The Henry (Enrique) Gaitán Collection
documents the unity between ILWU, Local 13 and their union counterparts throughout the
shipping ports of Mexico. The collection contains correspondence between members of
various longshore unions in the ports of Colima, Mazatlán, Sonora, Veracruz, and
Yucatán, Mexico and the International Longshoremen's and Warehousemen's Union
to organize travel itinerary, visas, and contacts for the Mexican workers coming to the
Los Angeles waterfront. Several items of correspondence provide insight into the
personal friendships that developed between Henry Gaitán and some of the Mexican workers
after they completed their training. Documents indicate that upon retiring, Henry Gaitán
continued to be actively involved as Treasurer and President with the Southern
California Pensioners of the ILWU.
The International Longshore and Warehouse Union's Mexican Worker Program was
established in the early 1960s by representatives within ILWU, Local 13. Committee
members included Henry Gaitán, Tony Cedillo, Tom Motta, and Earl Cordova. ILWU, Local 13
extended invitations to various Mexican longshore unions, inviting their members to work
temporarily on the Long Beach/Wilmington docks with the intention of sharing different
cargo handling and mechanized methods used by U.S. longshoremen. More importantly, ILWU
members hoped to create stronger union relations on the Pacific coast, both north and
south of the border.
Copyright for unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s)
of this collection has not been transferred to California State University,
Northridge. Copyright status for other materials is unknown. Transmission or
reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond
that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners.
Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of
the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.
The collection is open for research use.