Simi, Larry: Building Labor Craft Strike


Larry Simi: George Moscone immediate on taking office was confronted with a strike by the building trades and the crafts against the city. The plumbers, carpenters, all those groups basically had been – I’ll use the word victimized – by legislation that Kopp and Barbagelata had put in that was very, very restrictive on public employees, and it was a reaction to the police/fire strike of the previous year. So basically there was no collective bargaining. Everything was a formula. So this strike came about, and George made the decision – and probably not a good one – to essentially camp out in City Hall. It was sort of reminiscent of Jimmy Carter during a lot of the things that he did. The Mayor just seemed totally impotent because he had no power to do any of this stuff. The law said that essentially everything had to be done by formula. In the meantime there was an awful lot of stuff that went on; a lot of labor hijinks that went on. The Gardeners flooding Golden Gate Park. Just doing a lot of kind of guerilla warfare. That ultimately resulted in Joe Mazzola being… I think there was some sort of trial at the Board of Supervisors. I think he was impeached from his position at the Airport Commission because of his complicity of all this stuff, and there was a trial before the Board of Supervisors. It was just an ugly scene. It really cost George dearly amongst the building trades, and labor was at a weak point in that period of time.


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The Moscone oral history interviews are part of the George Moscone Collection, MSS 328.

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Holt-Atherton Special Collections and Archives, University of the Pacific Library

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