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Tours & Walks

July 2 (Saturday) 11:30 AM (Free) Angel Island Immigration Post, Mess Hall - North East side of the island
The Trial of Harry Bridges and Chinese Immigration at Angel Island
Talk by Harvey Schwartz and Mike Daly
In 1939, the US government held the first of five trials in an effort to deport Australian born ILWU president Harry Bridges for being a member of the Communist Party. The first trial was on Angel Island, which also was an immigration station for newly arrived immigrants and war prisoners. ILWU historian Harvey Schwartz will provide a report on the effort to deport Harry Bridges and Ironworker Mike Daly will report on the history of immigration of this important island, especially Chinese builders of California. Learn about the arrival at Angel Island of the Pearl River Delta Taishan people who were largely responsible for building the early infrastructure of California.

Please go to the Mess Hall inside the Immigration Post Building
Shuttle is available from ferry to the immigration post. The fare is $5.00 for both ways.
You can also walk, and it may takes 30 min. or more, so please wear comfortable shoes.

Ferry from San Francisco by Blue & Gold $17.00
From Oakland $14.50 (415-773-1188)
Tiburon Ferry $13.50

Departure Schedule to Angel Island
From SF Ferry Building - 9:20, 11:20 AM
From Pier 41 - 9:45, 11:45 AM
From Oakland - 9:00 AM
From Alameda - 9:10 AM
From Tiburon - 10:00, 11:00 AM

Departure Schedule from Angel Island
To San Francisco - 4:40 PM
To Alameda/Oakland - 3:10 PM
To Tiburon - 3:20, 4:20, 5:20 PM
Info on Angel Island - call: 415-328-4403

July 3 (Sunday) (Free) Meet at 18th Street & Tennessee
Dogpatch & Portrero Point Walk
With SF City Guides & Labor Photographer Joe Blum
Designated as a San Francisco Historic District, this colorful neighborhood has important ties to many of the city’s past commercial industries. From its historic working class cottages and industrial age relics to the current proliferation of ultra-modern lofts, we’ll explore the past and present of this surprising, eclectic neighborhood in transition.

July 3 (Sunday) 1:00 - 3:00 PM (Free) Departs from the cable-car turnaround, Powell at Market Streets, SF
San Francisco Hotel strike history walking tour
Frankly, My Dears, I Give a Damn: Let's Strike!
By David Giesen
Come along on a fast-paced history of a good bit of San Francisco hotel workers strike history. Historian David Giesen leads this two-hour survey of a hundred years of put-upon cooks, servers, pillow plumpers and entertainment staff that will first make you simply kvetch, but end with you joining the strikers’ refrain, “Land & Liberty!”
From the Palace Hotel in 1937 to the Hyatt and Frank in 2011, this walk/talk digs under the headlines and behind the rhetoric to reveal the truly sordid story of hospitality industry labor itself without a place to lay its head. Not recommended for the limp of heart! Unite HERE Local 2 members will participate.
For more information:

July 7 (Thursday) 1:00 PM (Free) Meet on Presidio Avenue between Bush and Pine
SF Fire Department Museum Tour
(With SF City Guides & members of SF Firefighters union)
View antique engines and fire fighter artifacts mixed together with the history of fire fighting. This is an indoor, self guided tour. A trained City Guide is available for questions and explanations. A member of the San Francisco Firefighters Local 798 will also attend and present the role of labor in protecting the people of San Francisco from fires.

The firefighters and their union are a first line defense for the people of San Francisco from fires and earthquakes. Two fire fighters in San Francisco, Lt. Vincent Perez, 48, and firefighter-paramedic Anthony Valerio, 53 gave their lives in the line of duty. They were also both members of Firefighters Local 798. LaborFest remembers them and other firefighters and public workers who have giventheir lives to the protection of the city.

July 9 (Saturday) 10:00 AM (Free) Meet in front of Berkeley High School -Corner of Milvia & Alston
WPA Berkeley Walk
With Harvey Smith
This walk will explore the “New Deal nexus” there that includes Berkeley High School, the Community Theater, Civic Center Park, Post Office art and the old Farm Credit Building. For more info: 510-684-0414

July 9 (Saturday) 12:00 Noon Meet at 1310 Mission St. at 9th, SF
Labor Bike Tour by Chris Carlsson
($15-50 sliding scale donation requested to benefit Shaping San Francisco)
From the pre-urban history of Indian Slavery to the earliest 8-hour day movement in the U.S., the ebb and flow of class war is traced. SF’s radical working class organizations are shaped in part by racist complicity in genocide and slavery, but from the 1870s to the 1940s there are dozens of epic battles between owners and workers, culminating in the 1934 General Strike and its aftermath. This is an entirely different look, during a four-hour bike tour, at San Francisco labor history.
For more info: (415) 608-9033,

July 10 (Sunday) 10:00 AM (Free) Meet at 75 Folsom St. - Entrance of Hills Brothers Coffee Building, SF
San Francisco Waterfront Labor History Walk
With Lawrence Shoup and Peter O’Driscoll
There are many stories to be told about labor struggles in San Francisco. This story is about the maritime industry from 1835 until the burning of the blue book in 1934.
Also labor historian Larry Shoup will talk about the history of the 1901 transportation workers strike, which included the Teamsters and was smashed by the San Francisco police. This strike in part led to the formation of the San Francisco Union Labor Party, which in 1905 swept the election and took control of the city.

