Today in labor history: Hawaii longshoremen strike

On this day in 1937, Hawaiian workers who were members of the International Longshoreman’s Worker Union (ILWU) went on strike together with Japanese and Filipino workers who sought higher pay to match that of longshoremen on the West Coast U.S.

At the time, West Coast workers with that union were being paid $1.82 an hour, whereas in Hawaii they were only paid $1.40, even though they were doing the same amount of work – loading and unloading the same amount of cargo. Employers felt that a mere 12-cent increase was fair, but the Hawaiians declined that offer, and the strike began after subsequent negotiations failed.

The strikes continued until finally a 21-cent raise was agreed upon on October 23, 1949.

Photo: Hawaii State Archives







Special to People’s World
Special to People’s World

People’s World is a voice for progressive change and socialism in the United States. It provides news and analysis of, by, and for the labor and democratic movements to our readers across the country and around the world. People’s World traces its lineage to the Daily Worker newspaper, founded by communists, socialists, union members, and other activists in Chicago in 1924.