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"THE WORKING STIFF -- THAT'S WHO!"

From: Dick Meister
Length: 04:21

A commentary on labor leader Harry Bridges, one of the 20th century's greatest leaders of any kind, on the anniversary of his death.

Default-piece-image-1 Harry Bridges, who died 20 years ago this month, was a remarkable leader -- the co-founder and for 40 years president of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, one of the world's most progressive and influential organizations. Bridges played a key role in the spread of unions nationwide. And, in winning a long battle against attempts to deport him to his native Austrailia for alleged Communist ties, Bridges helped strengthen the civil liberties of all Americans. 

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Piece Description

Harry Bridges, who died 20 years ago this month, was a remarkable leader -- the co-founder and for 40 years president of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, one of the world's most progressive and influential organizations. Bridges played a key role in the spread of unions nationwide. And, in winning a long battle against attempts to deport him to his native Austrailia for alleged Communist ties, Bridges helped strengthen the civil liberties of all Americans. 

Broadcast History

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Transcript

He died 20 years ago this month .. .Harry Bridges, one of the past century’s most remarkable leaders …the co-founder and for 40 years president of the San Francisco-based International Longshore and Warehouse Union … the ILWU ...one of the most progressive and influential organizations in the world.

Twenty years. But I can still see him … tall, wiry, gray-haired. hawk-nosed. I can see him pacing behind the podium at ILWU meetings . . . nervously twirling a gavel, puffing incessantly on a cigarette … calling on union members … white, black, Asian, Latino, in the broad accent of his native Australia. I hear him actually encouraging debate and dissent.

Harry Bridges was not in it for money. His salary as union president was far less than he would have made had he remained a working longshoreman. Bridges was in it because of his unswerving belief in the rank-and-file, as he once told...
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Intro and Outro

INTRO:

Commentator Dick Meister recalls an exceptional leader.

OUTRO:

Dick Meister is a longtime labor and political journalist.

Related Website

www.dickmeister.com