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The mostly German crew of the Panamanian-flagged Riviera, a landmark case in the SUPís battle against flag-of-convenience shipping. The conditions on this ship were deplorable beyond even the lowest standards imaginable. The crew had to endure vermin infested quarters, rotten eggs and putrid meat. Moreover, they were neither paid the wages that were owed them nor were they allowed to quit. In Portland in 1954, when this photo was taken they had nothing left to lose. They struck for twenty-seven days and then they were thrown in jail. It was the Sailorsí Union of the Pacific that took up the case then, on the docks and in the courtrooms. The case went all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States.


photo from SUP archives