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Mattie Sykes Jackson
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Birth: Oct. 3, 1921
Polk County
Texas, USA
Death: Feb. 7, 2009
San Francisco
San Francisco County
California, USA

Mattie Jackson Labor Leader Mattie Jackson Dies Longtime labor and community leader Mattie Jackson died February 7 in San Francisco. She was 87.

Mattie was born October 3, 1921 in Livingston, Texas to the union of R.S. and Laura Sykes.

She was the last survivor of seven siblings.

She married John P. Jackson of Houston, TX, in 1942.

The couple came to San Francisco in 1943 where her husband worked in the Hunters Point Shipyard and later became a business owner.

Mattie also owned several small businesses including Groove Records on Fillmore St. and the Portrero Coffee Shop.

Mattie began her distinguished career in the labor movement when she took a job at Koret of California as a blind stitch operator in 1947. That same year she was appointed shop steward, a position she held for 20 years.

In 1967 she joined the staff of the Pacific Northwest District Council (PNDC) of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union (ILGWU) as business agent and continued to advocate on behalf of garment workers.

In 1970 she was elected manager of the Pacific Northwest District Council.

Shortly after being elected manager, Mattie became the first black woman to hold an executive office as international vice president on the General Executive Board of the ILGWU. Mattie also served on the SF Labor Council for many years.

Over the years she earned the reputation of being an unrelenting and compassionate advocate for garment workers and a tough negotiator.

As chief negotiator of contracts from 1970-1989, Mattie fought many tireless hours at the bargaining table for the best possible wage and benefit packages in a competitive industry.

She retired from her position as manager of the PNDC and vice president of the GEB in 1990.

When she retired Jay Mazzur, then president of the ILGWU, said, "Mattie Jackson is an institution not only throughout our union, but throughout the entire labor movement." During her career Mattie was also active in politics to protect the interests of her union members.

As a union leader, all those seeking elected office in the San Francisco area sought after her endorsement. She worked closely with four San Francisco mayors.

Under former Mayor Joseph L. Alioto, Mattie was appointed vice president to the Commission of the Status of Women and commissioner on the Human Rights Commission and Board of Permit of Appeals. In 1974 she became president of the Board of Permit of Appeals. She continued to serve on the Board under Mayors Moscone, Feinstein and Agnos.

Mrs. Jackson was the recipient of numerous honors and awards from the labor movement, community organizations, elected officials and her church community during her distinguished career.

During her retirement she remained active with the retirees of the ILGWU and opened a secondhand store called En Vogue Collectibles on Hayes and Ashbury in San Francisco.

Mattie's husband John preceded her in death.

She is survived by her daughter; grandsons Toriano Gordon and Marco Boccara; granddaughter Angelique Boccara; and one great-granddaughter, Amina Gordon, all of San Francisco.

Funeral services will be held at Jones Memorial United Methodist Church, 1975 Post St., SF, Friday, Feb. 20, at 11 a.m.

Published in the San Francisco Chronicle on 2/16/2009
Created by: D.A.R.
Record added: May 17, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 37179367
Mattie <i>Sykes</i> Jackson
Added by: D.A.R.
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- Sent with love~Cerise
 Added: Jul. 11, 2009

- Dorothy
 Added: May. 18, 2009

- D.A.R.
 Added: May. 17, 2009

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