Document 11: "Chinese Girl Strikers Picket Dollar Stores," Labor Clarion, 4 March 1938, p. 6.


    The strike gained the immediate support of other unions in the city. This article, published in the Labor Clarion, the newspaper of the San Francisco Central Labor Council, offers a positive, if somewhat paternalistic, view of the picket lines that the Chinese garment workers established around the National Dollar Stores outlets and factory. Note, also, that the Retail Clerks' Union, composed overwhelmingly of non-Chinese workers, "refused to pass through the picket lines," thus lending crucial support to the striking factory workers.

Chinese Girl Strikers
 Picket Dollar Stores

    One of the first instances, if not the first, in which a strike of Oriental workers in the United States has resulted in the picketing of the struck premises was brought to public attention last Saturday.

    The Chinese local of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union, charging bad faith and breach of labor contracts, placed picket lines around three of the National Dollar chain stores and also a factory.

    All day smartly dressed and attractive Chinese girls paraded before the struck places of business, creating a great deal of interest on the part of the public. Each wore a colored sash bearing the name of their union, and while unobtrusive, they were courteous in explaining to those who questioned them the cause of the differences with their employers.

    The employees of the picketed stores are unionized in the Retail Clerks' Union of the American Federation of Labor, but they refused to pass through the picket lines of the Ladies' Garment Workers.

    The strike was called by 108 Chinese workers at the Kearny and Washington streets factory, an establishment formerly operated by the Dollar Stores, but now said to be owned by the Golden Gate Manufacturing Company. The union claims the transfer of the factory is "obviously phoney," and that the same people have represented the Dollar Stores and the Golden Gate Manufacturing Company in negotiations with the union.

    The union asks recognition, a union shop and a $20 wage for a thirty-five-hour week, according to representatives of the I.L.G.W.U. Company representatives, it is stated, never offered above the present scale of $13.33 for a forty-eight-hour week.

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