Useful audio interview: overview of Hawaii labor history and strikes, late 19th century to present

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Comrade Motopu
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Joined: 27-04-07
May 21 2017 04:17
Useful audio interview: overview of Hawaii labor history and strikes, late 19th century to present

This is an interview with William Puette of the Center for Labor Education And Research in Hawaii. He's been at this for decades and can easily talk for a couple of hours on the subject, which he does. The main take away here is the way in which "racial unionism" gave way to cross-ethnic solidarity along class lines, which led to winning strikes. Victory in this case brought a powerful organized multi-ethnic union made up of the plantation workers and dock workers, and others, unifying ethnic groups that had failed to unite previously. The ILWU eventually played the key role, but Puette talks about how the Hilo longshore workers’ association and the Kauai longshore workers’ association were already uniting the ethnic groups before the ILWU arrived. Labor leaders like Harry Kamoku and others had taken part in West Coast strikes and learned from them, and understood that what they did on the docks could be replicated with the majority of workers on the plantations. From 1945 to 46, the ILWU organized Hawaii almost overnight, but the foundations had been laid before. Very interesting interview.

The site that houses the interview also looks interesting. The woman who conducts the interview is Robynn Takayama.

http://www.crossingeast.org/crossingeastarchive/2017/03/26/bill-puette-of-clear-in-hi-re-hawaiian-strikes/

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Steven.
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May 20 2017 10:58

Sounds great thanks!