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July 7, 2008


The only account of the 1981 shooting that I could find online was this, the opening paragraphs of a long rant about communists in labor unions from something called Frontpagemag. Several facts are wrong. For example, there was no parked motorcycle, and only one man "attacked" the victim with his handgun. Also, the shooting did not take place in front of the Union Hall, it took place directly across from my building up the street. Hey... I saw it with my own eyes.

On May 27, 1981, dozens of General Executive Board members of Warehouse Union Local 6 of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union gathered at the union's San Francisco office at 255 Ninth Street for their monthly meeting. Standing in front of the south-of-Market building drinking cans of beer were three Freitas brothers, Al, Sam and Philip. All were members of the union; Al was a close ally of East Bay Business Agent Roberto Flotte and had a history of union tough-guy activity going back to Teamster efforts to intimidate Salinas Valley farm workers in the early 1970s.

A few minutes before 7 o'clock a car found street parking and five Latino men, all Executive Board members, emerged, walking in a group towards the union hall. The Freitas brothers attacked the five. Philip Freitas knocked Lino Corral over a parked motorcycle. Lino Corral pulled a pistol from his pocket and fired three times, hitting Philip Freitas in the face and groin. The thirty-eight-year-old Freitas fell dead, his blood spreading in a widening dark puddle on the sidewalk in front of the union headquarters.


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