Dick Meister: Know your class

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'Know your class’
By Dick Meister

(Dick Meister, former labor editor of the SF Chronicle and KQED-TV Newsroom, has covered labor, politics and other matters for a half-century.)

When Jack Hall died, flags were flown at half-staff throughout Hawaii, longshoremen closed the ports of San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego for 24 hours, and thousands of other workers in Hawaii and all along the west coasts of the United States and Canada also stopped work to show their respect.

That was 40 years ago. Yet Jack Hall, one of America’s greatest labor leaders, is still remembered fondly by many working people. In Hawaii, where he was regional director of the International Longshoremen’s and Warehousemen’s Union, many ILWU members had a paid holiday on Jan. 2, the date of his death. Others will have a holiday on the Feb. 28th anniversary of Hall’s birth.