Kenny Riley and Black Union Labor Power in the Port of Charleston

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About the Book

The Port of Charleston, South Carolina was once the country’s leading slave port, and is now home to the International c’s Association Local 1422, an influential, predominantly black labor union. Kenny Riley, the union’s charismatic president, combines optimism about the civil rights movement with the practicality needed to lead workers at a busy ocean port. With roughly 90% of the world’s goods being transported by sea, unionized longshoremen have the often-underestimated power to halt world trade. In 2000, Riley rallied union members around the world to the defense of five Charleston longshoremen who were arrested after a labor confrontation, and organized a global one-day work stoppage if “The Charleson Five” were found guilty of the felony charges initially filed against them by South Carolina’s attorney general. This is Kenny Riley’s story, and the story of organized black labor in a Deep South port.

About the Author(s)

Former Miami Herald reporter, Ted Reed is a business and labor writer. He lives in Charlotte, North Carolina.

John Yurechko is a retired senior government military analyst. He lives in Locust Grove, Virginia.

Bibliographic Details

Ted Reed and John J. Yurechko

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Bibliographic Info: ca. 41 photos, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2020
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7772-9
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3928-4
Imprint: McFarland

Book Reviews & Awards

• “Ted Reed’s eagerness to cover stories untold and keen eye for detail create an amazing understanding of the intrinsic role labor unions play in making transportation industries work. I can’t think of anyone better to tackle the legacy of Kenny Riley’s transformative leadership as a powerful black labor leader in the heart of the anti-union South.”—Sara Nelson, international president, Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, AFL-CIO

• “Few writers understand the labor movement like Ted Reed does. He recognizes that any company’s most important asset is its people. Kenny Riley is one of the greatest labor leaders the Machinists Union has had the pleasure to work with over the years. His fights in Charleston on behalf of his members have benefitted all working families throughout the region.”—Sito Pantoja, International Association of Machinists