Frances Perkins: The Woman Behind the New Deal

Trade Unions & Strikes > Strikes

Frances Perkins

[Draft of statement on strikes, with particular reference to San Francisco]

Typescript, with autograph corrections, Washington, 1937?

Frances Perkins Papers, Box 49

In this statement, Perkins makes clear the position of the government that strikes are “not a blow or a threat to organized government,” that they are instead “an economic tool or method of workers to insure that their employers agree to carry out their demand in regard to conditions and terms of work.”

Gift of Frances Perkins

Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Copy of telegram to Secretary of Labor

Typescript, on board USS Houston, [16 July 1934]

Frances Perkins Papers, Box 106C

During the Pacific Coast strike of 1934, that began on May 9, Roosevelt was vacationing on the USS Houston, sailing from Norfolk to Hawaii via the Panama Canal. Here he sends Perkins instructions, writing: “If you think advisable you can issue any statement or offer as coming from me or with my approval.” Although there were calls for him to return to Washington, as he notes here, “it is at present best for me not to consider change my itinerary.”

Gift of Susanna Perkins Coggeshall, 1970

Stephen Early

Letter to the Secretary of Labor on behalf of the President with red flag for immediate attention

Typescript, signed, Washington, 10 September 1936


SS President Hoover Passengers

Telegram to President Roosevelt, from on board ship

Typescript, San Francisco Harbor, 9 September 1936

Frances Perkins Papers, Box 61

Sending this telegram to the President, 64 of the passengers who had been unable to disembark since May as a result of the longshoremen’s strike, wrote: “That the delay of the SS President Hoover due to strike has become a national scandal is a fact that the White House seems to have overlooked[.] [A]s citizens of the United States we have a right to expect protection from the Federal Government. Reply to President Hoover Pier 42.”

Gift of Frances Perkins


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