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Tours & Walks

July 1 (Sunday) 11:00 AM (Free) Meet at 18th Street & Tennessee, SF
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 1 (Sunday) 11:30 AM (Free) Angel Island Immigration Post - North East side of the island - Presentation will be inside the Mess Hall
The Trial of Harry Bridges and Chinese Immigration at Angel Island
Talks by Harvey Schwartz and Mike Daly, spoken word by Nellie Wong.
Harry Bridges, the Australian-born ILWU leader, was hounded by government investigations and trials from 1934 to 1955. In 1939, the U.S. government conducted a hearing on Angel Island to see if it could deport him. ILWU historian Harvey Schwartz will explore and deliver the truth about these events.  Angel Island was also the primary immigration station on the West Coast.  Mike Daly, Ironworker  and Nellie Wong, UPTE-CWA member will tell stories from the experiences of the people who  passed through or were interned on Angel Island, including the stories from famous California historian Iris Chang.  Nellie will also deliver her well known poem Where Is My Country.
Meet in front yard of the Immigration Post building.
(Presentation at Mess Hall)

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 (round trip)
Tiburon Ferry $13.50
(round trip)
Departure Schedule to Angel Island
From Pier 41 - 9:45 AM
From Tiburon - 10:00 AM

Departure Schedule from Angel Island
To San Francisco - 4:10 PM
To Tiburon - 3:30 PM
Info on Angel Island - call: 415-328-4403

July 1 (Sunday) 12:00 Noon (Free) Marine Firemen’s Hall - 240 2nd St. San Francisco
Irish Labor History Walk
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.
San Francisco Retiree Talks — and Walks — Labor History

July 3 (Tuesday) 10:30 AM (Free) Meet at Potrero Hill Neighborhood House - Southern Heights & DeHaro, SF
Potrero Hill Walk
(With SF City Guides)
Potrero Hill is a diverse neighborhood on one of our many hills that has an interesting history, fascinating characters, vistas to the four winds and great weather. This hill even has a unique brewery and a one-of-a kind church across the street from each other. This neighborhood has amazing architecture. Potrero Hill was and is home to many working class families who made vital contributions to San Francisco’s industrial and maritime heritage.

July 7 (Saturday) 10:00 AM (Free ) Meet at Harry Bridges Plaza   - Embarcadero at Market St., SF
SF General Strike Walk
Join a walk with retired ILWU longshoreman Jack Heyman and others. We will look at the causes of the 1934 General Strike and why it was successful. How was the strike organized and why are the issues in that strike still relevant to working people today? We will also view some of the key historical sites in this important US labor struggle. Be prepared for a long walk, slow pace and no hills.
Bring your lunch with you.

July 7 (Saturday) 12:00 Noon Meet at 518 Valencia St. near 16th St., 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) 608-9035,

July 8 (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.
San Francisco Retiree Talks — and Walks — Labor History

July 9 (Monday) 10:00 AM (Free) Meet at Portsmouth Square -Washington Street side near the elevator at Kearny, SF
Chinatown Walk
(With SF City Guides)
Learn about Chinese Labor History in California, discrimination by both governments and unions, sweatshops, housing issues, but throughout, a determination to persist. Walk through the unique hidden alleyways to hear the history of America’s oldest and largest Chinese community. Learn how immigrant labor struggled for fair treatment while mining gold, building railroads, and working in the building trades.

July 10 (Tuesday) 11:00 AM (Free) Meet in East end of Rincon Center lobby - Mission at Steuart, SF
Controversial Murals of Rincon Center
(With SF City Guides)
Scandalous! Shocking! Revolting! Partisan hysteria echoed from San Francisco to Washington D.C. when these murals were unveiled. Powerful voices called for their destruction, yet 30 years later, they saved the building from demolition. The murals tell many stories, from SF history to Cold War politics. Discover the artistic and political drama behind these treasures.


July 14 (Saturday) 9:45 AM (Free) Meet at Coit Tower entrance, SF
Coit Tower Mural Walk
With Gray Brechin, Harvey Smith, Peter O’Driscoll
Seventy-eight years ago this month, artists who were working under Civil Works Administration and the Public Works of Art Project program were painting 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.
(City Guides tour starts 11:00 AM)

July 14 (Saturday) 1:00 PM (Free) Meet on Presidio Avenue between Bush and Pine, SF
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 explanation. 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.

July 15 (Sunday) 11:00 AM (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 15 (Sunday) 6:00 PM ($45) Pier 41 left of Pier 39 near outside ticket booth - Fisherman’s Wharf, SF
Gate 4, boat name "Oskie"
Space still available
Building Bridges and Labor Maritime History Boat Tour
5:45 PM Boarding, 6:00 PM Departure
Boat leaves promptly at 6:00 PM
Please arrive 30 minutes before the departure time

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, Betty Reid Soskin, Joseph Blum and others will present along with labor musicians 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.)
Space is still available, but, since it's getting closer to the date, you could pay at the gate once your ticket is confirmed.
Please be there at least 30 minutes before the departure time in order to go through paper work.

Please be there at least 30 minutes before the departure time in order to go through paper work.

July 16 (Monday) 10:00 AM (Free)Meet at Market Street Plaza benches - bet. 525 and 555 Market St., SF
1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire Walk

With San Francisco City Guides
Imagine awakening before dawn on April 18, 1906 to the unthinkable--a massive earthquake has toppled chimneys and buildings, and ripped apart city water pipes. With the fire on your heels, escape from the alleyways south of Market to what should be the safety of Union Square. Learn about the experiences of the people that morning, and the emergency response they received.  Hear also about controversial actions by the military in dealing with the fire and the evacuations.

