Nancy Wohlforth

Dick Meister: Walter Johnson did what needed to be done

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BY Dick Meister

Dick Meister, former labor editor of the SF Chronicle and KQED-TV, has covered labor and politics for more than a half-century, Contact him through his website, www.dickmeister.com, which includes more than 350 of his columns,

Walter Johnson was everything a labor leader should be – a dedicated, unflinching, champion of working people and their unions. But more than that, Walter was also an unyielding advocate of all those  inside and outside the labor movement who wanted – and badly needed – a decent living , or who were in any way oppressed.

Johnson, who died in San Francisco of a heart attack on Jan. 12 at age 87, devoted his life to that noble – yes, noble – task as head of the Department Store and Retail Clerks unions in San Francisco. He also later headed the SF Labor Council for nearly 20 years, from 1985 until his retirement in 2004. Read more »