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History

 
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1920
 

 

 

 

1940
 
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--Roots of 
the ILA

 

 

 

 

--The Dawn 
of Unionism

 

 

--First 
Longshoremen's
Union

 

--ILA
Beginnings

--Early Threats
To Unionism

--Realism 
and Caution

--The Haymarket
Riot

 

--Creation of
the ILA

--Affiliation with
AFL-CIO

 

--Fighting
Communism
and racism

--ILA arrives in
New York

--ILA absorbs
LUPA

 

--Gangland
Myths

--Wagner Act

--Pacific Coast
Split

 

 

 

 

--ILA Accused
of Gangsterism

--Teddy Gleason
Fights to Save
the ILA

Teddy Gleason

--Elected President
of the ILA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

--ILA in the
Present

 

 

 

 

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The roots of the ILA

Origin of the term "Longshoreman"
Mercantilist Exploitation

The roots of the International Longshoremen's Association lie deep in the history of colonial America when the arrival of each new ship bearing goods from the Old World was greeted with cries for "Men 'long shore!" The longshoremen who rushed up to the ships were colonists, normally engaged in any number of full-time occupations. In the first hard years of life in this country, they left their occupations freely to unload the anxiously awaited, sometimes desperately needed, supplies without pay. As the new land began to develop a fledgling economy, and the ships were too many to count, the men were drawn to the shores by the extra money they could earn stevedoring precious cargo on and off the ships. 

As the nation matured, European imperialism gave birth to exploitative mercantilist trade practices. Land was no longer cheap or easy to be get, and many new immigrants congregated in the cities, hoping to find work amid the bustle, especially along the coast, where the bulk of the growing country's business was still being done. The number of professional longshoremen grew by thousands.

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