Labor in the Bay

By Kelly Ross

Every year San Francisco is host to one of the largest celebrations of labor around – Laborfest! The month-long festival began on July 5 – the anniversary of “Bloody Thursday,” the 1934 incident that gave way to the San Francisco General Strike that shut down the entire city and inspired thousands of skilled trades workers to join the labor movement – and runs through the end of the month.

The festival pays tribute to organized labor’s contributions to society in a series of cultural events, films, music exhibitions, educational workshops and conferences. There’s so much to do and so little time! Take part in a sequence of labor history walks throughout the city highlighting the stories of labor struggles in San Francisco, murals of union workers, and some of labor’s greatest accomplishments.  Visit a forum on Workers Rights and Technology and explore the challenges that many workers are still facing today. Or just stop by the SF Living Coalition Dinner and show your support for economic justice.  With most of the events being free, and only a handful costing between $15 and $45, this month-long festival is easy on the pocketbook.

Organized labor has long been a monumental force in the attainment and protection of workers’ rights, civil rights, and general human rights, and Laborfest does a great job of reminding us of that. Take advantage of any of these educational or cultural events at Laborfest this month and you are sure to benefit greatly.

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