July 21 (Saturday) 10:00 AM ($20.00) Meet at front of Bill Graham Auditorium - 99 Grove St. Civic Center, SF
WPA Bus Tour
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 the history of 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 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
Please bring your own lunch. For those who couldn’t bring one, we will have some sandwiches and drink on the bus for small cost. Bus will return to Civic Center. Tour lasts about 5 hours.

July 21 (Saturday) 11:00 AM (Free) Meet outside Bridge Café at South side of Bridge - San Francisco side
Golden Gate Bridge Walk
Celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the bridge
Tour led by Mike Daly (Ironworkers Local 377)
Few bridges are as well known as this iconic structure, and today’s retrofit and maintenance crews are constantly preserving and updating its operational performance. Hear about the challenges of the original construction and learn about the current projects. Meet the trade members who maintain the bridge today. Walk out onto the Bridge with some of its own ironworkers and painters, and hear from them the creative ways they meet every challenge. Learn also how the new Doyle Drive rebuild will impact the way the Bridge is operating. Hear how the ongoing seismic upgrades will protect the Bridge into the future.

July 22 (Sunday) 3 - 9:00 PM ($30) Meet at the surface parking lot at SJCC at the corner of Moorpark and Leigh Avenues
Farmworkers Reallity Tour

This tour will challenge participants to better understand the conditions of Mexican farmworkers in Northern California. We will drive to the Crystal Bay Farms Strawberry Field where Ramiro Lazcano will talk about his life and jobs as strawberry picker and supervisor. He will demonstrate how to harvest strawberries after which participants will have the opportunity to pick and purchase strawberries.
For more info: Contact Elizabeth Sarmiento at 650-704-3462 or

July 25 (Wednesday) 10:00 AM (Free) Plaza on the south side of the CalTrain Station - 4th & King, SF
Mission Bay Walk - Hidden Water
With SF City Guides
From placid waters fished by ancient peoples to the biggest construction project in San Francisco since 1906, the transformation of Mission Bay has been incredible. Gain a unique perspective on the area, and discover a hidden park and a forgotten creek. (If it’s a bay, where’s the water?)  See a vibrant housing district featuring a project named for much loved San Francisco Labor and Community Activist, Rich Sorro.  Witness the new UCSF campus emerging as well as the city’s new transit infrastructure.  Learn the history of working people who once made this place the West Coast’s most important port.

July 27 (Friday) 10:00 - 12:00 Noon (Free) San Bruno Jail - 1 Moreland Drive, San Bruno, CA 94066
Learning From Trainees - Behind The Scenes Farm Tour
Visit the Garden Project Earth Stewards Program, located at the San Francisco County Jail San Bruno Complex. The Garden Project’s Earth Stewards Program is a partnership between the SF Public Utilities Commission, the SF Sheriff’s Department, and the SF Police Department. The visit will include a tour of the Garden Project’s 14 acre farm conducted by Stewards participants, an overview by the Executive Director, and lunch.   The program offers young people environmentally based job and life skills training. Earth Stewards participants are not part of the San Bruno jail population.
Reservations are needed. 
To make a reservation for the program and get detailed instructions for the location, please contact Cathrinesneed@ or call LaborFest Organizing Committee member Lois Scott at 415-929-7714. 
Visitors should dress in layers; wear long pants and sturdy shoes and bring I.D. for gate.

July 28 (Saturday) 11:30 AM (Free) Meet at the corner of 8th St. and Railroad Ave. Mare Island
Tour: Mare Island Naval Shipyard: The Navy in Vallejo
Founded in 1854, Mare Island Naval Shipyard became the Navy’s largest civilian shipyard, employing 40,000 during its peak production in WWII. Enjoy this walking tour guided by longtime Mare Island activist Myrna Hayes, and see the former production facilities and living quarters of this remarkable place. Hear about the women welders, and see the workshops of those who built, maintained and serviced Naval Ships until the base closed in 1996.  Bring a lunch to enjoy at the picnic grounds before the afternoon program.  Finally, pay respects to those who have passed on at the Mare Island Cemetery.  Ferry Service is available from San Francisco Ferry Building, and public transportation is also available from the DelNorte BART station.
For more information call 707-249-9633 or visit

July 28 (Saturday) 12:00 Noon (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 stores 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.
Meet at the fountain in Latham Square, in the intersection where Telegraph and Broadway converge across from the Rotunda Building (Oakland City Center/12th St. BART).

July 29 (Sunday) 10:00 AM (Free) Meet at ILWU Sculpture at Mission & Steuart St.
SF Architecture & Labor Social History of San Francisco - A Walking Tour
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

July 29 (Sunday) 1:00 - 4:00 PM (Free) Ironworkers Training Center - 3150 Bay Shore Rd., Benicia
Honor The Workers Building Our Bridges
University of Iron & The Ironworkers Who Are Building The Eastern Span of The San Francisco Bay Bridge
Learn about Ironworkers and their work at the Ironworkers Apprentice Training Center “University of Iron”.
The Ironworkers Apprentice Training Center in Benicia trains the workers who are building our bridges and infrastructure. Watch a slide show of the workers building the Eastern Span by labor process photographer Joseph Blum. There will be a screening of “Halfway To Hell, The Workers And Unions That Built The Golden Gate Bridge” narrated by Danny Glover and “Hanging Iron After the Quake Of ‘89”.
There will also be tours of the center to learn about the training and education of the workers who build our country.