First Calship Log

Headlines the last couple of years have been flooded with talk of wages, diversity, equity, race, unemployment, work-life balance, and future jobs. In much the same way, the laborers of the WWII era dealt with the same issues. The massive mobilization of men into the military left jobs open. Specifically, in the shipbuilding industry, and at the California Shipbuilding Corporation, these issues played out in many ways. The Great Depression had led to massive unemployment and the war industries were able to employ many, including women and minorities. Owners were eager to win contracts and that requires full employment. Unions made sure their members were skilled and ready to fill those jobs. To retain employees the shipyards offered benefits including healthcare, housing near work, advocating for public transportation near housing projects and worksites, and leisure activities for employees. Some of these have persisted until now, such as Kaiser Permanente.