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Return to the year 1949

ILWU strikes against shipping

As part of an intensive campaign against the Big Five companies in Hawai`i, the ILWU (International Longshoremen and Warehousemen's Union) staged a major strike against shipping companies. The 177-day freeze on dockworkers severely impacted the Islands' economy by virtually stopping all shipments to and from Hawai`i. Other protests, including plantation strikes, challenged the hegemony of C. Brewer, Castle & Cooke, Alexander & Baldwin, Theo Davies and Amfac, the companies that controlled the bulk of economic activity in the Islands. Through their successful organization, the union movement also helped build Democratic Party opposition to the Republicans who had maintained a stranglehold on political power since Annexation.

 Sites for further information

"The Great Hawai`i Dock Strike" (Center for Labor Education and Research, University of Hawaii)

"The ILWU Story: Organization in Hawaii" (ILWU Local 19)

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