for now I'll cheat a little and just quote what was written for the union's 75th anniversary on our 1996 calendar. This calendar is an amazing collection of pictures and memories of our local's history, put together by our members, edited by Gene Vick, Mike Theriault, Dennis Dougherty, and Dan Prince. (The year 2000 calendar is also very cool, consisting of pictures of projects that are occurring in the present.)
here's the text:
"San Francisco Local 377 of the International Association of Bridge, Structural and Ornamental Iron Workers has a long history that winds back through a century of labor struggle and achievement. Several locals chartered at the turn of the century represented Iron Workers in the different phases of our craft. Of these, Bridge and Structural Iron Workers Local 31 and Housesmiths and Architectural Iron Workers Local 78 were the most prominent. Although the charter and banner of Local 31 burned in the 1906 Earthquake, the surviving minute book still reveals years of the inner life of the Local.
"It was not until 1916 that Local 78 won the 8 hour day, following a desperate lockout by hardline faction of the employer's bargaining association. But the employers' offensive against the building trades was widening into an all out open shop drive. The militant Locals 31 and 78 joined in a radical upsurge and threw their support behind the maverick Rank and File Federation of Workers of the Bay District. A cautious and conservative International revoked the charters of the two locals and in 1921 chartered Local 377. Free-thinking members brought their independent ideas into the newly chartered Local 377, and many will maintain that this spirit survives in the ranks to the present day. Over the decades, the Local grew and developed along with the beautiful city it helped to create.
"The 50th anniversary of the completion oft he Golden Gate Bridge in 1987, which coincided with the opening of our new hall at 570 Barneveld Street, made us reflect on some of the milestones in our history. Local 377 and Oakland Local 378 marched side by side in the Bridge Walk that drew one million people to the site of one of our proudest accomplishments. It is unique to our trade that while the products of our labor are fixed in the minds of the city's people, the lives and sacrifices of the builders are largely unknown., And so when attention is turned to the Iron Worker, it is usually a spotlight on the great structures that frame the skyline. But for us it is the day to day work--our dependence upon each other on the jobsite and in the battles of the labor movement--that forms the fabric of our Union's endurance."