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Strikers at RKO studios
Alternative Title
Los Angeles Herald Examiner Photo Collection
Date Created and/or Issued
Contributing Institution
Los Angeles Public Library
Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection
Rights Information
Images available for reproduction and use. Please see the Ordering & Use page at http://tessa.lapl.org/OrderingUse.html for additional information.
Title supplied by cataloger.; Photograph was edited for publication purposes.
In February 1945, Herbert Sorrell lead a six-month strike that originated with a dispute between two unions, the CSU (Conference of Studio Unions) and the IATSE (International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees and Moving Picture Machine Operators of the United States and Canada) over which one of them had union authority over seventy-seven set decorators. An independent arbitrator appointed by the War Labor Board found that the CSU had jurisdiction over the set decorators. When Hollywood producers refused to acknowledge that decision, the strike began. Around 10,000 CSU workers went on strike, picketing all of the studios. Many members of IATSE refused to cross the picket lines or do work normally filled by members of the CSU. The studios, however, had films already completed and were able to handle the strike better than the workers. By October, resources were running low and on October 5, 1945, picketers and replacement workers were involved in a bloody battle that became known as Hollywood Black Friday. Police and sheriffs from several departments were called in to handle the melee. Over 40 people were injured and property was destroyed. The strike was settled for a time. Another strike was called in September, 1946, after the studios replaced CSU workers and locked them out. After more fighting, the Screen Actors Guild voted to cross picket lines, a blow to the strikers. The CSU finally voted to permit impoverished members and supporters to cross the picket lines and return to work. These events led to the enactment of the Taft-Hartley Act, a federal bill that restricts the activities and power of labor unions.
Photograph caption dated October 13, 1945 reads "Under the watchful eye of police officers, studio workers are shown passing through the picket line at R-K-O-Pathe Studio, where mass picketing began today. Approximately 25 employes (sic) went through the picket line." The studio is in Culver City. A high fence goes the length of the street. The crowd is gathered on the sidewalk and in the street near the guard house at the entrance to the studio. A picket sign reading "A.F.L. picket line" can be seen.
1 photographic print :b&w ;21 x 26 cm.
Photographic prints
Herald Examiner Collection
HE box 7030
Conference of Studio Unions
American Federation of Labor
Strikes and lockouts--Motion picture industry--California--Culver City
Motion picture studios--California--Culver City--Employees
Motion picture studios--California--Culver City
Motion picture industry--California--Culver City--Employees
Labor unions--United States
Crowds--California--Culver City
Police--California--Culver City
Picketing--California--Culver City
Signs and signboards--California--Culver City
Streets--California--Culver City
Lampposts--California--Culver City
Fences--California--Culver City
Men--California--Culver City
Women--California--Culver City
Culver City (Calif.)
Los Angeles Evening Herald and Express photographs
Herald-Examiner Collection photographs

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