Scope and Contents
Title: Sam Kagel oral history
Collection Number: MS 2465
(0.1 Linear feet)
California Historical Society
678 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA, 94105
Collection is stored onsite.
Contains a transcribed copy of Lucille Kendall's 1980 interview with arbitrator Sam Kagel documenting his role in San Francisco
labor relations in the 1930s and 1940s, especially during the 1934 waterfront and general strike and the 1937 hotel strike.
Language of Material:
Collection materials are in English.
Collection is open for research. Readers must sign an agreement of use form.
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
[Identification of item], Sam Kagel Oral History, MS 2465, California Historical Society.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Arbitration, Industrial--California--San Francisco.
Bars (Drinking establishments)--Employees--Labor unions--California--San Francisco.
Hotels--Employees--Labor unions--California--San Francisco.
Restaurants--Employees--Labor unions--California--San Francisco.
Strikes and lockouts--California--San Francisco.
This oral history was transcribed from an interview with Sam Kagel conducted by Lucille Kendall for the California Historical
Society on February 8, 1980.
As an employee of the Pacific Coast Labor Bureau, arbitrator, and lawyer, Sam Kagel played a significant role in Bay Area
labor relations for 75 years. Born in San Francisco in 1909 to Russian Jewish immigrants, Kagel attended the University of
California, Berkeley, where he studied economics. In 1932, he went to work for the Pacific Coast Labor Bureau, a firm that
provided economic and legal counsel to labor unions, particularly during collective bargaining disputes. As an employee of
the Pacific Coast Labor Bureau, Kagel played a pivotal role in the 1934 waterfront and general strike in San Francisco, serving
on the Waterfront Strike Committee and the General Strike Committee. In the aftermath of the strike, he represented workers
-- including the longshoremen -- in arbitration. Around 1936, he helped organize the Newspaper Guild of Northern California.
During the San Francisco hotel strike of 1937, Kagel and the Pacific Coast Labor Bureau represented the Hotel & Restaurant
Employees and Bartenders International Union, playing a vital role in pre-strike talks and post-strike negotiations. From
1948 to 2002, Kagel served as chief arbitrator between the International Longshoremen's and Warehousmen's Union (ILWU) and
the Pacific Maritime Association. Kagel died in 2007.
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 transcribed copy of Lucille Kendall's 1980 interview with San Francisco arbitrator
Sam Kagel; an interview history; and a copy of an article about Kagel by Ira Kamin titled "King the Arbitrators," which appeared
San Francisco Sunday Examiner and Chronicle on August 10, 1980.
The Kagel interview sheds light on labor relations in the San Francisco Bay Area in the 1930s and 1940s. While Kendall was
primarily interested in documenting the San Francisco hotel strike of 1937, the Kagel interview covers a number of other labor-related
themes, including: the activities of the Pacific Coast Labor Bureau; the 1934 waterfront and general strike in San Francisco;
the ILWU's subsequent organizing drive, known as the "march inland;" and labor arbitration in San Francisco.