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ILWU to Shut Down West Coast Ports May 1 Demanding End to War in Iraq, Afghanistan
by Internationalist Group ( internationalistgroup [at] msn.com )
Saturday Mar 1st, 2008 4:13 PM
In a major step for the U.S. labor movement, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) has announced that it will shut down West Coast ports on May 1, to demand an immediate end to the war and occupation in Iraq and Afghanistan and the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the Middle East. This is the first time in decades that an American union has decided to undertake industrial action against a U.S. war. The action announced by the powerful West Coast dock workers union, to stop work to stop the war, should be taken up by unions and labor organizations throughout the United States and internationally. And the purpose of such actions should be not to beg the bourgeois politicians whose hands are covered with blood, having voted for every war budget for six and a half years, but a show of strength of the working people who make this country run, and who can shut it down!

For Workers Strikes Against the War!

ILWU to Shut Down West Coast Ports May 1 Demanding End to War in Iraq, Afghanistan

In a major step for the U.S. labor movement, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) has announced that it will shut down West Coast ports on May 1, to demand an immediate end to the war and occupation in Iraq and Afghanistan and the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the Middle East. In a February 22 letter to AFL-CIO president John Sweeney, ILWU International president Robert McEllrath reported that at a recent coast-wide union meeting, “One of the resolutions adopted by caucus delegates called on longshore workers to stop work during the day shift on May 1, 2008 to express their opposition to the war in Iraq.”

This is the first time in decades that an American union has decided to undertake industrial action against a U.S. war. It is doubly important that this mobilization of labor’s power is to take place on May Day, the international workers day, which is not honored in the U.S. Moreover, the resolution voted by the ILWU delegates opposes not only the hugely unpopular war in Iraq, but also the war and occupation of Afghanistan (which Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama and Republican John McCain all want to expand). The motion to shut down the ports also demands the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the entire region, including the oil sheikdoms of the strategically important Persian/Arab Gulf.

The Internationalist Group has fought from the moment U.S. troops invaded Afghanistan in September 2002 for American unions to strike against the war. Despite the fact that millions have marched in the streets of Europe and the United States against the war in Iraq, the war goes on. Neither of the twin war parties of U.S. imperialism – Democrats and Republicans – and none of the capitalist candidates will stop this horrendous slaughter that has already killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqis. The only way to stop the Pentagon killing machine is by mobilizing the power of a greater force – that of the international working class.

The action announced by the powerful West Coast dock workers union, to stop work to stop the war, should be taken up by unions and labor organizations throughout the United States and internationally. The ILWU should be commended for courageously taking the first step, and it is up to working people everywhere to back them up. Wherever support is strong enough, on May 1 there should be mass walkouts, sick-outs, labor marches, plant-gate meetings, lunch-time rallies, teach-ins. And the purpose of such actions should be not to beg the bourgeois politicians whose hands are covered with blood, having voted for every war budget for six and a half years, but a show of strength of the working people who make this country run, and who can shut it down!

Now is the time for bold class action. Opposition to the war is even greater in the U.S. working class than in the population as a whole, more than two-thirds of which wants to stop the war but is stymied by the capitalist political system. In his letter to Sweeney, the ILWU president asked “if other AFL-CIO affiliates are planning to participate in similar events.” Labor militants should make sure the answer to that question is a resounding “yes!”

There should be no illusions that this will be easy. No doubt the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) bosses will try to get the courts to rule the stop-work action illegal. The ILWU leadership could get cold feet, since this motion was passed because of overwhelming support from the delegates despite attempts to stop it or, failing that, to water it down or limit the action. And the U.S. government could try to ban it on the grounds of “national security,” just as Bush & Co. slapped a Taft-Hartley injunction on the docks during contract negotiations in the fall of 2002, saying that any work stoppage was a threat to the “war effort,” and threatened to occupy the ports with troops!

The answer to every attempt to sabotage or undercut this first labor action against this war, and against Washington’s broader “war on terror” which is intended to terrorize the world into submission must be to redouble efforts to bring out workers’ power independent of the capitalist parties and politicians. If the ILWU work stoppage is successful, it will only be a small, but very important, beginning that must be generalized and deepened. It will take industrial-strength labor action to defeat the imperialist war abroad and the bosses’ war on immigrants, oppressed minorities, poor and working people “at home.”

ILWU in the Forefront of Labor Action Against the War

Workers strike action against imperialist war isn’t new – it just hasn’t happened here for a long, long time. During World War I there were huge mass strikes in Germany against the battlefield carnage, culminating in the downfall of the kaiser in November 1918. A year earlier in Russia, working-class opposition to the war led to the overthrow of the tsar and the October Revolution led by Lenin and Trotsky’s Bolsheviks. The Internationalist Group and League for the Fourth International call today for transport workers to “hot cargo” (refuse to handle) war shipments. In the early 1920s, Communist-led French dock workers did exactly that, boycotting ships carrying war materiel to suppress a colonial rebellion in the Rif region of Morocco, as they also did during France’s war in Indochina in the 1950s.

