter of 

historical interest, that's all, just as I went to the 
Sis tine Chapel. I did not go to the Sistine Chapel 
because the cardinals met there. I went to the 
Sistine Chapel to see the paintings. 


Ward: Wasn't that a little too much for you? 

LG-: No - because of the murals there - Michelangelo, 
that was the important thing. 

Ward: I broke my neck, too, at the Sistine Chapel. 

LG: But I do recall there was a longshore caucus in 
town. I'd been asked to speak at the rally in 
Sacramento and I told them I would; after all, our 
basic policy was in support of the Farm Workers. 

Sure there are all kinds of funny -currents in 
the Farm Workers. You had the AFofL-CIO with some 
organizational set-up. I don't know whether the 
Teamsters were directly involved; I think they were 
indirectly. Fundamentally, Cesar Chavez and the 
Farm Workers had done the job; they had gotten it 
off the ground. Up until that time all kinds of 
people had tried but they hadn't succeeded. 

As a matter of fact, we had tried. I think I 
told you that we had a man named Lou Krainack in 
the field for a while, but there was just no way 
of moving it. I felt very keenly that we should 
have been neck deep in the farm workers; we'd had 
a lot of experience, primarily through our work in 
Hawaii. While the farms in California are not 
identical, there are a lot of large farms here. 

I thought that some of our Filipino leaders in 
Hawaii would do an awfully good job with the farm 
workers here, particularly the Filipinos. As a 
matter of fact, the Filipinos were one of the first 
allies of Cesar Chavez; people like Larry Itliong. 

Bear in mind, too, that a number of these Filipino 
farm workers were also Alaska Cannery Workers, and 
when the cannery season came along, they took off 
and went up to work the fish. The balance of the 
year, they would live around Stockton and many of 
them would work in the fields. Almost the entire 
asparagus crop was cut by Filipinos. 

Ward: Well, so this Easter Sunday arrival in Sacramento . .*: 

LG: Anyway, there was a longshore caucus in San Fran 
cisco. I guess it was lunch time and Harry walked 
out all of a sudden with me. He said, '^E understand 


LG-: you're going up to the Farm Workers." And I said, 

"Yeah, they've invited me." ""Well, you shouldn't 
do it; I'm going to take it up here at the caucus." 
I said, "Well, I'll stick around." I stuck around 
there that afternoon, "but he didn't take it up. 

So, I took off and went up there and it was a 
good rally. What I did was simply tell them the 
position of the union, the same thing that I did- 
in the case of G-ruening; I read the ILWU resolu 
tion there, and that had quite an impact. We were 
the first union in the country that had come out 
and said something about the Vietnam War other than 
"kill 'em all." 

I was able to hammer away about this pounding 
that the newspapers had been doing on the organiza 
tion of the farm workers, claiming it was an 
impossible thing because of the seasonality of the 
crops. I said, "That is just an enormous lie." I 
mentioned the Little Wagner Act that we had had 
passed in Hawaii, which gave us the right to have 
elections among farm workers. Sure, we hadn't used 
the thing a great deal, but we cracked through with 
it once and that was enough. 

I said all this propaganda about the inability 
of this industry to be subject to union organization 
was a complete lie; I think that made a contribution 
to the meeting. Eventually they did get a 
California agricultural representation act, like the 
Wagner Act. This was a field in which I thought we 
should be interested. 

As a matter of fact, in the period after that, in 
the course of discussion more and more of this 
business came up that the union wasn't getting any 
place and it was time to be merged. I kept arguing 
that one of the reasons that we didn't develop new 
leadership and were not going any place is that we 
didn't get mixed up in enough things. There was 
much feeling in support of the Farm Workers within 
our own union. 


Ward: You were saying, Lou, that there would "be no trouble 
getting through, an assessment on behalf of the Farm 

LG: Yes, we could get something like a sustaining fund 
of 50 cents a month. We didn't have a lot of 
dough in the ILWU, but with that we could have 
supported a group of organizers to go out in the 
fields and give the farm workers a hand. 

Ward: In other words, the cause of the farm workers was 
popular with the membership of the ILWU. 

LG: No question about that; obviously very popular with 
the guys in Hawaii because of the common ties there 
with the sugar and pineapple workers. It would be 
popular with groups like the longshoremen in Los 
Angeles, because you have a large percentage of 
Mexican-Americans there; help would have been forth 

Ward: Did you make such a proposition to Harry? 

LG: Sure, but he was just not interested. Later on, 
his attitude was that we were not going to get 
mixed up in a beef between the United Farm Workers 
and the Teamsters; after that, at a later date, the 
Teamsters did enter the field. 

Ward: That was when they organized Bud Antle's place, 
wasn't it? 

LG: They had the Bud Antle place for many, many years. 
That was one of their claims to the organization 
of farm workers. The Bud Antle thing was an odd 
arrangement. It dated back .... 

Ward: It was a sweetheart thing from start to finish? 

LG: It dated back to the thirties; at one time the 

Teamsters had given Bud Antle national assistance. 
They had an agreement, and as to how fond the 
workers there were of that agreement, I don't know. 

It was in Salinas, during the lettuce beef; 
the Teamsters were there in force and working very 
closely with some of the growers who said they were 
prepared to be unionized, but the one guy they 


LG: would never deal with was Cesar Chavez; shades of 

what we had heard time and again! While I didn't 
feel we ought to get into an open breach with the 
Teamsters, on the other hand, I knew of all kinds 
of odd things that were happening. During that 
Salinas beef I recall talking with some of the 
Teamsters I had gotten to know through the Northern 
California Warehouse Council .... 

Ward: And you had good relations with them? 

LG: I had good relations with them and that included 

some of the men from around the valley; they, too, 
would take part in some of the council meetings and 
it didn't do them any harm; they had a number of 
warehouses; they were members from general locals, 
which also represented the drivers and packing 
sheds. Their general reaction was, in some cases, 
"Maybe we don't belong there, we're having trouble 
communicating with those people; they are not really 
home guards, they are moving around and you don't 
know where they'll be next week." 


I think some of them figured it was more of a 
headache than it was worth; on a couple of occasions, 
people were saying why in the devil doesn't the 
ILWU step in there? My reaction was always the 
same; number one, we didn't have the wherewithall 
to do it; and secondly, I wasn't going to get into 
a beef with Cesar Chavez. 

Sometimes walking that line was awfully rough; 
I would not back away from my support of Cesar, and 
I was not about to get into a death quarrel with 
the Teamsters over it, and I recall sessions we had 
with the Teamsters with Chavez present and the Auto 
Workers, With the general objective to set up some 
sort of a joint council to reconcile some of the 
jurisdictional problems the Teamsters were concerned 
about; their stake in places like packinghouse. 

Unfortunately, the Farm Workers, and these are 
things that happen with new organizations and people 
who get angry, went around making cracks that if 
the Teamsters didn't lay off, they would move into 
the canneries. They had about as much chance as a 
snowball in hell, but the reason they thought they 
could do that, and the reason the Teamsters would 
take it as a serious threat, was that the canneries 


LG: had acquired such a high proportion of Mexican- 
Americans. The obvious advantage of Cesar Chavez' 
troops was they could communicate with those people; 
the cannery workers in many cases were highly 
sympathetic with what the Farm Workers were doing. 

So, it's too "bad that there was not a close 
working alliance, or even affiliation, between the 
Farm Workers and the Teamsters. That was a natural 
nexus in terms of exercising all of the economic 
power you could muster to make those farmers meet 
and talk. After all, getting the stuff off the 
farm is one step; it has to be transported. In many 
cases, it has to go into a packing shed or a cannery, 
or as produce to the city; there it is handled by 
the produce workers, again, members of the Teamsters 

So, this whole circle of economic power lay 
around the farm workers, plus, of course, the other 
advantage that there was hardly an area where the 
Farm Workers were trying to get under way that did 
not already have Teamster locals. My hopes were 
that something could be worked out. I also felt 
very keenly that the ILWU could play a part and it 
would be a great thing for the labor movement. 

With the wave of organization which had taken 
place one group of v/orkers was never really touched, 
the group that goes all the way from farm workers 
to those working at minimum wages. They're still 
the big residue of unorganized workers in America, 
so that an effective organizational push around the 
farm workers would make an enormous difference in 
the life structure of the union movement. 

I had the feeling that it would inject the kind 
of a spirit which every organization needs periodi 
cally. I thought that the farm worker organization, 
particularly with its enormous bloc of workers and 
the expanse they cover throughout California, 
because we're an agricultural state, would have been 
very worthwhile. 

I recall this meeting where we tried to set up 
this liaison machinery. It was a friendly meeting; 
I was asked to give my reactions and I told them I 
thought that with the Auto Workers, the Teamsters 


LG: and ILWU working together with the Farm Workers, it 
could be a group that would at least try to iron 
out some of these jurisdictional problems and see 
that organization goes ahead. 

I said that as far as I was concerned the Farm 
Workers and Cesar were the ones who had done the 
sweating and the sacrificing and they had earned 
recognition. That didn't make everybody happy, but 
on the other hand, neither did it create a breach 
with the Teamsters. In '67 the Teamsters had 
announced openly that they were going after the 
farm workers, and had actually signed some contracts, 

Some people came into one of our conventions 
with resolutions blasting the Teamsters, because the 
support for the Farm Workers was pretty high inside 
the ILWU. I felt that those resolutions ought to 
be tempered; I thought the time would come when the 
Teamsters would decide it wasn't worth it. 

Actually that did happen; one of the turning 
points for the Farm Workers was the DiG-iorgio (farm) 
election. I was able to play a role in that because 
I was talking to Einar Mohn and he knew that I was 
in touch with people like Cesar and his assistant, 
Dolores Huerta. Mohn said they were prepared to go 
for an election; he was getting pretty well fed up 
with the whole thing, anyway. 

A lot of money was being spent; some of the 
people who were on the payroll, he thought, were 
complete incompetents. Almost any guy who could 
speak Spanish could get on the payroll, even though 
all of his Spanish speaking was to friends in the 
bar, and never to a guy in the field. Mohn did 
not like this sort of thing; if you were paid, you 
worked . 

I was able to give a hand and to see to it that 

the election finally took place; the Farm Workers 

won, as I recall. Anyway, quite a bit later on, 

the Teamsters decided to get out of the field. 

Ward: The public was turning pro-Farm Worker so strongly 
that the Teamsters felt it? 


LG: That, and I think the Teamsters felt a lot of money 

was going down the drain for no good purpose. I 
don't think Mohn was all that concerned about the 
pressures; when the bishops committee that Cesar 
had working with him kept talking up, Mohn could 
be pretty blunt. He'd say, "Why don't you take 
care of their souls? We'll try to take care of the 
economic situation." Although he's a religious 
man - not a Catholic; a Lutheran, I'm pretty sure. 

Ward: He's a Lutheran? 

LG-: I think so, yes. Lutherans generally are not that 

fond of Catholics, but Einar had certain character 
istics I thought were good. 

Ward: Anyway, the Teamster effort didn't work. 

LG: Right. And I'll admit we had to walk a certain 

line. There were enough cool-headed guys in our 
union who, even though they felt very keenly about 
the Farm Workers and were contributing money all 
the time, gave me good support. We had a lot of 
guys who belonged to a $5 a month club they set up 
themselves; the Ship Clerks for example; Morris 
Watson's son, in particular, spent all his spare 
time helping the Farm Workers. 

Anyway, it didn't result in a rupture between 
the ILWU and the Teamsters, although how Harry felt 
about these things, I'm not sure. His reactions to 
Cesar initially were very negative. Maybe they're 
better now, but then they were very negative. 

Ward: He didn't like to be crossed. Isn't that the fact? 

LG: Crossed by what? 

Ward: Crossed in the union structure. 

LG: Well, Harry didn't mind being opposed, if after 

wards you said he was right and kissed his ring 
which he carried in his back pocket. 

Ward: Well, let's see, we've covered events in the sixties, 
Is there anything left in those years that . . . .? 

LG: Well, just let me give you another example about 

the Farm Workers. During the midst of the grape 
boycotts the arbitrator ruled against us, mainly 


LG: that we could not observe the picket lines of the 

Farm Workers. Our guys would walk off every time 
they saw a Farm Worker picket line; they were all 
in support of the Farm Workers. But Arbitrator 
Kagel ruled that it was a secondary picket line. 
I guess technically he was correct. I don't think 
Sam's feelings were that much opposed to the Farm 
Workers, but he was going by what the contract 

But apparently Harry had spoken to an attorney 
helping to represent the Farm Workers. I remember 
bumping into him at Original Joe's at lunch and he 
wanted to know if it was true that Harry was going 
to insist that the Farm Workers make good on any 
damage suits that might be filed against the ILWU 
for observing these picket lines. 

I just shook my head. Frankly, I don't know if 
Harry just goosed him, or what. I told this guy 
that I hadn't heard about it. Why this feeling I 
don't know; maybe it was just something Cesar had 
said. He saw unionism pretty much in the same way 
we did, although it had all kinds of other over 
tones, some of which I found a bit uncomfortable, 
particularly the religious ones. 

But they were using whatever forces were around; 
frankly not too different from us. I made the 
crack several times, "Well, okay, so he's working 
with the church." We always made the crack that 
we'd work with the devil if we thought that would 
help the cause. So, okay, he was working the other 
end of the line. 

Ward: Do you feel that you have fairly well covered the 
background to the turning point? 

LG: Yes; it's so hard to tackle some of these questions. 

You're pulled by a couple of things; one is that 
you're pulled by this business of saying "What the 
hell happened?" I guess it's like you lost an old 
friend, you're suddenly aware, "Why doesn't the 
son of a bitch ever call?" I mean, what the hell 
ever happened? 

Ward: You made some remarks along that line in the 


LG: These things were "bound to concern me, plus 

something else happens which is not a good thing; 
I start to speculate too much. Why? Because the 
answer is not at hand; or it's an answer I don't 
want to accept. 


(Interview 35: 21 November, 1978) 

Rank And File Discontent 

Ward: Lou, you wanted to discuss an incident that occurred 
during the 1966 Longshore negotiations. 

LG: It really wasn't an incident as such, Estolv, but 

I'd mentioned some of the things about the "mech" 
plan that I thought were really pretty much a 
mistake. One of the things that was noticeable 
in the 1966 caucus, before the negotiations, was a 
series of demands around this question of onerous 

While the contract provided that the men had the 
right to stop work if they thought the work was 
Onerous and they could stand by - in other words, 
work around it - until the arbitrator came along 
and gave a spot ruling, that only worked in rare 
cases. By and large the men when they are on a 
job will have a tendency to meet the hook. 

There were a whole series of demands around that 
and they did get an arbitrator's decision that they 
didn't have to belly-pack sacks, which means taking 
a sack from the pallet board and then walking it 
say twenty feet, thirty feet, whatever, and throw 
ing it into place. 

Ward: That was onerous work? 


LG: That one they won an arbitration on, but the out 
size loads kept coming down, and this was obviously 
a big issue at the caucus; the demands reflected 
that. Not a great deal came of that, other than 
general language to the effect that if these large 
loads came in the employers were supposed to add 
men or machines. But the language was not that 
tight so as to actually compel the addition of men 

and machines. 


It was a demand that made a lot of sense. If 
there was to be a mechanization program where the 
men got a part of the machine, a by-product clearly 
should not have been that the men just simply work 
harder or take bigger loads without the machines. 
That would be a circumvention of the contract, a 
clear violation of its spirit. Some of this feel 
ing must have been reflected, even though the 
members renewed the contract in 1966 for another 
five years. 

Three of the major locals voted against the 
contract, even though it carried by a majority up 
and down the coast. That was the first indication 
that the contract was going to run into more and 
more difficulty; eventually it did, and by the time 
the contract expired in '71 a strike became just 
about inevitable. 

Ward: That's something we should discuss next, isn't it? 

LG: That's at a later stage. Incidentally, some of the 

things where I pretty well went off on my own were 
not contrary to union policy, but they didn't make 
Harry particularly happy. 

Ward: Well, I gathered that; you made it quite clear. 

LG: Right. As for example in trying to give the 
students a hand in the free speech movement; 
appearing with Cesar Chavez and others at Sacramento; 
the civil rights sit-ins; the Palace Hotel incident. 

Just let me mention that meanwhile all the 
regular work in the union was going on from day to 
day; contracts expiring, heavy negotiations in 
Hawaii and in San Francisco and up and down the 
coast. I spent a lot of time in Los Angeles, on 
issues they had there; helping out on some of the 
tough problems they had in Sacramento - 


ard: Well, all along you were the nuts and bolts guy, 
weren't you? 

LG-: No, not necessarily; Harry was back in the saddle. 
His trials were behind him and he pitched in on a 
lot of these things. But in almost all the things 
other than longshore, a good deal of the responsi 
bility would fall to me. And other things were 
going on simultaneously, like our efforts to spread 
our wings and make contact with every part of the 
labor movement. 

Re-affiliation, as far as I was concerned, was 
never that important. It had become far more of a 
liability than a value because you automatically 
take on the restrictions of the new structure, 
whereas we had a certain independence and freedom 
of movement. 

There was no problem with the ILWU working 
with groups like the International Typographical 
Union in the Phillips and Van Orden strike in 1964, 
which was important. There was no problem working 
with the Teamsters where our relations were good. 

In 1961, I think it was, Larry Steinberg appeared 
at our convention in Hawaii. In 1963, Jimmy Hoffa 
was the principal outside speaker at our convention. 
In 1965, Harold Gibbons appeared in Vancouver, 
Canada>at our convention. In 1967, as I recall, 
Einar Mohn appeared at our convention in San 
Francisco. In almost each case they kept referring 
to the specific things that had been achieved in 
the Teamster-ILWU relationship. That was in the 
warehouse field, which was catching an awful lot of 
attention nationally, throughout the Teamster Union 
and other unions as well. 

Helping In The Printers' Strike 

LG-: An example of this manifested itself in 1964. The 
Typographical Union, one of the oldest unions in 
the United States/ had at one time broken with the 
AFofL on the issue of the CIO. In 1964, the 
printing companies had begun to build up a group of 


LG-: trained, professional strikebreakers. These were 
fairly skilled men who moved from place to place 
wherever they had strikes; they were the guys who 
were used to help break the Portland Oregonian 

They were the ones who were used later in the 
strike of the Herald Examiner in Los Angeles; I'm 
sure that they were also the group that in more 
recent years broke the back of the trade unions at 
the Washington Post. This was a sort of trained 
pit of cobras that they transported around the 

I think it was around this group that you had 
a lot of the agitation going on to prevent the 
importation of strikebreakers from outside a state 
or a city. There was a big movement in San 
Francisco for similar legislation, and in the state. 

But in 1964, the ITU had a strike against Philips 
and Van Orden, a big publishing house, whose head 
quarters were off China Basin along Channel Street. 
They had the juiciest printing job in San Francisco, 
the telephone book; that is year around work, 
making changes and so forth; a very big job. Later 
on, I think the establishment was shifted around, 
with part of the printing going on in San Jose, 
part of it in San Francisco. This strike had gone 
on for some time and they had run a lot of strike 

Well, while most of the unions were supporting 
the strike and observing the picket lines, one of 
the unions - I forget which one; it might have been 
the Printing Pressmen - maintained that there was 
a jurisdictional overtone in one of the strike 
demands of the ITU, so that the Labor Council, 
while it did not attack the strike or condemn it, 
did not give it wholehearted support. 

Yet, it was obvious to many of us that the much 
more overriding issue was not one of these little 
jurisdictional hangovers; it was the use of 
professional strikebreakers, changing a whole 
pattern in this city. One of the things we had 
managed to establish over all these years is that 
you don't move in strikebreakers. 


LG-: The ILWU had a handful of people involved in the 
strike in a very indirect way; we had some ware 
housemen in one of the printing establishments that 
was struck. There was a whole group of plants 
being struck, but it was Phillips and Van Orden 
where the move had been made to use the strike 
breakers. We had some warehousemen, either at 
Crocker or at Schwabacher-Frey, which also had 
printing establishments. 

The ITU asked for help and we began to get some 
guys off the waterfront. Jack Shelley was mayor, 
and he was not too unfriendly; the cops weren't 
that anxious to protect professional strikebreakers. 

One afternoon there was a fairly good sized 
demonstration, just as the shift was ending; some 
of these professional strikebreakers who had gotten 
pretty bold, got rousted around. The papers played 
it up as a big riot; it wasn't anything of that 
proportion. Sure, some of them were run down the 
street and a few of them might have gotten bruised, 
but no big deal. Anyway, the mayor promptly 
called a meeting up at his office. I went up there 
primarily out of curiosity and also because we had 
a few men involved. 

Well, this is simply an example of our having 
contact with all these unions. Here were all kinds 
of guys I'd known, including men I knew from as far 
back to the Labor Council days in San Francisco in 
the thirties. 

They decided they ought to elect a chairman, so 
they elected me chairman. I found out later why. 
They said, "If we pick any one of the other guys, 
some of the internal quarrels had gone on so long, 
two-bit jurisdictional beefs and internecine 
quarrels, it wouldn't have worked. You are the 
nearest thing to a completely neutral party who 
could be trusted." So, I wound up as spokesman 
for the combined unions. 

Ward: For the ITU? 

LG-: For the ITU and the other unions who were involved 

in this strike. 




LG-: So we all wound up in the mayor's office; the office- 
was jammed with people. He had called the employers, 
and in they came. They were represented "by art 
organization- called Graphic Arts Association - some 
fancy name - an employer body; the mayor was 
emphasizing that the thing had to "be settled, he 
didn't want to see violence. 

We didn't try to discourage this kind of speech. 
As a matter of fact, we were spreading rumors around 
that if something wasn't settled why we would just 
shut down around the warehouses and the waterfront, 
and march up there and see what happens. 

Nobody wanted that, and we didn't want it either, 
but there was no harm in having this word spread 
around. I happened to be sitting next to the chief 
of police, whatever his name was at the time. Maybe 
he knew me from the Palace Hotel beef, but anyway 
we kept chatting and he said, "This thing ought to 
be settled," and I said, "Sure, and it can be settled 
it's not all that difficult; the number one job is 
that the professional strikebreakers from out of 
town have to go - there's no compromise on that." 
And he said, "I agree with you, this is no way to 
settle things." 

Jack Shelley was doing very well in emphasizing 
the need for people to sit down and work out their 
problems, but he suddenly announced that he had to 
go to a luncheon. So, I inquired around from his 
aide, who says, "Well, it's a little luncheon he 
promised to go to near Aquatic Park." "That can't 
be much of an affair," I said. 

So, I told the police chief that if Shelley left, 
this meeting was going to blow apart; nothing was 
going to come of it. He went over and whispered to 
the mayor. The mayor said, "You'll pardon me for a 
second." And he went and cancelled the luncheon. 

Finally a small group of us wound up in that 
little ante-chamber that Jack Shelley had, a sort 
of a private little room where he had a built-in 
bar and some lounge chairs to sit around in. 


LG-: The head of the employers association says to me, 

first crack out of the box, "What the hell are you 
doing here?" I didn't answer him and Shelley said, 
"Look, he's been elected chairman of the strike 
committee here, or the negotiating committee^and if 
you don't like it, it's too bad; we're not asking 
you what you're doing here." 

Of course, Shelley as an old time trade unionist 
knew his business about things like that; unions 
have the right to pick who they please and the 
employers to pick theirs. This finally wound up in 
a settlement; all the professional strikebreakers 
were run out of the place. The strike was settled, 
basically, on that issue. As to what happened on 
the tag-end jurisdictional beef, frankly, I didn't 
even pay any attention. 

I thought once the basic issue was resolved and 
the unions recognized the importance of pulling 
together, the other things would fall in place. The 
man who was in the area from the ITU, international 
representative Milt Lomas.,was very good, very help 
ful, so we cranked out a settlement. The only 
reason I mention the '64 ITU strike is that it 
reflected our ability to retain our contacts over 
the years. 

Ward: Harry didn't object? 

LG-: Of course not; as a matter of fact, Harry made it a 
constant point in discussions that while we might 
have been unaffiliated, we were not isolated. Sure, 
there were some who got the Red horrors; who began 
to duck for fear of contamination. 

Ward: You said there were times when George Johns crossed 
the street rather than have to say "hello" to you? 

LG: Yes. 

Ward: He was the secretary of the San Francisco Labor 

LG: Right, yes. This comes up in a peculiar way later 
on, but when you think of people like Dan Del Carlo, 
who remained a strong, powerful and loyal friend 
over the years. Old man Joe 0' Sullivan, great old 


LG: guy from the Carpenters Union. He'd been, I'm sure, 

an ex-IRA man; if he's still alive he's still 
fighting the Irish Rebellion. Guys like Joe Murphy, 
Ed Rainbow .... 

Ward: You're talking about the old Wobblies? 

LG: Many of them were old Wobblies; solid 'trade union 

An Assist In The Guild Strike 

Ward: You were speaking about the theory of the union, 
keeping up the old ties with former allies, no 
matter what branch of the labor movement they 
belonged to. Harry was in favor of your action 
in the Printers' strike in 1964. I have the im 
pression you were very helpful to the Newspaper 
Guild in their strike in 1968 and that Harry didn't 

LG: That is not correct. 

Ward: Let's talk about that strike. 

LG: Yes. There was a point at which he thought I should 
pull out of it; I had done enough. The '64 thing 
was really only an incident in many years of work, 
but it has a correlation in that these same unions 
I was talking about in the printing trades would 
all also be involved in the 1968 newspaper strike* 
with very few exceptions. 

As a matter of fact, the only exception was the 
Warehousemen; they would not be involved in any kind 
of a dispute with the newspapers because those 
employers were the same people who ran the San 
Francisco Newspaper Printing Company - you know, a 
separate company. 

Ward: San Francisco Printing Company. 

LG: The two newspapers (The Chronicle and The Examiner) 
didn't merge, really; they merged circulation and 
advertising and printing and formed the San Francisco 


LG-: Printing Company. It is owned fifty-fifty by the 
two outfits, so that it "becomes a joint printing 
establishment, both automatically involved when 
those negotiations took place. The '64 strike has 
a bearing on what happened in '68. In 1968 there 
was a strike at the San Francisco .... 

Ward: It started in Los Angeles, didn't it? 

LG: No, there was a strike against the Herald-Examiner 
in Los Angeles. That was quite a unified strike, 
which might have begun with the Newspaper Guild and 
the Mailers. The Mailers are an affiliate of the 
ITU. All the unions respected the picket lines 
there, even though the plant was in the same snake 
pit I told you about; the professional strike 
breakers were moved in and eventually the Herald- 
Examiner did begin to print. 

After that strike had been on maybe two or three 
weeks, there was a strike here in San Francisco by 
the Mailers. Part of it might have been a feeling 
of solidarity with the guys in L. A., but the 
balance of it was that they had gone almost a year 
without a contract. 

Sixteen Unions Involved 

LG: The Mailers Union in San Francisco was maybe 180 - 
190 people, but when the Mailers walked out, 
everybody respected their picket line. The whole 
business went down, the Mailers, the Web Pressmen, 
Photoengravers, Stereotypers and Printers, the 
Newspaper Guild and the Building Service Workers, 
who have the janitors. There were 16 unions in the 

The strike had been on about thirty days, maybe 
a little more; I had been getting some very peculiar 
rumbles, because I've always made it my business to 
keep in touch with guys in the union movement when 
there are strikes. 

There are certain stages in these things where 
other unions ought to try to lend a hand, because 
sometimes the Labor Council would be of help and 


LG: sometimes it wouldn't. In this case, the Labor 
Council seemed to "be playing no role at all. I 
found out later it was because some of the unions 
had no patience with George Johns. 

-Anyway, some of the rumbles I was getting were 
very bad; that the strikers planned to go down and 
picket one of the newspapers down the peninsula, 
the Palo Alto Times. Here was a newspaper where 
all the typographical workers were organized and had 
a contract, but the drivers didn't. These are aber 
rations; they don't help particularly and sometimes 
they can be enormously .... 

Ward: It thins the ranks, too. 

LG: It not only thins the ranks; you get serious ques 
tions raised by the workers involved as to whether 
this is imposing something on another union because 
of reciprocal assistance. The basic issue was, can 
you win a strike in San Francisco? Mayor (Joseph) 
Alioto had just taken office and in a few days the 
newspaper strike was on, so that he couldn't have 
been terribly happy about the whole thing. 

I was at some dinner party; I think it was at 
the Pike's house - Esther Pike, Bishop Pike's wife. 
Herb Caen was there and we were talking. He made 
a remark that bothered me, "Some of you guys better 
take a stronger look at this strike. 

"Right now, it looks all right, but I don't like 
the sounds I hear among some of the newspaper men. 
They feel they don't want to get stuck with an 
endless strike and they fear after what happened 
at the Oregonian and at the Herald Examiner, maybe 
it was now their turn to get the business." But I 
had already been looking into the thing and I said, 
"Well, I've been poking around on it and I'll try 
to find out a bit more." 

So, I spent a bit of time, mostly just by myself, 
figuring out what if anything might be an assist. 
Yfell, there were a couple of things that were a real 
help to me. I recalled a highly successful joint 
strike conducted in Hawaii, primarily under the 
leadership of Jack Hall, when they struck the 
Advertiser or the Star Bulletin or both. That was 


LG: a completely united strike. The question of 

separate "bargaining around specific issues that 
concerned just one group of workers was secondary 
to the question of the entire group of workers 
sticking together as a unit. 

The other thing that occurred to me was that we 
might have a real break in San Francisco if we 
stopped to analyze the fact that we had two pub 
lishers who were not necessarily pulling in the 
same direction. 

The Hearst paper would obviously feel that it 
was struggling not just against the unions here, 
but also struggling in solidarity with their own 
chain, -as manifested by^what was going on at the 
Herald-Examiner in Los Angeles. The Chronicle was 
a horse of a different color; it prided itself on 
being pretty much a domestic paper. It's always 
been locally owned by the Theriots and Camerons. 

ard: A family paper. 

LG: A family paper, pretty much. Also, I had e-otten 

to know Scott Newhall (former editor of The Chronicle) 
quite well, but not in connection with the newspaper. 
I had gotten to know him as one of the people who 
was working with Frank Oppenheimer and me to get 
the use of the Palace of Fine Arts for the 
Exploratorium. Between Scott Newhall and Mayor 
Alioto and Scott Newhall 's wife, Ruth, we were 
making quite a bit of progress in that direction. 

There was an -occasion to go over to Scott New- 
hall's one day - I think it was a Sunday - and as 
we were leaving, Scott says, "Well, what about this 
newspaper strike? You know, that damn thing is 
murder." I said, "Well, I think there might be an 
answer around." 

Anywav, to my mind things began to fall in place 
pretty quickly; some device had to be used that would 
accomplish two things: first, in the event an idea 
was proposed that made sense and it was rejected, 
it would not be the kind of an idea where the 
rejection in itself could weaken the strike. It 
would have to be the kind of an idea where a 
rejection would automatically strengthen the strike. 


LG-: If, on the other hand, it were accepted, things 

would begin to fall in place. In other words, it 
could not be a one way street; you couldn't be an 
unrequited lover in a situation like that. If you 
make a proposal which may sound fair but dees not 
strengthen the strike, all you've done is to 
indicate weakness, the fact that you are beginning 
to run. The thing that occurred to me was liter 
ally what we had done in Hawaii, except that in San 
Francisco this would be much more complicated. 

I started checking over the agreements that the 
local newspaper unions had, just by calling in 
dividuals; these agreements expired over a span of 
time that ran around sixteen, eighteen months. In 
other words, the newspaper publishers never got 
through negotiating. They would no sooner be 
through negotiating the ITU, then it was the Mailers; 
when they got through with the Mailers, they would 
be negotiating with the Stereotypers. 

