1949: Dock Strike

The Great Hawaiʻi Dock Strike

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In 1949, the ILWU led this 171 day strike challenging the wage pattern whereby Hawai‘i workers received significantly lower pay than their West Coast counterparts. With compelling first-hand accounts and dramatizations, the program depicts how Hawaii's dock workers suffered "red-baiting" and unrelenting attacks by the local media and corporate powers of the day. These stories were brought back to life in photographs and film footage.  The featured storytellers are those who lived through--Ah Quon McElrath, Bud Smyser, Henry Walker, Jr., Mamoru Yamasaki, Senator Inouye and many of the striking longshoremen, including Joe Kahapea, Joe Kahee, Herman Kila and Levi Kealoha (1999, 60 minutes).