Today’s New York Times features an article by James Barron that details Calandra’s Dr. Joseph Sciorra’s tireless campaign to recognize the life of dockworker Pete Panto by erecting a gravestone for the murdered labor activist buried in the St. Charles Cemetery on Long Island. Read the article here. And please consider attending the commemoration of Panto that will take place at the gravesite on Tuesday, September 26, 2023, at 2:30pm. Click here for the address and further details.
Please join us for a commemorative ceremony honoring the life and work of slain dock worker and labor activist Pietro “Pete” Panto (1910–1939) to formally mark the installation of his tombstone at St. Charles Cemetery.
On July 14, 1939, Panto was murdered on the orders of crime boss Albert Anastasia in retribution for Panto’s efforts leading a rank-and-file movement against a corrupt and crime-infested labor union in Brooklyn. At the time, working conditions on the docks were rife with endemic problems such as the shape-up hiring system, mandatory salary kickbacks, extortion, and high numbers of work-related injuries. No one was convicted for Panto’s murder.
For more than eighty years Panto’s body lay buried in an unmarked grave. In 2022, the Institute’s Dr. Joseph Sciorra led an online fundraising campaign to create a marker for the gravesite. Scores of people joined our initiative by making small and large donations. We feel that the simple act of putting a headstone on his grave is more than warranted, given this Italian American working-class hero’s sacrifice on behalf of laboring people.
For further information, please call 212-642-2094.
From the Calandra Institute’s Director for Academic and Public Programming Dr. Joseph Sciorra: “I am euphoric to announce that a tombstone for murdered dock worker and labor activist Pietro ‘Pete’ Panto was recently placed at his grave that went unmarked for 82 years. I thank all of you who made this possible, with your support, your donations, and work of various sorts. We will soon be organizing a ceremony at the site. Stay tuned.”