When they got through with them, it would be the 
Photoengravers, and then they're negotiating with 
the Web Pressmen. Next they had to negotiate with 
the Newspaper Periodical Drivers; then the Bui-lding 
Service Workers - the janitors and everybodv - and 
then, of course, there was still the Guild. It 
was an amazing round robin. 

Getting The Crafts Together 

LG: And then I thought something else was happening in 
the newspaper unions, one of the end results of 
narrow craft unionism; I think they realized it's 
got to go. Even at the present moment there is 
talk of merger between the Newspaper Guild and the 
ITU, the Typographical Union. 

They have had endless discussions between the 
Typographical Union and the Pressmen, a logical 
merger. There's no reason why lithographers ought 
to be a separate union. Part of this is the old 
craft psychology, and it goes back to damn near 
the medieval guilds, I guess. It sure as heck does 
not meet the modern industrial method of getting 
work done. 


Ward: It's an interesting situation that you've posed 
here. What kind of proposal could you make that 
even if rejected, could still strengthen the strike? 

LG: It would have to be a proposal that would take away 

from the employer the one and only anti -union 
argument that could have a "bit of validity; that 
was that he was just plain sick and tired of having 
to negotiate sixteen months in a row, being con 
stantly whipsawed, constantly in a roundy-go-roundy, 
never assured of stability or the ability to print 
from week to week. It was very common for some of 
those unions to open a contract and have it hang 
fire for four months, five months. By the time 
that wound up, they were overlapping another contract. 

Incidentally, it wasn't doing any union that much 
good either; in that kind of bargaining what often 
happens is that you lose sight of v/hat is a good 
agreement because the measure of the agreement is 
whether you did better than the other agreement, so 
a guy can go back to his members and say, "Fellas, 
you may not think this is an awful lot, but just 
remember one thing: we got one-half cent more than 
the other group." Well, of course, all this is 
meaningless dribble. 

So, the thing that occurred to me was to have a 
plan whereby you have joint negotiations and a com 
mon expiration date. That would result in several 
things; one, those unions who were merely observing 
the picket line would promptly get a stake in the 
strike. Even a union like the janitors, the 
Building Service Workers, whose contract had another 
fourteen months to run, would have a direct stake 
in the strike. 

Those other unions that were in a supporting 
position, their members would feel they had something 
in it. If the employers then turned it down, you'd 
have proof perfect that they were not interested in 
getting common negotiations and a common expiration 
date and getting rid of the -big headache they kept 
prating about all the time - the endless negotiations. 

Their end purpose would be shown to get the same 
job done that they'd done at the Oregonian and other 
places, to break the union. Once that issue could 


LG: be driven home to the rest of the labor movement, 

the strike would be strengthened multi-fold. It 
is around something like that that you can pull in 
other unions and get mass participation. Well, 
reaching that conclusion in my own head was only 
part of the job . . . . 

Ward: To sell the other guys? 

LG: Then, there was the question of going around; in 
some ways this was hilarious. You don't do that 
by asking people to the office. I just wandered 
around the picket lines and chased down people I 
knew. Of course, I was bumping into a lot of the 
guys that I'd known for many years, including those 
who had been mixed up in '64. 

I decided I would first go to the ITU. They 
knew me best; they were the group which had been 
under the gun at Phillips and Yan Orden. I said, 
"Look, I think the answer is to pull all the unions 
together and make some proposal that would put 
the employers over a barrel; they either negotiate 
or if they say no dice, you haven't hurt yourself; 
if anything you have strengthened the strike." 

They said, "What do you have in mind?" I said, 
"What I have in mind is to announce that the unions 
have gotten together and have agreed to immediate 
negotiations for all unions and a common expiration 
date. Not joint bargaining; parallel bargaining, 
all at one time." Leon Olson of the ITU, his 
reaction was "Well, I'll go along; your advice 
sounds okay, but you're not going to get anybody 

I went down to see Jack Goldberger. He played 
an important role, and he was very anxious to 
maintain that role. For many years he was sort of 
the labor liaison person with the publishers; he 
knew them personally. Jack Goldberger 's reaction 
was very much the same as Leon Olson's, "I'll go 
for it, but you're just beating your brains out; 
you don't know these unions." "Ah, what the hell," 
I said, "it's just costing the ILWU some of my 
time; it's not costing you anything." He said, 
"Sure, go ahead - try." 


LG: And I said, "Well, will you join the thing? That's 
what I want to know." "Oh, yeah, yeah - but you 
can't get the others." I think it was Harry Rice, 
a photo-engraver or stereotypist, an old-timer, who 
said, "It's a good thing, Lou; I'll go, but I don't 
know if it will work." The Web Pressmen were easy. 
They're old friends of mine and they thought like 
the HWU in many respects. 

Ward: They were always pretty good - Dan Murphy and . . . 

LG-: They were always pretty good. The old guys were 

gone, but Dave Ratto of the Web Pressmen was around 
and the other guy, a red-headed guy; they went 
along fine. I stopped by to see Fred Fletcher of 
the Newspaper Guild. Fred was all in favor of it; 
I think that he knew some of the rumbles in his 
own ranks. As a matter of fact, I remember bumping 
into Charlie Raudebaugh (a veteran Chronicle report 
er) whom I had known for years; he was very active 
in the strike, working his tail off, putting in 
all kinds of hours on the picket line. 

Ward: That was the strike where (the television show) 
"Newsroom" came in to being on KQED? 

LG: Right; by that time "Newsroom" was on the air. 

Guys like Bill German, Jim Benet and Dick Meister 
set up "Newsroom." Some of them stayed with it, 
and some of them went back to the Chronicle. I 
think they were all Chronicle people on "Newsroom." 

Anyway, finally, I thought I had talked to 
enough of them so as to start calling them in; we 
began some sessions in my office, and they went on 
for several days. I didn't have every single one 
of the unions there. I didn't bother much with 
the Building Service Workers. I knew them very 
well, and they of all groups could not be hurt at 
all. If anything, they would pick up the gravy. 

After three or four days of this kicking around, 
I said, "Okay, why don't we call a meeting at one 
of the hotels and ask all the unions to come in?" 
And we called all the unions together at the Sir 
Francis Drake. 


A Plan That Succeeded 

LG: I said, "Everybody here knows exactly what I'm 
talking about; the idea is that we approach the 
mayor and tell him that we have a plan which calls 
for a common expiration date and joint bargaining 
and that this basic issue about stability in the 
industry be resolved; that the unions are prepared 
to sit down right now. We think the mayor ought 
to designate somebody who can act as his personal 
representative and get the thing under way." The 
mayor was very anxious to see the strike settled. 

But meantime I had been thinking, who do I get 
to act as the personal representative of the mayor? 
I didn't want to do that myself because I'm not a 
conciliator, I'm not an arbitrator; my role was 
strictly as a partisan. If it fell apart then the 
monkey would be on my back. The unions would say 
okay, no harm done, but now let's get some other 
things done. We had to start drawing up other 
forces and begin to align the rest of the labor 
movement to give them a hand. 

So, I got in touch with Sam Kagel. I knew that 
he'd been active in newspaper negotiations and had 
arbitrated many times for them and had acted as a 
conciliator on some of the contracts. He knew the 
field and he knew the publishers. I asked Sam if 
he would act as a personal representative of the 
mayor if he were so assigned, and did he think that 
the publishers would sit down? 

Well, I got a call back from Sam the very next 
morning saying that he was walking down the street 
and bumped into Phil Knox, the chief of the pub 
lishers negotiating committee. Just accidentally 
he bumped into Knox and Knox said, "Oh, heck, if 
they can pull that together, which I doubt, I'll be 
glad to be there; that would be one of the great 
solutions." So, there was no question that the 
door was open. 


LG: Anyway, we finally sat down at the Sir Francis 
Drake and I drafted this telegram to be sent to 
Mayor Alioto. We decided it was "best that we not 
send it by wire but to deliver it by hand, and the 
right man to do that would be Jack G-oldberger. 

So, Jack bounced up there with the telegram and 
we waited around. Finally the mayor called the hotel 
and I talked to him. I had met him before during the 
election campaign and he said, "It's a great idea, 
but who did I suggest he designate as his represen 
tative?" And I said, "My suggestion would be Sam 
Kagel." He said, "I've never met him." I said, 
"Well, I will introduce you to him - he's standing 
right here." I introduced Sam over the phone and 
he got designated, (laughter) 

It was at that point that I told Harry what had 
happened; it looked as though things were going all 
right and Harry said, "Well, you've done your share 
on this thing; you might as well duck out of it now." 
I said, "I'm prepared to duck out, but I don't 
think I ought to duck out until I go back and tell 
the guys." He didn't object to that, but he 
assumed it was time for me to get out. 

Well, I went back and told them, "Well, okay, 
fellows - it's under way now. Before Kagel gets 
going, we should spend the rest of this afternoon 
hammering out a program, so these don't become end- 
-.less negotiations. I know each one of you has 
demands - some of these demands can be endless. My 
suggestion is that each union here pick out two key 
demands which they must have." 

I think it was mainly the conversion of any kind 
of gains to their seven-hour day, as well as the 
amount of money involved. Some of the unions like 
the Web Pressmen said, "We don't have anything to 
speak of." I said, "Now if you have any additional 
items of grievances, those can be handled, but the 
two key demands are the ones on which to concentrate. 
You're not going to be able to negotiate jointly. 
I suggest we also figure a rotation as to how we do 

I wanted an outfit like the Web Pressmen to go 
first, because they would be settled in fifteen, 
twenty minutes or half an hour. Then we went right 


LG: down the line. I think the Building Service 

was last; my God, they picked up a hunk of money, 
and this was 14 months before their contract expired. 
One thing we insisted on was that everybody had to 
get something, because there was no purpose in hav 
ing a common expiration date and then having to 
bargain 14 months later. 

With the common expiration date it made no dif 
ference when the contract expired. If it was the 
Mailers contract that was open, so you negotiate 
now. And if the contract of the Building Service 
Workers was due to be re-negotiated 14 months from 
now, you pull it up and it has a new beginning date 
and a new expiration date, the same as all other 
contracts; otherwise the thing can't work. 

The order was worked out and Kagel was in the 
picture; the employers were up in some room in the 
hotel and I announced - by that time things were on 
a very friendly basis, though it was costing me the 
drinks, because these guys were on strike -"Okay, 
it's time for me to step out; I've got my own work 
to do." 

And one man got up; it could have been this guy 
from the Web Pressmen. He said, "Well, I don't know 
about some of the other guys, but we all appreciate 
what you've done, Lou. I want to talk my mind and 
this is no bullshit; if you step out of here right 
now, this thing is going to fly apart." I said, 
"Why?" He said, "We've spent so many years quarrel 
ing with each other, that all those quarrels are 
going to break loose again, so you stick around." 

I said, "Look, I don't have a single member 
involved here. The ILWU doesn't have a personal 
stake in this thing." He said, "Well, I'm just 
telling you what I think." And another guy chimed 
in, so I was stuck down there most of the time for 
almost two weeks, while these endless discussions 
were going on with the publishers. 

It finally fell in place and the thing wound up 
in good shape. I was asked to go to some of the 
meetings, but the only meeting I attended was with 
the ITU at the Labor Temple on a problem with the 
contract. I guess I could have gone over to the 
Guild that afternoon but by that time, I was pretty 


LG-: pooped. It had been a long, long stretch. There 
was one man from the Mailers Union who was a tower 
of strength - a guy by the name of George Duncan; 
he was part Indian and he stuck with me like glue 
.all through this thing. He had a lot of confidence 
in what we were doing. He was also very proud of 
the outcome. 

The only rumbles we had afterwards had nothing 
to do with the settlement. We had a meeting of all 
the unions the day we were to ratify, or it was all 
going to ratification, on a Saturday or Sunday; we 
had the full union committee there - not just the 
individuals who were on the various negotiating 
committees - and I had drafted a statement saying 
that the settlement was an example of what could 
be done and obviously it should be used as a pattern 
in Los Angeles and other places; and that this 
settlement was only the beginning of the battle 
against the L. A. Examiner. 

It would include, if necessary, a national boy 
cott of the entire Hearst press, at which point some 
of the newspapermen - I think the Examiner - began 
to bridle a bit and there was some grumbling. They 
didn't think that this was appropriate, but it 
passed. Whether they carried through, I don't know; 
they did in some cases. But that was the only 
grumble; not a single one against the basic idea, 
which, by the way, is still being used in the news 
papers. That's an interesting chapter. 

One of the amusing sidelights, when talking about 
Harry: I bumped into Art Hoppe (a Chronicle 
columnist) a month or so later. It was at one of 
the get-togethers that Margaret Fabrizio gave; she's 
the harpsichordist; used to play with the (San 
Francisco) Symphony. She had an annual Bach Birth 
day party, and they were great affairs. People 
would bring their own bottles of wine, or some 
food, and the party would go on all day long. 
Musicians would drop in from all around the bay 
area; some would play chamber music, others would 
play more elaborate things, depending on how many 
pieces they could put together. I remember running 
into Art Hoppe at one of these things and we were 
talking and he says, "That was a good job on the 
newspaper strike; I talked to Harry and he said he 
assigned you to it." I didn't say anything; it was 
Harry's feeling, I guess, that nothing could happen 
as far as the ILWU was concerned unless he was party 
to it. 


Ward: Sort of, lie was the ILWU, 

LG: There was a good deal of that feeling, -unfortunately. 

Ward: I guess, during the course of the years, it would 
"be pretty hard for him not to feel that way. It 
would take a man of unusual philosophical "bent - 
after all, he knew damn well that he was called 
the "Great White Father," "the Nose" and "the Limey"; 
these rather affectionate terms. 

LG: I don't find those things too bothersome, because 

I developed my own frame of mind that you couldn't 
let these things bother you or prey on you. If you 
did, you would start eating yourself alive. I went 
a different route; maybe that didn't contribute to 
the highest degree of harmony. In other words, we 
were not always singing in tune. 

The route I went was that I had certain work 
that was pretty well carved out for me, particularly 
Warehouse. That, without any question, was one of 
my main responsibilities. My contacts with Local 6 
and the master contract were very much my responsi 
bility. Contact with the Teamsters Union became a 
steady and consistent thing, where a lot of time 
was spent. 

Ward: Let me tell you a story; it happened at a recent 
meeting. Len DeCaux, who was the first and 
principal speaker at that meeting and the author 
of the book on the Wobblies which has just come 
out, had just come back from a trip to Hawaii. His 
comment on the trade union situation as he found 
it over there was summarized in this statement: 
"Harry wasn't as popular in Hawaii as I would 
have thought; Lou is the hero to the Hawaiians." 

LG: Well, I'd say, he didn't talk to enough people, 

because the guy who really carries the greatest 
affection among the Hawaii people is Jack Hall. 

Ward: I thought that, from what you'd said previously. 
But, however, here's one man's reaction coming 
from over there completely cold and talking to 
whoever he talked to. 


LG: Look, I like Len DeCaux, but his observations in 
a situation like that can be just as accurate as 
somebody bringing back the foreign policy of a 
country after speaking to a cab driver. 

Ward: ell, anyway, it was his reaction and I took it for 
meaning something. 

LG: Veil, that could be for other reasons - 




A Very Tough. Clash. 

LG: In the latter years in Hawaii, particularly around 
the sugar negotiations, things did get to reach a 
very tough clash, a very tough clash, yes. 

Ward: Do you mean to say where Harry openly disagreed 
with you? 

LG: Openly disagreed, openly threatened to fight 
certain settlements and went directly to the 
leadership of the union there in opposition to 
some of the positions I had taken and some of the 
agreements that had "been reached. But that skips 
a few years and gets us to 1974 and later. 

Ward: Well, did he feel you hadn't gotten enough? 

LG: Oh, it's a process that would warrant a description 

all by itself; it involves the technique of 
turning somebody's left end. We'll get to it 
another time. 

Ward: Now, we're talking some more about little incidents 
in the sixties that are important. 

LG: Yes, it would be a mistake to leave out a couple 

of things. I had mentioned from time to time that 
there was a growing cooperation with the Teamsters; 
1967 was one of the peak years for the Northern 
California Warehouse Council. By that time it had 
matured pretty well. 


Cooperation Works Well 

LG: My own feelings were tliat the Teamsters were a 
group that could "be worked with. I've read all 
the stories about some of the things that go on 
in the Teamsters in other parts of the country. 
Frankly, I don't think they are applicable to the 
west coast. No question that the Teamsters have 
a tendency, some times, to come on very hard; when 
they feel they have certain jurisdictional rights 
they'll go to great lengths to enforce them. 

We're familiar with their movements in the 
canneries; in the case of the Farm Workers, I've 
already mentioned the odd position I found myself 
in where I couldn't agree with the Teamsters, yet 
I wasn't about to break with them. It meant 
walking a careful line, making it quite plain that 
I supported the Farm Workers and Chavez, including 
giving them all kinds of information which came my 
way, as to what was going on among the employers 
and helping out as best I could. As a matter of 
fact, I was down at Cesar's headquarters last 
Saturday. I spent the day down there at La Paz. 

Ward: Were they negotiating something? 

LG: No, they were having a meeting that had been going 

on for days of a group of young people who are 
being trained to help them handle negotiations. I 
didn't want to go so far as to say that there are 
no secrets, but in some ways they think there are 
things there that aren't there - special techniques. 

I made it plain there are no magic tricks; you 
don't pull rabbits out of the hat. I emphasized the 
importance of doing your homework; once negotiations 
are under way or the battle is under way, it's too 
late to do your homework. That means knowing the 
workers, knowing their demands and how far to 
travel with them; knowing what a couple of loud 
people will say, and also what the rank and file 
thinks . 


LG: In other words, there are a whole series of things 
which have to "be done which I consider to be purely 
homework, "basic work. I think we as a union have 
established a good deal of skill with things like 
caucuses, bull sessions in warehouses, contract 
conventions. It's awfully important to get that 
reading of the membership so as to know how far to 
go, because that's realy where your strength lies. 

I told them the obvious things; that the 
employers will scream and yell and tear their hair, 
"You're coming in with more demands; we're going to 
go broke," and so forth. They always put on this 
hysterical act but it doesn't mean anything. 

But '67 became a focal point in warehouse; we 
had built up to it for a long time. There were 
beginnings of inflation, which meant that we 
required substantial wage gains. Mind you, there 
had been a period where the labor movement was semi- 
dormant; a number of lean years. 

ard: You were saying the Warehouse Council had reached a 
high point? 

LG: High point, yes; the liaison with the Teamsters 

Union was pretty deep-going and it wasn't confined 
^ust to Warehouse. We found that we did square 
away jurisdictional problems pretty quickly. 

We even had a formula that applied in the case 
of mergers of two warehouses. For example, if a 
company had a branch in San Francisco and another 
branch over in Oakland and the two merged, we didn't 
bother with elections or anything of the sort. If 
they had more people in that warehouse than we had, 
our people transferred with all their rights 
protected. The other way around would apply to us. 

As a matter of fact, Chili Duarte used to take 
pleasure in needling the daylights out of me, 
particularly if there was a gang around, when we 
worked out a merger. A small plant of Durkee's 
(Durkee Foods) merged with their major plant in 
San Francisco which was under I1WU, and the whole 
thing was moving to San Jose under another name; 
Shed Bar tush, I think it was called. We decided 
that people who belonged to the Teamsters would 


LG: come into the ILWU, but so that nobody would get 

hurt we would "sandwich" seniority; in other words, 
we would take their man with the longest seniority 
and put him in, say, under our man with the longest 
seniority, if our guy had more seniority. 

Well, the net result was bound to create some 
peculiarities; in one case it resulted in a guy who 
I think was 30 years old, being given 35 years 
seniority. Chili would have no end of fun with this 
one. He'd say, "I'd like to know how that could be 
worked out; how can I get 35 years seniority when 
I'm 30 years old?" I kept telling him we'd have 
no problem; he wasn't 30 any more. The thing 
basically worked out without a lot of friction. 

All of these things had been going on. The '67 
negotiations were intense. A good deal of hard 
work went into the thing. The employers had made 
proposals that came a long ways from what we wanted; 
there had been some attempts for some reason or 
other partly - I guess because the atmosphere of 
the Vietnam War and the national atmosphere were not 
good in those days - to take away some of the things 
we had in the contract. We wound up with a stewards' 
meeting at the Longshore building that was literally 
jammed; must have been 1800 there, and this was a 
joint stewards' meeting. 

Ward: 1800 stewards! 

LG: 1800 stewards - ILWU and Teamsters. Prom that we 

took a strike vote. , As a matter of fact, we went into 
a new type of strike vote where all the votes would 
be pooled and counted together; in other words, the 
majority would govern. We gave power of attorney, 
before negotiations, to the Northern California 
Warehouse Council. 

We also decided we would observe some of the 
rules the Teamsters had, because as far as we were 
concerned they made some sense and in our case 
would not be bothersome. For example, they have a 
provision in their constitution that if a contract 
is ratified by 50 percent it's a contract, but 
before they could strike, they would have to turn 
it down by 75 percent : Most people would look at 
that and say, "Hell, that doesn't make any sense. 
It's not democratic." 


LG-: The question as to whether it is democratic or not 
is really unimportant; the important thing is, what 
sort of a rejection do you need to conduct a 
successful strike? Well, the rule of thumb we had 
was if you couldn't get an 85 percent strike vote, 
your chances of winning were awful slim. 

If you have 85 percent prepared to walk out 
you're going to lose some of that the first two 
weeks, the first time they miss a pay check. That's 
going to go down to 70 or 75 percent. Then, 
depending on how long the strike went, a few more 
will be lost; with a hard core of 60 to 65 percent 
you're damn well off. If you could maintain any 
where between 75 and 80 percent then of course you 
have much better chances of winning. You had no 
guarantee of winning, but then you never have a 
guarantee of winning any strike. 

If you go into a strike with 51 percent, insofar 
as I'm concerned, the chances of winning are about 
as much as a snowball' in hell. All the employer 
has to do is simply sit and measure that point at 
which the 51 percent gets to be 49 percent and then 
he starts demanding a vote either on his last 
proposal or one that's even worse yet. So some of 
these rules did not bother us. 

The idea of having joint votes didn't bother me 
for other reasons. I had confidence in our ability 
to mobilize our membership and get out the vote, so 
that pooling the vote, if anything, would be a bit 
of an edge on our side. These rules began to have 
an impact in making the whole machinery a lot more 
cohesive; the '67 negotiations finally wound up in 
a strike. It lasted three weeks - about - but 
was very effective. 

As a matter of fact, I think it was the first 
time some of those people had ever been on strike. 
Strikes had not been new to our people. They had 
gone through them in past years. There is an 
interesting thing where many of the Teamster ware 
houses would not be too far from the ILWU ware 
houses, but the bulletins and news on the strike 
that they got all came from the ILWU bulletins, 
because we were putting out a bulletin almost every 


LG: Publicity committees are one of the keys to the 
organization of a good strike. All these things 
developed the only kind of genuine working class 
unity that counts, the unity down below. People 
get to know each other and help exchange pickets, 
coffee wagons; if theirs didn't get around, ours 
did. Great spirit developed out of the thing. 
Negotiations finally wound up with quite a success 
ful agreement; it was ratified overwhelmingly: 80 
percent or thereabouts. 

The meeting was held at the Cow Palace; there 
were some 5,000 people there; a joint meeting and 
the contract was presented jointly. George Mock 
chaired the meeting. He did a good job and he 
believed in the Warehouse Council. 

I presented the report, but in one stage we had 
a couple of rambunctious characters who walked up 
and seized the mike. He said to me, "Look, why 
don't you handle this part of the meeting?" These 
characters were getting to him. Well, it wasn't 
much of a problem really. I could tell by some of 
the people at the mike which way they were going to 
lean on the thing, so it didn't amount to a great 
deal. The meeting went off very well and we came 
out with a very good contract. 

A Sociological Lesson 

LG: There were other things in the sixties which go to 
make damn clear that we were not out of the woods 
as an organization. It was in the early sixties 
when a strike we had against Colgate Palmolive in 
Berkeley lasted almost ten months. 

But there, interestingly enough, we got the help 
of the Teamsters in New Jersey - not the workers in 
the plant. These workers were in an independent 
company union. 

Now there is a national council of Colgate work 
ers - it meets regularly; they do a certain amount 
of coordinated bargaining. The help we got back 
there was out of the Teamsters Union; they shut down 
deliveries for several days. These things helped. 


LG-: Paul Heide and Ole Fagerhaus were a two-man boycott 

team wnich travelled all over the country, labor 
councils and everything else, getting literature 
distributed and so forth. As a matter of fact, it 
was during that Colgate strike that I learned a 
sociological lesson that had nothing to do with the 

Ward: Like what? 

LG-: Well, I think the strike was about six months old 

and I had gotten a copy of the Colgate financial 
report. They had branches in around some 45 
countries around the world, and it is a big inter 
national conglomerate. The report was fairly 
accurate. It said they had lost some money in the 
United States because primarily of a lengthy strike 
in Berkeley, but when taken in conjunction with all 
the other operations, the corporation as a whole 
did all right. 

When I saw this thing I just kept grumbling all 
day long, grumbling so badly that when I got home, 
Terry said, "Look, you're in no frame of mind to 
sit around the house and have dinner. Why don't 
we just go out and drive around maybe for a while 
and we'll have a bite to eat in Tiburon or some 

So, we're driving around and we drive out past 
Paradise (scenic Marin County spot) out to the end 
of that peninsula where the Nike site is; we know 
some people who live around there and we passed one 
of these places where they built a big marina. I 
started saying something like "Oh, that's where all 
these sons-of-bitches live we're dealing with at 
Colgate. Here they are, living high off the hog 
and they don't give a shit what happens to our 
people." Terry said, "You're not fit to talk to." 

I said, "You're absolutely right - I'll see you 
later." So, I got out and said, "I'll see you." 
And she drove away. I started walking and figured 
it would be good for me. I must have walked at 
least a mile or so - it's a long peninsula - and I 
was still wearing the same clothes I had on at the 
office - shirt, tie and jacket. 


LG: One of these local cops passed me and examined me 
very closely, but he didn't stop and say a word. 
So, I just kept walking; then about 15 minutes 
later, he passed me again. I'm still walking, and 
I suddenly realize why he's looking at me. I'm a 
stranger and the way I was dressed, I either had an 
assignation up the street or I was going to visit 
a neighbor or something. 

You don't stick your nose into that sort of 
thing; you can get yourself in wrong with some of 
the people who live in that neck of the woods. The 
last time around, he had a guy with him, a witness 
or something; he finally stopped and said, "Where 
are you going?" "Taking a walk out here, obviously." 

"Well, where do you live?" I said, "In Mill 
Valley." He said, "You're going to walk all the 
way there? Why? That's miles." I said, "No, 
no, I'm just going as far as Tiburon." He said, 
"You want a lift?" I said, "Fine." I was pretty 
tired anyway. I had been walking about an hour and 
a half. So, he gave me a lift down to Sam's (a Tib 
uron restaurant). 

I suddenly realized that the only reason he didn't 
stop and hard-time me was because of the way I was 
dressed. If I had been wearing some beaten up 
shorts and a broken down shirt, I would have been 
rousted. So, you can learn some of these lessons 
awful fast. 

We had long strikes like that because there was 
still this feeling on the part of the employers 
that we could be taken. Another thing that should 
be mentioned is that during this time it was not 
just around the warehouse contract that we were 
getting results. There were also joint committees 
set up between the Teamsters and the ILWU on the 
questions of riurisdictional problems. I'm talking 
now about problems relating to the waterfront. 
These unfortunately, did not get results anything 
like what we had in Warehouse. 

I recall for example during that same period, we 
wanted to do something about the Sugar Act and the 
manner it which it was being administered; the 
Sugar Act was in the hands of the sugar employers; 


LG: while it was in the sugar division of the Department 
of Agriculture, they held these hearings that were 
mostly junkets. The hearings v/ere for the purpose 
of establishing fair and reasonable wages, and what 
ever the employers were paying was fair and 

We finally got them shaken up enough so they 
once made one change in the case of Louisiana, some 
improvement. In the case of beet sugar, the farmers 
have a great deal of political influence; in the 
case of Puerto Rico a fair and reasonable wage was 
35 cents an hour - unbelievable! 

We decided to set up a joint lobby to go to 
Walter Freeman, who at that time was Secretary of 
Agriculture under (President Lyndon) Johnson; there 
I suggested that the Teamsters give us a hand be 
cause they had some of the beet sugar plants. Sid 
Zagri was assigned, and the Packinghouse Workers 
had Charlie Fisher there. The Liquor and Distillery 
Workers had a few beet sugar plants here on the 
west coast; they took part. We formed a joint lobby 
to pressure the administration to do something about 
the Sugar Act, so we had cooperation. 

Health Plan Alternatives 

LG: Towards the later part of the sixties I had gotten 
to know Einar Mohn quite well and I talked a good 
deal to him about this business of health and 
welfare and the escalating costs of medical care. 
With his help we formed the California Council for 
Health Plan Alternatives. The latter became a very 
broad organization, with the Building Trades in 
there, the Hotel and Restaurant Workers, Joe 
Belardi; even the IATSE. 

Ward: A pretty smelly outfit. 

LG: Right. Al Erickson from that. The Operating 

Engineers, and their record is not one that will 
ever be terribly distinguished. But the AFofL 
joined in. Ziggy Arowitz was in from the L. A. 
Labor Council - a good guy. Einar Mohn was chair 
man and I was secretary. The financing got to be 


LG: fairly good, particularly when the ALA. was formed - 
Alliance for Labor Action. That was "between the 
Teamsters and the Auto Workers. 

Ward: Yes, you talked about that - 

LG: I recall attending a meeting in Monterey of the 

Alliance for Labor Action; many of the things they 
were doing were worthwhile. I thought it would 
have done us some good to get in there and see what 
could be accomplished. It didn't last all that 
long. I don't know if it was a question of finan 
cing falling out or that Reuther died. 

The ILWU made an annual contribution to the 
Council. It wasn't very big, but it was an issue 
on which Harry became more and more nettlesome; yes, 
nettlesome, including inventing stories that we 
were trying to interfere with the direct collective 
bargaining of unions on health and welfare - 

Ward: He didn't like that? 

LG-: No, now as to why I'm not sure. True, the organiza 
tion might have been a bit before its time. But 
the issues were correct, to try to do something 
about the terribly escalating medical and hospital 
costs and to promote something like Health 
Maintenance Organizations or group plans like Kaiser; 
to get some sort of a grip on medical costs. 

Now it's become a national issue. I don't expect 
a great deal to be done under present circumstances, 
but we got considerable response, a lot of assistance 
from people, not just in the unions but from outside 
the organizations, people who felt there was just 
no grip by the consumer on what was going on for 
medical care. All I'm saying here is that this era 
encompassed the medical cost problem. 

Hoffa Goes To Jail 

LG: Then, other things were going on in the Teamsters, 
some of which, of course, were very disturbing. 
Jimmy Hoffa went to jail in 1967. Incidentally 
Earl Warren, the Supreme Court Chief Justice, 


LG: dissented on sending Hoffa to jail. Earl Warren 

was very disturbed by the government's reliance on 
this professional stoolpigeon whose testimony sent 
Hoffa up; this guy Par tin. 

Partin had been convicted of several felonies; 
he was up on charges on everything from Mann Act 
to burglary, to falsification of records, to steal 
ing dough from the union; you name it and he was 
charged with it. All of a sudden none of these 
charges were being pressed. 

And he wormed his way into the confidence of 
Hoffa, who was easy-going on that score. If some 
body could even pretend that he had done Hoffa a 
favor, that was enough for him. I think he made 
some bad mistakes; sure enough, Partin was the guy 
who turned up on the witness stand as the prime 
witness against Hoffa. Fitzsimmons was sent in 
(as Teamster president); he was assistant to the 
president, or general vice-president, set to take 
Hoffa's place in case he went to the clink. 

