Workers on Strike at Jung Sai/Chinese American Sewing Company. San Francisco, 1974. Photographed by Cathy Cade.
“Efforts to organize (Jung Sai, a subsidiary of Esprit de Corp) began fifteen months ago but were recently intensified because a new manager lowered piece rates and laid off workers. A hundred workers, out of 135, signed cards with ILGWU Local 101. The strike was precipitated when Frankie Ma, a union activist, was fired for ‘unsatisfactory work’ (after 2 1/2 years!)…Jung Sai workers, most of them middle-aged women, sat down in front of the shop. Management tried to crash through with bins of cloth and several workers were hospitalized. [Esprit closed the shop claiming bankruptcy]….38 women were arrested for blocking trucks, 15 more were arrested a week later. The Chinese community rallied support and the courtroom was packed when the strikers came up for trial.” (Joyce Maupin, Union WAGE newspaper, 1974.) They finally won a favorable settlement almost ten years later.