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Labor/Employment

May 29, 2024

Harry Bridges: The labor union leader who fought for workers’ rights and faced decades of litigation

Harry Bridges, a labor union leader, had a significant impact on California’s economy and was involved in decades of litigation, including three U.S. Supreme Court cases.

John S. Caragozian

Email: caragozian@gmail.com

John is a Los Angeles-based lawyer and sits on the Board of the California Supreme Court Historical Society. He welcomes ideas for future monthly columns on California's legal history at caragozian@gmail.com.

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Labor union leader Harry Bridges had--and continues to have--an enormous impact on California's economy. He also was a defendant in decades of litigation, including three U.S. Supreme Court cases.

Bridges was born in Australia in 1901. As a teenager, he joined the Australian Seamen's Union and sailed the world.

In 1920, Bridges arrived in the U.S. and eventually settled in San Francisco. He became a longshoreman...

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