The ILA thing was an up and down sporadic affair, 
and all over the landscape. It was spread all over 
the place like a mad dream. 


(Interview 36: November 28, 1978) 

The Fight For Vice-President 

Ward: Lou, you want to discuss a couple of more items in 
the sixties? 

LG: As quickly as I can. A couple of things developed 

internally in the union which have some significance 
later on. One was that around 1965 Chili was 
anxious to run for vice-president and director of 
organization. I gather that either he or George 
Valter at the time talked to Bob Robertson. Bob 
had done a good job over the years, but organization 
had slowed down just about to a walk . . . 

Ward: And he didn't play any role in Hawaii? 

LG: No major role. He came down there a number of 
times, but not in the fundamental sense of 
organization. Jack was primarily responsible and 
I gave him a hand, plus other people like Matt 
Meehan and Prank Thompson and others who pitched 
in and did a good job; a number of staff people 
went down there, Martha Ezralow went there on 
assignment; Teddy Kreps was there, so there was 
constant help from the International during the 
Smith Act period. Morris Watson, for example, was 
* . . 

Ward: Let's get back to Chili. 


LG-: Chili; anyway, Bob Robertson had indicated that if 
he could pick up a pension of $500 bucks a month, 
he was thinking of hanging it up. I think the 
pension was voted him; it could very well have been 
in 1965 at the convention in British Columbia. We 
had Teamster representation there; I believe it 
was Harold Gibbons who spoke at that convention. 
Hoffa couldn't make it. 

Well, Bob did not up-s takes at that time. Chili 
made up his mind that he was going to run in 1967, 
regardless. Well, sometime, I guess it was in late 
1966 or maybe early in 1967; I was about to go to 
lunch and Harry said, "I'm having lunch with Chili 
and George (Valter); come on along." So, we sat 
down at Original Joe's and Harry was very blunt 
about the whole thing. He said, "If Chili decides 
to run against Bob in 1967, I'll go all out to 
campaign against Chili." This was quite a blow to 
Chili, because he had always considered himself an 
unquestioning supporter of Harry. 

The net result was that Chili didn't run against 
Bob. Later on, there was a further session when 
Bob indicated he was going to leave in 1969; and 
Chili said in that case he definitely intended to 

Harry's attitude then was "Well, times have 
changed; I've changed my mind. I think Bill Chester 
is the man who ought to run for the job." The 
reason for all this, I'm not sure myself, other 
than perhaps a feeling on Harry's part that with 
Chester around Harry would feel that the balance in 
terms of the officership would be such that he would 
have no problem, particularly if I continued to be 
a bit of a pain in the ass, which I was .... 

Ward: You would have two warehousemen up there? 

LG: Well, there had been two warehousemen over the 

years; Bob Robertson was a warehouseman. This did 
a great deal of personal damage to Chili. He was 
pretty well determined to run anyway, but to get 
into a rivalry of that sort would have raised a 
lot of hell; you would have had a black-white 
thing, as well as .... 

Ward: It would be very divisive. 


LG: Yes, although I believe Chili would have won. He 
had good support in Hawaii; Local 6 had made very- 
strong alliances with Local 142 in the Islands, 
with a good deal of mutual assistance in almost 
every beef. But none of this was to come to pass. 
Chili died in January, 1969. He and his wife were 
up in Reno taking a few days vacation; he had a 
heart attack and passed away. 

This created a different crisis within the 
union. I think for a while Chester felt he had a 
clear field. On the other hand, Jack Hall by that 
time felt that most of his work in Hawaii was done. 

Ward: Lou, you told about the possibility of a contest 
between Jack and Bill Chester. And it was partly 
solved by reopening a second vice-presidency. 

LG: Right - which we had had before. Jack's attitude, 

when Chester announced he was going to run, was 
well, help yourself. Jack was confident of his 
ability to take the election, that's all. Notwith 
standing,' I didn't feel that was a good thing - 

Ward: Yes, black vs. white. 

LG: True enough? as to whether there would be enough of 

a load for four people, a lot depended on the degree 
of internal organization and the division of labor. 
Almost every union job is what you make it. The 
title doesn't mean a hell of a lot, except to some 
people; basically you can make a lot of work out 
of it, or you can figure out ways and means of 
doing nothing. Some people are called good 
administrators because that's the expertise of see 
ing that nothing stays on your desk. Somebody else 
gets the responsibility for it. 

It was my judgment that we were better off not 
to engage in an internecine fight. And mind, all 
during this time, there was nothing fundamentally 
wrong with the general union program. But the Chili 
thing was an almost open breach with Warehouse. It 
was another way of saying that that period was 
finished, even though there is a tremendous amount 
of logic in having somebody like a warehouseman as 
director of organization, because there is where 
the organizing has to be done. 


Ward: The longshoremen were all organized? 

LG: The longshoremen had all been organized. If there 
were bits of organization still to be done, my God, 
they had the machinery and the strength to do it. 
Cine of the things Jack did was to urge the longshore 
locals to get out and organize a lot of the unor 
ganized workers around the waterfront. For example, 
people who work for the city, if it was a city 
harbor like in the Port of Tacoma, performed work 
in the main that could be done by longshoremen 
themselves. There was no need to add organizers. 

Warehouse, of course, was still the big potential. 
Anyway, all these things came to a head at . the ' 69 
convention. That's when Jack Hall was elected, and 
so was Chester. What Harry's reaction was to Jack 
Hall I'm not positive, but it was very short of 
being cordial. 

Ward: It was not cordial? 

LG: No. As a matter of fact, Harry began to make 

statements that maybe there ought to be physical 
examinations before somebody could run for office, 
because Jack had been sick in Hawaii. 

Ward: He had diabetes and poor eyesight? 

LG: He had diabetes; the eyesight was no major handicap. 

He couldn't drive a car, that's true, but that's no 
great problem for an organization director. When 
he's traveling it's always invariably by plane; one 
of the staff meets him, and generally they have to 
go around together anyway, so that was no great 

Jack had also had an attack of appendicitis 
which developed into peritonitis. Some of the in 
sulin treatments taken for diabetes apparently can 
cover up a lot of things, so that before they 
diagnosed the thing as appendicitis, the appendix 
had already broken, and the net result was that 
he'd had a very bad siege. There's no question but 
that beginning into 1970 Jack's health went down 
hill. He developed what might have been Parkinson's 

Ward: The last time I saw him I noticed the tremor. 


LG-: Right. But his doctor wasn't sure whether it was 

that, or that somewhere along the line Jack had had 
a minor stroke. But Jack was alert and he moved 
over here. Still and all, he functioned fairly 
well. True, his sickness did become progressively 
worse. At one stage, where we were holding work 
shops up and down the coast, he required an escort 
to make sure he got back to San Francisco all right. 
On another occasion when he was in Hawaii, the guys 
were concerned enough that they had one of his old 
friends, John Kelley, ride back to San Francisco 
with him. 

Ward: Well, it looks to me that Harry had hisf buddy and 
and you had yours. 

LG-: Well, no - I didn't think of it in that fashion. I 
never felt that any of these things in terms of 
union policy can really be settled by taking a vote, 
like two against one. I never felt that this made 
union policy. The way you made union policy was to 
argue the thing out; sometimes it might take hours 
or days. 

Eventually you reach a meeting of the minds by 
just hammering away at the issues until you get 
consensus. I believe we followed this procedure 
pretty consistently in the executive board and in 
the enlarged executive board meetings, so that a 
question of composition of leadership might have a 
different construction. Harry might have seen it 
that way, I don't know. I didn't see it that way. 
I did think it was important to have somebody as- 
direct or of organization who would feel that or 
ganizing was important. 

It could very well be that something else was 
going on, namely, this growing conviction in Harry's 
mind that the union had run its course, that the 
time had come for it to go back in the ILA, or 
something like that. 

Ward: How did that conviction demonstrate itself? 


The Membership Questionnaire 

LG: It demonstrated itself more and more sharply in an 
interesting way. During the latter part of the 
1960s, I thought it would be a good idea to do a 
survey of the membership and find out what they 
thought of the union; I think we were the first 
and only union which has ever sent out a question 
naire to every single member. In other words, we 
took all the names on The Dispatcher mailing list 
and sent them a copy of the questionnaire. The 
survey started in the end of 1966 and was tabulated 
in 1967. 


Ward: You were saying you received a pretty substantial 
return on the questionnaire. 

LG: I think the return was better than 25 percent; quite 
good, considering that a lot of people won't sit down 
and take the time to write out what they think. 
But here was a questionnaire which asked people to 
speak their minds. They were unsigned. 

Ward: Oh, they were anonymous? 

LG: Anonymous, yes. Did they think the meetings were 
too long? Do the officers take up too much time 
speaking? Too many resolutions? Do we spend, too 
much time on foreign policy? On foreign affairs? 
Should there be more time on domestic affairs? 
Were grievances handled promptly? Were they buried? 
Do you feel the business agents are doing a good 
job? In other words, the kind of questions that 
most officials would rather not have an answer on. 

There was a full page to write out additional 
comments; to write out in longhand what they 
thought about what the union should do. The thing 
that came through most clearly to me was that no 
one was talking in terms that the union had -run its 
string, had done all it could, that its hey-day was 
over and it was time to merge with another organi 
zation headed someplace else. None of that was 'in 
there . 


Ward: Was the question put in the questionnaire? 

LG: No, but you could tell very quickly when you asked, 
"Where do you think the union ought to go?" Copies 
of the questionnaire went into The Dispatcher, plus 
summaries of the replies. There were any number of 
suggestions as to what the union ought to be doing. 

We asked the question, "Do you think the union 
is doing as well or better than other unions, or 
just as well?" Invariably, what came through was 
that there was an intense degree of loyalty to the 
union itself; that by and large the membership loved 
the union. They didn't think in the terms that 
Harry kept expressing, namely, that the union had 
run its course. 

We did something else, beginning in the sixties, 
which I thought was very constructive. We began - 
holding a series of workshops, and these were un 
usual affairs. Anybody could come to the workshop, 
practically. There was no pay for time taken off. 
In other words, a man might have worked that week 
end but went to the workshop instead. He didn't get 
paid for that. If he had to travel to the workshop, 
like Coos Bay, we'd pay his room and meals - the 
exact amount. 

So, it attracted an awful lot of people who 
really wanted to go. There were no holds barred; 
the group made up the agenda; discussed what they 
wanted and in any direction they wanted. Of course, 
it would take a little while to loosen up, but most 
of our guys are pretty vocal and they don't mind 
saying their piece. 

So, during these workshops some of these things 
began to come into focus and I guess in part they 
developed into something close to a debate between 
Harry and myself - they didn't come for a floor 
show. Obviously there were differences of opinion 
on whether or not the union had run its string. I 
recall one workshop where Harry came on sort of hard 
on this, and I said, "More and more I'm convinced 
that it's a self-fulfilling prophecy; you repeat 
something like this often enough, after a while you 
believe it. After you believe it, it has to come 
true." So, .... 


Ward: Maybe he was confusing himself with the union. 
LG-: Could be - I don't know. 

Ward: Old men come to the conclusion quite frequently 
that there isn't any point in going further. 

LG-: Yeah, I know that happens. Those workshops took 

place in Canada, Seattle; we had one in Portland, 
one in Southern Oregon, Northern California, 
Southern California. We had two very successful 
workshops in Hawaii, big ones; they resulted in 
what I thought were good exchanges of opinion. The 
same thing came through to me that the membership 
was not terribly interested in going anywhere else. 
They were far more interested in strengthening 
what they had. 

Of course, there were all the other problems 
that were climbing up our backs. You found a great 
deal of hostility against the Teamsters, particul 
arly by the longshoremen, on account of these con 
tainer beefs. As a matter of -fact, the container 
issue became a sort of a inake-or-break issue in 

Ward: That container mechanization cost a lot of jobs to 
the longshoremen? 

LG: No question about that, not talking about a 

manufacturer's load, a container that's made up at 
the plant, General Electric or RCA (Corporation), 
where they load the stuff just the way they want 
it, including all the insulation and packaging and 
safeguarding of the material. Those containers, 
obviously, you can't screw around with; they should 
go on board ship just the way they are. If it's 
a similar container going directly to a manufacturer, 
the same principle would apply. 

With the containers there sprang up all kinds of 
little container freight forwarders who were doing 
this work with almost anybody. Over in the east 
bay there were furniture workers stuffing containers; 
other places, teamsters; other places just non-union. 

Over in Hawaii, you'd be driving around and see 
a container near somebody's house. In other words, 
a guy and his kids were unloading that container 
and .making deliveries. This was the work we were 


LG-: concerned about. We felt it should have remained 
on the waterfront, because that was the same as 
making up a longshore load or taking one apart. 

Ward: They were palletizing jobs? 

LG-: Right. In some places, we did reach freight sta 
tion agreements. We had a container freight 
station agreement in Hawaii. We eventually had one 
here on the Pacific Coast; we worked on an eight 
hour day, rather than the six and two. The wage 
rates were very close to comparable. These, of 
course, had to be steady men because they had to 
know the container facility and everything else; 
but the hostility still continued. 

In some cases it becomes easier to attack some 
worker than to figure out ways and means of forcing 
the guy who really has the brass balls, namely the 
employer, to get the problem corrected. Later on 
we got a container agreement, but a good deal of 
that was invalidated by the courts; including 
taxing the container that came in and was not 
handled by our people. 

All this notwithstanding, there still was no 
feeling on the part of the guys that the ILA could 
do much good. Yes, there was general talk, 
constantly, that if there could be a single union 
or at least single bargaining of all longshoremen 
around the country that would be added bargaining 
power, but the economics and logic of the situation 
didn't quite meet the bill, leaving aside the 
question of the structure of the unions or the 
manner in which they operated, which in many respects 
were like day and night. 

Our direct relationships here, in terms of any 
one economic group, would be the Teamsters, because 
it would be the Teamsters with whom we would have 
to reach complete understanding so as to get the 
container thing straightened out on the west coast. 
The ILA couldn't do that for us. 

Anyway, the workshops were good things; I thought 
they would help clear the air on some of this stuff. 
They did and they didn't. 


Ward: Well, with. Harry going around talking about maybe 
the union was washed up, how did that sit with the 
people at the workshops? Or did they pay any 
attention to it? 

LG: They paid attention to it but they weren't buying 

it. Harry has been known to go off on some of 
these tangents; sometimes the guys figured, okay, 
it made sense; or he's just trying out an idea, 
that's all. It might have had a little bit of an 
impact, but nobody was carried away by it - no 
marching music, believe me. You didn't hear any. 

Total Polarization 

LG: In 1970, though, I don't know what the devil was 

going on. It could have been a combination of a 
number of factors. It could be that Harry had 
decided that the .time had come to dive into this 
Warehouse thing. Remember, never sell Harry short 
in his boldness or his ability or his perseverance. 
The guy had it and still does, and also a very 
quick and inventive mind. 

Ward: Well, I gather that by 1970 it had become clear, 

at least to you, that Harry was more or less anti- 

LG: I don't think it was anti-Warehouse; what had 

become clear to me was that Harry had reached a 
stage where if I were in favor of something, he was 
against it. As a matter of fact, he made that 
crack one time about Jack Hall: "If Jack Hall is 
in favor of something, I'm against it." I was 
trying to brush the thing off lightly when I said, 
"Well, look, Jack's probably in favor of sex, and 
do you have to come out in opposition to that too?" 
That levity, though, didn't get anywhere. 

Ward: You say he apparently made up his mind to do some 
thing about Warehouse in 1970. 

LG: Right. Because during the 1970 negotiations, we 

felt that the 1967 Warehouse victory should pay off 
for at least another contract or two; the employers 


LG-: realized that we could pull the ranks together. In 
other words, '67 was a sort of a test where this 
was no longer palaver; it wasn't being done by mir 
rors and it wasn't just being done by joint stew 
ards meetings. 

There's no question that those things packed an 
awful lot of weight; '67 was a test as to whether 
or not we and the Teamsters would all go out 
together and shut things down, and while we might 
have had a very brief strike in '61 for three days, 
or '64, 1967 was quite different; we really did go 
out. That head of steam was still there. And we 
had a series of proposals .... 

Ward: '70 now, you're saying? 

LG-: In 1970; none of them were really that earth- 
shaking, but they were fairly substantial proposals 
because of inflation, which was beginning again. 
True, it wasn't the easiest of times, because the 
Vietnam War was still running along and, if anything, 
intensifying. As a matter of fact, I think it was 
around 1970 that the United States invaded Cambodia. 

In the 1970 negotiations, I began to get rumbles 
back that Harry would talk to people like Leroy 
King and to others - Leroy King was our regional 
director - and complain that he was kept completely 
in the dark by me; that I never spoke to him or told 
him what was going on. 

Well, that was not true, because every few days 
I'd stop by his office and tell Harry, "Here's 
what's going on; it looks like it's going to be a 
bit rough." When we got an agreement to work day 
by day after the contract expired on June 1, I said 
that we've also got a guarantee of retroactivity. 
He said, "You mean you have a guarantee of retro- 
activity even if you strike?" "That's the way I 
read it," I replied. 

"That can't happen," Harry said. "I've been 
around long enough to know that once you're on 
strike all bets are off; they can say, 'Oh, yes, 
we did talk about giving you retroactivity, but 
now that you're on strike, forget it,' and it 
becomes another strike issue, that's all." I said, 
"But we do have retroactivity nailed down." He 
wouldn't buy that. 


LG: Then later on I find out that he's making bets; he 

made a bet with Bill Burke, one of our business 
agents, a $5 bet that we wouldn't get 85 cents, or 
something like that. . . . 

Ward: That's what you were asking? 

LG-: We were asking a buck in wages plus a series of 
fringe benefits that would run the thing up to 
about a dollar and a half. 

Ward: I think you said $1.40 once. 
LG: $1.45 - 

Ward: And Harry was betting that you wouldn't get more 
than 85 cents? 

LG: Yeah; then, he made a bet with Sid Roger. I think 

Sid made a mistake making the bet. 

Ward: He made a mistake collecting it! 

LG: That I'm sure, but the big mistake was making it. 

I finally asked Harry, "Now, look, you keep saying 
you're not being informed, you don't know what the 
score is on negotiations. I suggest we have a 
session on the thing and raise these questions with 
the commit tree." So, we called the committee in; 
that was primarily the officers. I didn't want to 
make it a public airing before the whole membership; 
if you began to bring in a lot of the stewards and 
board members, you'd go round-and-roundy. 

Ward: But you had the business agents and people like 

LG: Yeah, they were all there and perhaps a few more. 

By that time Curt McLain was president. He had 
taken over the presidency of Local 6 after Chili 
died. Harry went into a discussion - which I've 
always been somewhat in favor of - that before you 
actually head into a strike you look at all the 
alternatives. I still agree that the easiest thing 
is to call a strike, but winning it is another 
story. Well, Harry went around and around on this 
thing; what would be wrong with a settlement on 
wages for around 80 cents or say 90 cents? Back 
and forth, and back and forth. 


LG-: The committee by that time had its heels pretty 

well set. We knew that we wanted a buck in wages 
for the three-year span, and needed major improve 
ments in the pensions and health and welfare and 
a number of other items that were important to us. 

We kept emphasizing that. We said, "The package 
is going to have to be somewhere around $1.40, or 
she's going to break down." It was at that session 
where Evelyn Johnson, a black woman, business agent 
over in Oakland, finally turned to Harry and said, 
"Look, we've heard two hours of bullshit now as to 
what we should do and what we shouldn't do. What 
do you suggest?" 

The meeting ended on sort of a bad note. In 
other words, nobody felt it was a constructive dis 
cussion. Even guys who were loyal supporters of 
Harry, guys like Joe Lynch, who still is, came out 
point blank. Joe said, "I think you ought to 
understand what we're telling you, Harry; we ought 
to get a buck forty and that's what the hell is in 
the cards." 

Well, he began to turn up at some of the en 
larged meetings. We would report back constantly 
to the full negotiating committee which included 
the strike committee, the stewards, and so forth. 
Somebody asked Harry, "What are you doing here?" 
And he said, "I'm here to protect the pensioners"; 
that we weren't doing enough on pensions. 

Of course, one of our demands was to do something 
substantial on pensions. Later on when Bill Burke 
collected on the bet, Harry said, "Well, I 
accomplished what I wanted to accomplish, but just 
let it go at that." 

Ward: How much did you get? 

LG-: What did we get? $1.45. 

Ward: And Harry thought 85 cents would be enough? 

LG-: That's what he bet on. I guess he was turning the 

thing upside down, saying that if he argued this, 
then I would have to get more; one of those weird 
double-think rationales; or triple -thinks. 


LG: Obviously he was completely skeptical about it. 

He was so determined to find something wrong in the 
negotiations, to see that the leadership that was 
being exerted was not adequate. 

One meeting, held down in Burlingame fairly 
early at 9:30 in the morning, Harry turns up. He 
starts off by saying, "Well, I want to make sure 
we don't make some of the same mistakes we made in 
1967." Well, in 1967 one of the things that had 
happened was this. I was hoping that out of the 
1967 negotiations we could at least get the begin- 
mings of a drug plan, in addition to the regular 
Kaiser coverage. 

Ward: Oh, the drug plan? 

LG: Yes, prescription drugs. We had reserves in the 
Warehouse welfare fund and I never believed in 
maintaining heavy reserves. I think welfare plans 
have to be predicated on planned poverty; in other 
words, you spend the money for benefits, not sit 
there and husband that money and see how much you 
can put in the bank. Anyway, we had put in some 
money from the reserves and so had the Teamsters; 
we had set up a pilot plan, maybe not the most 
comprehensive plan, but at least the beginning. 

Well, this thing fell apart afterwards because 
the San Francisco Employers Council - which 
represented most of the houses which dealt with 
the Teamsters Union, led by Murray Parker - decided 
to try an end run, one perhaps that could be a 
fatal blow to the whole Warehouse program. On 
their own they initiated a -irug plan, but just for 
the Teamster warehousemen. 

I knew better than to double back and ask the 
Distributors for it; for one thing, you don't ask 
favors, and secondly, I knew what their attitude 
would be. I don't think they were any more 
enthusiastic about the joint negotiations than the 
Employers Council. There was a lot of discussion 
among the warehousemen; they felt this was a double- 
cross and why in tie hell didn't the Teamsters 
stick by their agreement? 

This was what Harry was referring to. Well, 
George Mock was sitting next to me and I was coming 
to a steam because I knew damn well that we had 


LG: nothing to do with. that. George Mock suddenly 

turned to Harry and said, "Now look, Harry, I know 
what happened; the I1WU wasn't responsible for that, 
We were, we did it. We made that mistake." 

Inasmuch as Harry had started on that issue and 
it fell flat on its face, he had nowhere else to 
go, so he went back and talked to Einar Mohn. Then 
later he said, "Well, I talked to Einar Mohn and he 
said that things are under good control; that's 
fine." But when he came back in the meeting again, 
he must have been up all night thinking about this, 
because he fell sound asleep at the conference 
table. The employers weren't there, just the 
union. But that was his last appearance at the 
Warehouse negotiations. 

We finally got a fairly good agreement. We got 
the retroactivity which we had been promised, but 
then a few weeks later some odd things happened. 
Harry apparently called J. Hart Clinton, the head 
of the employers; Harry didn't take my word for it. 
I told him, "Here's what the package is; this is 
how much we got in wages, forty, thirty and thirty 
which made a buck; and here's how much money we got 
for pensions, here's for health and welfare, and 
so forth. We picked up an extra holiday with pay 
and also firmed up the day after Thanksgiving as a 
holiday. Yes, and some other improvements, like 
the shift differential." 

In most of our negotiations we don't play too 
much with figures; that's the employers' game be 
cause they have different techniques on how to 
measure a wage increase. For example, the employ 
ers will measure a wage increase by saying, okay, 
we work such a percentage of overtime; grant you 
a dime in wages across the board which is really 
15 cents in overtime; maybe 20 percent of the work 
day is overtime and you have to weigh out the whole 
thing to get the figure. Also, obviously, there 
are certain automatic cost-related questions that 
go with wages. 

In other words, your wages go up 20 cents an 
hour, your vacation pay is up by 20 cents an hour, 
your sick leave pay is up by 20 cents an hour, 
and so forth. Some employers literally force 


LG: negotiations into that pattern, "but we never have. 

In Warehouse we just stuck with the straight 
"business that you can stop talking about overtime 
because as far as we're concerned, we don't work 
an hour of overtime. There's nothing in the 
contract that says they have to give us overtime. 
As a matter of fact, we would prefer it if they 
didn't, so we would just brush off those arguments. 

But Harry called J. Hart Clinton and said, "How 
do you figure this package measures out?" I guess 
this was part of his paying off his bets. Clinton 
told him about the same thing I had told him - 
$1.45 or thereabouts. I thought that would end it, 
but Harry's not satisfied with that, so he calls 
Pres Lancaster. Pres Lancaster was a statistician 
and research man for the Pacific Maritime Associa 

He was a very straight guy, a technician - did 
his work and did it honestly. As a matter of fact, 
I think that he and Line Fairley developed a great 
deal of respect for each other: Line had to work 
with him and Line felt that he was trustworthy in 
his figures. But in the case of the PMA, in 
computing the cost of anything they used this system 
of roll-up. 

Ward: That was because it was in the contract - 6 and 2? 

LG: Yes - 6 and 2 automatically put it in the contract. 

You had a six hour day with two hours overtime and 
you were guaranteed eight hours. When you were 
called in to work you were guaranteed two hours 
overtime unless there was no work, in which case you 
got paid eight hours straight time. That had been 
written in the contract earlier. 

Ward: It was logical to figure it out that way under 

that contract, but not under the Warehouse system? 

LG: Oh, I don't know whether it was or wasn't. They 

computed in everything, not just the two hours 
overtime. They computed in the amount of work on 
Saturdays and Sundays, for example, because a large 
percentage of longshore work could be night work; 
that's all overtime work. Consequently they use 
this roll-up, as they call it. People call it 


LG: "the creep"; there are all kinds of names for the 

technique where the employers balloon up their 
cost. Pres Lancaster said they had done some 
computations - they keep track, of course - and he 
figured that the cost of our Warehouse settlement 
was about $1.65, so Harry wasn't picking up any 
satisfaction in those directions. The thing that 
became clear in the 1970 negotiations was that in 
sofar as trying to sit down and hammer out a 
constructive program and consider how you bring 
the whole union and the maximum amount of strength 
into play to pick up the best possible gains, that 
was becoming more and more difficult, because Harry 
just didn't think that way. 

Then there was a very bad blow we suffered right 
in the middle of those negotiations - it was 
terrible. George Valter, secretary of Local 6, died 
in June, 1970. So, here was Chili gone, and George, 
two real stalwarts. As a matter of fact, we began 
to lose a lot of people during the sixties: Bulcke 
retired, Henry Schmidt retired, Dick Lynden died, 
so the casualties were beginning to tell. 

I guess the union was getting older. Anyway, 
that was a bad blow. The only thing we did that 
could best commemorate George was, to add another 
demand on pensions. You see, we didn't have the 
regular widow's pension, but we threw a demand in 
there that if a man died between the ages of 60 and 
65 and had put in his years of service, his widow 
would get half of his pension. It's still called 
the George Valter pension. 

It's not a great deal in exchange for a loss 
like that, but at least it was something for George. 
The only humorous thing there was that we had one 
B.A. who was not the brightest guy in the world; 
a good, honest guy, but he didn't know the 
difference between just sitting still or passing 
a note and speaking; when we finally had just about 
hammered this thing home, he turns to me and says 
in a voice that could be heard clear across the 
table by the employers, "Now, this will cover 
George Valter, won't it?" It's not that we were 
trying to be that devious, but I think the employ 
ers themselves understood what we were shooting 


The Hawaii Hotel Negotiations 

LG: Shortly after that Jack Hall died; the day after 

New Years in 1971. Prior to that I had to go down 
to Hawaii, and again that was an odd scene and I 
couldn't help but feel that Harry was going his own 
way; I had become persona non grata, for what reason 
I don't know. But there had been a hotel strike 
going on there for a long, long time. 

ard: Rutledge's "business, wasn't it? 

LG: No; it was a hotel strike "by the HWU. We had some 

two or three thousand people out; all the hotels 
we'd organized on the outside islands, like the 
"big Mauna Kea hotel, Kaanapali hotel, a number of 
them. We had this hotel strike on and Eddie Tangen, 
who had been working with Jack, was pretty much in 
charge of the strike. 

The strike was tight and solid, people were very 
loyal. Even the tour drivers, many of whom belonged 
to us, wouldn't drive up in front of the hotels. 
There was a bus coming from the airport with a load 
of tourists, like at the Kaanapali; they'd drive 
them to the public road and that meant these people 
would have to take their bags and walk all the way 
across the golf course to get to the hotel. 

Well, by and large, the strike was fairly 
successful. We were having a meeting in British 
Columbia, as I recall; there was snow on the ground 
when that meeting broke up. One of the things that 
worried us was that if the struck hotels managed 
to sit out the Christmas season, which is usually 
very profitable in Hawaii - in those days there 
was still a good deal of seasonality; a very high 
season around Christmas time, and another high 
season around the summer months, with a lapse after 
Christmas - they could take the strike for another 
couple of months. 

That concerned us and we had a good deal of 
discussion about that in Vancouver. Finally, it 
was agreed that Jack (Hall) would call Jack Burns. 


Ward: Burns was then governor? 

LG-: Burns was governor then, yes; to tell Burns that 
the union had made a decision. We were not going 
to sit by and let the hotels starve those people 
over the holiday season; if necessary, we would 
find ways and means of spreading the strike where 
it could do some good, because after all a number 
of the Big Five were also mixed up in the hotels. 

C. Brewer had a couple of hotels - Volcano House 
and one other; American Factors was up to its ears 
in the big Kaanapali development, near Lahaina. We 
figured that if necessary we'd go down and talk to 
the sugar workers. We had been building up to 
that; we were getting a lot of them to appear on 
the picket lines when they had time off, which -was 
a good solidarity action; it could also be pre 
liminary to spreading the shutdown. These were our 
friends, and the governor wanted to know if Jack 
would be down there. 

Jack didn't feel up to traveling. I think it 
was during the Vancouver meeting where he said one 
of the things he had to do as director of organi 
zation was to take a look-see at Alaska and the 
organization work done there. Harry was making 
remarks that going up to Alaska in the winter time 
was a junket. And Jack knew that he was getting 
very sick, and made some remark, "Maybe it will be 
just a one-way trip." 

Jack suggested that I go to Hawaii and give the 
hotel guys a hand. I went down there, and I didn't 
spend much time talking to the employers the first 
few days. I just talked to our own committee, 
sorting out the issues. 

What was evident was that the biggest stickler 
in the negotiations was that the employers wanted 
a master contract, which was fine. They didn't 
want one hotel played off against the other. They 
were prepared to give some money in wages, but 
they wanted everything evened out. That meant that 
in the case of hotels where we had provisions bet 
ter than other hotels, the latter workers would 
have surrendered some things. In the case of the 
Mauna Zea Hotel, we had a fairly good sick leave 


LG-: clause and a better vacation clause. The employers' 

demand would mean that these people would lose 
certain fringe benefits in exchange for a master 

Well, after getting all that dope together, I 
then deliberately wandered around town dropping 
hints. People were asking me, "What the hell are 
you doing down here." I said, "Figuring out ways 
and means of shutting down as much as we can around 
the Islands. We're not going to let them starve 
out these people in the hotels; they're a loyal 
bunch. If this thing isn't settled soon, all kinds 
of things are going to happen; at least all kinds 
of things that we can help make happen." 

Then I spent a lot of time talking to McElrath, 
who had taken Jack's place as regional director. 
McElrath knew about the issues in the strike, 
although he wasn't playing that much of a role; 
Eddie Tangen was handling it. 

