Chapter

Lost Strikes and Union Affiliation: Early Twentieth-Century Labor Militancy Alongshore

Michael C. Connolly

in Seated by the Sea

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780813037226
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780813041759 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5744/florida/9780813037226.003.0005
Lost Strikes and Union Affiliation: Early Twentieth-Century Labor Militancy Alongshore

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The early twentieth century was destabilizing for many Americans, not least the Portland longshoremen. They had to deal with economic recessions, the increasing power of the international steamship companies for whom they worked, and the arrival of other ethnic immigrants into the city, mainly Italian and eastern Europeans. Two maritime strikes (1911 and 1913) ended badly for the Portland Longshoremen's Benevolent Society. The preservation of the limited sling load, protection of working conditions, ethnic tension with Italians and the presence of other ethnic workers sometimes acting as strike breakers, and the loss of two strikes along with other challenges prompted the society to affiliate with the International Longshoremen's Association (ILA) in 1914. Now within the ILA, the highpoint in union membership at 1,366 would be achieved in the year 1919.

Keywords: Maritime Strike; ethnic tension; Italians; 1913; International Longshoremen's Association; limited sling load

Chapter.  11496 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social and Cultural History

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