Waterfront Workers


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Few work settings can compete with the waterfront for a long, rich history of multi-ethnic and multiracial interaction. There were Irish dockers from Chelsea to Ashtabula to Tacoma; African Americans, Poles, Germans, Scandinavians, and Italians joined the Irish on New York's docks; Eastern Europeans worked with the Irish and blacks in Philadelphia, and farther south, African Americans were the majority on the Baltimore waterfront in the 1930s. On the Pacific Coast, where the Chinese were excluded and African Americans were relatively scarce until World War II, waterfront workers were mostly white. In Waterfront Workers, five scholars explore the complex relationships involved in this intersection of race, class, and ethnicity.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 216 pages
  • 152.7 x 228.1 x 16.5mm | 358.31g
  • University of Illinois Press
  • Baltimore, United States
  • English
  • 025206691X
  • 9780252066917

Review quote

"Moves beyond a traditional account of worker and employer conflict to focus on the impact of racism on the longshoremen's union... Examine[s] issues ranging from the need for working-class solidarity, the divisiveness of race, to the control of power, in light of the overriding racial discrimination that permeated American life. They also illuminate the inner workings of a labor union, whose members of both races struggle to define and protect their interest as the question of race challenges the bonds of working-class solidarity." -- Choice
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