Finally I came up with an answer that I thought 
would make sense. I said, "Look, I know exactly 
where you are frozen. You're frozen on this busi 
ness that you're not going to give up anything, 
and we're right on that one. On the other hand, 
the employers are equally convinced that we're 
determined to smash their organization, and I think 
to some degree there is truth in that." 

In other words, they felt that some of the hotels 
would crack, and an unravelling process would start 
among the employers. I said that issue had to be 
dropped completely; any idea of seeing whether we 
could make the employers fall apart has to go out 
the window. "We've got to give the employers 
assurances that they have just as much right to 
have a union as we have." With that behind us, I 
thought there was a formula which I could work out 
that would handle this problem. 

Well, we finallv met with the employers; it was 
an odd scene because on the one hand, there was 
Bob G-runsky, who was head of the Employers Council 
and supposedly the spokesman. I gather the employ 
ers weren't completely happy because they had also 
brought Phil Maxwell, who had formerly been head of 


LG-: the Employers Council, out of retirement to help 

in the negotiations. Phil, obviously, was thorough 
ly irritated with Grunsky. G-runsky had a very 
difficult habit; it was pretty common for him, when 
he got excited in the course of negotiations, to 
get up and pace "back and forth behind the employers' 
table. It finally got to the point where we'd say, 
"Why don't you sit down for a while so that we can 
talk to you?" And one of the things he couldn't 
stand was any levity in negotiations; no sense of 

Anyway, I laid out our position. I said, "I 
want to put one thing to rest right now; we are 
not a damn bit interested and will be no part of 
any program - and it's my job to see to it - 
which has the intent or design to break up the 
Employers Association. You're entitled to it and 
this is not part of our objectives. We're going 
to stick with the issues. Neither are we going to 
surrender any of the things we presently have in 
the interests of common bargaining." I said we 
would work out something that could resolve both 
problems. Well, G-runsky for some reason or other . , 


LG-: He was so cranked up that he couldn't hear and I 

said, "There will be a solution here and it can be 
worked out if you can just be patient and give us a 
chance to spell the thing out." 

Well, the guy I had been watching closely during 
the negotiations was the man representing the 
Mauna Kea hotel, the big hotel, the Rockefeller 
hotel. He obviously was very interested the moment 
I mentioned that there was no attempt on our part 
to rip their association, and that there was a 
solution in sight. But Grunsky obviously was on 
this tear. 

Maxwell was trying to interrupt the meeting; 
Phil Maxwell, from the employers side. Finally, I 
said, "You know, Grunsky, you remind me of something 
that an old friend of mine said; he had come from 
the northwest and he said, 'You know, I don't like 
that man and I'm going to straighten out my accounts 
with him; I'm going to do it by the code of the 
west - shoot him right in the back. ' " 


LG: Then I said, "Why don't you guys just think about 

what 'I said and we'll meet with 'you this after 
noon," I "broke off the meeting. 

Then, I sat down with the committee and said, 
"Look, I'm not going to advance any proposals until 
I've cleared it with the committee and I want to 
find out exactly how you feel about it. How many 
issues do you have left?" They had 32 issues left. 
I said, "The strike has been going on this long - 
you've been having meetings and you haven't 
squared away anything?" No, they never could get 
to the main issues because all they did was just 
concentrate on this one thing, nobody was going to 
take anything away from them. That's an easy 
rallying point, but it also means that you can get 
your feet stuck in concrete and can't pull them 

I said, "Why don't we do this? We'll take these 
hotels and we'll have two agreements. One will be 
a three-year agreement, which will cover the things 
that are common to all the hotels, like the wages 
we're asking for. V/e'll straighten out these other 
demands, and you'll have to get through them in a 

"Then we'll have a five year contract on those 
three or four items which are superior in some 
hotels to the others. The other hotels have to 
catch up to those within a span of five years, so 
we will have a two-fold agreement: one for 3 years 
and one for five. No one loses anything and the 
others pick all those things up in that span of 
time, either by progression over the full five 
years, or in the last two years." Everybody said 
that was fine. 

So we got back there that afternoon and somebody- 
had cooled Grunsky; Maxwell started doing the talk 
ing. I think someone had said, "Let Phil talk." 
He and I at least always had a talking relationship 
where there wasn't all of this shouting, or this 
marching back and forth.' 

He said, "Okay, what do you have in mind?" I 
said, "Here's now simple it is; we recognize your 
association, and there will be no attempt whatso 
ever to break it. The bigger you can make it, all 


LG: the hotels you can encompass, the better we'll like 

it. Of course we'd 'like it a lot better if they're 
all in the ILWU, but we realize those are not the 
facts of life." 

The hotels in Honolulu proper were mostly under 
Rutledge, and they later tried to encompass the 
whole thing into a single association, but Rutledge 
managed to break it up because he had some sideline 
deals with either the Sheraton or the Hilton. 

I said, "Secondly, we are not going to let you 
carry the strike through the holiday season and 
then just starve the people out. We'll do whatever 
we can to spread the thing and bring up additional 
support. Lastly, there's a formula here to settle 
the whole thing, although you will still have to 
bargain out the minor items; and I spelled out the 
combination of the three and five years." Well, 
it was no great big stroke of genius, but it met 
that situation right on the nose. 

The result was that by 3 or 4 o'clock in the 
afternoon, we had basic agreement on the principles, 
and I said, "Okay, I'm getting the hell out of 
here; I don't know enough about some of these 
individual grievances, but I suggest that you start 
working your way through as fast as possible." Of 
course, once the main things fell in line, then all 
the employers .... 

Ward: It's like a log jam - once the key log is .... 

LG: Right! Then all the employers began to fall all 
over themselves to get the thing finished. The 
thing worked out just fine. 

Well, one morning while these negotiations were 
going on I was going for breakfast at the Ala 
Moana Hotel and Harry was sitting there; I didn't 
know he was in town; he didn't ask me to sit down. 
I sat down and had breakfast by myself, but I was 
a bit taken aback. 

I thought, what the devil is he doing here? And 
how come he didn't call me? I couldn't quite make 
out what it was all about. For one thing, Harry 
didn't have any use for Eddie Tangen and it could 
very well have been that he was there to do a 


LG: salvage job on a situation that Eddie Tangen had 

blown apart. But it didn't work out that way. As 
a matter of fact, a day or so later, they had 
ironed out the other issues. I was at the union 
building, either dictating some notes or some 
letters or having a talk with some people. When 
I went back, everything was settled; they had just 
signed, and they were all sitting around having a 
drink in the second floor patio with everybody 
feeling a lot better about the whole thing. 

Then for the first time Harry talked to me and 
said, "Gee, these employers tell me you've got the 
best goddamned contract in the country now. That 
was a good job." Mind you, this when it is all 
over with. Not at any time, coming along and say 
ing "Okay, where does the thing stand, what ideas 
have you worked out? Is it moving? Can it be 

The end of that little chapter was that the word 
he was taking as to the agreement was the employers! 
Thev were the ones who told him it was a good 
agreement, (laughter) 

These were some of the things that were happen 
ing. And I guess that's enough for the 1960s, and 
actually the beginning of 1972, because 1970 was 
the warehouse thing. Then I doubled back to the 
hotel thing which was in 1969. That just about 
takes care of that. 



Bridges Snubs The Alliance For Labor Action 

Ward: Very good. All right, what next? Do you want to 
talk about the 1971 Longshore strike? Or is that 
important? In '71 the mechanization contract ended 
again, didn't it? 

LG: Yes. 

Ward: And there was a lot of dissatisfaction with the 

LG: Yes, I think that early in those negotiations it 
became pretty apparent that nobody could stop the 
strike. Things were blowing up; by that time 
Harry's feelings toward me were amply apparent. 

Ward: He had reached the point that whatever you said, he 
said the opposite. 

LG: Oh, in '71 he knew perfectly well how I felt about 
the ILA. He never discussed it with me or the 
other officers, as far as I know. About inviting 
the ILA guys, he just invited them. I don't know 
why. Well, in Hawaii somebody came over to me and 
said, - I don't remember who it was - "You're not 
going to lead a walkout, are you?" This was when 
the ILA guys got up to talk. Harry got the idea, 
or somebody did. I wasn't going to lead any 
cheering section; that was definite; nor was I 
going to lead a walkout. 

Ward: You were getting your orders from "Pete King" that 


LG: That's right; I was getting my orders from "Pete 
Zing." Then, of course, the move he made to have 
compulsory retirement by age 63, would have left me 
with one term in office. 

Ward: Oh, yes - that was at that convention too. You said 
something about negotiations in Hawaii in '73 and '74 
where Harry was troublesome. 

LG: Yes, that goes over to '74 and .... 

ard: Is there anything in between '72 and '74 that you 
want to discuss? 

LG: Well, there were a number of developments. Inciden 
tally, one of the speakers at the '69 convention 
was Pitzsimmons. As a matter of fact, he appeared 
primarily at Harry's urging. During that time, the 
ALA was also beginning to function. 

Ward: That's the .... 

LG: Alliance for Labor Action, which was started by 
Reuther and Pitzsimmons. I recall talking to a 
number of UAW guys like Jack Conway and Paul Schrade, 
who were curious about how our Northern California 
Warehouse alliance was operating. I gave them as 
much detail as I could and I said that when you 
dealt with the Teamsters it was a different kind of 
a league. 

Most unions are different. They're not all the 
same; the personalities are different, the struc 
tures are different, the lines of authority vary; 
all these things have their own character. I felt 
that getting together with the ALA would be a good 
thing for us. Pitzsimmons met with our Executive 
Board; we had a special meeting with him and he 
invited us into the ALA. 

Harry said that we would take it under considera 
tion, but he had no use for it. Why, I'm not sure. 
He distrusted Reuther - oh, not without good 
grounds. Reuther had a rather distinctive career 
of his own, you know. He'd make these annual 
pilgrimages v/here he spoke to all the Social 
Democrats in England, Germanv .... Anyway, any 
tie-up with the ALA didn't materialize. 


Ward: Oh, yes, Reuther was the great socialist who once 
went to ' the Soviet Union - he and Victor, his 
"brother. Didn't they work in some factory there? 

LG: That's right. 

As a matter of fact, a newspaper reporter in the 
Soviet Union -Ynri Kutnetsov accompanied our group 
that went to the Soviet Union in 1959. I did a long 
series of articles on our trip, both the visit to 
Czechoslovakia and the visit to the Soviet Union . . 

Ward: For The Dispatcher? 

LG: For The Dispatcher, yes. I guess it was the first 
attempt at a comprehensive study of the Russian 
trade unions. I was quite impressed with most of 
the guys I met. The Russians are good people. I 
have a lot of "beefs with their foreign policy, like 
Czechoslovakia, "but the Russians as a people are 
warm, hardworking and the system operates. Yuri 
Euznetsov was the reporter who accompanied us on 
the whole trip. I remember picking up an issue of 
Trud, the newspaper, and it had a full page on our 
delegation and some places we had visited, some 
child care centers, and I asked him to translate 
parts of it for me. And I said, "Gee, I never said 
that." He said, "I know you didn't, but I had to 
fill up the page and I knew you wouldn't mind." 
(laughter) So, I guess like everybody else, they 
have to make their mark; a reporter is a reporter. 

But it was he who told me - "You remember that 
story about Reuther getting married in the Soviet 
Union, and it had never been reported, and neither 
did he ever get a divorce?" I said, "Yes, I saw 
that in an American paper." He said, "I'm the one 
who dug it up. How much of an impression did it 
make?" I said, "None; those things don't carry 
as much weight with the American worker as you 
might think; it isn't any big thing, you see." 
But apparently, Yuri was the guy who had dug up 
that story. 

Ward: It was a scandal? 

LG: Yes - to him it was scandal. A lot of our overseas 
guys get married, sometimes for one night. 


LG: In 1971 the high point was the convention that 

year and the expiration of the Longshore contract. 
The Longshore thing was shaping up into a strike, 
no matter what happened. I think it was a com 
bination of a number of things - one, the 
mechanization program travelled too fast and made 
too many changes, without adequate protection. 
The men saw jobs evaporate, and nothing coming in 
its place. 

In the case of San Francisco work had still 
been good because this was still part of the 
Vietnam War movement; a number of "B" men had been 
added. Actually, it turned out that far more were 
added than were really necessary. This really 
became a headache, because work opportunities 
dropped off pretty fast, primarily in San Francisco, 

Then in the T 66 negotiations, part of the 
monies were divided, you know. The first mechan 
ization agreement in effect allowed for something 
like five million dollars a year, two million 
dollars of which was earmarked for a pay guarantee 
program. The balance went into this pension 

The idea of shrinking the work force was very 
good. The money had not been used by 1966 and 
the result was that the caucus voted to just 
divide it up and pay it out to the "A" men, so 
that all the "A" men got something, around $1300 

The '66 contract finally did establish a new 
mechanization fund and also the institution of 
the pay guarantee plan: 36 hours for "A" men, a 
lesser amount for "B" men; now 36 hours for "A", 
24 hours for "B" , which can go to 30 hours. This, 
however, resulted in certain availability rules. 
These things created major changes in how the 
locals would have to function, part of it being 
the attachment of the worker to the job. 

In other words, there was the question of 
steady men. The men who work casual also had to 
report five days a week in order to be eligible 
for the pay guarantee. In addition, the pay 
guarantee was supplemental to unemployment 


LG: insurance, this to be worked out the way unemploy 

ment insurance operates, with a one week waiting 
period; then you're eligible for unemployment 

It became a combination with some of the men 
never liking the idea at all. You still had a 
great many guys who said, "Look, I'm not down here 
to collect guarantees or unemployment insurance; 
I'm here to work." A good deal of independence, 
a general feeling that they didn't want to be 

Now, in retrospect, you can say, "Well, could 
anything else have been done?" Maybe it could 
have been done much more slowly, with more safety 
valves, more protective forms; but whether the 
container itself could have been stopped indefinite 
ly, that I don't believe, any more than the 
Luddites were successful in smashing the machines. 

Ward: What was Harry's position on the strike? Did he 
support it? 

LG: Oh, yes, he supported it. You might recall that 
Nixon came along with his pay board late in 1971, 
when the strike had been on several months. There 
had been some offers around from the employers. 
George Martin had taken Jack Hall's place by then, 
having been elected at the 1971 convention. 
George and I both felt, no great harm in going 
back in negotiations and perhaps nailing things 
down before the pay board became effective, but 
Harry was determined that there be no such thing. 

When we suggested meeting with the employers, 
he said, "Go ahead and meet, but it's without me." 
When the pay board came along, Harry took a 
strong position; he said no governmental body was 
going to tell the membership what the hell it 
should or should not do. It was up to the 
membership; they would vote as to how they felt. 
Then, about that time the government got an 
injunction against both the ILA and the ILWU. 


In early 1972 Congress passed a piece of 
legislation which empowered the President to 
order workers in marine transportation back to 


LG-: As a matter of fact, Nixon was so anxious to sign 

it that he did it while he was over in China. 
But during this period, some people feel that 
Harry in effect had decided "Okay, you guys didn't 
like the mechanization agreement; or you felt it 
was too long; or you didn't get enough of this, 
that and the other thing; and you insisted on 
striking. You're going to get a strike you'll 
never forget." 

Ward: Did he tell them that? 

LG: No. The Dispatcher is a house organ and you don't 

report a suspicion of that sort; it has no place 
in the paper. You're there to try to win things. 
The strike finally ran its course, I forget how 
long it was. 

Ward: What was the main issue? 

LG: The main issue was wages, pensions, container 

jurisdiction - some of which was cleared up but 
which was later nullified by the courts - the 
pay guarantee plan, a combination of all these 

It was in January of 1972 that the entire 
negotiating committee, 18 of us altogether, flew 
back to New York City; That's when we met with 
Gleason. Harry had a column in The Dispatcher 
in which he advocated re-affiliation and when he 
went back there, he repeated the same thing: "As 
far as I am concerned, I came back here to get 
help and work out affiliation as well." So, he 
was pretty well out in the open about the whole 
thing. Well, Harry never had a chance to get 
these things done because .... 


(interview 37: 8 December, 1978) 

Bridges Renews Affiliation Plea 

LG-: Even prior to the committee going back there to 

meet with the ILA, Harry had been writing a number 
of columns and I recall his making a report to 
our International Executive Board. 

Ward: That was his column "On The Beam", wasn't it? 

LG: Tes, and also in his report to the Executive Board 
Board the question of merger with the ILA or the 
Teamsters was raised by him. It was during the 
course of preparations for the longshore negotia 
tions, or perhaps the strike was already under 
way. The Executive Board's position was that they 
accepted Harry's report unanimously except for the 
question of any merger or affiliation. That was 
to be taken up as a separate matter. 

Later, when the strike was on, his "On The Beam" 
column would be a full second page of The Dispatcher 
because a lot of it was devoted to the strike and 
strike strategy; a good way of keeping the member 
ship informed as to where we were going and how we 
were trying to get there. In that column he was 
pretty sharp about anybody who was critical of the 
idea of merger, critical of these people who 
attacked the ILA or George Meany, and so forth. 

If you look back at his earlier columns in 
The Dispatcher. I doubt v/hether any kind of 
invective in describing the functioning of the 
ILA had ever been omitted. But in '71 - '72, the 
point he kept driving home was that somehow a 
merger with the ILA would resolve the container 

The problem of jurisdiction was big; the total 
work impact of the advent of the container took 
on enormous proportions. The only areas where 
there was no change might have been the handling 
of logs in the Northwest; those log shipments had 


LG-: to be handled pretty much, in the traditional 
fashion, although there were a number of 
improvements on that score, too. 

When it came to general cargo movements, it 
reached the stage where every major shipping 
company had moved over to containers. Where 
some of the foreign lines might have lagged a 
bit, eventually they, too, moved whole hog into 
this area. 

I suppose in part the fault lay with ourselves, 
that even with the initial mechanization agree 
ments these things were not nailed down without 
any escape patterns. A distinction could have 
been made, and eventually was made, between a 
shipper's load and the container freight stations. 

The container freight stations didn't own any 
containers. The guy who ran that operation,' all 
he had was just a shed, a couple of employees and 
a bookkeeper; and, I suppose, somebody out hustling 
freight. He would be concentrating on those 
shippers who couldn't use an entire container; 
because more and more the containers moved to the 
40-foot size and carried a substantial amount of 
cargo. Then he would have these dribs and drabs 
of cargo brought into container freight stations, 
and that's where the load was made up. 

Finally we did get an agreement with the 
employers on a container freight station contract. 
The employers were to set up container freight 
stations where our guys would do the work, the 
basic thrust of our argument being that the ship 
owner who owned "the container also had control of 
the container. 

If a shipper decided to send less than a 
container lot, he could drop it at pier so-and-so 
where there's a container freight shed. He would 
get a receipt stating what container it's going 
to go on, the same way you would deliver other 
cargo for shipment. However, much of this con 
tainer freight station work had already become 
entrenched in the Teamsters or other unions. I'm 
convinced the employers were heavily in collusion 
with some trucking companies. 


Ward: A lower wage scale was involved, wasn't it? 

LG: The wage scale was not that much different. I'd 

say the single biggest difference would be the 
speed at which the men would work. You wouldn't 
get any of our longshoremen working at the tempo 
the employers were able to get ou-t of some of the 
other unions, or some of the non-union operations. 

And of course they had a money interest be 
cause they could maintain the container freight 
stations, as well as the haulage and everything 
that goes with it. There were a good many court 
cases, including court cases against a tax on 
containers that had not been made up by the II WU 
within a 50-mile radius of the dock. 

Ward: That was thrown out by the courts? 

LG: As I recall that was successfully challenged by 
some of the employers, and was heaved out. 

Anyway, for some reason Harry thought that the 
thing could be solved in conjunction with the ILA. 
The strike on the west coast in '71 began July 1, 
the day the agreement ran out. We were still on 
strike at the end of September, at which point 
the ILA walked out on strike. 

Nixon then moved toward a Taft Hartley injunc 
tion. So we were under the injunction and forced 
to go back to work some time in the first or 
second week of October. The injunction was for the 
usual 80-day cooling off period and that would go 
through October, November, part of December, end 
ing with a vote on the employers' so-called last 
offer. Well, that last offer was made and there 
was no change from what they had proposed across 
the table; it was voted down by a very substantial 

Ward: This time the guys voted? 

LG: Yes, it wasn't like 1948 when they boycotted the 

thing. The vote was somewhere in the neighborhood 
of 93 per cent to reject. The strike on the west 
coast resumed again in January, but even before it 
resumed we went back to meet with the ILA. 


LG-: Even though there had been some joint press 

conferences by Gleason and Harry where they 
announced a willingness to go along with a common 
expiration date, a common container program, and 
so forth, this turned out to be all verbiage as 
far as the HA was concerned. 

We weren't even hammering on the question of a 
common expiration date. We merely asked that if 
we sent pickets back there, they would shut down 
the Sea.T-Land operations. Sea-Land was one of the 
big container movers on the west coast; there 
could be the logical -position taken by the union, 
notwithstanding Taft-Hartley and secondary boycott 
provisions, that this was a primary strike against 
the same employer, and we could at least try to 
nail down Sea-Land with the kind of container 
agreement the ILA had, including the container 

G-leason's attitude was, "That's not our position 
back here; we follow the policy of one down - all 
down. We shut down one company, we shut down the 
whole port." He modified it to say, "Well, if 
you send a picket back, we'll shut it down, but 
it won't do you any good; it will be enjoined and 
it will just be a grandstand play." 

In substance they made it mighty clear that 
there was not going to be any help forthcoming. 
As a matter of fact, when G-leason was upstairs 
meeting with the shipowners on his own contract - 
and they did reach agreement during the period we 
were back there - some of our guys said, "Okay, 
more power to them, if our presence helps them 
get a contract, great; but at least they ought to 
acknowledge it." Which they didn't. 

During the period when G-leason wouldn't be 
there, he had with us several of their business 
agents, particularly from the New Jersey side 
where a lot of the containers are handled. These 
men carried the ball and made it as plain as day 
that if we had any idea of pulling down those 
installations in support of the ILWU, the answer 
was "No." 

All we wound up with was a lecture from 
G-leason to Harry on how to negotiate. So that 
I'd say when we left there, to all intents and 


LG: purposes the tries for cooperation and re-affiliation 
really produced nothing. The most you can say was 
that on a couple of occasions there was some joint 
activity in Washington D. C. on improvements in 
the Longshore and Harbor Workers Act. 

Another Try At The Teamsters 

LG: It was shortly thereafter that Harry initiated 
some correspondence with Fitzsimmons on the 
question of merger. Fitzsimmons replied that - 
it was a sort of "bifurcated thing - if there was 
any action on our part to try to get the container 
work, he didn't think it would succeed. 

On the other hand, he offered an affiliation 
where the longshoremen would have a separate 
division of the Teamsters union and would be able 
to define their own jurisdiction. This obviously 
would include the right to define the container 
jurisdiction, which was Harry's main concern. 
Well, there was a good deal of work put in on the 
thing. Charlie Velson, who was assistant at the 
'time to the officers, spent a great deal of time 
drafting different documents; nothing came of it; 
eventually the thing just sort of faded out. 

Ward: Yes - 

LG: And the workshops and the questionnaire we put 

out both indicated very strongly that the member 
ship was not thinking in those directions at all. 

Ward: Could we say that we end the discussion of 
affiliation with anybody at this point? 

LG: Yes, I think we might as well. 






The Full-Page Ad 

LG: I might have gotten a couple of dates mixed up; 
that Hawaii hotel strike was in October, 1970, 
and the warehouse negotiations we talked about 
were in mid-1970. The hotel strike was settled 
in January, 1971. 

Ward: In 1970 you reacted to the President's Cambodia . . 

LG: Yes, when Nixon started to win the war by invading 
Cambodia. I forget what the excuse was at the 
time. Remember, all during those years, regard 
less of expulsions, jurisdictional beefs; 
regardless of whether we were in the APofL or out 
of it, or the CIO, we managed to maintain close 
relationship with the rest of the labor movement, 
whether it be the Printers or what have you. And 
what we did in -this case is draft this ad .... 
(showing a full-page newspaper advertisement). 

ard: This was an ad blasting Nixon for the invasion of 

LG: v Yes; in contacting individual officials, the people 
in the ad had to be individuals who had some 
official post in a union, such as executive board 
member, president of a local, secretary of a 
local and so forth. You see the list of names; 
451 names at ten bucks apiece. When you look over 
this thing, it is like a roster of trade union 
officials in the bay area. The response was 


Ward: This is a full page ad in the Chronicle? 
LG: Yes; the response to the ad was all good. 
Ward: How did this show itself? 

LG: I'd say it stepped up the whole campaign of 

putting pressure on Nixon to get out of the war. 
Petition drives were started in various locals. 
There was signing of petitions to the President 
"by individual members. In other words, it got 
past the resolution stage. 

Ward: This was coincidental with the student unrest, 
too, wasn't it? 

LG: Yes, no question about that. I forget the exact 

time of the teach-ins and .... 

Ward: Kent State? 

LG: That's right. When did the Kent . . . .? 

Ward: Kent was May 4th - right in there. When was the 
date of this ad? 

LG: Monday, May 18th was the date of the ad. And, 

I'd say it was by far the most effective thing 
done nationally by the labor movement. Sure, the 
position of the AFofL-CIO hadn't changed any. 
Meany's position was still the same. Incident 
ally, some things happened; you might recall the 
incident when some hardhats beat the hell out of 
some kids in New York. 

Ward: Yes, and led by the guy who later became Nixon's 
Secretary of Labor. 

LG: I think so, yes; the guy who was president of 
the N. Y. City and N. Y. State Building and 
Construction Trades Council, Peter Brennan. 

Ward : That ' s the one . 

LG: And some of the characters from the ILA took part 
in that attack on the kids. Here, in complete 
contrast, you had an ad of this sort signed by 
450 trade unionists in the Bay Area. 


Ward: All right - you say the reaction was good, in 

fact I think you said, "amazing". What did the 
people do after they read the ad, that you know 

L&: A good example, I think, was in Local 6 where 

they led letter writing campaigns right out of the 
warehouses, signed petitions and forwarded them 
to Nixon and their Congressmen. Congressmen from 
this area - and Senators - "began to see things. 
This ad was mailed to every one of them so they 
wouldn't miss it. As a matter of fact it was 
entered in the Congressional Record, I think "by 
(Senator Alan) Cranston; either he or (Congressman) 
Philip Burton; or maybe they "both did. 

Ward: Was Cranston a Senator that long ago? It certain 
ly wasn't his predecessor. 

LG: No, of course not. (laughter) But I remember the 
thing being entered in the Congressional Record, 
so that at least it was offsetting some of this 
other stuff. It was offsetting this intransigeant 
position of Meany in the APL-CIO Executive Council; 
his success in silencing most of the members of 
his Executive Council. And I'd say it was the 
single thing done by the trade union movement that 
packed weight with these Congressmen. 

Ward: Whose thought was that for the ad? Who dreamed it 
up in the beginning? 

LG: It was my idea. 

Ward: I thought so. What was Harry's attitude? 

LG: Harry went along with the idea, yes. As a matter 
of fact, I got a lot of these people to move on 
the ad over the telephone. I took it down to 
Einar Mohn because I wanted the Teamsters on 
there and I knew that if Einar Mohn approved it, 
automatically you would get a lot of the Teamsters 
to sign. He was a little bit concerned about the 
wording; he thought maybe it was too sharp, so I 
told him, "Well, I don't think we can go back and 
change it, we have so many people who've okayed it 
already. And if we start doing redrafts, we'll 
be at it forever and never get a complete consensus 
on every word." He said, "I can see you're right - 
it's okay." 


LG: And he did succeed in getting a lot of people. A 
number of Teamsters were on there; these were men 
who, when their names were read back east, there 
must have been all kinds of funny reactions, 
(laughter) What the devil is going on?! 

Ward: This is interesting, particularly because there 
wasn't any redbaiting coming out of this. 

LG: A lot of this redbaiting crap kept going on all 
through the sixties and even into the seventies. 

Ward: Well, it was getting a little bit old by this 
time, wasn't it? 

LG: Yes, but, for example, there had been a conspiracy 

case against the officers of the Mine, Mill and 
Smelter Workers charging that they had conspired 
to sign the non-Communist affidavits falsely. That 
was thrown out by the Supreme Court in 1969 or 
1970. And during the early part of the Vietnam 
fracas, I don't have to tell you how violent the 
redbaiting was. 

Ward: But as far as you were concerned, you got this 

idea, and if you had ever been in any way influenced 
by the Communist party that had long since passed. 

LG: I'm not sure what you mean there. 

Ward: Could you say that long since you had done your 
own thinking, and if the party happened to agree 
that was fine? 

LG: Oh, I'm sure that as far as the party was concerned, 
they would think it was one hell of an ad. 

Ward: I would think so, but it didn't originate with 
them, it was with you? 

LG: That's right. You see, people like Phyllis Mitch 

ell, a careful official and head of the Office 
Workers Union, Local 3> and Susan Modell, vice- 
president of the American Federation of Teachers - 
we had a lot of teachers on there - Einar Mohn, 
head of the Western Conference of Teamsters; Lou 
Celaya of the Office Employees, Local 29. 


LG-: The mix here is fantastic. The ad is worth read 
ing, if for no other reason than to see T how 
potentially effective the trade union movement 
can be on key issues of this sort, if they just 
get off their ass and do things. 

I'd say some of these guys might have had a bit 
of trepidation but afterwards, heck, they were all 
proud of it. It made points. And if anybody wants 
to share the credit, that's fine. I just wanted 
to show you that ad. I think it was the high 
point of the ILWU in a consistent policy of being 
more than just a bread and butter union. 

Ward: That's what St. Sure said about you. That you 

were more than a bread and butter trade unionist. 

LG-: Yes, but that was true of the union as a whole. As 
a matter of fact, if you look at The Dispatcher, 
there are certain things that show up as consistent 
issues. The question of relationships with the 
Soviet Union, problems of the atomic bomb and in 
support of the Stockholm Petition, having people 
like Linus Pauling at our convention, getting 
people like Morse and G-reuning, the only two men 
who stood up against the Tonkin Gulf resolution, 
a consistent policy on the recognition of China, 
the importance of establishing formal relations 
and trade with China. There was no backing away 
on these issues. 

Ward: In World War II, wasn't the ILWU interested in the 
opening of the Second Front? That would have been 
a progressive position at that time. 

LG: Yes, as a matter of fact, I think that was used 

later on as one of the examples given these commit 
tees that were set up to conduct these so-called 
trials resulting in expulsion from the CIO; the 
parallelism theory. Here was the Communist party 
position and here was the ILWU position. What was 
deliberately omitted were the positions that were 
either not the same, or where we might have taken 
a position long before anybody else took a position, 

Ward: Well, we hadn't mentioned the Second Front before, 
and that's part of it. 

LG-: That's right; among other things, we were in favor 

of that. 


Ward: I suppose that is one of the reasons why the ILWU 
was accused of parallelism? 

LG: I think so. There's something of a fine feeling 
in picking up the paper and reading that ad. I'm 
sure most everybody in the unions around here read 

More Internal Friction 

LG-: However, we had internal difficulties, particularly 

the friction that developed for reasons I never 
could figure out. I mean, like the Warehouse row 
in 1970 which made no sense at all, and Harry's 
attitude on Jack Hall. 

Ward: Could I ask a question? People remark every now 
and then that at one stage of the difficulties 
between Harry and Jack Hall, Harry openly redbaited 
the guy. This is a prevalent story in some circles 
around the west coast. 

LG: I'm not personally aware of it. No, Harry did some 
thing else. 

Ward: The allegation that he scabbed? 

LG: Which of course most of us would take far more 
seriously than any charge of redbaiting. Just 
being redbaited, well, most of us were pretty well 
used to that. I never felt it was a great dis 
honor being thrown out of England or refused 
admission to Japan. 

