ILWU members were a prominent part of the Port’s 150th Anniversary celebrations held during the month of April. The Port declared Sunday, April 28 to be “Maritime Day” and sponsored waterfront events that included public tours, exhibits, boat rides, a scavenger hunt, and open houses.
Local 10, 34, 75, and the IBU sponsored the ILWU 1934 and 1948 educational exhibits and hosted a labor-related film festival at the Port headquarters. The Local 10 Drill Team performed to an enthusiastic audience at the celebration’s opening ceremony, followed by a warm welcome from the Port’s Executive Director, Monique Moyer, who thanked the ILWU and noted that the union’s contributions and sacrifices had improved conditions for all workers.
Local 10 President Mike Villeggiante was asked to speak on behalf of ILWU members, and he used the opportunity to recount the struggles by previous generations of waterfront workers – while noting that the struggle for good jobs continues today.
The event was very well-attended, and the films initiated great public discussion.
In the afternoon, the drill team gave a second performance at the cruise ship terminal. Earlier in the week, the 1948 exhibit was also shown at a 150th Anniversary gala reception that kicked-off the Port’s 150th anniversary, an event attended by ILWU International Secretary-Treasurer Willie Adams who currently serves as Port Commissioner.
Future Port Anniversary events are being scheduled around the upcoming Labor Day weekend. On Monday, September 2, Local 10 is planning a public celebration at their hiring hall, with live music, films, historical displays, food trucks, and informational tabling for labor and community groups. Actor Ian Ruskin will be performing as Harry Bridges on Sunday, September 1 at Local 34’s hall, and will provide a shorter performance on Monday at Local 10. The IBU is also planning an event and exhibit on the ferryboat Eureka at the San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park. Please see upcoming issues of The Dispatcher and ILWU website for more details