Harry Bridges Essay

680 Words3 Pages
Taylor, Zachary May 31, 2013 Harry Bridges Harry Bridges was an extraordinary labor leader and social visionary whose life and work encompassed all of the important issues and events of his day, including immigration, depression-era policies, red-scares, McCarthyism, the Cold-War and labor issues. His story provides a springboard into understanding these times and realizing their significance today, as we face parallel issues of the economic downfall, the growing gap between rich and poor, violence, and the war on terror. His life inspires people to come together in their communities, discover their own history and take charge of their own lives by engaging in debate about these issues in order to move beyond and overcome the fears and limitations they create. Additionally; for more than 40 years (1934 to 1979) Harry Bridges earned a reputation as one of the most radical, insightful, and successful leaders in the American labor movement. He first came to national attention during the combined waterfront and general strikes which paralyzed San Francisco in 1934. Bridges emerged from this labor conflict as the dominant leader and spokesperson for Pacific Coast waterfront workers. Then, and for many years afterward, his enemies accused him of serving Communist purposes and the federal government several times tried, unsuccessfully, to deport Bridges. Bridges built his union, the International Longshoremen and Warehousemen's Union (ILWU), into one of the most militant and successful unions in the nation. Before he retired from active involvement of union service in 1979, Bridges also won plaudits, praise and acclamations, from employers for his role as a labor statesman, which meant accepting technological innovations and less total employment on the waterfront in return for union and job security. Obviously, for the surplus of achievements and milestones

More about Harry Bridges Essay

Open Document