The Henry (Enrique) Gaitán Collection
documents the unity between ILWU, Local 13 and their union counterparts throughout the
shipping ports of Mexico. The collection contains correspondence between members of various
longshore unions in the ports of Colima, Mazatlán, Sonora, Veracruz, and Yucatán, Mexico and
the International Longshoremen's and Warehousemen's Union to organize travel itinerary,
visas, and contacts for the Mexican workers coming to the Los Angeles waterfront. Several
items of correspondence provide insight into the personal friendships that developed between
Henry Gaitán and some of the Mexican workers after they completed their training. Documents
indicate that upon retiring, Henry Gaitán continued to be actively involved as Treasurer and
President with the Southern California Pensioners of the ILWU.
The International Longshore and Warehouse Union's Mexican Worker Program was established in
the early 1960s by representatives within ILWU, Local 13. Committee members included Henry
Gaitán, Tony Cedillo, Tom Motta, and Earl Cordova. ILWU, Local 13 extended invitations to
various Mexican longshore unions, inviting their members to work temporarily on the Long
Beach/Wilmington docks with the intention of sharing different cargo handling and mechanized
methods used by U.S. longshoremen. More importantly, ILWU members hoped to create stronger
union relations on the Pacific coast, both north and south of the border.
Copyright for unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s) of
this collection has not been transferred to California State University, Northridge.
Copyright status for other materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials
protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires
the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be
commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any
use rests exclusively with the user.
The collection is open for research use.