International Brotherhood of Boilermakers – ROSIE
Over 70 years ago, Betty Soskin was a 20 year old clerk working in a segregated union hall at a Kaiser Shipyard. During WWII, the Kaiser Shipyards were responsible for the fabrication of over 700 liberty and victory ships used in the war effort to supply cargo and munitions overseas. Betty never saw a ship under construction. She was relegated to a local lodge for nonwhites.
At 94, Betty works at the Rosie the Riveter Museum in Richmond, CA giving tours of its various sites and collections. In March 2016, the Instituto Laboral de la Raza awarded IBB president Newton Jones with the International Labor Leader of the Year Award. Jones shared the award with Betty, issuing her a formal apology for her treatment during WWII. We were very fortunate to have the opportunity to meet Betty and tell a part of her story.