July 10 (Sunday) 11:00 AM (Free) Meet at Strauss Statue in the visitors’ plaza - SF
Golden Gate Bridge Walk and Talk
Tour lead by Mike Daly (Ironworkers 377) with SF City Guides plus others.
Although other bridges are now taller and longer than this 1930’s icon, the Golden Gate Bridge remains the most recognized structure in the world behind the Eiffel Tower.  Learn why the bridge was so hard to build, how it changed the building of bridges around the world and what today’s bridge workers face as they maintain the world’s largest sculpture.  This unique tour combines historical content from City Guides with a walk on the world’s most famous bridge led by its very own ironworkers and painters.

July 11 (Monday) 10:00 AM (Free) Portsmouth Square -Washington Street side near the elevator at Kearny, SF
Chinatown Walk
(With SF City Guides)
Learn about Chinese labor, discrimination by government and unions, sweat shops, housing. Walk through unique hidden alleyways to hear the history of America’s largest and oldest Chinese community.  Learn how immigrant labor struggled for fair treatment while mining gold, building railroads and working in the building trades.

July 12 (Tuesday) 10:00 AM (Free)Meet at the corner of Stockton and Maiden Lane - just east of Union Square.
Rising Steel: Two Centuries of San Francisco Architecture
(With SF City Guides with ironworker Local 377 member Mike Daly)
Explore downtown architecture from as early as 1891 up to today. We’ll see famous buildings and little-known treasures while discussing the architects and design trends that changed the face of America. It will also look at the skills and creativity of the skilled union workers who built these artifacts.  ‘Make no small plans!’ 30 buildings in two hours.

July 14 (Thursday) 3:00 PM (Free) Hayes Valley Farm - Entrance on Laguna between Oak & Fell, SF
Hayes Valley Farm Tour
Located in the center of San Francisco, Hayes Valley Farm is an education and research project with a focus on urban agriculture.
Situated on city-owned lots bordered by Oak, Fell, Laguna, and Octavia streets, the project is organized by an alliance of urban farmers, educators, and designers that comprise the Hayes Valley Farm Project Team. Tours of the farm are held every Thursday and Sunday to highlight the innovative strategies used on the farm in order to meet the needs of our planet and the surrounding communities of San Francisco.

July 15 (Friday) 10:00 - 12:00 Noon( (Free) San Bruno Jail - 1 Moreland Drive, San Bruno, CA 94066
Garden Project - How Environmental Training is Being Integrated With Water Projects
Space still available
Reservation is needed - Limited to 50 people (Lunch provided)
Join us for a FREE behind the scenes tour of the 14 acre organic farm at San Bruno Jail which is part of a joint program of the San Francisco Water Power Sewer and the Sheriff’s Office.   The tour will feature presentations by trainee participants on this innovative program, which is headquartered at San Bruno Jail, but which has job sites at several San Francisco Water Power Sewer Water System Improvements Program projects.   Learn from the trainees how they evolve to Earth Stewards as they gain hands- on skills and what their plans are for their futures in the labor force. Lunch will be provided.

To make a reservation for this program and get detailed instructions for location, please contact Prentiss Jackson with San Francisco Water Power Sewer at (415) 554-3485 or email:
Sponsored by SF PUC.

July 16 (Saturday) 10:00 AM ($20.00) Meet at front of Bill Graham Auditorium - 99 Grove St., SF
WPA Bus Tour
Sold out
With Gray Brechin & Harvey Smith
Join Gray Brechin and Harvey Smith as they travel through history on a bus tour of historic sites built by unionized labor. You will learn about the major contribution workers made during the depression era of the New Deal program. They will discuss 75 years of the WPA. Please be aware that the tour will take about 5 hours depending on the traffic and the discussions.
Meet at front of Bill Graham Auditorium, between the City Hall and the Main Library.
Reservation required:
Send e-mail: or call: (415) 642-8066,  and leave your name, # of reservations and phone number (this is to get back to you in case of any changes. )
Make reservation, then send check to: LaborFest, P.O. Box 40983, SF, CA 94140

(Sandwiches and drinks will be available)
Bus will return to Civic Center.
Tour lasts about 5 hours.