There's no question that the clashes inside 
Longshore between some of the leadership and the 
leftwing did get to be pretty intense, particularly 
around the mechanization program. Archie Brown 
was very outspoken against it and fought it violent 
ly. As a matter -of fact, I understand that - I 
haven't seen it - there's an article in Political 
Affairs (a Communist publication) this year by 
Archie Brown, and what's his name, the man who is 
the head of the CP here now? 


Ward: Mickey Lima? 

LG: Yes, Mickey Lima; that there's a piece in Political 

Affairs attacking the agreement signed in 1978, so 
that has been a running "battle and I'm sure that 
at times it took the form of something closely 
resembling redbaiting. That invariably happens 
when an individual has taken a position that is 
unpopular and somebody else wants to make points 
against him; if he figures redbaiting is going to 
help him, he just chucks it in; I'd say that these 
are aberrations; they are things that happen in 
volving personalities? some of it is just the 
geriatrics of organizations. 

Ward: Well, after '71 Jack Hall was dead; Harry lost an 
antagonist. No point hating a dead man. 

LG: No, although whether that stopped him from peddling 

that stuff about Jack's 'scabbing in 1934 I don't 

Ward: Well, Harry played some role in '73 and '74 in 
Hawaii which may have been a backlash of this 
antagonism towards Jack Hall, wasn't it? 

LG: I don't know. It could be that there just was an 

accumulation of things. In '68 I recall the settle 
ment we worked out in the case of the newspapers; 
Harry being very laudatory about it, and parti 
cularly about the job I had done. In 1970-in 
Warehouse we get into this crazy roundy-go-roundy, 
including him making bets against his own team, 
which is an odd way of supporting it. In the fall 
of 1970 I was assigned by our International 
Executive Board to go down to Hawaii on the hotel 
strike, which had dragged along for some three or 
four months. 

Ward: How did that work out? 

LG: Harry suddenly appeared there, no "Hello", "Good 

morning", "Kiss my ass"; no sitting down and saying, 
"Okay, how are things going?" Yet, when the 
agreement was made, again, he was very flattering 
about the job I had done in working out a solution. 

All I can do is grapple for answers; sometimes 
you find them and sometimes you don't. It could 
very well be that Harry came down there because he 


LG: had no use for Eddie Tangen. Jack Hall was the 
one who insisted on bringing Eddie Tangen into 
Hawaii. Even Bob Robertson was opposed to it. 
But Jack wanted somebody who could tackle the 
hotels and knew something about them. He figured 
Eddie Tangen was available and he brought Eddie 
down and Eddie did a good job. 

I think in the strike there were some mistakes 
made, but they weren't the kind that were going 
to be fatal if you grabbed hold of them soon 
enough and began to wrestle them into shape. So 
that there was, oh, this peculiar sort of thing 
going on. No question, Harry wasn't fond of Jack 
and he figured that Jack was a supporter of mine 
and I was a personal friend of Jack's, which I 
was. I made no bones about that. 

Ward: Now what year was it that Harry tried to push the 
age 63 thing? 

LG: That was in 1971. 

The 1974 Sugar Strike 

LG: Now, something happened in '73 - '74 in Hawaii. 
In '74 in Hawaii, the sugar contract was open. 
After Jack died, George Martin took his place, but 
he was not in a position to take on the same kind 
of duties as Jack Hall. 

Jack, when he decided to run for vice-president, 
met with the officers down there and took the 
position that he would recommend whomever the guys 
agreed to succeed him. Well, after some internal 
politicking and discussion, they finally agreed 
on Bob McElrath, who had been down there a long 
time and very good, an excellent record as a 
union man. He'd been one of the earliest members 
and one of the earliest on our staff in Hawaii; 
put out the radio program and was quite competent. 

Ward: Let's see, McElrath was the guy who tuned in on 
the FBI. 


LG: The FBI propositioned Dave Thompson to go to Jack 
Hall, and Bob was the one who planted the mike 
and sat in the basement down below recording. 

Ward: So, they got Bob McElrath. 

LG: They got Bob McElrath. Bob used to make the crack 
every once in a while, "I'm the regional director 
nobody wanted," 

Ward: He still is, isn't he? 

LG: No. Bob retired and his place has been taken by 

a very bright guy, a local boy - Tommy Trask. And 
Tommy Trask comes out of pineapple, used to work 
at the Dele Pineapple Cannery - 

Ward: That's a haole name. 

LG: It's a haole name, but he's a hapahaole - part 

Hawaii an o The Trask family is a big family in the 
Islands. I'm sure that the Trask name is probably 
a haole name, but then again you find many haole 
names among the Hawaiians. Tommy is a good man 
for the job, a very hard worker and he picks up 

But the difficulty was that after Jack died, I 
found myself with more and more of a load insofar 
as Hawaii was concerned. I had begun to phase out 
of the thing and Jack had begun to take over a lot 
of the duties. But Jack died and I found myself 
down there for both the sugar and pineapple nego 

Ward: And the hotel . . . .? 

LG: And the hotel strike as well. I don't recall 

taking part in any hotel negotiations after that. 
Since then hotel negotiations have been pretty 
smooth and on a constructive level. I was down 
in Hawaii in '74; the sugar agreement was open; 
negotiations ran into a complete deadlock with the 
employers. We weren't getting anywhere, although 
it wasn't as though we had any overwhelming 

We finally had a strike in '74. Well, I forget 
how long the strike lasted - five, six or seven 
weeks. A medium long strike, but seen in the 


LG-: light of some other strikes we've had dov/n there, 
it was short. Some interesting things happened. 
During that strike, Harry came down there, "but 
did not spend much time in Honolulu talking to the 
committee. He decided that he would go out direct 
ly to the plantations, in every place making a 
strong pitch in support of the strike and taking 
a very logical position that with sugar it was like 
having gold in the ground; it wasn't a damn bit of 
good to the employers until they got it out, until 
you harvested that sugar and ground it and sold it. 
Without the sugar workers "back at work, there was 
just no chance of getting that gold. 

It was a good position. He also made some 
statements that he had never seen a better organized 
strike in his life. Those guys were doing a good 
job on organizing in the traditions of 1946, which 
still carried over. These units in every community 
set up the most elaborate kind of machinery, even 
though it was simple, in the sense that everybody 
has an assignment, very detailed, because it ranges 
all the way from picketing to publicity, transpor 
tation committees, growing your own vegetables, 
hunting, fishing, soup kitchens, going out and 
working out deals with small farmers; if they could 
pick up stray cows for the farmer who had lost them, 
then they would get one cow. 

All these things, as well as taking care of 
matters such as what happens to the school lunches 
for the kids. Harry stayed a while there and then 
he returned to the mainland. Around two weeks 
after that the employers began to fold and we 
reached what we felt was a pretty good agreement. 

The price of sugar was moving up, incidentally. 
'74 was when sugar reached a fantastically high 
price, but that came later in the year. The price 
of sugar moving up must have had some bearing on 
the employers willingness to settle. But after 
we announced the settlement, Harry came down; so 
did Chester, so did George Martin - all three of 
them. Harrv came down with a long pitch that the 
settlement ought to be dumped. This was an 
interesting business of what you call "turning 
your left end." 

Ward: Was this after you ratified the agreement? 


LG-: No, we hadn't ratified the agreement; we held it 

up, as I r e call ? and notified Harry that if that's 
how he felt about it, he should come down there 
and talk to the workers. 

Well, unbeknownst to me, one of the two guys who 
went out to meet him at the airport was Herbert 
Vierra, from the HC&S (Hawaiian Commercial and 
Sugar Company) plantation on Maui, the big one. A 
very outspoken guy and also a little bit of a 
demogogue, the self-appointed protector of the 
underdog as against the craftsman. He and Constan- 
tine Samson, vice-president of Local 142, an old, 
old friend of Harry's, went out to the airport to 
pick him up. 

Completely unbeknownst to me, they spent all 
their time on the trip back to the union building 
from the airport telling Harry not to buck the 
agreement; that the guys thought it was a good 
agreement; that it was worthwhile and ought to be 
taken. So Harry first met among the officers 
when he got there. Chester, the self-appointed 
mediator, was trying to tell me, "Why don't vou 
simply tell the employers that we're reconsidering, 
not turning it down - we simply want to reopen it." 

I said, "I don't work that way; if you want to 
turn it down, just turn it down clean; if you want 
to repudiate, repudiate it; that's okay, doesn't 
bother me. I'll step out and you have somebody 
else step in. But none of this flim-flam. My name 
isn't Rutledge and I don't play those kinds of 

So Chester was getting no place with me. Harry 
had a long string of notes; according to Martin he 
was going over these notes on the trip down here; 
George finally escaped it by getting a set of ear 
phones and watching the movie. We had picked up 
something like 75 cents in wage increases over the 
two years. 

Ward: Seventy-five cents an hour? 

LG: Yes, in increases over the two years - a fairly 
healthy increase in sugar, particularly when you 
look into the background. Bear in mind, we'd gone 
through some rough days in sugar. As a matter of 


LG: fact, in the 1971 convention, Kohala had announced 
they were going to liquidate and they tried to pull 
that plantation out of sugar "bargaining. When I 
spoke at the convention I said that as far as we 
were concerned, those workers had to "be taken care 
of; we were not going to permit Kohala to pull out 
of negotiations. 

We were going to make provision for these people 
in terms of their housing and locate them in other 
jobs. I used the expression there which the 
employers kept repeating, thinking it would be em 
barrassing to me - which it wasn't. I said, "We 
are going to hold the industry hostage until 
Kohala is settled." We finally worked out a fairly 
good deal for Kohala. 

I guess it was in the '72 negotiations when they 
were taking the plantation on the island of Kauai 
and splitting it up between two adjoining planta 
tions, owned by different agencies, American Factors 
that is Lihue - Alexander Baldwin - that was 
McBride. There again, we took a position that 
until every one of those workers is taken care of, 
we'd get no place in these negotiations. 

ard: What's the name of this outfit? 

LG: Grove Farm. We took care of every single person as 
to where he would move: depending on what was clos 
est; if he wanted to take early retirement or 
special retirement, he would get substantial 
severance pay. By the time we got through, every 
worker on that plantation had been completely 
protected in terms of seniority, pension rights, 
vacation, sick leave, you name it. 

So, we were doing a pretty good job there, and 
in '74 we felt we were entitled to a hunk of dough 
which we finally did get. But Harry decided to 
buck it; he was on one of those kicks where the 
only way to describe it was that he was going to 
turn the left end of the committee. 

It was the best strike he had ever seen, nothing 
better organized. But, the employers had a lot 
more money around, the price of sugar would go up 
indefinitely and so forth and so on. I decided I 
wasn't going to get into any big argument; let him 
bounce it off the committee. 



Anyway, by the time he talked to the officers 
there, the full negotiating committee had been 
called in; this being the representatives from all 
the plantations. That usually makes up about 75 
to 100 people, whereas the working committee has 
about ten or twelve, something like that. The 
full committee was there, and when all the palaver 
was over, Harry went along with the agreement. 

As a matter of fact, the next day when the 
ratification vote began, he went out to Waipahtr, 
one of the plantations close by Honolulu, and - 
they were dedicating a little hall they had just 
fixed up - he spoke of the fine agreement, one of 
the best ever in sugar. This was after all his 
arguments that the thing ought to be dumped. Well, 
that's only part of the '74 chapter; that was a 

two year agreement; it covered 
came open again in 1976. 

'74 and '75 and 

Well, the price of sugar kept climbing. Sporadic 
things happen in the sugar market. Economists 
have done a lot of work in this area, and sugar 
is an inflexible commodity. If there's a shortage 
of 10 percent in sugar, the price doesn't just go 
up by 10 percent; there's a constant bidding for 
that sugar, and it's bid up by a good deal more 
than 10 percent. In the same way, if there's a 
ten percent surplus, it doesn't result in merely 
a ten percent drop in the price of sugar. That 
surplus is constantly being offered on the market 
and it drives the whole market down. A lot of it 
has to do with the crazy economics of the sugar 

Ward: Well, okay, so it was going up and up. 

LG: Yes; so comes September of that year - the strike 
was in February and ended up sometime in March, 
April - and I decided to get some vacation time. 
This was in 1974 and I found that I needed more 
vacation time, particularly after the heart surgery 
in 1972 - 

Ward: Oh, that's right, we haven't discussed that yet. 



2XHV THE $28,000,000 POKER GAME 

But First, Open Heart Surgery 

Ward: Your heart surgery took place about when? 

LG: November 27, 1972. It was Terry's birthday when 
I went in there and the surgery took place the 
next day. It was done by Dr. Norman Shumway down 
at Stanford. 

Ward: You had a valve and a by-pass? 

LG: Yes, they had to put in an aortic valve. I knew 
I had a bad valve because of a doctor who was a 
very good heart specialist; I suppose he's the 
successor of Paul Dudley White in terms of standing 
in the profession. 

Ward: A friend of yours from Boston? 

LG: Boston, yes; he's the one who invented the cardio- 

Ward: And he had been treating you for heart problems 
for quite a long time? 

LG: He was out here at some convention, and Asher 

(Dr. Asher Gordon) had been looking at me. I wasn't 
feeling well; he decided that I had a heart murmur 
and he wasn't sure what was causing it. And he 
asked me if I would come down to his office on 
Sunday and I said, "Sure, if you want to work on 
Sunday,," And he said, 'Well, I think that's the 
only time I can get this friend of mine to look at 


LG-: man came down to Asher's office; a modest 

little fellow, a very good man., born in Lithuania; 
came over here at the age of 14 or 15. 

ard: I see, so you had something in common right there. 

LG-: Yes. He studied me for a long time and later on 
he ordered a lot of X-rays and he reached the 
conclusion that I had an aortic stenosis. He asked 
a lot of questions about whether I had many ear 
aches when I was a kid, which I did. Apparently 
this is one of the signs of rheumatic fever, which 
I guess, when I was a kid, they didn't know much 
about. What you did was go to bed for a few days. 

I recall doctors coming in to puncture the ear 
drum and drain it. Apparently it was rheumatic 
fever, and one of the by-products of rheumatic 
fever is permanent damage to the aortic valve, un 
less there is complete rest. Now, they know how 
to treat it .... 

Ward: And you hadn't had much rest for many years? 

LG: No. He said there was no question that I had had 
it; the thing to do was to put off the surgery as 
long as possible, but not too long - then they 
just pick you up off the floor. He kept track of 
me whenever he came out here, or if I happened to 
be in the east, I would stop by to see him. A 
wonderful guy and a real friend. To this day I've 
never had a bill from him. 

Well, anyway, I had the surgery. As a matter 
of fact, I refused to go into the surgery until 
the doctors at Kaiser checked with Bernard Lown, 
this doctor in Boston. By that time they had 
taken an angiogram and all that and they sent some 
of that stuff back to him to look at. 

I was at Kaiser because they thought I was about 
to have another attack. He finally called me at 
Kaiser and said, "Look, if you can have the thing 
done tomorrow, do it at once. The longer you wait, 
the more difficult it's going to become. I don't 
think your general physical condition would be 
better when you finally have to have it." So, I 
worked things out with Kaiser that if I could go 
home for Thanksgiving, I'd come down to Stanford 
the next day. So, that's when it was done; Shumway 
did a good job. 


ard: How long were you off work? 

LG-: I was off work from the end of November, December, 
January and February - three months; althousii I 
was advised to take six months. 

Ward: I would think so, particularly that you developed 

LG-: Yes, the pneumonia I got after the surgery. I 
guess I was pretty well knocked out by all the 
drugs they use; they used tremendous dosages of 
valium and everything else under the sun. I 
remember being moved from Stanford by ambulance 
and looking out the window and saying to myself, 
"There's something fishy about this," because 
there's snow all over the ground. It was that 
winter when they had that heavy snowfall. 

Ward: You thought you were hallucinating? 

LG: Yeah and later on I did hallucinate pretty badly. 

It could be that en route I picked up the pneumonia 
because they put me in intensive care in Kaiser; 
my temperature began to rise out of sight. They 
sure did a competent job of bringing it down in a 
hurry, but the combination of the drugs they used 
did make me a bit whacky. 

I remember talking to the nurse one evening. I 
thought I was being completely rational and I said, 
"Why does the hospital keep moving every day?" 
She said, "Really, where has it been?" I said, 
"Well, yesterday it was around Redwood City, as I 
remember, and now you're up to South San Francisco; 
why doesn't the hospital stay in one place?" 

So, pretty soon she had somebody up there with 
a white coat who wanted to take all kinds of tests 
including electrodes, encephalograms, but there 
was nothing wrong, really. Just crazy hallucina 
tions. They told me I should take six months off. 
They figured it would be three months to heal and 
most of the time I would have to spend on my back. 
I lost an enormous amount of weight. By the time 
I went in for surgery, I had gone down to about 
140 pounds. 

Ward: That would be very light for you. 


LG: Yes, very light. I was skin and bones even though 

I was eating five or six meals a day. But I should 
have taken another three months after that, to 
"begin to exercise, and get the system back in 
shape. You have this funny feeling that the 
moment you walk you're going to tear the whole 
thing apart. 

Ward: I know that feeling very well. Why did you go 

back after three months instead of waiting out the 
six months? Was there any pressure for you to go 

LG: Well, there are two reasons I went back, really. 

One, the Local 6 convention took place in March . . 

Ward: And you just couldn't stay away? 

LG: Yes, that was in 1973; the negotiations also took 

place in that year, so it was an important 
convention where they would formulate their demands, 
That was one reason. 

The other was that the International convention 
would be taking place somewhere around mid- April 
or early May.. A certain amount of work had to be 
done for that. And I guess part of it is also 
psychological, because if I didn't go back to work 
I'd be throwing in the towel. I guess those are 
psychological things; there's no way to explain 
them other than that you're going to fight your 
way out of it. 

Ward: Were people calling you up and asking you ques 
tions. When are you coming back; can you do this 
or that? 

LG: Oh, people were very nice to me. Most were just 

get well letters and notes, some signed by whole 
warehouses; things like that; and chipping in and 
buying gifts - a television for me. Nobody was 
trying to put any pressure on me. But I thought 
I should get back, which I did. 

Ward: Well, all right. So we get back to 1974, after 
the sugar negotiations; you wanted to take a 
little vacation. 

LG: Eight. 


Ward: Because you damn, well needed one? 

LG: Correct. What was going on in Harry's head, I 

don't know. For the entire time I was in the 
hospital or at home afterwards he never called me, 
which wasn't surprising. He called once, before 
I had surgery, not to talk to me "but to talk to 
my doctor to ask how I was. My doctor was fairly 
shrewd and said to him, "He's really fine." I 
think Harry was getting ready to make an appoint 
ment. Things were going on. 

Ward: Oh, he was thinking in terms of a successor to you? 

LG-: Oh, yes. While I was recuperating one day Newton 

Miyagi came by from Hawaii; Ernie Arena drove him 
over, and just out of the blue, he says, "Look, 
Lou, I just want to make it perfectly plain I have 
no intention of running against you or anything 
like that. At one time, they were talking about 
me when they thought you wouldn't be able to come 
bapk." Sp r obviously, the shopping was already 
going on. Newton was just going out of his way, 
and I think .... 

Ward: Just tipping you off? 

LG: No, I think he was perfectly pleasant about the 

whole thing. As far as I was concerned, he was 
a supporter of mine. He wasn't all the time - I 
knew that; but he was telling me what was going on. 
It doesn't take any brilliant mathematics to figure 
out what was going on; one and one adds up to two, 
and no more. That's just one of the side things. 

Back to '74. In September of '74, Terry and I 
decided we would take some vacation time in Hawaii. 
Once before we had taken a bit of a vacation in 
Hawaii and that was when we stayed with the (Sook) 
Moons over in Punaluu. 

This time we got a small condominium out past 
Lahaina on the island of Maui, right on the beach. 
It was an attractive place, a good place to rest; 
the only problem there was that you couldn't walk 
all the way along the beach because of rocks and 
things, so that when I wanted to do some walking, 
I'd do it on the road. Almost every time I'd be 


LG: walking along the road some guy would stop and say, 
"Where you going, Lou?" You know, one of our guys, 
saying "What the hell are you doing - walking?" 

An Important G-olf Game 

IG: While I was there I got a call from Edwin Wong; he 
had been chairman of the sugar negotiating commit 
tee; he said, he understood I was vacationing 
there, and would I like to play golf. I said, 
"Sure, I play golf whenever I have a chance." Some 
of the local guys I knew played golf on their off 
days. Also, a man I knew who had been with Kaiser 
Gypsum was living in Maui, so I played with him too. 
I kept busy playing a round of golf here and there, 
always borrowing clubs from somebody because I 
didn't bring any down with me. 

Anyway, our Hawaii executive committee is made 
up of the division directors and the three officers 
of Local 142 and they were meeting somewhere in 
Lahaina; Maui Surf, I think it was. They were 
having their meeting and I stopped by there. 

One of the main issues they had was whether or 
not they endorse Jack Burns; this guy Prank Fasi 
was running against him. George Martin was down 
there to make sure there was no endorsement of Fasi. 
Anyway, that was taken care of all right. 

Then I said I'd like to raise a question with 
them: "I know that we signed an agreement a few 
months ago after a brief strike; it was a good 
agreement, overwhelmingly approved, but the price 
of sugar has been going up steadily. " 

I said we ought not to tear the agreement up; 
that would be a mistake, but I did think it would 
be advisable to tell the employers that we had gone 
through some rough days in the industry, as well 
as some good ones, and we now wanted a piece of 
the action. "We want a hunk of money, and not a 
turkey at Christmas time, or a ham. We want a 
substantial piece of money." 


LG-: I said I didn't think we ought to beg for it; we 
should simply tell them that they could tell us 
"No," and that's the end of the conversation. No 
further argument, but we're going to keep track 
of how much we think you owe us, and that's going 
to be the first demand when the contract expires 
in February of 1976. 

The reaction I got was fine. The executive 
committee said that was great. "Why not ask for 
a bonus? if we get anything, it's all right." I 
said, "No, I don't think so; if they offer us some 
manini little bonus, we'll just tell them to keep 
it. It has to be either substantial, or forget the 
whole thing." 

They said, "Well, how do you want to handle it?" 
And I said, "Ed Wong just called and wants to play 
golf with me. If you guys give me the authority 
to tell him that if we don't get it, they have 
themselves an automatic strike, they can know that 
at least . . . ." 

Ward: Now, Ed Wong is one of the guys you told me a 
who became an employer representative? 

LG-: Yes, he's a vice president of Alexander Baldwin. 

And he and Don Nicholson were very close friends. 
Don Nicholson had a similar position with American 
Factors. So, to get back, I said, "I'm going to 
play golf with them; the question is, - if it's 
okay with you, because I doa't want to do any 
begging; I'm opposed to it - I think we ought to 
tell them that we're not going to break the con 
tract, but that we have this dough coming. If they 
say 'No,' that's that." 

The executive committee said, "Go ahead, you 
have our authority." I said, "Well, just remember 
what I'm telling you. We are in effect telling 
them that they have an automatic strike unless we 
get something substantial, as soon as the contract 
runs out." They said, "Sure, we understand." And 
I said, "Okay, just so long as it's all understood." 

Well, we played golf that day and we took a 
luncheon break after nine holes. The local pro play 
ed with us and I was teamed with him, playing against 


LG-: Wong and Nicholson. Luckily, I was hitting a fair 

ly decent golf ball that day; most times I don't. 
Well, we sat down at lunch and I said, "One of the 
reasons I wanted to play golf was to see the course 
and the new hotel they had opened in Wailea" - it's 
a beautiful place - "and because I wanted to raise 
this question of sugar. I know we finished up a 
strike, got an agreement and we're bound by the 
contract, but what we want is a hunk of money; we 
think we're entitled to it in the form of a bonus, 
and no manini bonus." 

Manini is a Hawaiian word for small; there's a 
fish called manini, too. I said, "It can't be a 
manini bonus." So, they thought for a while and 
said, "We're prepared to discuss that with you; we 
think you're entitled to a bonus and it won't be 
manini , it will be substantial. But there has to 
be some quid pro quo." 

Well, the moment they mentioned quid pro quo, 

bout; it 

I knew exactly what they were talking abou- 
wasn't the worst thing in the world in terms of 
giving us leverage. The quid pro quo, as far as 
they were concerned, was to get an extra year on 
the contract. That meant that we would be bargain 
ing with considerable additional strength. Anyway, 
I said, "Okay, we'll meet later in the year." This 
was September; I went back there again, I guess it 
was October some time. 

We started these discussions on the question of 
a bonus, and sure enough the quid pro quo emerged 
at once. There was an offer of $750 a man for 
1974 plus another bonus, a smaller amount - they 
were talking about something like $500 - for the 
next year. In exchange for that they wanted an 
extension of the contract for one year. 

I said, "You can't buv an extension - forget it; 
also the money you're talking about is manini . " 
Well, they finally got the thing up to $1,000. 
And I said, "Okay, that will settle it for the year; 
give us that and forget everything else." "No, 
there has to be a quid pro qu o . " "Look," I said, 
"you haven't the money to buy it; there isn't that 
kind of money around. " 


LG: "What are you talking about?" they said. I said, 

"Well, the 1975 "bonus has to be the same amount as 
the 1974 bonus - one thousand dollars; but you're 
going to have to buy the extension. That's 
separate." Well, they chewed on that one, and 
chewed on it, and they finally said, "Okay, we will 
give you $1,060 the first year, $750 the second 
year and a 25-cent increase and the extension." 
I said, "Well, give us the $1,000 per sugar worker 
in 1974 and we'll call it a day." 

The Ante Goes Up 

LG: It was one of the most interesting poker hands I 

ever played. So, they finally came to $1,000, 
$1,000 and 30 cents, something like that. "I was 
afraid of that," I said. "Well, I didn't think you 
had enough money to buy it and you don't have it, 
that's all." But by that time, of course, that 
additional year was so important to them, and I'm 
sure they had already convinced their people that 
this was a quid pro quo they were going to get. 

Well, we had the committee in there, of course. 
The committee felt that two $1,000 bonuses: that's 
not bad money. They had never seen anything like 
that on the plantations. I told them I was con 
vinced that there was more money there, and the 
committee went along. They said, "All right, you 
came this far and your appraisal was correct; give 
it a shove, that's all." 

So, we met the other side again and I said, 
"We'll give you the price now; there isn't any 
purpose in haggling; otherwise let's just break 
these talks off. Give the guys $1,000 bucks apiece, 
we'll just shake hands and you'll get that much 
good will out of it, and just chalk it off to that. 
It's either that or you're going to pay the money 
to Uncle Sam in taxes. Or the price will have to 
be a thousand bucks in '74, another $1,000 in '75, 
an extension of the contract one year, '76, but with 
that extension an increase of 50 cents across the 
board, plu-s another amount of money - approximately 
20 cents - to take care of classification headaches 
that have to be settled somewhere along the line, 
and this would be the time to do it." 


Ward: So that was 70 cents all told? 

LG: Yes, 70 cents. 

Ward: For the one year, not for the three? 

LG: We already had another wage increase coming in '75. 

Ward: All right, when would the 70 cents apply? Just for 
the third year. 

LG: Yes; the contract rates went u-p. We get a $1,000 

"bonus each year, '74 and '75 - 

ard: And 70 cents the third year? 

LG: Fifty cents across the board and another 20 cents. 

They finally got to the point where they said, 
okay, you'll get the $1,000, $1,000 and 50 cents, 
but that's as far as we can go. I said, "Okay, 
then we'll just call it a day and chalk the whole 
thing up to experience, wish each other a Happy 
New Year and see you another time." No, they 
didn't want to break it off. 

Finally, the two of them went out and huddled, 
came back and said, "All right, we'll give you the 
fifty cents plus a dime for the classifications." 
You can do an awful lot with a dime because a dime 
for all the workers as a lump sum can then be 
applied to classification corrections for some 
workers. In other words, if it's a top labor grade 
you might apply 60 cents, and the lowest labor 
grade, nothing. So that a dime an hour can go an 
awfully long way for classification adjustments. 

Our committee had some sort of a luncheon 
prepared and said, "Do you want to go to lunch?" 
I said, "No, we want to huddle." The committee 
said, "Look, if you can get more, fine; but don't 
let go what -you got. If that is as far as they'll 
go, $1,000 - $1,000 and 50 cents, and 10 cents, 
don't let it go." 

The employers asked if I was going to lunch with 
the committee and I said, "No." They said, "We'd 
just as soon talk to you; how can we settle this?" 
And I said, "Well, give us the 20 cents and settle, 
that's all." Finally, I said, "Well, make it 15 
cents and you have a bargain." 


LG: That was it; we wound up with this hunk of dough 
that ran to twenty-eight, twenty-nine million 
dollars when you added the whole thing up. And as 
I was telling a friend of mine, Kuni Arakaki, a 
guy who loved poker - he was talking about my 
retirement - and he said, "Gee, Lou, you shouldn't 
retire - we had good results in sugar, you know, 
you've "been with us all the time." And I said, 
"Look, can you think of a better way of retiring 
than having a chance of playing one hand of poker 
for $28,000,000?' Anyway, the deal went back to 
the rank and file and was warmly accepted. 

Ward: I would think so. 

LG: We had to do a lot of juggling so as to give each 
man $1,000 because apparently there's something in 
the law there about the application of bonuses 
that relate to your wages, you see. So, if some 
body makes more money, he gets more of a bonus. 
And we wanted no part of that. We wanted each 
worker, no matter where he was - Labor Grade 1 
in the field, or the First 'Grade Mechanic - to get 
the same amount of dough. 

There were a few little squawks about that, but 
not much. They had to work out a whole series of 
brackets. They worked the thing out and they all 
got the thousand bucks and it worked out okay for 
the next year. 

Bridges Rocks The Boat 

LG: I thought that would end it. Instead we called 

the full sugar committee, telling them the results 
of the negotiations - by that time they knew the 
negotiations were going on because the guys had 
been going back to the plantations and reporting. 
Harry gets on the phone and says, "The thing ought 
to be dumped; it's a cheap deal. The price of 
sugar is way up there and it's going to go higher 
yet. There's a hell of a lot more money than that 
around. " 

Ward: He was calling from San Francisco? 


LG: Yes. So, I put Carl Demaso on the phone. I said, 

"Carl, you talk to Harry; he doesn't apparently 
put much stock in what I'm saying." Harry went 
round- and- round with Carl. Carl said, "Look, Harry, 
you keep telling me these things; are you prepared 
to give me a guarantee that the price is going to 
go up? Or that it's going to stay up? We know 
what's happened in sugar all these previous years; 
all these crazy fluctuations." 

Harry says, "ell, I'm just sure of it - that's 
all." Finally, Carl got to the point and said, 
"Look, Harry, we can't go on this way over the 
phone; we'll hold the caucus over for a day. You 
come on down and present your position." Harry 
says, "No, I can't - I'm too tied up with things 
here; I'll send a letter instead." 

Carl said, "Okay, we'll wait for the letter; 
get it off at once, and we'll report back the 
conversation exactly as we can recall it." We 
reported back the whole thing to the committee; 
then, when his letter got there, we read the letter 
off. I guess it's one letter he wishes he had 
never written because every single one of his 
prognostications turned out to be completely wrong. 

Ward: Sugar went down, huh? 

LG: By 1976, when we got that additional extension, 
sugar prices just slid. They slid down in '75, 
and kept going down in '76. By the end of '76, 
the farmers and everybody were screaming their heads 
off about sugar supports and everything else. 

This was just one of those crazy things with 
Harry. All I could figure out, at that stage of 
the game, was that he had reached a frame of mind 
that no matter what I did, it had to be wrong. 

Ward: Also, you know Harry's reputation as a poker play 

LG: No, I don't. 

Ward: He's a consistent loser. 

