Scope and Content
Title: George Hardy Photograph Collection No. 14
Accession number: 1991/055; 1992/027
Extent: 10 folders, 3 albums, 1 scrapbook
San Francisco State University. Labor Archives & Research Center
San Francisco, California 94132
Shelf location: For current information on the location of these
materials, please consult the Center's online catalog.
Collection is open for research.
Copyright has not been assigned to the Labor Archives & Research Center. All requests for
permission to publish or quote from materials must be submitted in writing
to the Director of the Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf
of the Labor Archives & Research Center as the owner of the physical items and is not intended
to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be
obtained by the reader.
[Identification of item], George Hardy Photograph Collection No. 14, 1991/055; 1992/027, Labor Archives & Research Center,
San Francisco State University.
This collection was donated to the Labor Archives and Research Center by Joan Hardy Twomey, daughter of George Hardy, President-Emeritus
of the Service Employees International Union. The first collection of photographs and papers was donated in May/June 1991
(Acc. #1991/055). The visual material was combined with a second donation of photograph albums received in March 1992 (Acc.
#1992/027). The textual material from the first donation was processed as the George Hardy Papers (Acc. #1991/055). This photograph
collection was processed by Carol Cuenod under the direction of Karen Lewis.
A history of George Hardy's career should begin with his father, Charles "Pop" Hardy, whose work with the union began in San
Francisco in 1926 as a theater janitor in Local 9 of the Building Service Employees International Union (BSEIU). "Pop" Hardy
became president of his local and an International Vice President in charge of west coast organizing. His leadership in the
union is recorded in a memorial album in this collection. In 1933, George Hardy also started his union career as a member
of Local 9. He was soon at his father's side, organizing office building janitors into the newly-chartered Local 87.
Organizing was to become the central theme of George Hardy's life. Following a stretch in the U.S. Army during World War II,
Hardy was assigned by the BSEIU president to Los Angeles to organize janitors in an area described as the anti-union bastion
of the open shop. Los Angeles and BSEIU Local 399 became Hardy's home local until his death in 1990. George Hardy organized
janitors and he also brought new groups of working men and women into the BSEIU--public workers and hospital workers also
became members of the union. In 1950, he formed the BSEIU Western Conference to promote cooperation and communication between
locals from San Diego to Seattle. Hardy was described as the hardest-working union leader in California. His rise to leadership
in the union followed his accomplishments. In 1950, he was named a vice-president, and in 1971, he was elected the president
of BSEIU (changed in 1972 to SEIU), and held that position until 1980 when he retired.
Scope and Content
This collection offers visual images of the career of George Hardy. It includes many union activities such as conventions
and strikes. George Hardy is the central figure in most images.
There are three photo albums: the life of Charles "Pop" Hardy; 2) the Tenth Convention in Seattle when George Hardy was named
a vice-president; 3) the 1972 convention which was the first convention following his rise to the presidency. This convention
was held in San Francisco and among the photographed guests are many union and political leaders prominent in this area. The
oversize scrapbook has panoramas of convention delegates in 1935, 1942, 1952 and 1955.
There are 204 loose photographs sorted folders of "Individuals" and "Subjects." Individuals are arranged alphabetically by
the most prominent person other than George Hardy, as he is in almost all of the images. There are four subject categories:
Conventions, Guards at Racetrack, Local Union Activities and Strikes. Researchers interested in the San Francisco theater
janitor strike of 1951 will find images in the "Strikes" folder. There is also a good collection of leaflets, correspondence
and photos in the oversized scrapbook.
Due to the diversity of arrangement and the small size of this collection, a complete box list is provided rather than a Contents
summary by series.
Title: George Hardy Papers
Identifier/Call Number: (Acc. #1991/055).