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America on the Move
Collection Exhibition Themes
Button, 'Longshore Victory'

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Button, "Longshore Victory"
Smithsonian Institution, Photo by Paula Johnson


This object appears in the following sections:

Making the Exhibition
Container Back Story — Maritime Labor

Strike of '71

ILWU Union Pin

Button, "Longshore Victory"
Catalog #: 2002.3003.01, Accession #: 2002.3003
In collection
From the Smithsonian Collection
This button was work by Local 10 ILWU longshoreman Herb Mills, who was a strong supporter of the coastwide strike in 1971. In 2002 Mills donated this pin, along with other longshore-related artifacts and archival material, to the Smithsonian for use in creating the "Transforming the Waterfront" section of "America on the Move."
Physical Description
Artifact. Round metal button, 1-1/2" in diameter, with a pin and clasp on the back. The yellow background has blue lettering: "I'M FOR A LONGSHORE VICTORY IN 1971." The name of the manufacturer appears along the edge of the button: "BUTTON WORKS / 300 BROAD ST. / NEVADA CITY, CA 95359."
Date Made:
Dates Used:
1971 - 1971
Gift of Herb Mills
Political buttons like this were worn by longshoremen during the 1971 strike, which lasted 130 days and affected all West Coast ports. One of the key issues involved changes in work practices that allowed shipping companies to employ container crane operators on a permanent basis. Union members believed this special treatment violated a core value of the union, which had always stood for the strict rotation of all waterfront jobs among union members.

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