LG: That could be. 


Ward: You ought to talk to the guys in the San Francisco 
Press Club about the game he had with them during 
the Landis hearing. They took him. 

LG: But it doesn't quite end there. In the 1977 
convention, in Seattle, when Harry and I and 
others were retiring, we drafted an officers' re 
port; in it one of the things that was reported, 
of course, was what happened in sugar; not only 
what happened on the strike, but also what happened 
on the contract extension, the amount of dough we 
got for it and the two bonuses. 

We had had some headaches in between the con 
tract extension and this report, and again, caused 
by this funny game Harry was playing with Vierra. 
It also backfired on Harry. 

Vierra kept saying that after we got the 50 
cents and the 15 - which I made plain, and the 
committee understood it that the 15 was to be 
used on classifications - Vierra, who had become 
sort of self-appointed guardian of the interests 
of the lower paid workers, said, "Look, if they 
don't like it in the mill there where they're 
working, they can get out in a hot field like me 
too, you know." He worked a roto-tiller, something 
like that. He demanded, "The 15 cents ought to be 
across the board." 

I knew there had to be a showdown on the goddam 
thing; of all things, Harry decides to have the 
union pay Vierra 's way over to San Francisco. 
Newton Miyagi comes along to try to convince Vierra 
to change his mind. Vierra is not going to change 
his mind; why should he? He figures that he's got 
himself a hot issue going; he got himself a free 

We know perfectly well how a guy like that 
handles a situation of that sort. When he gets 
back, he becomes more of a hero. "You know what 
they did? They paid my way all the way to San 
Francisco to try to make me change my mind - and 
I don't change my mind; when I'm with the rank 
and file, I'm with the rank and file." Well, we 
were able to finally get that fifteen cents worked 
out so that the least that any worker got was 9-4 
cents across the board, and then the balance of 


LG-: the money was used for adjustments in some of the 
upper labor grades. This was after a Local 142 
convention in 1975, because we had to make a 
determination. The union could do whatever it 
wanted with the 15 cents - either use it entirely 
for classifications, entirely across the board, 
or any mixture thereof. It was entirely up to us. 

Harry was down there for this convention and so 
was I; we had to make a decision as to what we 
were going to recommend at the sugar caucus which 
met after the convention on the classification 
thing. I had worked out the formula pretty well, 
in terms of spreading it around from 9- cents on 
the bottom to some big increases at the top. 
Vierra hadn't changed his tune a bit. Harry, in 
stead of supporting all the officers there, waffled 
around; he wasn't going to fight Vierra. 

That's the closest I came to just walking out 
of the meeting. I had all the stuff in my brief 
case; I finally slammed the brief case shut and 
picked it up, and then realized I had better sit 
down. Let the guys handle it. And they sure did; 
it went through the caucus okay. 

The only plantation on which they said the 
vote went against it was at HC&S. Apparently what 
Vierra did - it was a small meeting hall - all of 
his supporters in the lower labor grades got there 
first and the craftsmen were outside, so they 
didn't have a chance to vote. The only question 
he put to the membership there was "All those in 
favor of having the 15 cents across the board, 
say 'Yes'." 

On the rest of the plantations it was a godsend, 
because some of those classifications were just 
getting too far out of line with the wages in 
town. Sure, they are not going to get paid the 
same as the building craftsmen, although some of 
our men are just as good. In year-round jobs you 
have all kinds of benefits. 

Anyway, back to the 1977 convention report. 
Mien we reported on the sugar thing, Harry insert 
ed a note there, "I dissent." Well, the officers' 
report goes before the officers' report committee, 
which is a big committee. In our convention all 


LG: delegates are assigned to a committee. But a lot 
more than the committee were there; apparently 
they figured there were going to be fireworks. 

For some reason or other, the sugar guys figured 
that I was not going to say a word because I was 
sick and tired of the whole thing. They had lined 
up a whole group of their own speakers. At the 
last minute, Chester came to me and said, "Don't 
make an issue of this sugar thing; Harry's not 
going to say anything; it'll just die, and the 
officers' report will be accepted." I said, "Well, 
that's okay with me. I don't give a damn. I'd 
rather see the convention unified and kept that 

But that didn't happen; Harry took the deck and 
went on and on, trying to tear apart the whole 
agreement. Then we had a break for dinner, and 
came back in, so I told the sugar guys, "I don't 
know if you have any guys planned to speak, but 
I intend to talk." They let me have the floor 
first. So, we just had a first class shoot-out, 
that's all. 

I went over the whole background, and particul 
arly hammered away on this question of whether or 
not the workers in Hawaii had the right to make 
their own decisions. What did all this autonomy 
mean? Including these constant statements we made 
that the workers even had the right to be wrong. 
"Where had we ever violated the principles of the 
membership taking part in ratifying any agreement 
and having the committees to do the negotiating? 
Keeping in constant touch with people - no back 
door deals? 

It was unanswerable. The longshoremen were 
sitting there too, and they were just shaking their 
heads. Some one told me afterwards, "He better 
not fuck around like that in Longshore"; they 
wouldn't stand for it, you see. They had this 
long history. 

I gave the committee a view of the economic 
facts of life and said, "We're just damn lucky the 
sugar contract isn't open right now." As a matter 
of fact when the contract opened up in 1977 the 
price of sugar was very low and the Sugar Act had 
been allowed to expire. There was no Sugar Act. 


LG: We found ourselves in the position where we had to 
extend the contract as is for six months, to a 
November date. I had promised the members in Hawaii 
that I would hang with the sugar thing until we saw 
it through. 

I had to spend August back there in Washington, 
because they were talking of certain sugar legis 
lation that was so designed that the one part of 
the industry that is organized, Hawaii, would take 
a kick in the ass. And the other parts of the 
industry would get the benefits of the legislation 
they were talking about. It was all a by-product 
of the terrific in-fighting within the industry 
itself, a cat-and-dog industry. We got the results 
we wanted back there with the help of (Congressman) 
Phil Burton and the progressive caucus. 

Ward: Well, what did the convention do? 

LG: The convention? Oh, the delegates supported the 

officers' report the way it was written. 

Ward: And rejected the dissent? 
LG: Oh, sure. 

Ward: I see. Do you want to say anything further on 
sugar in Hawaii in '77? 

LG: No, that was my last go-around. Actually, I was 

officially retired somewhere around May - 

Ward: Both of you were? 

LG: That's right; this confrontation took place in May 

or whenever the convention was held. I will say 
one thing; ^he guys from sugar did themselves 
really proud. Theyhad their facts marshalled; 
they knew what they were going to talk about. 

Then we finally got these results out of Wash 
ington which took Hawaii off the hook in many 
respects. It was nothing like the sugar price they 
wanted, but if some of the amendments had gone 
through that were being pushed by people - I 
forget the names - Hawaii would have^been cut out 
of potentially perhaps $60 to $80 million dollars 
in sugar subsidies. 


LG: e defeated that. We went back into negotiations 
with the employers then; they tried the technique 
once again of so-called distressed plantations. 
They claimed that three of the plantations, not 
withstanding all we had done, were still in bad 


(Interview 38: 12 December 1978) 
The Political Economics Of Sugar 

Ward: I believe you want to talk further on sugar. 

LG-: Yes, there is one aspect of sugar that should be 
cleaned up, even though it culminated after I was 
no longer officially an officer of the ILWU. 

The contract we negotiated in 1974 was for two 
years through '75; we extended it for one year; 
that means it ran through February, 1977. By that 
time a couple of things had happened. The Sugar 
Act under which the industry had been operating 
for umpty-nine years, as far back as the Roosevelt 
Administration in the '30s, was originally called 
the Jones-Costigan Act. I think primarily as a 
gut reaction, or consumer reaction, all of which 
was warranted, Congress wiped the Act out, refused 
to extend it any further, when it came up for re 
newal in 1974. There was no Sugar Act, as such, 

In effect, the U. S. became a general open 
market for sugar. The concept of quotas and every 
thing else went out the window. This action of 
Congress, in my opinion, was completely understand 
able because sugar prices had soared. Also, one 
of the fundamental difficulties with the Sugar Act 
was that it did a certain service for the growers 
but gave only lip service to the workers, who were 
supposed to be treated fairly and be given their 
fair and reasonable wages. 

Time and time again we appeared at hearings 
around the Sugar Act and got no place with this 
special division of the Department of Agriculture 


LG: which had this responsibility for the wage deter 
mination. Well, it did make a change in the case 
of Louisiana wages. 

The main thing we accomplished was to knock off 
their hearings in Hawaii, "because those were just 
junkets; whatever the boss chose to pay was right. 
For example, it was "fair and reasonable" to pay 
wages of 33 and 1/3 cents an hour in Puerto Rico. 
The Sugar Act was really a meaningless piece of 
legislation, as far as the workers were concerned. 

But it did accomplish something for the growers, 
and for the bulk of industrial users who were 
dependent on the industry in terms of having a 
continuous flow of supplies for a certain price. 
I'm talking about outfits like American Sugar, 
many of whom had holdings at one time in Cuba. 
These holdings went out the window with the coming 
of Castro. 

While the Sugar Act provided a floor under 
prices, which was their primary concern, there 
actually was no provision in the Act about any 
kind of a ceiling; the sky was the limit, if they 
could get away with it. Consequently, because of 
a whole series of international factors, the prices 
did soar in 1974 and the reaction of Congress was 
to knock off the Sugar Act. It is interesting to 
note that I think we had the only group of sugar 
workers anywhere in the world who got any benefit 
at all out of this enormous price windfall. 

There were also some damn interesting things 
that happened later on and which contributed to 
the price collapse. Some governments and the em 
ployers are alter egos, one and the same people; 
the Philippines, a substantial sugar grower, is a 
good example. There they had (President Ferdinand) 
Marcos declare some sort of a national emergency 
and seize the sugar crop in the national interest. 

Nobody could figure out what he was talking 
about, but everybody knew what he was after. He 
wanted to breach a number of contracts where 
interests in the Philippines had sold sugar in 
advance at a certain price; in other words, selling 
futures. A lot of industrial users will buy sugar 
as long as six months or more ahead of time for 
delivery at a certain fixed price. Marcos decided 


LG-: these were to be "breached; then buyers had to deal 
with the government. 

Ward: He was able to take advantage of the price rise? 

LG-: And plus, he got too greedy. So greedy, as a 

matter of fact, that he began to hold back sugar 
because he thought the price was going up still 
more. The net result was that the Philippines 
were left with a backlog, an inventory somewhere 
in the neighborhood of 250 thousand tons of sugar. 
Then they had to start dumping it on the market. 

Beginning around 1976, and particularly in 1977, 
they were selling sugar every which way, under the 
table, over the table, on the market. The Philip 
pines, as I recall, made arrangements with a big 
outfit called Godchaux-Henderson. That's a mill 
in Texas. There the arrangement was that they 
simply turn the sugar over to the company, the 
company refine the sugar, package it and sell it; 
and then give the Philippine owners their net 

You could imagine what the situation was when 
an outfit like Henderson goes on the market with 
that sugar. They've gotten their money out of it 
in terms of the refining costs, what we term the 
"laundering" costs. Really, that's all the re 
fining operation is, processing and making the 
sugar white. They don't give a good goddam whether 
the net return to the Philippine grower is two 
cents, ten cents or whatever. 

The market was in complete havoc, where there 
were all kinds of demands for action. A special 
international trade commission that has to deal 
with these things made an appearance in San 
Francisco. There was a very large attendance from 
farmers in Hawaii; a lot of independent growers. 
There still are many independent growers in the 
Islands, including sons of our members. 

The employers, of course, were out in force. 
e appeared too, and other people like the Louisiana 
growers and others were there. That led to some 
sharp altercations about the whole business of the 
nature of sugar. A group that I recall was parti 
cularly noisy, just wanted things to be let alone. 


LG: As long as the price is low, the industrial user 
can see nothing "but benefits to him. If he can 
keep buying that raw material at the lowest possible 
price, he doesn't give a damn where it comes from. 

I recall they were after me* asking what did I know 
about the confectionary industry; bakery and con 
fectionary is their group, I think. I said that 
I didn't know anything about them. I wouldn't 
recognize them if they were in bed with me. All 
I did know was that when the price of sugar was 
jumping, they'd raise candy bars from a dime to 
twenty cents apiece. Now that sugar was way down 
in price, I didn't see any reduction in the price 
of a candy bar. That was enough for me to know, 
because since then they've gone up to 25 cents. 

I notice that Carter and this ingenious economic 
advisor in that brilliant coterie he has, have 
figured out that based on their guide lines and 
also by the use of contorted manipulations of the 
famous machine that was concave and convex, that 
25 cents was their right price. 

The legislation that appeared in Washington was 
an attempt to put some sort of a minimal floor 
under the price of sugar by subsidy payment direct 
ly from the government to the domestic grower, or 
in the case of off-shore sugar by a combination of 
tariff and import quotas; primarily by tariffs. 
Whoever drafted this legislation was also neck 
deep in the internal political fight within the 
sugar industry. The sugar industry is not a homo 
genous or harmonious group. They battle like cats 
and dogs in the market. 


Ward: Even in Hawaii? 

LG: Not in Hawaii because there is no way for them to 
compete in Hawaii. If Hawaii had to depend upon 
the people in Hawaii consuming the sugar they 
produce, you could buy back the industry tomorrow 
and they would be all right. Just leave one small 
plantation; the total consumption in Hawaii is 
somewhere in the neighborhood of 60 thousand, may 
be 65 thousand tons of sugar. 

The amount of sugar they turn out in Hawaii 
exceeds a million tons, so of course the vast bulk 
of the sugar is processed and marketed mostly on 


LG: the west coast, which is their main market. Then 

you have the big conflict market around the mid 
west, what they call the Chicago market. That's 
where they run head-on into each other: beet sugar, 
Louisiana cane sugar, Puerto Rican sugar that comes 
through from New York refineries, and particularly 
the big beet sugar interests, they all come into 
clash in the Chicago market. 

Ward: Where does your Philippine sugar go mostly? 

LG-: The Philippine sugar in the main would be sold to 

the refineries in the Gulf of Mexico. They don't 
have any sugar refineries on the west coast any 
more, other than the one at C&H. They did have 
one years ago in San Francisco, Western Sugar, 
which we had organized, but that was bought by 
C&H, primarily for the purpose of liquidation. The 
mill was completely antiquated anyway; the only 
thing that held the plant together was the pipes. 
It was the place that George Valter came from. 

Whoever devised the proposed new legislation 
put in an interesting kicker, that in the interest 
of saving the American consumer and the fact that 
farm legislation should concern itself with the 
small farmer's welfare rather than the big farmer, 
any kind of federal assistance, either by purchase 
forms or loans, be confined to those employers who 
grew up to 50,000 dollars' worth of sugar; in other 
words that would be the ceiling on any payment to 
any one company. 

If you're talking about the beet sugar industry 
that's not unreasonable, because even a good sized 
beet farm won't produce much more than 50 thousand 
dollars' worth. In the case of Louisiana where 
you still have a good many small farmers, pretty 
much the same would apply. I don't know whether 
it applies to Florida. 

The only outfit that would get really hurt, and 
it was obviously designed for that purpose, was the 
Hawaii interests, because the average plantation 
there produced more than 50 thousand dollars' worth 
of sugar. Some of the big ones, like HC&S on the 
island of Maui, produce over 100,000 dollars' 
worth of sugar a year. 


LG: Well, you can pretty quickly figure out the net 

result if the law is applied and the actual price 
falls "below 13^ cents, which was their target 
price - for a while it was down as low as ll 
cents. Then of course the loss to Hawaii would 
"be enormous. 

What galled us more than anything else was that 
these internal "battles among these employers - 
and they could fight among themselves as much as 
they want to; that's their business - were tak 
ing the form that the one group of workers who 
would really get hurt in this she-bang - and they 
had never gotten any benefit from any Sugar Act - 
would be the workers in Hawaii. They would be put 
at a real disadvantage when it came to any kind 
of bargaining. 

It was under those circumstances that when the 
contract expired in '77, we extended it until 
November of that year, even though November is a 
very bad expiration date. We prefer the February 
date, like we have now. It was in August when 
Eddie Lapa and myself went back to Washington. 
He's the vice-president of Local 142 and he's from 
the sugar industry. Pat Tobin was back there, of 
course, as our Washington representative. 

We spent over a week of very intensive campaign 
ing before the vote came up on this piece of leg 
islation, particularly to knock out this 50 thousand 
ton limit. We managed to put together a very 
effective coalition. The urban progressive coali 
tion led primarily by Phil Burton; the black 
coalition led by Congressman Ron Dellums; and there 
was some help from the Hawaii congressmen. 

We managed to muster enough votes to defeat that 
particular provision. I had to make our problems 
plain to some of the other unions which were there, 
because some were people representing the beet 
interests. The Teamsters were very helpful in 
our campaign. Their legislative representatives, 
Bartley O'Hara and Dave Sweeney, were assigned to 
work with us full time. On several occasions they 
had worked with us on the Sugar Act. 


Corn Sweeter Than Sugar? 

LG-: Then, however, the corn sweetners had come into 
the market. The corn sweetner is a new process 
that has been developed, but not as yet in the 
form of domestic table sugar. They produce a 
sweetner out of corn, through some chemical 
process that for industrial purposes is more 
effective than any other kind of sugar. I'd say 
that some time in the future the corn sweetner 
might take over the bulk of the industrial market. 

On the other hand, the corn sweetner problem 
is one of getting the price up to a certain point, 
because it's a newly developing industry; they 
need to get the price to a point where they can 
put in the capital investment to make it go. There 
was a whole melange in the Washington situation, 
but we decided to cut through it, get our job done 
insofar as Hawaii was concerned, and leave the 
next morning. We had accomplished exactly what 
we had gone back there for, and we didn't want to 
get neck deep into the internal politics of the 
sugar industry. 

There was a push by some of these other unions 
who represented different kinds of growers to see 
if we could sit down with the sugar industry as a 
whole and work out a common program. We felt 
this would be quite hopeless, and frankly we did 
not want to get trapped into it. 

Outfits like the Packinghouse Workers still had 
a long-standing grudge against the Louisiana 
growers because they had taken a beating when they 
started to organize the field workers in Louisiana. 
I don't see how they really would have gone along 
with anything like a common sugar program, even 
though Arnold Mayer, their legislative representa 
tive, went along with us on our drive to knock out 
the 50 thousand ceiling. 

During the time I was in Washington and in the 
following negotiations, I was no longer Interna 
tional Secretary. I had retired, but I had made a 


LG: committment to the members; they had asked me 
specifically "before the convention election. 

Ward: So then you went to Hawaii for those negotiations? 

LG: I went to Hawaii for the negotiations in November. 

The negotiations didn't last very long: the em 
ployers had put together what they considered to 
be an attractive offer: a moderate improvement 
on pensions, not too bad; an improvement on some 
other elements of the contract; an offer on wages, 
not the worst in the world - 30 or 35 cents an 
hour. All we were talking about was a one-year 
contract, because we didn't know any more than 
they did where things were going. 

But then they added a hooker concerning three 
plantations. From day one we had fought to main 
tain industry-wide bargaining, even though we might 
make special exceptions for a plantation because 
of a drought or something of the sort, giving them 
a bit of time to catch up and finally reach a 
regular wage line. 

Their attitude in '77 was that nothing could be 
done; that these three plantations were having a 
lot of trouble. Two of them were C. Brewer planta 
tions and one belonged to American Factors. Well, 
what puzzled me during the negotiations was that 
there had to be some sort of basic, internal 
contradiction among the employers, operating as 
they did under the unit rule, where they have to 
reach unanimity. Had C. Brewer decided it could 
run a fast one? And, in effect, take care of two 
of their plantations which had been having trouble, 
caused primarily by their own, premature consoli 
dation of mills without taking sufficient pre 
cautions in terms of expanding capacity and so 

That was their own headache, even though they 
had merged a couple of these plantations like the 
ones at Maunakea and Kau. The plantations close 
by Hilo, such as Maunakea sugar, had swallowed up 
several of the other small plantations, which is 
understandable; they were small twenty- thousand- 
ton plantations and their days were limited, 
because of requirements for heavy equipment and 
so forth in the new industry that had developed 
in Hawaii. 


G-oldblatt's Swan Song On Sugar 

LG: I couldn't shake loose of this conclusion that 

there had to "be a contradiction there. Castle 
and Cooke were sitting at the negotiations, 
representing only one sugar plantation; they had 
liquidated Kohala, where in 1971 we had decided 
we'd hold the industry hostage until we cleaned up 
the situation. In 1974 we had to do the same 
thing in the case of Grove Farm where we did work 
it out. 

Castle and Cooke, for example, had only one 
plantation located atWaialua, a very profitable 
plantation on an extremely productive piece of 
land, adequate water, excellent irrigation; I guess 
one of the most economically operated sugar planta 
tions in the world. Castle & Cooke 's interests 
have shifted away from sugar into the whole food 

Castle and Cooke now includes things like Bumble 
Bee Products, Hawaii Tuna Packers, Standard Fruit 
bananas. They've opened up Idaho potatoes; they've 
gone into some canning operations. ' You name it 
and they seem to be in it. 

I couldn't figure out what the devil could be 
in it for Castle and Cooke to take a strike over 
these plantations. Then there was -Theo Davies. 
Theo Davies never had highly prosperous plantations, 
but they got by and they were doing quite well; 
they were on the Hamakua coast. They had become 
part of this international conglomerate - this 
British concern called Jardine Matheson. 

I couldn't figure out where they were getting 
hurt; how did they get sucked into a fight of this 
sort? Alexander Baldwin had several plantations, 
including HC&S, the big one, a very profitable 
plantation. They also had McBride, where they had 
recently worked out this proposition on Grove Farm 
and were anxious to get going. The only outfit 
that puzzled me was American Factors; they were 
asking the same thing as C. Brewer; they wanted out 
as far as any improvements were concerned. 


LG-: Tiie plantation they were talking about was Oahu 
Sugar, which is very close by Honolulu, on the 
island of Oahu. I finally decided in my own mind 
that they went along for the ride. American 
Factors had been doing extremely well. 

They had gone into still another branch of 
American enterprise, the field of merchandizing: 
the Liberty Stores, I. Magnin, and lots more. 
These were all part of American Factors, in the 
same way that Alexander Baldwin, for example, now 
owns Mat son. 

Anyway, our discussions before the strike 
broke must have gone on in our strike committee 
for at least two days. There was a pretty sharp 
difference of opinion, not so much about whether 
we shut them all down or not, but the feeling of 
some people that maybe we were walking into a 
trap if we did shut them down. Maybe these three 
were being set up as decoys so that in the event 
we shut them down, one of the agencies would 
announce they had plans to liquidate a plantation, 
and that the union had driven another part of the 
sugar industry out of business. 

Bear in mind that over the years since we had 
organized, a great many changes had taken place in 
the industry, including a lot of small plantations 
being swallowed by bigger ones, and in some cases 
just out and out liquidation because the planta 
tions were so located as to make them unprofitable; 
outfits like old Waianae plantation, Waimanalo 
plantation, Kahuku plantation, went out of business; 
Waiakea Mill became part of Olaa, now Puna Sugar. 

These things took place over the years, and in 
the main they were taken in stride and were hand 
led pretty well. The liquidation of one of the 
major plantations would have been much more of a 
headache. Liquidation was also a mote in the eye 
of everybody down there, because the pineapple 
contract had been opened in 1974, and one of the 
big problems we had was that Dole Pinapple and Del 
Monte Pineapple announced they were going to wash 
out their operations on the island of Molokai. 
That's the only industry on Molokai, just the 
growing of pineapple. Del Monte decided to stay 
on, not only stayed on but even increased some of 
their acreage. Dole did get out. 


LG: e spent hours in negotiations on a series of 

provisions to help those workers get located in 
other pineapple plantations, until it suddenly 
occurred to me that I had "better go over and talk 
to the people involved. When I talked to them I 
found out: "Forget it - just no way." They put 
it very simply: "We were born here and we plan 
to stay here; we'll get by somehow." 

Anyway, this problem of the three plantations 
took care of itself in a peculiar way. When the 
strike deadline was reached, we had sent out no 
permission for any plantation to operate, al 
though in general discussions there had been sort 
of tacit agreement that we might let the three 
plantations operate, just so we could not be 
suckered into a trap. 

But these members walked out, and they walked 
out in a way which forced me to do a lot of double 
thinking. For example, traditionally every time 
there had been a strike in sugar, one of the pre 
conditions was a clean and efficient shutdown. In 
other words, all machinery was brought in to the 
mill yard. They didn't leave it out in the field 
to rust. Some machinery, unless it's oiled, and 
so forth, is going to deteriorate very badly if 
you're striking. You still plan to go back to 
work at the plant; you ought to be around if you 
want to be able to do a job. 

But in this case, the guys were so angry about 
the whole thing, and particularly, the discussions 
that were going on about these three plantations 
being carved out of the industry, that they just 
abandoned their machines, sometimes leaving truck- 
loads of sugar right on the highway and going 
home. I decided we had better sit and think about 
it a few days. 

Pretty soon I had only one conviction there: 
trap or no trap, it was better to go along, whether 
you had unanimous agreement on a program that might 
not be 100 percent right than to get a divided 
union on a program that you considered to be 100 
percent right; better off to settle for something 
that could be partly wrong; take your chances. 


LG-: We learned from the workers in that case, not the 
other way around. So we shut them down. I under 
stood the best thing for me to do was to get the 
hell out of there. The Sunday I was leaving 
Bernie Eilerts, the head of the Hawaii Employers 
Council, said he wanted to come "by and talk to 
me. So, I said "Sure" and called some of our loc 
al officials and said, "Eilert is coming by and 
says he wants to talk to me privately, but I 
suggest you be there and sit at the next table." 

They put a lot of stock in this business of 
man-to-man conversation, most of it bunk, a lot 
of hogwash. And Bernie Eilerts spelled out their 
position and I said, "Prom what you're telling me 
the three plantations have to stay out of the new 
contract; there might be a little bit of room on 
something, a few small issues, but no fundamental 
change in that position." He said, "That's right." 
And I said, "Well, in that case, the strike is on; 
whenever you get ready to negotiate, you notify 
our committee and I'll be down." 

The strike didn't last very long, two or three 
weeks. Finally we got a call that they wanted to 
sit down and negotiate, and the negotiations v/ere 
really quite easy. 

We just sat there and said, "Look, you're the 
ones that asked for the meeting. You know per 
fectly well that we're not going to carve out 
these three plantations; they'll get the same as 
everybody else. We want some other improvements. 
You've convinced us you can pay more money by the 
kind of offer you put out." 

So, we picked up a bit more money on wages, 
and something on pensions. The three plantations 
stayed within the industry bargaining unit and 
that's the way it wound up, in good shape. That 
was my swan song, insofar as sugar was concerned. 

Ward: Yes, you got a very nice letter after that was 

LG: Yes, I got a very friendly letter - 


Ward: They wanted to buy you some golf clubs. 

LG: Yes, as a matter of fact, the committee asked me, 

just before I left, to go out and buy myself a set 
of golf clubs and send them the bill. So, I did. 
I got a check back saying, "We know you need the 
golf clubs, but chances are you'll need some 
lessons as well, and green fees are not cheap." 
So, they sent back a gift that amounted to $2,000 
bucks to cover the whole business. 

It was a very fine gesture on their part; there 
was a feeling that we could handle the employers, 
even when they were trying to run one on us. I 
can't blame them. After what had happened on the 
bonuses and so forth, I could see why the employ 
ers would figure .that it was time they picked up 
something too. 

This Consultant Business 

Ward: You evidently know a hell of a lot about the 
sugar industry. Could that be the reason why 
Dave Jenkins says that you could make a pot full 
of money if you went to work for the industry as 
a consultant? 

LG: Oh, I don't know. I'm sure that if I had any 

real interest in acting as a legislative consul 
tant or as any other kind of consultant to the 
sugar industry, they would definitely be interested; 
but, my God, whatever I've learned and whatever 
ability I might have, the union did that for me. 

Ward: You can't visualize yourself on the other side of 
the table? 

LG: Oh, no, no way! 

Ward: Some guys have .... 

LG: Some guys do. No, I can't see it, even in the 

legislative field, where you're not connected 
with the collective bargaining process and when 
my feelings have been that there may be a few 
points of identification between the interests of 










the sugar industry and the union in a piece of 
legislation. I guess that applies to something 
like sugar "because it is such a highly regulated 
and complicated industry. 

I'd be much more interested in doing something 
in conjunction with an international movement of 
sugar workers; that would make a lot more sense to 
me; particularly on setting some sort of inter 
national base rate for sugar, something I've 
believed in for a long, long time. I do know a 
fair amount about the sugar industry. I've done 
a good deal of study on it, beginning many years 
ago when I first got interested. 

Dave's ideas of how you value services are his; 
I have mine. 

Well, what kind of a salary did you wind up with 
and further, what kind of pension did you get when 
you retired from the ILWU? 

My final salary was $25,000 a year. 
The pension is what, 50 percent? 

No, the pension is slightly over 50 percent; it's 
$14,000 a year. 

These days, that isn't wealth. 

No, it isn't wealth, but neither do we miss any 

I don't see any signs of starvation around here. 

No, and there is something in the refrigerator if 
you're hungry. I think it's a generous pension. 

Yes; then you get Social Security too. 

The Social Security is separate. Medical care is 
covered; very important, particularly when you get 
to my broken down stage. I have a real anger, as 
well as a contempt, for people who pick up their 
skills and whatever they know about an industry- 
through the union and then go peddle it to the 


Ward: A lot of the guys in the Railroad Brotherhoods do 

LG: I know, I know. 

Ward: Even in Hawaii, some of the guys did it. 

LG: I don't recall in Hawaii .... 

Ward: Well, didn't Ed Wong? Wasn't he . . . .? 

LG: No, he never was a sugar worker. There was a guy 
in pineapple who led some sort of a two-bit revolt 
during some of those redbaiting days - (Robert) 
Mookini was his name. He went to work for the 
employers for a while, and I think they found he 
was as much use to them as he was to us; good 
riddance to him. 

Ward: Well, then your philosophy is that you don't change 
shirts, or coats. 

LG: No, I don't see it, that's all. For the same 

reason, I don't buy this role of consultant. I 
understand the need for consultants in certain 
areas. The unions have gotten into a whole series 
of bargaining issues which might have been a 
mistake in the sense that they really don't belong 
in the union realm as much as they belong in society 
as a whole. 

Here's what I mean; whether union pensions are 
a good thing as compared to a push for improved 
pensions nationally - that's one I think is really 
open for debate. You can get that down to the 
lowest level, that of the individual. Take a man 
who's busted his balls all his life trying to get 
a union in some area up in the northwest: he's 
never made it. They might have formed a union once 
but they got their back broken. 

He doesn't desert the field; he stays in there 
and keeps fighting. This guy winds up finally 
with one pension; whatever he manages to get from 
Social Security. Here's another guy who might 
have gone through a battle somewhere and says, 
"The going is a little bit too rough here. I'm 
going where things are a little bit easier." Now, 


LG: if he was one of the rebels who had been heaved 

out by reactionaries and run out by the un-American 
Activities Committee and so forth, where you help 
supply a haven for these people, that's one thing. 

But if he's somebody who says, "I oust don't 
want to take that much of a beef and I understand 
San Francisco is a good union town; there might 
be a job open on the front." He walks in, and come 
retirement he has himself a substantial union 
pension. The first guy I mentioned, busting his 
neck, he winds up with what the bird left on the 
limb . . . 


LG: Well, in a field like pensions, whether we like it 

or not, we're in there. V/e're in there because 
government pensions are so damn small that there 
was a big push to get something over and above 
that. Same reason that even though Medicare may 
be around, it sure as hell doesn't do much good 
for the average family or the working man; or Medi- 
Cal, where you have to be an indigent to qualify. 

