When an expected 82 cruise ships arrive in San Francisco next year, most will be tied-up, secured and provisioned by ILWU members at the brand new James R. Herman Cruise Terminal on Pier 27, a 0 million-dollar, 88,000 square foot facility that will soon open for business on the city’s historic Embarcadero waterfront where the 1934 maritime strike helped establish the ILWU.
While passengers use the new terminal to check their luggage, pass through security and confirm ticketing, they’ll also have a unique chance to learn more about the waterfront and ILWU history – thanks to an effort led by ILWU Local leaders, including Local 34 President Sean Farley.
“We’re supporting a special area inside the cruise terminal that will educate the public about Jimmy Herman, the ILWU, labor unions and the working class,” says Farley who is working on the project with Former San Francisco Mayor Art Agnos, ILWU Historian Harvey Schwartz and ILWU Librarian/Archivist Robin Walker.
“We have a rare chance to reach more than 200,000 visitors each year with a positive message about the ILWU – but the project needs donations for the dream to be realized,” explained Farley.
The response so far has been positive. Contributions have been received from ILWU Locals 500, 92, 63-A, 40, 14, 12 and 5, plus the Inlandboatmen’s Union National Office and IBU Puget Sound Region. Teamsters Local 350 also sent a generous donation.
Support has also come from Auxiliaries 5 and 17, and from the Columbia River Pensioner’s, Longview Pension Group, Vancouver (BC) Pensioners Club, and Vancouver Island Pensioner’s Club. Donations from individuals include: Laurence G. Bailey, Richard and Dagmar Barsch, Frank W. Best, Jon and Jeanette Borst, P. L. Boryer, Thomas and Vickie Christy, Paul and Barbara Donohue, and Delbert and Susan Green.
Donations will be used to finish the memorial inside the new terminal that will honor Jimmy Herman, who succeeded Harry Bridges as ILWU International President and served from 1977 to 1991. Herman also spent 16 years on the San Francisco Port Commission, the public agency that built the new cruise ship terminal and dedicated it in Herman’s honor.
ILWU Local 10 President Melvin Mackay noted, “This is the only cruise terminal in the world dedicated to a labor leader, and Jimmy Herman is one of our own,” Mackay urged members and locals to consider donating to the project. “This is a special opportunity to ensure the ILWU’s legacy and honor an important labor leader” he said. Tax-deductible checks can be made to: “James R. Herman Memorial Committee” c/o Local 34, 4 Berry Street, San Francisco, CA 94107.