Opening the closed shop: the Galveston Longshoremen's Strike, 1920-1921

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Title: Opening the closed shop: the Galveston Longshoremen's Strike, 1920-1921
Author: Abel, Joseph Anthony
Abstract: Beginning in March of 1920 , the Galveston coastwise longshoremen ?s strike against the Morgan -Southern Pacific and Mallory steamship lines was a pivotal moment in the history of organized labor in Texas . Local and statewide business interests proved their willingness to use the state apparatus by calling on Governor William P . Hobby and the Texas National Guard to open the Port of Galveston . Despite this , the striking dockworkers maintained the moral support of many local citizens from a variety of social classes , including small merchants and officials of the Galveston municipal government . By February of 1921 , however , the segregated locals representing the striking longshoremen had fallen victim to the divisive racial tactics of the shipping companies , who implemented the open -shop policy of non -discrimination in hiring on their docks . Further demonstrating the capital -state alliance , the Texas legislature passed Governor Hobby ?s notorious Open Port Law in October 1920 , making it virtually illegal for dockworkers and others to engage in strikes deemed harmful to commerce . This legislation and the nearly yearlong strike not only destroyed the coastwise longshore unions in Galveston , but ushered in a decade of repression from which Texas ?s organized labor movement did not recover for many years .
URI: http : / /hdl .handle .net /1969 .1 /1372
Date: 2005-02-17


Opening the closed shop: the Galveston Longshoremen's Strike, 1920-1921. Available electronically from http : / /hdl .handle .net /1969 .1 /1372 .

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