Interview with Arthur A. Rutledge, session 1 of 2 (2/20/1991)

Interview with Arthur A. Rutledge conducted by Warren Nishimoto and Daniel W. Tuttle, Jr. on 2/20/1991 in the Local 5 office in Honolulu, Oʻahu as part of the Hawaiʻi Political History Documentation Project. Hawaiʻi labor leader, former head of Hawaiʻi Teamsters and Local 5 unions, and founder of the Unity House discusses his life experiences prior to arriving in Hawaiʻi and his early successes in union organizing. Topics include: childhood in Poland and immigrating to the United States; experiencing race relations and discrimination against Jews and Black people in America for the first time; being placed in an orphanage after his mother died and father returned to Poland; leaving school after the 9th grade and working as a "gandy dancer" on the railway; living on Skid Row in Seattle and his first experiences making public speeches on behalf of the homeless and poor; working as a bootlegger in Seattle during Prohibition; sailing to Hawaiʻi in 1934, inspired by a picture of Waikīki in a Seattle bar; work experience in Hawaiʻi in the 1930s and 1940s in bars and the Hotel Workers union; organizing at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel; success organizing the hotels pre-WWII because workers were receptive and management was not difficult; relationship with Jack Hall; union political relationships with Jack Burns and Frank Fasi; and his work with the Teamsters beginning in 1943. Interview spans 5 videotapes.

Languages: English


  • Public affairs

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