The Centre for Civil Society based within the School of Built Environment and Development Studies invites you to the seminar A History of Dockers, Social Movements and Transnational Solidarity in Durban and San Francisco by Peter Cole.
Date: Wednesday 17 February 2016
Time: 12h30 – 14h00
Venue: CCS Seminar Room 602, 6th Floor, MTB Tower, Howard College, University of KwaZulu-Natal
Dockworkers have organised in parallel but different ways in Durban and the San Francisco Bay Area, two ports vital to their respective cities and countries. Dockers in both cities have long committed themselves to social movements beyond their immediate workplace interests, linking themselves to larger campaigns including fighting US racism and SA apartheid. They also have engaged in transnational solidarity actions. While workers and unions in many places have been decimated by technology and globalisation, organised dockworkers preserve some of their power up to the current moment and periodically exert their power for overtly political ends.
Peter Cole is professor of history at Western Illinois University. He is currently writing a book entitled Dockworker Power: Race, Technology & Unionism in Durban and the San Francisco Bay Area. Previously, he wrote about the Industrial Workers of the World (Wobblies): Wobblies on the Waterfront: Interracial Unionism in Progressive-Era Philadelphia and edited Ben Fletcher: The Life & Times of a Black Wobbly. He also writes on contemporary politics, especially labour, race, and social movements.