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"'Pistol Packin' Mama, Lay That Pistol Down', the number one hit, echoed off all the buildings."

In December 1946, 100,000 union members participated in a 54-hour general strike that effectively shut down Oakland, California. Since November,425 non-union retail clerks at Kahn’s and Hastings department stores had been picketing for several weeks, attempting to organize as the Retail Clerks (Local 1265). On December 1, after Teamsters refused to deliver merchandise to the stores in solidarity, the Retail Merchants Association, sent in 12 trucks driven by non-union strikebreakers, supported by a 300-member police escort [PDF]. The next day, "the bus drivers," remembers Secretary of the Alameda County Central Labor Council Robert Ash, "told the police that the carmen had never crossed a picket line, and so long as that cop picket line was across the street, they were not going to take the streetcars or the buses through." [more inside]
posted by liketitanic on Oct 27, 2011 - 92 comments

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