The papers of Robert Olvera, Sr. and
Robert Olvera, Jr. document two generations of union activism in one family. The collection
consists largely of business papers dating from 1960 to 2003, including Executive Board and
general meeting minutes (with indexes), committee and council records (with indexes),
documentation of arbitration awards, papers of the Longshore, Ship Clerks & Walking
Bosses Caucus, ILWU contract agreement documents, and legal case material. A small number of
ILWU bulletins and newsletters published between 1981 and 2002 are also included in the
collection as is a small group of administrative correspondence.
Robert (Bobby) Joseph Olvera Sr. was a longshoreman for 38 years and Coast Committeeman of
the Coast Labor Relations Committee from 1983 through 1989. The youngest of six surviving
children, Bobby Olvera, Sr. was born January 3, 1933 in Bella Vista (West Pittsburg),
California to Jose and Tomasa Olvera. After the death of his mother in 1937 and father in
1942, Bobby, his brother Gilbert, and his sister Stella were raised by their uncle Manuel
Olvera and his wife Faye in Antioch. As a young boy, favorite past-times included Sea Scouts
and raising homing pigeons. Following graduation from Antioch High School, Bobby Olvera Sr.
served in the U.S. Navy from 1951 to 1954 on the USS Baltimore and USS Iowa during the
Korean conflict. When he returned home, he began work as a longshoreman at the Port of Long
Beach. In1968, Bobby Sr. married Georgia Crawford. Georgia's father, Jack C. Crawford,
following in his father John (Jack) Crawford's footsteps as a longshoreman, encouraged
Bobby's involvement with the union.
Copyright for unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s) of
this collection has 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.