Finding Aid to the Louis Goldblatt Oral History, 1979 MS 3538

Finding aid prepared by California Historical Society staff; revised by Marie Dunlap in 2010.
California Historical Society
678 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA, 94105
415-357-1848
reference@calhist.org
© 2000, revised 2010


Title: Louis Goldblatt oral history
Date (inclusive): 1979
Collection Number: MS 3538
Creator: Goldblatt, Louis
Extent: Transcript: 1 folder (0.1 Linear feet); Tapes: 2 audiocassettes
Repository: California Historical Society
678 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA, 94105
415-357-1848
reference@calhist.org
URL: http://www.californiahistoricalsociety.org/
Physical Location: Collection is stored onsite.
Abstract: Transcript and sound recording of Lucille Kendall's November 7, 1979 interview with San Francisco labor organizer Louis Goldblatt documenting his involvement in the labor movement of the 1930s and 1940s in San Francisco, California, and throughout the Pacific Coast, as well as the history of the San Francisco hotel strikes of 1937 and 1941-1942.
Language of Material: Collection materials are in English.
The sound recording from this collection was digitized by the California Audiovisual Preservation Project (CAVPP).

Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research. Readers must sign an agreement of use form.

Publication Rights

Copyright has been assigned to California Historical Society. Materials in these collections are protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) and may not be used without permission of California Historical Society. Use may be restricted by terms of CHS gift or purchase agreements, privacy and publicity rights, licensing terms, and trademarks. All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from, or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in writing to the Director of the Library and Archives, North Baker Research Library, California Historical Society, 678 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94105. Restrictions also apply to digital representations of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational purposes.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Louis Goldblatt Oral History, MS 3538, California Historical Society.

Separated Materials

The original sound recording from which the Goldblatt oral history was transcribed is available on cassettes 53.1 and 53.2.

Related Collections

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's public access catalog.
Bars (Drinking establishments)--Employees--Labor unions--California--San Francisco.
Hotels--Employees--Labor unions--California--San Francisco.
Labor unions--California.
Restaurants--Employees--Labor unions--California--San Francisco.
Strikes and lockouts--California--San Francisco.
Audiocassettes.
Oral histories.

Donor

This oral history was transcribed from a 1979 interview with Louis Goldblatt conducted by Lucille Kendall for the California Historical Society.

Biographical Information

Louis Goldblatt was a prominent labor organizer in the San Francisco Bay Area and throughout the Pacific Coast for over five decades. Born in the Bronx and educated at the University of California, Berkeley, Goldblatt began his labor career in 1936 as a San Francisco warehouse union organizer. A close associate of Harry Bridges, he helped organize the International Longshoremen's and Warehousemen's Union (ILWU) the following year. From 1938 to 1977, Goldblatt served as secretary-treasurer of the ILWU. At the same time, he was active in the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO), serving as secretary-treasurer of the California State Industrial Union Council from 1938 to 1942. Throughout the 1930s and 1940s, Goldblatt helped organize workers in California and Hawaii across racial and industrial lines. Although he did not actively participate in the San Francisco hotel strikes of 1937 and 1941-1942, Goldblatt spoke before mass audiences of striking culinary workers in 1941. He died in 1983.
Lucille Kendall was a member and officer of the Hotel & Restaurant Employees and Bartenders International Union. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, she conducted interviews of participants in the San Francisco culinary strikes of 1937, 1941-1942, and 1980 for the California Historical Society.

Scope and Contents

This oral history collection consists of a transcript and sound recording of Lucille Kendall's November 7, 1979 interview with San Francisco labor organizer Louis Goldblatt; an interview history; and a copy of Goldblatt's obituary, published on January 18, 1983 in the San Francisco Chronicle.
The Goldblatt interview sheds light on the history of the labor movement in San Francisco, California, and the Pacific Coast in the 1930s and 1940s. While Kendall was primarily interested in documenting the San Francisco hotel strikes of 1937 and 1941-1942, her interview with Goldblatt covers a number of other labor-related themes, including: the organization and activities of the International Longshoremen's and Warehousemen's Union (ILWU) and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) on the Pacific Coast; philosophical and tactical differences between the CIO and the American Federation of Labor (AFL); and the CIO's efforts to organize Chinese, African American, Filipino, and other non-white workers in San Francisco.