So, we've gotten into fields now like health 
and welfare and pensions. There I can understand 
the need for specialists, people who know their 
business when I can call somebody and say, "Okay, 
we're thinking in terms of so much of an increase 
in pensions of say an extra $2 or $3 a year, 
after a year of service; what do you think that 
would run? Our present costs and the age population 
and the number of guys who would be retiring ..." 
They do this work all the time; they are very 
competent with the figures and they can run these 
things through for you quickly. 

Ward: They specialize in these things - - 

LG: And they do a good job. I think we have been lucky 
with some of the people we have used in the ILWU; 
they have been very good. Sure, there are times 
when we do it ourselves, like I've told you of the 
incident in Hawaii. That was for bargaining 
purposes only. 

Ward: You acted as a consultant in this last sugar situa 
tion in Hawaii, you might say. 


LG: I really wasn't; I was acting as Secretary-Treasurer 

Emeritus, specifically assigned to this job. 

Ward: Oh, somewhat similar to these retired judges who 
are asked to step in? 

LG: And primarily to fulfill an obligation, a promise 

I had made before I left office. I can't see my 
self as a consultant on a lot of other things; 
some people say, "Why don't you act as a consul 
tant in collective bargaining? You know a fair 
amount about that." And I guess I do. 

Ward: How many contracts have you had your finger in? 
LG: Oh, I don't know. 

Ward: A hundred? 

LG: Oh, at least, yes. Figure out there are all kinds 

of contracts I've taken part in in L. A. from 
Globe Mills to the wholesale drug group. I used 
to go down for years to help them handle their 
contracts. Thrifty Drug Company down there; 
negotiations around here. Not just with the master 
contract, but individual contracts like the one at 
Crockett, and some of the other contracts we've 
had around this area. 

In the northwest on some contracts. In Hawaii 
not just sugar, but pineapple, hotels; I don't 
know, I've never kept a score sheet. I don't think 
they maintain that kind of a score sheet like they 
do for baseball or football. 

Of course, it would be an impossible score sheet 
to devise, because negotiations are an animal all 
by themselves. That's the reason I don't think 
you can be a consultant in negotiations, except in 
a very rare situation; the Newspaper Guild thing 
was an example of that. That wasn't so much a 
matter of consultant as going in as a friend and 
saying, "Look, this thing is going to blow apart. 
Some things ought to be done and here is a solution 
that I think might work out." 

But for me to go in and try to represent the 
Newspaper Guild, represent the printers - what the 
hell do I know about their problems, really? 


LG: Those are the problems of the guy in the factory, 

the guy at the machine - he's familiar with those 
things. What does a consultant do? He just sits 
around and acts smart, figures out a smart piece 
of language like lawyers do. It's like the people 
who get the idea that negotiating is something like 
pulling rabbits out of a hat; a whole series of 
magician tricks, and all of a sudden you say, "Ah, 
that's it; gottcha that time." 

I don't buy the consultant's role. Fundamentally, 
I'm a partisan, the first thing you have to know 
is who are the people you represent and what do 
they think, what do they want, how far are they 
prepared to go; not just what they would walk out 
on, but how much of that percentage are you going 
to lose. You're going to lose some. 

Who'll be the remaining core, who will stick it 
out, are the measurements you have to make before 
you can really be an effective negotiator. With 
out that, I don't know what a consultant adds, 
except as to some of the qualified technicians. 

I guess my definition of a consultant is like 
that of an expert. My definition of an expert has 
always been the same - the s.o.b. from out of town. 


(Interview 40: 9 January, 1979) ## 

The Israeli Groupings 

Ward: Lou, we were going to insert in the appropriate 
place in the oral history some of your remarks 
about the trip you took in 1976, along with other 
prominent Jewish people, to Israel. 

LG: They weren't all Jewish. Nancy Swadish and Barbara 
Krantzler weren't. 

Ward: Well, what was the bond between the members of this 
group? What was their objective? 

LG: The group had been invited either by Mapam itself 
or one of its offshoots. 

Ward: MAPAM? 

LG: Yes. Let me explain very quickly some of these 

distinctions so we don't get lost. The governing 
labor party had been in power in Israel from its 
institution, as far as I can recall, up until the 
time of the elections in 1977 when Begin and the 
Likud Party won out. 

Mapai was this governing labor party - M A P A I, 
it's an acronym. Histadrut is part of Mapai in the 
main; not all of the members, because some of them 
belong to other political parties. Basically, it's 
supposed to be a labor movement; it also has many 


LG-: As a matter of fact, for a long time they talked 
about two governments; Mapai was a government and 
Histadrut, this labor organization, was a sort of 
second government. Histadrut claimed seniority 
in the sense that they were in business and 
operating as an organization before Mapai came 
along after the 1948 War of Liberation; so the 
Histadrut is primarily aligned with Mapai. 

Within the Histadrut, there's a system of propor 
tional representation. It is a very democratic 
system. There are people who run from Mapam. 
Mapam is basically a socialist group; although 
Mapai also says that it is sort of socialist, but 
obviously dominated by the commerciantes, the 
people who are concerned with industry, trade, 
t ou ri sm . 

In other words, Mapai think very much like the 
average American industrialist, but Mapam can still 
run candidates and they still get elected to some 
of these spots in the Histadrut. We met a few of 
the people who were from Mapam and were also with 
Histadrut. Mapam, though, is a socialist group; 
the principal basis of the Mapam is the kibbutz. 
This is what has to be understood. 

The kibbutz organization is a forerunner of 
everything, because the first Jewish settlers who 
returned to Israel were determined to return to 
the land. They weren't going to Israel to open 
up a shop. Their primary interest was to return 
to the land; to be completely self-sufficient 
people and to do everyting from garbage collection 
to being the cops. In other words, they were going 
to build a society around the whole concept of the 

A kibbutz is a very genuine commune in the true 
sense of the word. There are different forms of 
agricultural structure there; in the case of the 
kibbutz, the land is owned by the kibbutz as a 
whole. Working in the kibbutz and being a member 
of the kibbutz gives you certain rights in terms 
of your health care, your right to work, your right 
to get fed. 

Most of the kibbutzim are quite prosperous now; 
the right to housing, the right to schooling. For 
example, many of the kibbutz movement people who are 


LG: part of the Mapam, the leftwing socialists, would 
not even trust the public schools with their 
children, so they put an enormous amount of their 
annual income into setting up their own school 
system. This was "because the school system, in 
many cases, was dominated by the religious people; 
people on the kibbutz are largely non-religious. 

The Mapam is worthwhile studying and seeing; 
no question, it has become highly successful. 
There are also things called the moshiv which is 
more like a cooperative; and some call these a 
kibbutz, but they are not in the true sense of the 

What has to be borne in mind is that while 
Mapam has its initial footing and ground work in 
the kibbutz, it still has a certain amount of 
following among the industrial workers; but ob 
viously most of its attention is paid to kibbutz 

Kibbutz Artzi is a central operating office for 
the kibbutz or kibbutzim as a whole. In other 
words, it is a central purchasing power, a central 
place to make loans, a central place from which to 
arrange for the buying of equipment or what have 
you; and it has branched out and done a number of 
other things. 

There's no question that the Mapam had differ 
ences among its members, some of them very sharp 
differences. After the 1967 war they voted to 
join what they called an alliance, sort of a 
national front; and even that vote was around 
60-40. In other words, they were not too enthu 
siastic about it. 

I'm sure that there are members of the Mapam 
who to this day are still looking back and figuring 
it was a mistake, that they had no business 
identifying with the Mapai because while it was a 
so-called labor party, it was also dominated by 
people like G-olda Meier and others whose policy was 
generally directed towards the growth of indus 
trialization, the growth of commerce, with their 
foreign policy completely oriented toward the United 


LG: In the Mapam, for example, and in the kibbutzim 

which are connected with the Mapam, you still find 
a very strong feeling that there also ought to be 
alignments with the Soviet Union. They don't get 
into the screaming drill about the Soviet Union 
that some of the others do. This distinction has 
to be made. 

A third - there are about ten parties there 
altogether and we won't try to cover them all - 
large group is the Likud, made up primarily of people 
who are right-wingers, both in their political 
thinking and economic thinking. 

There was also a division in the Communist party - 
they are both very tiny parties - primarily around 
the whole question of the Arabs and the relation 
ship that Israel ought to take toward the Palesti 
nians. I'm trying to give you this background 
first, because without it you'd get lost. 

Ward: The purpose of these people who went, including 

yourself, was to accomplish something, as I recall. 

LG: The group was going there on the invitation of the 
Kibbutz Artzi and Givat Haviva, an Arab-Israeli 
Institute; they were directly connected with the 
Mapam. Mapam is also the central financial support 
of the excellent magazine called New Outlook. 

I joined the group a day or two late because I 
was tied up with something else. Their objective 
was to show us around the kibbutz movement, and 
around Israel as a whole; spend some time in Jeru 
salem. On our own, the group made a trip down to 
Masada, a fascinating trip all by itself. 

We spent a good deal of time around Jerusalem, 
including the eastern section, now under the control 
of the Israeli government, although it is the Arab 
section. I spent an extra day or two primarily 
with one of the men who was connected with Kibbutz 
Artzi. He was from New York City and had migrated 
there. I visited him and his wife there at his 
kibbutz - lovely house, lovely place; an apartment 
rather than a house. I had dinner with them, 
beautiful dining room, a tremendous amount of food 
right off of their own kibbutz. I mean they lived 
well, they ate well. 


Ward: You added a syllable to kibbutz? 

LG-: Oh, Kibbutz Artzi - that is just a central organ 
ization of the kibbutzim. So, we had a chance 
to do a lot of talking and see a lot of things. 
A series of things stood out and I'll try to 
mention them as best I can. 

Peace Or Land? 

LG-: I made a trip with Hannan Conn, the chap from New 
York; very outspoken guy, a very good man. The 
two of us drove to the Golan Heights; it was 
interesting going through that set of fortifica 
tions the Syrians had built there. And you could 
see where they could really harass some of the 
kibbutzim in the farms right below. They are 
within lobbing distance of a medium range gun; you 
could understand how some of these feelings grew up 
over the years, particularly with the Syrians 
insistent on keeping this row alive. 

To me, the thing that stood out most at the 
Golan Heights is that this is a huge area. We 
could see a town which I think is called Kenetra, 
on the Golan Heights in a part that was Syrian. 
I'll get some of these names wrong because you 
can't remember them all. It's a town that was 
pretty thoroughly bombed out by the Israelis, but 
the land is now being worked. 

I asked, "Who's working this land?" Hannan 
said, "Well, members of the kibbutz, the younger 
people who decided they're prepared to go out 
there. That's the way some of these kibbutzim 
grow; younger people decide to go out and set up 
a new kibbutz." Well, the place looked lush and 
in excellent shape in terms of its handling and 

I asked, "What happens if you do have peace with 
the Arab countries?" At that particular moment in 
many cases people, when you talk to them about 
peace with the Arabs, would say, "Well, just no 
way; you can't talk to them; they won't talk to 
you and you can't talk to them." I would reply, 


LG: "Well, somewhere along the line there will have to 
be some discussions. My feeling is that Israel is 
making a terrible mistake in not returning all the 
lands taken in the '67 war." 

Hannan's reaction was not completely opposed to 
that; he said, "Yes, there ought to be a couple of 
minor border adjustments which both could agree 
upon and would make sense. Other than that, the 
land should be returned", he says. "There is still 
a great deal of undeveloped land we could work our 
selves. We don't need this land, and of course, 
peace would be far more important than having the 

And I asked him, "Look, these people who are 
now in Golan Heights, they've worked here - it was 
1976, so they had worked there for at least 8 or 9 
years - and they have put in a lot of back-breaking 
work; they have done a hell of a job. They've 
raised families there. How are they going to feel 
about moving out?" 

His reaction was "They'll move; peace is more 
important." I hope he's right. I just hope he's 
right. That's all I can say. 

Ward: These people wouldn't be of this deeply religious 
sect that's going .... 

LG: You're talking about another group that's called 

the Gus-Emunin. I mentioned that about the 
Golan Heights because it is significant. In the 
last issue of New Outlook there's an odd remark by 
one of the writers that even some of the people 
in the Mapam, or in the kibbutz movement, are 
having second thoughts about some of the West Bank 
area; when they talk about the West Bank area 
they're talking about the Golan Heights and the 
whole she-bang. 

It's one of the difficulties that is bound to 
arise when you have endless occupation of a country. 
My thinking was that the longer Israelis occupy 
the Arab lands, the more difficult it will be to 
make the changeover. So, that was one incident 
that occurred. While we were in Israel, of course, 
our main source of information was the people we 
were going around with; and also the Jerusalem Post; 


LG-: anything in English. During this time there was an 

act "by this arch-religious group called the Gus- 
Emunin. Hannan Conn said of them, "Well, they're 
just fanatics, that's all - crazy." As far as he 
was concerned, he was non-religious. I think that 
in many of the kibbutzim, however, they would 
celebrate the Jewish holidays as holidays. 

"While we were there a group of these fanatics 
went to a lower court and got permission from some 
judge, who obviously didn't know what the hell was 
doing, to go ahead and pray on the Temple Mount. 

Well, the Temple Mount contains the third most 
important locale of the Arabs. There's Mecca, 
Medina and the Temple Mount. There are two temples 
there, one of which contains what they insist is 
the Rock of Abraham. 

You are so overwhelmed by the history of the 
place, and by the fact that these Muslims all 
maintain the same ancestry as the Jews. They're 
all children of Abraham, they're closer than cousins. 
They're direct bloodline, as they put it, because 
they too are children of Abraham. 

They have the Rock where Abraham supposedly of 
fered to sacrifice Isaac to God. They also have 
the rock from which Mohammed left by horse, you 
know, to the heavens. Oh, I mean, it just wallows 
in religious background - the whole place does. 

But here were these youngsters, part of the Gus- 
Emunin, who got a ruling that they could go pray at 
the Temple Mount, which they did. Promptly, of 
course, this caused a riot in which the Arabs were 
heaving rocks and everything else; battles going 
on all over the place. A higher court stepped in 
a day or so later and said, "Forget it." Because 
this is, without question, the holy place of the 

As a matter of fact, there's an interesting sign 
just above the Wailing Wall, which is part of 
Solomon's Temple. The sign is on a wooden plaque, 
written in English, which quotes the Bible to the 
effect that only the high priests of the Jewish 
religion were permitted on the Temple Mount at the 
time of the Temple. 


LG: The stories there! How much of these are true and 

how much of these things grow up over the years, 
you don't know. There were stories that when the 
Chief Rabbis would go up there to pray, they could 
not "be accompanied. Consequently they would tie a 
rope around the rabbi, just in case he passed out 
or something, they could pull him back down from 
Temple Mount without entering it. 

You have no idea of how steeped in religion some 
of these places are until you visit them. This was 
one of the incidents that give you such a strong 
feeling that the Jewish handling of the Arab situa 
tion must be changed; otherwise it will continue 
as a violent thing for years to come. 

Also during the time we were there, it was 
announced that in the case of certain lands that 
had been in the hands of Arab families for many 
generations, hundreds of years, the government 
had decided these lands were to be put to a better 
use and was, in effect, moving in to expropriate 
them; make payment, and so forth. 

They always kept telling us, "Look, we make 
payment;" but the Arabs didn't want any payment. 
They wanted to keep their land. Yes, they might 
have been using it for grazing goats, for all I 
know, or maybe not doing a goddam thing. This was 
in the Valley of Galilee. Most of that is very 
good agricultural land. Here was the government 
just moving in and taking over the land. 

Still another thing was going on while we were 
there. I think we got the results while we were 
there or a day or two after we left. A series of 
elections were taking place in a lot of the Arab 
communities. They were electing local councilors 
who were still controlled, of course, by Israeli 
occupation; they had a certain number of house 
sheiks, if you want to call them that. These were 
the guys that got along with the Israeli government, 

You get an idea of how strong the PLO (Palestine 
Liberation Organization) was because they put up 
candidates in all these little towns and when the 
election returns finally came in, I think they won 
in 90 percent of the cases. 


Ward: As against these .... 

LG: These house sheiks - these guys who had gotten 

along with the Israeli government and were taken 
care of. 

Ward: The ELO guys were less likely to get along with . . 

LG: This was a direct and outright repudiation of 

everything the Israelis were doing. So, I mention 
these things as incidents of provocation and what 
I consider to be real stupidity in the way of hand 
ling the Arabs; a certain degree of arrogance. 

Ashkenazi vs. Sephardic vs. Arab 

Ward: I get the notion that your up-and-coming Israeli 

feels superior to his Arab counterpart; there's no 
reason, as far as his education .... 

LG: Yes and no. It is true that by and large the 
government of Israel up until now has been an 
Ashkenazi government. The Ashkenazi s are the 
European Jews as against Sephardic Jews. Those who 
come in from Morocco, Algeria and so forth are 
Sephardic. The Ashkenazi Jews in the main have had 
the advantage of a much better education, a pretty 
rich background in many fields. They are good ad 
ministrators, good businessmen, the key people all 
through the administration there. 

In other words, straight line of all the people 
we're talking about, like Golda Meier, (Premier 
Menahem) Begin, the man who preceded him, (Yitzhak) 
Rabin; they are all part of the Ashkenazi line. 
Their attitude toward the Arab was that they were 
just a lower people. 

Incidentally, to think there are no tensions in 
Israel between the Sephardic and the Ashkenazis, 
you'd be all wrong. The Ashkenazi Jew feels he is 
far superior to the Sephardic Jew. He comes from 
a different background, in many cases one which is 
much more literate; he knows a great deal more about 
business and what have you. You get all these 


LG-: currents. I mention these things because you look 
for things to support the things you believe in. 
I felt that the '67 war was justified; I think 
perhaps the biggest mistake was the United Nations 
removing its forces at the request of Nasser 
(President G-amal Nasser of Egypt). 


Ward: We were discussing the 196? war, the Nasser request 
and all that. 

LG: And I fundamentally felt that the Israeli govern 
ment did the only thing they could do in that 

My parents were strong supporters of this place 
called Birobidzhan, which was an area set aside 
in the Soviet Union; they supported it with a couple 
of bucks here and there, although I don't think it 
ever made it, really. The locale was such that 
there was not much of a willingness to migrate 

I think the strong Jewish groups in Europe that 
wanted to move out after all the pogroms and the 
persecution under the Czar thought more in terms of 
getting into their own homeland with which they 
identified, primarily for religious reasons, as the 
old Palestine. 

While I am not a Zionist, I've come to the con 
clusion that the presence of an Israel is actually 
essential; a home for people who felt they were 
being pushed around; being evicted from the socie 
ties they live in. Whether I thought it was a good 
idea or a bum idea before World War II, to my mind 
became only theoretical and terribly unimportant; 
the important thing was that with the Nazis and the 
Holocaust, Israel became a fact of life. 

Bear in mind, the total population of Israel 
prior to WWII must have been very, very tiny. It 
was primarily the Zionist kibbutz movement. Those 
were the people who worked the farms and in many 
cases did a really heroic job, draining swamps, 
taking land that hadn't been used for years - just 
allowed to let go - and turning it into a very 
fertile area. 


Ward: Well, Israel really became an entity in 1948, didn't 

LG-: 1948 - right. But the Holocaust and the determina 
tion by whatever remaining Jews there were to get 
the hell out was completely understandable. On that 
score I felt that providing for an Israel made a 
lot of sense. And the '67 war made sense to me, 
but not the '56. 

As a matter of fact, Terry and I made a brief 
visit to Israel a few years after the 1956 Suez 
Canal incident - that was the time when Egypt 
seized the Suez Canal and the French and the British 
moved against them. Then, the Israelis decided to 
get the thing, too. And in visiting one of her 
relatives, Terry drooled over a book of photographs 
showing the effectiveness of the Israeli armed 
forces when they moved into the Sinai. 

People like that, when they are cranked up, if 
you try to tell them that Jews bleed too, it doesn't 
mean much. Even then I felt the Israeli attitude 
toward the Palestinians was so negative that they 
ought to be making overtures for peace in every 
possible way. I said, "The Gaza Strip is going to 
become a bone in your throat." They said, "Look, 
the Arabs have all kinds of land." 

Ward: Let them go somewhere else? 

LG-: "Let them go somewhere else; they have all kinds of 
land and we only have a little piece of land." 
When I talked to one of their kids who was driving 
us around, a nice youngster, I said, "What happened 
in 1948?" He said, "Well, I was around the port 
of Jaifa at the time; it's close by Tel Aviv. 
Terry's family name comes from that; her family name 
is Jaffe. 

He said, "All of a sudden, the Arabs were flood 
ing down to the port to get aboard ship." I said, 
"Why?" He said, "Rumors were going around that they 
were all going to be killed." I said, "Well, did 
anybody do anything to try to stop it and tell them 
to stay home?" He said, "No, I guess, if anything, 
we helped a little bit." 


LG: Yes, it is this feeling that Israel is a Jewish _ 
state, although there are enormous numbers of 
Arabs within it, even right now. Leaving aside 
the West Bank, leaving aside the Gaza Strip and 
just talking about Israel itself, there's a large 
number of Arabs who live there, or come in to 

On that score, Israel is changing a great deal. 
Arabs, for example, are now doing a lot of the 
heavy work. This is in spite of the fact that Jews 
have always been good building tradesmen. As a 
matter of fact, in this country at one time there 
was the Jewish Building Trades in New York City. 

Ward: I didn't know that. 

LG: Yes, there were locals of plumbers and electricians, 
carpenters. I guess they spoke Yiddish; it was 
easier. They were part of the so-called Jewish 
Building Trades. They have always been good crafts 
men and good builders. 

But by the time we made this last trip, a lot of 
the building trades work was being done by Arabs. 
The Israelis will tell you, "We pay them much better 
wages than they can get anywhere else." There is 
trade that goes on all the time from the West Bank, 
including agricultural -commodities; they say the 
Arabs get paid better that way. All of that I think 
can be true. The unfortunate thing is that does 
not give a people the kind of independence they 
strive for. 

Ward: It creates a class differential? 

LG: A class differential. It gets to a point that, 
while it is not the same thing as saying, "Look, 
we treat our slaves very well," it has the same 
kind of connotation. 

But, to wind up this Israeli bit, there were a 
lot of things we saw there that were just fantastic. 
I think a trip to that part of the world without 
visiting Masada is a terrible mistake; it's a 
fantastic place. It was built by the zealots, a 
Jewish group which was determined that they would 
not submit to the Romans; they would not convert 
and not give up their Judaism. 


LG-: They built this place on the top of a butte off the 
Dead Sea. The butte must stand about a thousand 
feet, I'd say, with these tiny trails so that only 
one person can walk up at a time. They built their 
store houses there and they had the most ingenious 
system of catching water from the rain and storing 
it in large cisterns and wells; store houses for 
grain and everything else. And they were convinced 
they could hold out for a period of at least five 

Well, it didn't work out that way. The Romans 
attacked it with five Roman armies. Imagine sitting 
out there right off the Dead Sea. Finally, the 
Romans built a ramp up one side and assaulted Masada. 
The Jews had a pledge among themselves that no one 
would take them alive. And I think there were 
three people found alive; a mother and two child 

The whole concept, the kind of ardor and belief 
that had to have gone to the idea of establishing 
this place! I mean, where all the food had to be 
brought in, to build these store houses, and to 
be able to survive on top of this butte. These are 
places that have to be seen; things like the Valley 
of Gethsemane are fascinating. You take this trip 
of the stations of the cross or whatever it's 
called, you know; that's the usual thing. 

Although on one occasion when we were visiting 
the Arab section, I was walking with a man who used 
to be with the NMU years ago and now he's with OSHA 
(Office of Health and Safety Administration). He 
turned to me and said, "You get the same feeling I 
do?" These shutters were coming down; they have 
these metal shutters on small shops - this was in 
the Arab part of Jerusalem, tiny little streets 
thousands of years old. 

I said, "Yeah," and he said, "I think we better 
walk a little faster." We did, and sure enough 
about a half hour later a riot broke out, with all 
kinds of rocks being thrown. I mean, the hostility 
there was so deep; how they're going to overcome 
it, I don't know, except by a real effort by the 
Israelis to recognize that there is a Palestinian 


Angry Discussions 

LG: That's one thing the Israelis won't accept. I was 
talking to Dave Jenkins a while back and asked him 
to read this last copy of New Outlook. It had an 
article which made the most sense, that the posi 
tion being taken by Begin is that Sadat (President 
Anwar Sadat of Egypt) must break with the rest of 
the Arab world and say, "Look, the Palestinians 
are on their own, you Arabs do as you please; we 
hope you don't do too badly." 

The Egyptians can't do that; impossible. For 
Sadat to do that would result in such chaos in the 
Arab world and within Egypt that things would begin 
to fly apart. These are really the things they 
are arguing about on this question of why can't the 
peace treaty be completed. 

It has nothing to do with the Sinai; it has to 
do with whether or not they take the initial steps 
toward some sort of genuine autonomy for the Pales 
tinian people. Meanwhile, people like Begin and 
others, particularly this arch-religious group, 
I mean, can think of nothing but colonization of 
the West Bank. They don't call it the West Bank; 
they call it Judea and Samaria. Judea and Samaria 
were part of the old Jewish kingdom - 

Ward: On a religious basis? 

LG: Strictly on a religious basis. They say they have 
the original deed; it's right there in the Old 
Testament. You look it up there; there's a copy 
of the deed. 

Well, our trip down there wound up in a peculiar 
way. A day or so before the rest of. the group 
lef t - I left later - Avram Yedidia's sister, who is 
married to somebody in the government or an attorney 
and lives in Tel Aviv, had a gathering at her house. 

One of the visiting group 


LG-: There were some interesting people there, a couple 
of people who had "been with the ambassadorial 
staff. One of them, I know, had "been stationed in 
South America for a number of years; a couple of 
lawyers, all apparently fairly high up in the 
government structure. 

We got into a long discussion on these things; 
I was very blunt. I said, "I don't see any answer 
around here. You're asking my opinion about 
things. You go back to your 1967 boundaries, 
that's all." I said, further, that the 1967 war 
was justified, but the continued occupation of 
another country's land is imperialism, no matter 
how you cut the goddam thing. "Oh, no - no", 
they said, "how about our defense?" 

I said, "De-militarize the goddam thing. How 
about the Golan Heights, when they can shoot right 
down at you? They have missies that go 100 miles; 
they have cannon that will shoot five miles. The 
only security is de-militarization; return the land 
and de-militarize it. Why shouldn't the whole Sinai 
be de-militarized? No harm in that. The Palesti 
nian people do have to be recognized. You cannot 
continue this policy of colonization." "Well, we 
paid for the land," they said. 

We got into some pretty sharp arguments. One of 
them raised the question, "Would the United States 
come to the defense of Israel?" I said, "You're 
asking my opinion, I'll give it to you. I don't 
think you could find a single American guy to do 
it. There might be a few ardent Zionists, maybe, 
who will pick up a rifle and go out and help; I 
guess even people like myself, if they felt it was 
such a dire danger, would do the same thing. 

"But if you're talking about the Americans as a 
group, going to war in support of Israel, I think 
you're making a mistake. We've been burned in 
Vietnam. We went through something in Korea where 
we had no business either. You are not going to 
get the American people involved. That's all there 
is to it." 


LG: A few years later, I made a similar remark to the 
Chinese when I was asked a similar question: Why 
don't the Americans do something about the Russians 
moving into places like the Horn of Africa, into 
Ethopia and Eritrea? I told them the same thing; 
right now you are not going to get the Americans 
to go to war anywhere. They're just not interested. 
They would vote "No". 

Of course the whole thing in Israel ended up with 
"You're not really a Jew! What's your name?" 
"Goldblatt! I haven't changed my name." Finally, 
one guy said, "Where did your parents come from?" 
I said, "Lithuania," Some of the Ashkenazi have 
always felt the Lithuanians Jews are a group 
slightly apart; they challenge things. They also 
produce a lot of rabbis, and they also will argue 
with you all the time. 

It wasn't a happy meeting. When they wanted to 
know whether I was a Zionist, I said, "No, I'm not 
I have never been a Zionist. If I were a Zionist 
I'd be here living in Israel. It's just that simple 
to me. I believe in Ben-Gurion's definition of 
Zionism - if you were a Zionist, you lived in Israel 
and you got there somehow. If you were not, you 
were living in the diaspora. " I think you call it 
the galut, being an outcast. So, I said, "I'm not 
a Zionist; if anything, I'm an internationalist." 

Ward: And you got out of there alive? 

LG: Yes, as a matter of fact, Peter Mazey remarked to 
me afterwards, "Well, I can't do anything but 
admire your tenacity." I wouldn't back up a step. 
They started going round and round on these ques 
tions, but I had told the group in advance, "One 
of the things that's going to happen, mark my words, 
unless it's just having tea and biscuits it's 
going to be put on a basis of 'You're either with 
us or against us'." Sure enough, that's exactly 
what happened. 

* Another member of the visiting group, 



(Resuming Interview 38: 12 December, 1978) ## 

New Man Talks Tough 

Ward: Okay, Lou, you wanted to talk about the '76 
warehouse situation. 

LG-: I'll try to pick up a couple of items we skipped 
over - we bounced around the 1970s, taking 
items issue by issue. 

Ward: Yes, instead of chronologically. 

LG-: We wound up with a good solid agreement in '73. 
'76 was a different kettle of fish, partially, 
I believe because of a change in personnel on 
the part of the employers. J. Hart Clinton was 
no longer the head of the San Francisco Distri 
butors' Association; they changed the name of the 
S. F. Distributors to the Industrial Employers 
and Distributors Association or something like 
that. Anyway, it's the same basic group, and 
they began to branch out to handle other groups. 

Ray Smarden had been an assistant to Clinton. 
He considered himself an able guy. I think that 
he figured that Clinton was not tough enough, and 
early in those negotiations, he went into a spiel 
about if there was a battle in the industry, he 
was convinced that the employers could hang tough 
for at least three months; that there would be 
casualties, he would lose some members, but he was 
sure he had a hard core of people that would stay 
with him. 


LG: Well, I couldn't quite understand the nature of 

his pitch, other than to try to set an atmosphere 
that in effect said, "All right, if you insist on 
going to a beef, you'll win some and we'll win 
some, but things won't be the same." I think he 
knew better than to make the flat statement that 
he could hold his whole group together. 

Word got back to me; I'm trying to remember from 
whom. I think it came from some employer who 
talked to one of the Teamsters, who got hold of 
me and said, "'There's quite a rhubarb in the 
Distributors. A lot of the employers are yelling 
their heads off, saying 'What does Smarden mean, 
talking about a three or four-month strike? If we 
can work something out that makes sense, we'll 
work it out.'" I don't think he had been in office 
long enough to have that much confidence from his 
own people. 

Clinton on that score had been quite good. He 
knew the value of covering his own bases all the 
time, and he made no pretense as to what he was, 
publisher of the San Mateo Times, a wealthy man 
and an Irish Catholic. I'm sure that somewhere 
in the back of his mind he had a real hatred for 
the British. I doubt if he had much sympathy for 
the IRA, but he had very little sympathy for scabs, 
or the whole idea of traitors. 

Ward: Not too difficult to work with, then? 

LG: Very honest and forthright. One advantage you - 

had with Clinton was that he had done his home 
work before he got there. You didn't get into a 
continuous situation where he'd say, "Well, I 
have to think about this," or "We have to have 
some time," causing another of these roundy-go- 
roundies. He knew the importance of getting his 
leeway, understanding his latitude and how far 
he could go. And when he took a position, that 
was it. 

Ward: Smarden was different? 

