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Laborfest: Labor History Story Telling

Tuesday, July 02, 2019
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Event Type:
Location Details:
San Francisco Labor Council, 1188 Franklin, #203, SF
Buses: 1 (Sacramento to Franklin), 2 & 3 (Sutter to Franklin), 38 Geary to Franklin, 47 and 49 (Van Ness to Geary).

Bread & Roses Labor History Story Telling with Retired Union Members
Come to share an inspiring labor event or leader in your life. It could be in San Francisco or elsewhere in the U.S.A. or the world. Photos, news clippings, prose, and poems are welcome. This will be an open regular meeting of FORUM (Federation of Retired Union Members), an organization of retirees affiliated with the San Francisco Labor Council. Retirees come from a broad range of unions with members and workers in San Francisco. FORUM supports alliances between working people and retired people to preserve and improve health care, social security, and pension benefits. Refreshments will be served.

Laborfest began in 1993 to commemorate the 1934 general strike that made San Francisco a union town, and together with the 1934 General Strikes in Minneapolis and Toledo, made possible in 1935, the passage of the Social Security and Unemployment Insurance Act, and the legalizing of the right to organize labor unions with the Wagner Act. See (Wagner Act)
LaborFest this year celebrates the 85th anniversary of the San Francisco General Strike. The 1934 General Strike transformed San Francisco and the Bay Area into a strong union center in the United States. It also allowed hundreds of thousands of workers to join unions because of the collective power of the working people. We remember the two strike supporters Nicholas Bordoise and Howard Sperry who were killed by the police during the strike. We will also look at the history of the 1919 general strike in Seattle and other cities in the US. Today, for the first time in decades, some union leaders, including the CWA AFA president Sarah Nelson, are calling for another general strike against the attacks on Federal workers and the entire working class.

This has also become the year of the teacher. Working people are on the move. For the first time in US history, hundreds of thousands of teachers, including in Oakland and Los Angeles, have been in the streets fighting for their rights and their students for a decent public education. We will have events with teachers looking at the fight to defend public education and the threat of privatization through billionaire-funded charters throughout San Francisco and California.

Working people are also organizing in San Francisco, including Anchor Steam workers, healthcare workers, and the VCA veterinarian workers. The need for unions is greater than ever, and despite efforts to stop workers from organizing, workers continue to join unions.

San Francisco has become the center of the tech world with the growing presence of billionaires. At the same time, workers are being evicted and driven out of San Francisco, but also the entire Bay Area. Working people in the gig economy are being marginalized, and their living conditions are being threatened as outsourcing and privatization destroy education and public service jobs. Robots, artificial intelligence, and information technology is being used to eliminate potentially millions of workers in our disposable society and increase the temporary workforce. This dystopian world, with billionaires being created by IPO’s while gridlock and homelessness grow is the stark face of San Francisco and the US.

LaborFest 2019 will focus on many of these issues during the month of July. We will have panels on the effect of tech, like UBER and Lyft on drivers and also on Taxi drivers.

We will have our annual labor maritime boat trip on Bastille Day, July 14, 2019, with music, dinner and stories about the history of labor in Northern California in the past and our issues today. We will also commemorate the building of the Transcontinental Railroad and the labor strikes of Chinese workers who were brought to the US by the owners to do the work.

LaborFest will have our annual international film festival with lessons for union and worker struggles here and throughout the world. We will have films from Japan, Norway, South Africa, and South Korea. We will again have poetry and music raising our voices in our struggles.

We will also look at the attack on journalists and press freedom in San Francisco and around the world, and the right of working people to know what is really happening as media monopolies and social media companies try to censor and control information.

The vital need to look at our history and link it with our present struggle for survival is what LaborFest has done for 26 years.

In Solidarity,
From The LaborFest Organizing Committee
See also:
Added to the calendar on Sat, Jun 15, 2019 11:49AM
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