July 17 (Sunday) 12:00 Noon (Free) Marine Firemen’s Hall - 240 2nd St. San Francisco
A Walk - Irish Labor Helped Build San Francisco
With IBEW electrician Peter O’Driscoll and labor writer and UAW NWU member Larry Shoup.
This tour will focus on the history of San Francisco’s famed waterfront and the role of its Irish and Irish-American workers, leaders, and martyrs. It will also include the cases of Tom Mooney and Warren Billings who faced a labor frame-up in the Preparedness Day Bombing in San Francisco in July 1916 and the successful struggle for their release. The tour will also include the sculpture dedicated to the waterfront strikers of 1934 and other historic markers along the way. The tour will end inside Rincon Center discussing the historic murals dedicated to the labor movement in San Francisco.

July 17 (Sunday) 6:00 PM ($45) Pier 41 left of Pier 39 near outside ticket booth - Fisherman’s Wharf, SF
Building Bridges and Labor Maritime History Boat Tour
Photos of 2011 LaborFest Maritime Boat Trip
5:45 PM Boarding, 6:00 PM Departure
Boat leaves promptly at 6:00 PM
Tour lasts 3 hours
A complimentary meal will be provided, however, if you are on a special diet please bring your own food.

Join us for this evening cruise on labor history and a close up look at the massive construction project of the eastern span of the San Francisco Bay Bridge. The skills of the ironworkers, operators, carpenters, laborers, electricians and maritime workers who are building this monument are creating a vital link and beautiful artifact of the Bay Area.
Labor historians, photographers and building trades workers will talk about labor history and the construction of the new East Bay Span of the San Francisco Bay Bridge. Gray Brechin, Mike Daly, Joseph Blum, Harvey Schwartz and others will present along with labor musicians including Carol Denney and others.
To make your reservation:
By E-mail: or call: (415) 642-8066, and leave your name, phone number and number of people in your party. (We prefer e-mail.)
We will contact you back to confirm your reservation. Then, you should mail a check ($45/person, children under 6 - free, 6 to 12 is $25) to LaborFest, P.O.Box 40983, San Francisco, CA 94140.
We don’t send you tickets, but we will either e-mail or call you back to let you know that we received your check, and as soon as we receive your check, your reservation will be confirmed. You will get your ticket at the pier before you get on the boat.
Please be there at least 30 minutes before the departure time in order to go through paper work.

July 23 (Saturday) 10:00 AM (Free) Meet at Coit Tower entrance, SF
Coit Tower Mural Walk
With Peter O’Driscoll
Seventy-six years ago this month artists who were working with the Works Progress Administration (WPA) were working on the Coit Tower murals. These political artists were very much influenced by the general strike, and this is reflected in these historic murals.
A media hysteria was also whipped up against the art and the artists in an effort to censor them. Fortunately this failed and the murals remain a testament to the people of San Francisco and the labor movement.

July 23 (Saturday) 1:00 PM (Free) Meet at 16th St. & Capp, Redstone Building - near 16th BART station
Redstone Labor and Culture Walk
With Louis Prisco
Two buildings near each other: the Redstone former Labor Temple was HQ of the 1934 General Strike, and the National Guard Armory was an anti-strike center. Murals in the Redstone lobby tell us much about San Francisco labor history; a walk through the diverse and culturally vibrant neighborhood outside will consider art, ethnic history and the class struggle.
Limited to 20 persons. Please sign up by calling the leader, Louis Prisco, at 415-841-1254 and for information on the meeting time and place.

July 23 (Saturday) 1:30 PM (Free) Meet in East end of Rincon Center lobby - Mission at Steuart, SF
Historic Murals of Rincon Annex Center
With SF City Guides)
The Rincon murals were the very last WPA project to be completed. When these murals were unveiled, powerful voices called for their destruction, but 40 years later, they saved the Rincon Center from demolition. The historic lobby murals tell many stories, from San Francisco history to the politics of the Cold War era. Discover the artistic and political background of these treasures.