LG: Well, I guess there had been a palace revolt or 
something inside the Distributors. I think 
Smarden led it by getting some of the employers 


LG: to push. Clinton as to whether or not he would "be 

full-time for the Distributors Association. 
Clinton's primary work was as an attorney, "but 
he was also the head of the Distributors Associa 
tion; he figured that with a staff he didn't have 
to be there full time. 

I think he was the kind of a guy who was not 
going to be bogged down full time, either. He 
had other interests; I gathered that even to this 
date he loves to write editorials for the San 
Matep Times. I don't think they're going to fall 
in the same class as some of Heywood Broun 1 s 
writing, but .... 

Ward: It was also his paper! (laughter) 

LG: So, I personally liked Clinton. Now, maybe if he 
were dealing in a direct employer-employee re 
lationship, let us say, with workers at the San 
Mateo Times, it might have been another story. 
You never can tell, but insofar as his relation 
ships with Warehouse were concerned, I'd say that 
he was a pretty straight guy; his word, once 
given, was good. 

Ward: Yes, but what was the outcome of this? 

LG: But this time around, Clinton was no longer in 
the picture; he had been eased out. Smarden 
decided he would strengthen the employer team. 
On that score, I guess, he did think differently 
than Clinton. 

Now, I'm just speculating, because Clinton 
went along with the job of joint negotiations; 
but frankly, I don't think he trusted some of the 
employer groups. They were creatures of conven 
ience. Their primary job was to hold their 
little leagues together, carve out a small empire, 
get along with some of the unions by gentlemen's 
understandings. No question, when it came to 
the details of negotiations and so forth, some 
of them had almost no interest in a lot of the 
things which we would consider to be very impor 
tant; and so would Clinton. So, I don't think 
he had too much respect for some of the other 
employer groups. 


LG: Smarden, on the other hand, decided that if he 
could toughen up the other employer groups that 
would "be of some help in terms of his own tar- 
gaining situation. Well, while it might have "been 
of some help to him, I think it was of more help 
to us, "because some of these same employer groups, 
even during periods of difficult negotiations in 
the master warehouse contract, somehow would al 
ways keep in touch with their corresponding 
numbers in the union. 

It was not too uncommon to bump into them 
having lunch together, someplace in the middle 
of negotiations. In the 1967 strike, we found 
a whole group of them meeting up at the Town 
House in the bar, led by Sam Beard, who was just 
a complete character. 

Ward: Well, what was the outcome in '76, then? 

LG: In '76 there seemed to be almost absolute refusal 
to meet any of the issues. They were the kind of 
negotiations where you were bogged down from day 

Ward: Oh, Smarden wanted a strike, then? 

LG: He talked that way, although, as I said, we got 

word that there was serious doubt as to whether 
his own people wanted it as badly as he wanted 
it. Now, maybe Smarden figured, okay, here's 
his chance to earn his stripes in one fell swoop. 
That could very well have been, because when we 
finally did get a proposal from them it was such 
a picayune offer, so miniscule, that it was turned 
down automatically. 

A Short, Sweet Strike 

LG: We took a strike vote with the Teamsters and it 
was overwhelming for a joint strike. We had some 
very big stewards' meetings; one at the Jack Tar 
Hotel. It was the only place we could get. The 
place was .jammed. The feeling was there that we 
were going to get ourselves a good hunk of money. 


LG-: Money and pensions were "big issues. In health. 
and welfare, we needed a lot of dough because 
prices were escalating. 

There was a three week strike; everything went 
down and stayed down, Teamster warehouses as 
well as ILWU warehouses. We came out of the 
negotiations with a very good contract; 45 cents 
each year, plus an additional cost of living 
allowance that could go up 25 cents a year, 
which it did. 

Our anticipation on that score was correct. 
It ran to about 70 cents a year. We picked up 
improvements in pensions, although we did not get 
the same amount of pensions backward and forward. 
We got a certain increase for prospective pen 
sioners, and half of that amount for those who 
were already retired. 

Ward: What happened to Smarden? 

LG: He survived it; he's still there. Not an easy 
man to deal with. He's recently been making 
remarks to the effect that after all the warehouse 
industry is changing a lot and some of the big 
outfits he represents might feel that the Associa 
tion is not the place for them. 

Now, these may be incitements to guerilla war 
fare. True, we are living in a different era; 
there's no question in my mind that a series of 
ballots conducted now would not be like the ones 
in the thirties, where the question of the master 
contract became almost an employer demand because 
the leverage was on the union side, and so were 
the mobility and the initiative. It might not 
be quite as true today; this may be part of his 
conditioning process, trying to lay the ground 
work for new negotiations. 

Ward: Anyway, so he had his little strike. 

LG: We came out of it in good shape in '76 and those 
were my last negotiations with Warehouse-- 



The First Inquiries 

Ward: Okay, let's talk about the China delegation 

LG: Sometime in 1971 or in early 1972, I was in New 
York and by that time the People's Republic of 
China had been admitted to the U. N. One of the 
men who represented China at the U. N. was named 
Tang Min Chao. Tang Min Chao, by the way, is an 
old friend of a number of people from Berkeley. 
He was in Berkeley at the time some of us were 
there, around '30 and '31. I know he was a close 
friend of Edith Jenkins, Hazel G-rossman. I had 
met him a couple of times. He left Berkeley and 
went to New York. He set up a small leftwing 
China language newspaper. 

Here was Tang back in the United States, 
representing the People's Republic of China at the 
U. N. So, I called him and asked if I could come 
by to see him, reminded him who I was, and he 
said, "Sure, just come on by at 11:30," or when 
ever it was. I went by to see him and he said, 
"We'll have lunch together." So, we went down 
to the dining room; I gathered he had not been there 
very long. 

Ward: At the U.N.? 

LG: At the U.N.; the maitre d' there is picked because 
he must have a computer memory of everv single 
delegate and where he's supposed to sit; the goddam 


LG: This was an occasion, because here was Tang Min 

Chao, you see. "Oh, yes, yes - we have your 
table for you," and all this business. And Tang 
was funny; he said, "Order anything you want, 
there's really only one good thing about this 
job." I said, "What's that?" "I don't have to 
pay any taxes." (laughter) 

So, I asked Tang whether or not a delegation 
from the ILWU would be welcome in China. He said, 
"Sure, but I'm not the person to handle it. It 
doesn't go through my office. It goes through the 
liaison office in Washington. My suggestion is 
that you write to the All-China Federation of 
Trade Unions proposing such a delegation, send a 
copv to the liaison office, and send me a copy." 
I'm sure he must have followed through with it. 

Before long, we had an invitation from the 
China People's Republic inviting us to send a 
delegation of six or seven to visit China. During 
that time there had been a lot of discussion in 
the ILWU Executive Board. Harry kept making the 
point that we had our overseas delegations. 

These are rank and filers, and under our con 
stitution they are sent through a separate fund 
which cannot be used by any Executive Board 
member or any official of the ILWU. In other 
words, if an official of the ILWU goes overseas 
the expense is paid out of the general treasury, 
while the overseas fund can only be used for the 
specific purpose for which it is earmarked. 

The general feeling of the Executive Board 
was that, inasmuch as we would probably be the 
first trade union delegation going to the new 
China, it ought to include at least a couple of 

Ward: This was for the purposes of "face," if nothing 

LG: Yes, of giving the thing proper status. So, the 
idea was that we would try to get two officers, 
two members of the Executive Board and two rank 
and filers; a mixed delegation. 


LG: Well, a lot of tilings happened in 1972 - '73. In 
1972 we were invited. I think it was at a meeting 
up in Vancouver, an Executive Board meeting, that 
I made the announcement that I intended taking 
Terry along, and paying her way myself. I didn't 
expect the Chinese to pick up that tab. Harry 
said, "Oh, that's a form of free loading." I said, 
"I don't think so; I think that once in a while 
it is a good idea. I'm sorry I haven't had a 
chance to take her some other places." 

Wives - A Strange Question 

LG: For some reason, he was fit to "be tied about the 
idea of Terry going along. Then, he said he was 
not going to go, period, at which point one of 
the board members suggested that Bill Chester go 
along. Harry changed his mind and said, "Well, 
I think I will go. And I think I'll add Nikki 
(Bridges 'present wife) too," 

Next there was a proliferation of the delegation 
with some additional wives; I think it got up to 
thirteen. Harry suggested adding George Roth, an 
M.D. who lives in Mill Valley, as a personal phy 
sician. This struck me as another way of telling 
a country that they couldn't take care of us if 
anybody got sick. 

Then, he wanted Kathy to go along, his daughter. 
Then, he thought Ah Quon from Hawaii (wife of Bob 
McElrath) who was born of Chinese parents. I 
don't think she was born in China, but she might 
like to visit the graves of her ancestors. So, 
he kept piling it up. At one point he mentioned 
taking Matt Connolly from the Apostleship of the 
Sea along, because he wanted to go. He had been 
to China at one time as a missionary. My feeling 
was that he was loading it up to the point where 
somebody would say, "Enough is enough." 

Ward: Then somebody said, "Enough is enough"? 

LG: Yes, as a matter of fact, I told George Roth that 

and hurt his feelings very badly. I said, "George, 
this is supposed to be a trade union delegation, 


LG: and whether you know it or not, I think you are 
being used just to help load this thing down to 
the point where somebody just throws up his hands 
and says, 'Impossible. 111 

Meanwhile, two other things happened which were 
not very happy. One of our overseas delegations 
was sent to Taiwan. Madame Chiang Kai Chek is no 
fool. She is without any question the original 
Dragon lady of the world. While our delegation 
was there she had her photograph taken shaking 
hands with them. This turns up in The Dis-patcher; 
quickly there's a wire from the Chinese saying 
that their official policy is that Taiwan is part 
of China and they don't accept the idea of anybody 
having similar relations between Taiwan and the 
People's Republic of China. 

We sent a long and detailed explanation to the 
All-China Federation of Trade Unions that our 
overseas delegations went everywhere. We didn't 
necessarily approve the philosophy of any country 
they went to; it was their job to simply observe 
how people lived, their working conditions, and 
so forth; and that under no circumstances did this 
indicate political approval of Taiwan. Quite to 
the contrary, we were opposed to the two-China 
policy, and always had been. We were opposed to 
what was going on in the way of militarv aid to 
Taiwan; Taiwan was an internal problem for China 
to solve. 

They accepted that and the invitation was still 
okay. But then, of course, towards the tail end 
of 1972 I couldn't have done anything about it 
anyway; I was in no shape to go. The invitation 
was not taken up at that time. 

Ward: That's right, you were in the hospital. 

LG: In 1973, the issue came up in the most peculiar 
way. The delegation was still an acceptable 
thing to the union as a whole, but he brought it 
up to the northern California caucus. 

Ward : Harry? 


LG: Yes. You have caucuses of each area to place your 

nominees for International Executive Board and 
also to make your endorsement on the Internation 
al officers. Harry said he wanted to make it 
plain, he was not going to take Nikki on any China 
delegation, and as a matter of fact she was 
standing outside waiting for him and he was going 
to tell her that. He "believed that was a form of 
freeloading and shouldn't be done. 

Well, at that point, Archie Brown - that's the 
only time I realized he had any sense of humor, 
really - gets up and says, "Harry, if the Chinese 
are in that bad shape economically, I suggest we 
pass the hat at the convention and give them a 
couple of bucks." 

Harry was so determined that it wasn't going 
to work out that at another point when the 
delegation was supposed to leave, we were at an 
International Executive Board meeting and Harry 
announced that there was a great crisis in Long 
shore coming up. He said the emergency was of 
such importance that there was no way of schedul 
ing this trip. 

Harry suggested a secret ballot vote be taken 
that the visit of the delegation be postponed in 
view of the fact that this crisis was looming in 
Longshore - one that never did develop and around 
which no caucus was ever held. Well, the secret 
ballot resulted with the board voting with him. 
Bob Peebles, one of our delegates from Canada, a 
pretty blunt-spoken guy, says, "Heck, if there is 
a crisis coming up in Longshore, you don't give 
anybody a chance to vote. There's no need for it. 
There's no question of what the hell I have to do. 1 

Then Harry wrote a column for The Dispatcher 
on China in which he quoted a HongSong watcher, a 
New York Times reporter, who announced he had 
information that the trade unions in China were 
being reconstituted. Harry put it, "This is 
great news." 

Well, when the Chinese got that they flipped 
their lid completely. This business of relying 
on a Hong Kong watcher! Hong Kong watchers are 
the source of 90 percent of the bullshit 



that comes into this country. That killed the 
delegation; the Chinese cancelled the invitation. 

In 1974 Harry went before the Executive Board 
and said, "Let's withdraw our invitation," and one 
of the guys made a motion to withdraw our request 
for an invitation. That was rather silly, here 
the invitation had "been cancelled, and now we 
don't want to go. 

Finally, The Trip To China 

Ward: Well, this is as good a time as any to ask: you 
and Terry finally did go to China? 

LG: Yes. 

Ward: But that was .... 

LG: Yes, Terry and I finally did go to China - in 1978, 
We went at the end of May and spent something over 
three weeks there. The Chinese figure things out 
for themselves, and I think they realize that I 
had nothing to do with screwing up that delegation 
and dumping it. 

I wrote to them in late 1977, and told them my 
wife and I would like to visit China and that I 
would also be happy to pull together a trade union 
delegation. I thought I could get together a very 
good group of rank and filers to make the trip and 
I'd like very much if they would invite us. 

Well, we heard nothing and I wrote to several 
people, including an old friend of mine in New 
York who had just come back from China and who had 
stayed at our house for a week when they got back; 
Irving Kaplan and his wife. They had been there 
for about five weeks as guests. He's a close 
friend of Frank Coe. Prank Coe has been living 
in China for a long time, and as a matter of fact, 
one of his children was born there. 

Then I also wrote to Tomitaro Kaneda, head of 
the Japanese longshoremen - or was, but he has 
been ill and lost part of his leg to diabetes - 


LG: and asked if he could give me a hand, too. I'd 
say that between these people enough word got to 
the Chinese that they were convinced that some of 
these things that happened sure as hell could not 
be attributed to me. 

The net result was that they made no mention 
of my suggestion for a delegation. A letter came 
saying that "You and your wife are invited to 
spend two or three weeks in China in May or June." 
e decided to go at the end of May, hoping to avoid 
the hot weather, which we did; we really had an 
amazing three weeks in China. 

(Editor's Note: The following account of the 
trip to China is excerpted from a formal report 
written by the Narrator and inserted at his 
request. It does not appear on the tapes.) 

As to where we wanted to go and who we wanted to 
see and talk to, our requests in the main were 
met. We went to many places any visitor would 
want to see, such as the Great Wall, the Ming 
Tombs, the Forbidden City and the Summer Palace 
of the last Empress, including the marble boat 
she had built with the appropriation for the 
Chinese Navy. 

We saw a number of archeological spots such 
as the Peking Man Caves, the digs at Sian and the 
2000 year old, remarkably preserved old lady at 
Changsha, and a fine dig and restoration of a 
neolithic village which lived under a matriarchal 
society. We understood their powerful historical 
sense. They have a different time concept than 
ours - a combination of persistence and patience 
in what they set out to do. Very little of "I 
want it done yesterday", or "What have you done 
for me lately?" 

We saw factories, schools, communes (the domi 
nant agricultural structure), industrial exhibits, 
rest and recreation areas in Hangchow, the docks 
in Canton and Shanghai. 


No Inflation 

Prices are rigidly controlled, and they are the 
same throughout the country. There is no infla 
tion - the standard of living is not high. 

It is a hard working, very hard working society, 
8 hours a day, 6 days a week, 7 holidays a year . 
There are no private automobiles - they are 
owned by the State, and assigned to various 
agencies and institutions. The heavy reliance 
is on mass transportation - railroads, busses 
and bicycles. The bicycle traffic in the cities 
is unbelievable. Mornings you hear the constant 
honking of horns outside the hotel. There are 
not that many cars, but they are honking to manage 
their way through the thousands of bikes. I 
couldn't help but think that when they manufac 
tured a car, they built the horn first and assemb 
led the rest of the car around it. 

Safe Streets 

There is no tipping. Cab drivers carry a meter 
and insist on giving you exact change, together 
with a receipt. We were told that drug traffic 
was stamped out and that prostitution, once a 
major industry, especially around the seaports, 
is gone. The streets are safe - you can walk 
them day or night, although the main problem of 
moving around on your own is of course the 

Hotel doors are left open - we didn't bother 
to carry around our passports or money. Drinking 
does not seem to be a major routine. 

The atmosphere in the schools was encouraging; 
classes are not small - about 50-60. The teach 
ers work hard, command good respect, and problems 
of discipline, it is said, are infrequent. Gen 
erally there is a quiet confidence among them, 
and you get the feeling they will get the job 
done. It's an old society, and does not shake 


Industry Has Far To Go 

In industry you see everything from modern petrol- 
chemical plants for gasoline refining, and the use 
of the oil base for every kind of by-product, to 
people pulling loaded carts by hand. That's when 
you get the full impact of how far they have to 
go. They have rapidly developing industries in 
coal, iron, steel, oil, automobiles, textiles and 
machine tools. There is still an enormous amount 
of hand work and a large handicraft industry, 
some of which,, such as the manufacture of porcelain, 
has been partially mechanized. 

The work on general cargo vessels was the 
standard hand-handling. There are no containers, 
although they had container terminals planned for 
Canton and Shanghai, and the foreign lines will 
probably keep pressing for them. There were bulk 
operations for grain and ore - a number of them 
quite modern. Some machines were in use in the 
dock area although they were not utilized in the 
ship's hold, or to the extent they could be in 
truck discharge. The unit load or palletized 
load does not seem to have been introduced. Long 
shoremen are made up into gangs, other than dock 
or terminal workers, and from all indications 
work 8 men in the hold, 2 winch drivers, plus 
hatchtenders and frontmen. They seem to be paid 
somewhat better than many other industrial 
workers . 

In their economic structure they work under a 
system of central planning where decisions are 
made on a national level for the allocation of 
capital investments to resources, industry, agri 
culture, educational, cultural institutions and 
so forth. Wages at the work level are divided by 
labor grades of which there are generally eight, 
ranging from 35 to 40 yuan a month to start, to 
80-90 at the top, depending on age, experience 
and skill (a yuan is worth somewhere between 65 
and 70 cents, U.S.). In talks about wages, they 
follow what they call a "low-wage" policy. This 
must be a facet of rapid capital accumulation. 


Improving the standard of living is seen as the 
country moving upward as a whole, so that while 
improvement is slow, it is spread more evenly. 

Target Date Is A. P. 2000 

They have general economic goals, some with ter 
mination dates in 10 years to 1985, and the main 
target date the year 2000. By then they plan to 
be a modern, industrialized country, developed by 
highly improved agricultural methods, trained 
scientists and technicians and strengthened nat 
ional defenses. Again you feel their time sense. 

One aspect of the trip that didn't work out was 
my effort to see and talk to the leaders of the 
All China Federation of Trade Unionists in Peking. 
They had not functioned as an organization for 
almost 12 years. A National Congress was planned 
for October 1978, and the reason given for the 
inability to arrange a session was that they were 
busy preparing for the Congress. 

Revolutionary Problems 

On the provincial level we spent a lot of time 
with trade unionists. Provincial trade union 
congresses were being planned to be held prior to 
the national meeting, so that policy, program and 
personnel to be recommended at the national congress 
were still being debated. But the question arises, 
how is it that the All China Federation of Trade 
Unions didn't function for a period of 12 years? 
and to what extent did the same thing happen at 
a provincial or local level and for what reasons? 

The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution was 
triggered by Mao Tse Tung in 1966, and although he 
turned it on, apparently no one knew how to turn 
it off. There was talk as early as 1969 that the 
job of overhauling the work ethics, fighting bur 
eaucracy and arrogance, revamping the social sys 
tem and institutions and combatting tendencies 
toward what they call bourgeois methods had been 


adequately debated; however, the upheaval didn't 
stop but rather continued in many places through 
1976, as in the case of the re constitution of the 
All China Federation of Trade Unions, which they 
planned to put together again later that year. 

During this period there were major changes in 
in the work-place. These were not uniform. For 
example, in some provinces, such as Hunan or the 
city of Shanghai, many of the unions within the 
plants didn't function to all intents and purposes, 
for a span of five to ten years. In most cases, 
revolutionary committees took over on the plant 
level, committees made up of workers, technicians 
and the Communist party. 

In the case of schools and universities, the 
revolution took the form of putting ideological 
loyalty and revolutionary understanding in top 
priority, with education second. For instance it 
took the symbolic form of a student turning in a 
blank exam paper. 


At the factory level it had the powerful pull 
of egalitarianism and syndicalism. This of course 
is a deep seated feeling among workers everywhere, 
and not too different from what we ourselves are 
familiar with, where large numbers of workers 
feel that the top managerial structure, together 
with their lieutenants, have themselves a soft 
job, and don't know as much about the operation 
as the workers. 

In a number of places, both the unions and to 
some extent the Communist party structure were 
replaced by the revolutionary committees. In an 
effort to find out more about what had gone on, 
I decided to ask individuals with whom I talked 
as to what happened to them during this period. 

In some plants the leadership of unions went 
back to the work bench. Anywhere from 5 to 10 
years. In another plant, the director went back 
to work for some 5 years, although they then 
decided he was a fairly competent man and he 
returned to his post. In another city - Canton, 
for example - changes did not take this form in 
unions, and the factory structure remained pretty 
much intact. Now they are in the process of re- 
gearing the various institutions, and in the main, 
reverting to more traditional types of organization, 


As I stated above, the Great Proletarian 
Revolution extended for a much longer period 
than I had originally understood. It merged into 
a struggle against what was considered to be a 
bourgeois managerial line. It merged with a 
political struggle that continued well into the 
1970s, and which they refer to as a fight around 
the "Gang of Four". There is no question that 
the whole leadership were getting along in years. 
Three of the great old-timers died in 1976 - 
Chou Enlai, Chu Teh, and Mao Tse Tung. It could 
be that the question of successorship had begun 
to shape up. 

"When I asked if this whole period of upheaval 
was worthwhile, the answer was immediately, "Yes". 
Chairman Mao had launched the Great Proletarian 
Cultural Revolution, yet if pressed on the issue-, 
they will tell you the -country will be going 
through a period of re-evaluation and review. 
There was undoubtedly a lasting impact, and some 
of the benefits will be better communications 
between party people and workers, greater sensi 
tivity to peoples' needs, and a keener awareness 
of the dangers of bureaucracy or arrogance at the 

How could a country absorb this upheaval so 
shortly after the liberation, and the taking of 
power by the new government in 1949? After all, 
shortly after liberation they were involved in 
the Korean War, which went until 1953; after that 
there were some 13 years of construction, to 1966 - 
and then the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution 
got under way, and in some cases lasted as much 
as 12 years. However, they took it in stride, 
and are back building their society. 

Role Of The Unions 

It is my feeling that the role of the unions has 
not been completely defined or worked out. Of 
course, unions in a socialist country play a 
different role from ours in this economic system. 
When you question specific functions, they em 
phasize the welfare of the individual worker, 


education undertakings, including classes and 
political understanding - to some extent sports, 
and a number of things we would ascribe to welfare. 
Under their constitution, workers have the right 
to strike. In matters of safety which can't be 
disposed of quickly and where someone would be 
endangered - such as faulty running gear on a 
ship - they have the right to stop work. 

Questions such as wages and other benefits that 
would accrue from productivity in the workplace 
are planned at the national level, although they 
insist there is a good deal of debate, including 
feeding the plans or ideas down below, and then 
reviewing the issues constantly until there is 
general agreement, so that the wage question as 
such is not a matter of bargaining. 

Perhaps the most encouraging word about the 
unions was the statement that there will be a 
period of re-evaluation of the Great Proletarian 
Cultural Revolution. I don't see how some of - 
these developments can be lost in any way. Ob 
viously the impact on individuals who went back 
to the work bench for a number of years will not 
be readily forgotten. On that score it seems to 
me the re constitution of the unions by some re 
tooling might very well be called for. 

Use Of Incentives 

Another thing that became evident is that there 
is a lot of discussion and even varied planning 
on the institution of incentives* or the way it's 
put, "moral encouragement and material rewards." 

For example, in Canton we had a long discussion 
on incentives with the trade unionists, including 
those in the harbor. They plan to put them into 
effect where the range could be anywhere from 70 
yuan a month to 120. The present average wage 
they say is around 80. As in most countries I 
visited, longshoremen are somewhat higher paid 
on the whole than other workers. Under the 
incentive plan, if effectuated, a worker might 
get as much as 10 yuan less than the previous 


average under some circumstances. On the other 
hand 9 through incentives he could earn as much as 
an additional 50 percent over the base - 120 yuan 
a month. 

I mentioned some of the rather well known pit 
falls in incentives, namely the tendency of longshore 
gangs to segregate by young men and older men, 
conflicts Between workers on the job, and almost 
continuous dickering on incentives - very common 
in England and France - encouragement of speedup 
and taking shortcuts even when they are hazard 
ous. They said they were aware of these problems, 
but thought they could be handled. 

I asked what supervision was getting, such as 
walking bosses - brigade leaders - and they said 
around 80 yuan a month. When asked what would 
happen to them if the workers in the brigade were 
making the maximum, far in excess of the brigade 
leaders, they said they would have to "cross that 
bridge when they got to it" or take it up at the 
end of the year. 

In the port of Shanghai they obviously are 
making plans to introduce incentives with a slight 
ly different approach. In that case they said 
the average wage was around 70 a month. Under the 
incentive plan they have in mind the worker would 
not get less than his base nor would he have this 
wide range of payments which could go up to 50 
percent of base, as in Canton. In Shanghai they 
thought the maximum incentive bonus would be 
around 12 yuan a month. It could be they intend 
to try out both plans and see which one works 

In Shanghai we spent a long time talking about 
the use of forklifts around the docks, and I 
promised them some material from the west coast 
on fork lift utilization in dock operations, ware 
houses and the holds of ships, as well as at 
manufacturing plants for the loading of trucks. 
This seems comparatively simple, readily intro 
duced, and which can be standardized throughout. 


No Grievance Procedure 

In the area of grievances I was quite stumped in 
my efforts to find out what would be done about 
grievances on the job, such as classification, 
rate of production, etc. The best I could deter 
mine was that these could be resolved with the 
director of the plant. There was no mention of 
any formal or regular grievance procedure. It 
could be that in the light of recent years, com 
munications are such that they can be taken in 
stride. It does strike me, however, that over 
any period of time the failure to have grievance 
machinery could well build up a backlog of serious 

I came away with the strong feeling that our 
union policies over the years toward China have 
been sound and worth pursuing; 900 million people 
aren't going to disappear or go away. China is 
a proud country, standing on its own feet. In 
keeping with ILWU convention policies on the 
People's Republic of China, everything that can 
be done to bring about normalization of relations 
- recognizing also their basic sovereignty over 
the province of Taiwan and the promotion of trade 
and friendship - is sound, and should be pursued. 

This was a fascinating trip. Naturally I 
appreciate the hospitality and consideration ex 
tended to my wife and me. It was a great oppor 
tunity to see many new things and to learn something 
about another part of the world. 

(End Of Insert) 

Ward: Does that wind up the China situation for the 
moment , then? 

LG: Well, while Terry and I were in China we were 

asked by one of the people who was taking us around, 
a Comrade Pu, whether I could pull together a 
small leadership delegation from the American 
trade union movement; a broad group, if possible, 
and not a very large group, to visit China. 


LG-: I said I would try to do so. Since I've been 

"back that is one of the things I've spent some 
time on and at the present moment there is a 
group which is prepared to go. I'm making sure 
that it goes at the right time, and whether that 
turns out to be feasible, I don't know. 

Ward: Tou want to tell who? 

LG: Yes, the group that would go would be William 

Winpisinger, the national president of the Mach 
inists Union, a very outspoken man; I think he's 
one of the real bright lights on the labor 
horizon; or Eugene Glover, their national secretary- 
treasurer; Stan Jensen, vice-president of the 
Machinists on the West Coast, and a good man; Tim 
Twomey, vice-president of the Service Employees 
International Union or Keith Johnson, president 
of the IWA (international Woodworkers of America); 
Jim McLaughlin, Vice-President of the Retail 
Clerks Union, which is now merging with the 
Butchers; and Tony Ramos, who is head of the 
State Council of Carpenters. This group has 
agreed to go if we can get the date set for May 
18. So, I have written the All-China Federation 
of Trade Unions for its reply. 


(Interview 39: 19 December 1978) 

The 65-Year Rule 

Ward: Lou, we were going to talk about the 65 age limit 

LG: That's right. I have already told you about the 

attempt in 1971 to impose a 63-year age limita 
tion which could be interpreted by the convention 
in only one way; a proposition which died lousy. 

Then, in Hawaii, Local 142 at one of their 
earlier conventions had adopted a 65-year rule, 
namely if a person was under 65, he could run 
for one more term, even though it extended beyond 
the age 65, but then he could no longer run for 
office after that. The Hawaii delegation came 
into the 1975 convention in Canada with this 
proposition and asked the individual officers 
how they felt about it. 

There was a good deal of inner controversy, 
particularly in Warehouse. Warehouse people - 
Curt McClain was the most outspoken - were 
opposed to any kind of 65 year rule, feeling that 
it was a phoney and would do no good in the long 
pull. If somebody was equipped to do a job, they 
ought to be doing that job and should be there 
even if they were 65. 

I understood what they were saying: you don't 
measure those things by just chronological age. 
When it came my turn to respond to the question 


LG: raised by the guys from Hawaii, I told them I 

favored the 65 year rule; there had to "be times 
for changes of leadership, when new blood moved 
into the union and into leadership; that the 
65 year rule to my mind made some sense and was 
entirely different from the manner it had been 
posed in 1971; I would go along with it. 

Notwithstanding what I had to say, some still 
voted against it. But it carried, just by voice 
vote. The 65 year rule was adopted. The conven 
tion was somewhere around April or May, and my 
birthdate is in June. The motion was adopted 
that insofar as the present officers were 
concerned, they could run for one more term. And 
of course this would apply to Harry and myself. 

Ward: And what about the vice-presidents? Did this 

LG: Right, but in the cases of George Martin and Bill 
Chester, they were not under the gun. The in 
teresting developments that occurred were around 
the 1977 convention, because prior to that 
convention a lot of things had happened, particul 
arly the sugar bonus beef. This had become a 
difficult and open dispute between Harry and my 
self, one which he wouldn't let go of, no matter 
how overwhelming the facts which showed that his 
position had been wrong. If we had followed it 
we would have made a major mistake. 

I guess some of these discussions became more 
than just nettlesome to some of the Hawaii guys. 
They thought they were being booted around by 
this kind of a controversy. They decided they had 
done the right thing, and after all they did have 
local autonomy like everybody else. This business 
of somebody constantly chewing at them after they 
had made their decision, after they had gone 
through all the democratic procedure, all this 
stuff was in complete violation of the things 
that we ourselves had told them. 

In some of the crazy machinations when Harry 
made the rounds of some of the plantations in 
1974, before he decided to oppose the 1974 strike 
settlement, he had a strong personal friendship 
with one individual on a single large plantation 


LG: on Maui, Vierra, the self-appointed leader of 

the rank and file. Harry, apparently, decided 
to invite Vierra to come to San Francisco when 
the sugar caucus met in 1976; and he did so with 
out consulting the local leadership or the 

That really got under the skin of the Hawaii 
guys. Here were the good, solid, loyal guys who 
had worked as a disciplined group through the 
negotiations and had stood up on all the issues. 
They are the ones who stay in Hawaii, and the guy 
who is given a trip to San Francisco is the man 
who raises the most hell. You see, the squeaky 
wheel gets the grease. 

Comments were coming "back to me; a guy would 
say, "Christ, any time you want a trip to San 
Francisco, all we have to do is raise a little 
hell. Just take a negative position for a while 
and then be invited to San Francisco to have our 
minds changed." These remarks were not "being 
said in