Todd Shipyard Strike, 1949

Labor strikes by shipyard workers, maritime workers, and many others were common in the years following WWII. In 1949, The Brooklyn Eagle reported on a union walkout at the Todd Shipyard in Erie Basin, after eight riggers were fired for refusing to do work outside their job description.

Transcription of Brooklyn  Eagle, October 10, 1949 article:

500 Picket Todd Yard Over 8 Firings: Two Shifts Refuse to Cross Line Union Asserts

"Pickets at Todd Yard--Members of Local 39 of the Industrial Union of Marine and Shipbuilding Workers as they paraded in front of Todd Shipyards plant on Dwight St. today to protest discharge of eight riggers who refused assignment outside their work jurisdiction"
[photo caption]

A picket line of 500 men paraded for more than hours this morning in front of the Todd shipyard in Brooklyn to protest the discharge of eight machinist riggers last Thursday.

The pickets represented Local 39 of the C. I. O. Industrial Union of Marine and Shipbuilding Workers, of which the eight discharged men are members.

According to Edward J. Duffy, local president, the eight men were at work in the hold of a ship under repair when they were assigned to tie some rope on deck. They protested that topside work was not in their jurisdiction and refused the assignment, whereupon they were discharged. Later they began picketing the plant and afternoon and night shifts refused to cross the picket line.

Duffy said the executive board of the union has approved the action of the eight and has declared they were locked out of the plant. It also authorized a 24-hour picket line and mass picketing every morning.


Source: Brooklyn Daily Eagle photograph, 1949, in the collection of the Brooklyn Public Library: View File Details Page



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  • Low-resolution image from the Brooklyn Public Library catalog reproduced for educational and non-commercial purposes only.



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