July 26 (Tuesday) 11:00 & 2:00 PM (Free) Meet at entrance of 57 Post St., SF
Mechanics' Institute Library and Chess Room Tour
Join us for a tour of the oldest library on the west coast! The Mechanics’ Institute was established in 1854 as a library and vocational school for mechanics, engineers, and manual laborers. Today it continues its service to the community as a comprehensive library, a cultural center, and a world renowned chess club. Tour will focus on the Institute’s history, the unique architectural features of our landmark building, and a comprehensive review of the Institute’s collections, services, and activities.
For more information and reservations please contact: Taryn Edwards 415-393-0103, email:

July 30 (Saturday) 10:30 AM ( Free) Meet at the fountain in Latham Square  - Telegraph and Broadway
Oakland 1946 General Strike Walk

With Gifford Hartman of the Flying Picket Historical Society. This walk will revisit the sites of Oakland’s “Work Holiday” that began spontaneously with rank-and-file solidarity with the striking - mostly women - retail clerks at Kahn’s and Hastings department store whose picket line was being broken by police scab herding. Within 24 hours, it involved over 100,000 workers and shut down nearly all commerce in the East Bay for 54 hours. In 1946 there were six general strikes across the U.S.; that year set the all-time record year for strikes and work stoppages. The Oakland “Work Holiday” was the last general strike to ever occur in the U.S. and the walk and history talk will attempt to keep alive the memory of this tradition of community-wide working class solidarity. Sponsored by Laney College Labor Studies (510-464-3210)

July 30 (Saturday) 11:30 AM (Free) Meet at the corner of 8th St. and Railroad Ave. Mare Island
Mare Island Naval Shipyard: Laboring for the Navy 
Founded in 1854 as the first U.S. Naval installation in the Pacific, Mare Island Naval Shipyard in Vallejo was the Navy’s largest civilian shipyard, employing at its peak of production during WWII more than 40,000 workers, including women–Rosie the Riveters, as they became known. Learn about some of the labor issues that influenced work life at the shipyard and walk through the central shipyard with some of the workers who built and repaired Navy vessels up until the base closure in 1996. Bring your own lunch to enjoy at the picnic grounds next to the Naval Cemetery in the Mare Island Shoreline Heritage Preserve, followed by the afternoon tour. Drinks will be provided. E-mail or call for a ride from the Vallejo Ferry terminal. The Ferry terminal can be reached by BARTLink bus from the Del Norte BART station or by ferry from the San Francisco Ferry Building. Hosted by Mare Island Heritage Trust. For information call 707-249-9633 or e-mail myrnahay@pacbell.netVisit:

July 30 (Saturday) 2:00 - 3:30 PM (Free) Shoreline Heritage Preserve Visitors Center  - Mare Island
Mare Island Naval Ammunition Depot:  A “Mutiny” that Changed History
On August 9, 1944, 3 weeks after the Port Chicago Explosion that resulted in the greatest loss of life on home soil during WWII, 258 African American sailors took a stand that changed history, yet few people know where their “work stoppage” viewed as a way to bargain for better and safer working conditions, took place. Visit Mare Island Naval Ammunition Depot in Vallejo where the men were ordered to return to loading munitions. Their refusal to return to work resulted in the Navy’s court-martial and imprisonment of 50 men. Due to advocacy by then NAACP lawyer Thurgood Marshall and even Eleanor Roosevelt, the Navy became the first of America’s armed services to desegregate. Join retired ILWU member Jeff Bonneville and Mare Island Shoreline Heritage Preserve manager Myrna Hayes in anarrated walking and driving tour. Hosted by Mare Island Heritage Trust.

Mare Island Shoreline Heritage Preserve manager Myrna Hayes's note:
Regarding the ferry, it is such a nice ride up the Bay and the absolute best way to get to Vallejo from San Francisco. Our motorcoach service from the El Cerrito Del Norte BART is equally comfortable and convenient from East Bay and as alternative to the ferry or in combination with it. Note that the ferry service also has express busses directly to and from the SF Ferry Building that supplement the ferry schedule, too for more flexibility. Having talked up the ferry and bus, we do have a challenge in that they are right across the Napa River from our tours, but no bus/shuttle or ferry service the few hundred yards any longer now that the base is closed. So, I recommend that folks call ahead for a taxi or I am trying to arrange with our Union Locals to provide some informal shuttle services. Otherwise, driving is the other option, which for many requires renting a car or reserving a car-shareThe taxi tripwould not be very expensive. I can call about the total price. However, for the two tours, they are about a mile distance from each other, so we will need to arrange something to ensure that people can come to both. I think an informal carpool will work and I will have some of my volunteers to stand by for that. Let's see what we can work out.
For information call 707-249-9633 or e-mail Visit:

July 31 (Sunday) 10:00 AM (Free) Meet at ILWU Sculpture at Mission & Steuart St.
SF Architecture & Labor Social History of San Francisco

Walk With Brad Wiedemier, Executive Board Member SEIU UHW & Architectural Historian
San Francisco has a rich political and labor history that is also connected to it’s buildings. In this history by the buildings walk, Brad Wiedemier will outline these artifacts  and their connections to San Francisco’s past.
For more information call (415) 694-3605
Photo - Funeral march & gathering point for two workers killed in 1934 just before the SF General Strike at ILA-ILWU headquarter on Steuart Street