In the U.S., the ILWU struck in 1948 amid Cold War hysteria and in defiance of the “slave labor” Taft-Hartley Act to defend its union hiring hall against the bosses and government screaming about “reds” in the union leadership. In 1953, at the height of McCarthyite witch-hunting, the ILWU called a four-day general strike in Hawaii of sugar, pineapple and dock workers over the jailing of seven union members for being communists. During the Vietnam War, socialist historian Isaac Deutscher said that he would trade all the peace marches for a single dock strike. The ILWU was the first U.S. union to oppose the Vietnam war, but during war and especially during the 1971 strike union leader Harry Bridges refused to stop the movement of military cargo. (Ship owners made use of this by falsely labeling cargo as “military” to evade picket lines and undermine the strike.) This betrayal went hand in hand with a “mechanization and modernization” contract that slashed union jobs.

As the U.S.-led imperialist invasion of Iraq was looming, in January 2003 train drivers in Scotland refused to move a freight train carrying munitions to a NATO military base. The next month, Italian railroad unionists and antiwar activists blocked NATO war trains by occupying the rails. In the United States, ILWU dock workers were a target of “anti-terrorist” government repression, as police fired supposedly “less than lethal” munitions point blank at an antiwar protest on the Oakland, California docks, injuring six longshore workers and arresting 25 people (who eventually won their legal case against the police). And every year since the war started, the San Francisco/Oakland ILWU Local 10 has voted for motions for labor action against the war. Usually they were voted down at caucuses and conventions of the ILWU, but not this time.

Last May, Local 10 longshoremen and Local 34 ships clerks refused to cross picket lines set up by the Oakland Teachers Association and antiwar activists, defying arbitrators’ orders by refusing to work ships of the notorious antiunion outfit, Stevedoring Services of America (see “Oakland Dock Workers Honor Picket, Shut Down War Cargo Shipper,” The Internationalist No. 26, July 2007). In the aftermath of that action, the union issued a call for a Labor Conference to Stop the War that would “plan workplace rallies, labor mobilizations in the streets and strike action against the war.” The Call to Action stated:

“ILWU Local 10 has repeatedly warned that the so-called ‘war on terror’ is really a war on working people and democratic rights. Around the country, hundreds of unions and labor councils have passed motions condemning the war, but that has not stopped the war. We need to use labor’s muscle to stop the war by mobilizing union power in the streets, at the plant gates and on the docks to force the immediate and total withdrawal of all U. S. troops from Afghanistan and Iraq.”

As the conference date approached, the union was the target of several police attacks, including a vicious cop assault on two black dock workers from San Francisco working in the port of Sacramento. Some 250 demonstrators from every ILWU local in Northern California rallied in their defense outside the courthouse. Their trial to be set march 18 at a hearing will encounter even larger demonstrations.

The Internationalist Group and its union supporters helped build and attended the October 20 conference, along with some 150 labor and socialist activists from the Bay Area, elsewhere in California and across the country. At the meeting, a particular focus was resistance to the Transportation Workers Identification Card (TWIC), which threatens minority workers and the union hiring hall, and which the Democratic Party in particular has been pushing in order to carry out a purge of dock workers in the name of the “war on terror.” Not long after that conference, a federal judge ordered Local 10 elections canceled and replaced by a Labor Department-run vote, on the eve of 2008 contract bargaining. Federal agents even invaded the union hall to enforce their order. This action is a threat to the independence of all unions.

This set the stage for the recent longshore-warehouse caucus, which voted a motion for a 24-hour “No Peace, No Work Holiday” against the war. The resolution was introduced in Local 10 by Jack Heyman, who also presented the motion for the 24 April 1999 coast-wide port shutdown demanding freedom for Mumia Abu-Jamal, the former Black Panther and renowned radical journalist who has been on Pennsylvania’s death row for the last quarter century. Although the union tops maneuvered to prevent Heyman from being elected as a delegate to the Coast Caucus, the motion passed in Local 10. At the Caucus, the delegate from Local 34 referred to the October Labor Conference to Stop the War as the origin of the motion.

At the close of the Caucus on February 8, there was a vigorous debate on the resolution. The union tops tried to stop it, to no avail. They kept asking, “are you sure you want to do this action.” The delegates overwhelmingly said “yes.” Even conservative trade unionists, including veterans of the Vietnam War, were getting up saying the government is lying to us, we’ve had it with this war, we’ve got to put a stop to it now. So instead the bureaucrats tried to gut the motion, which was cut down from 24 hours to 8, and changed into a “stop-work” meeting (covered by a contract clause) instead of a straight-out shutdown, thinking that this would lessen opposition from the employers. In the end there was a voice vote and only three delegates out of 100 voted against.

The efforts to undercut the motion continue, as is to be expected from a leadership which, like the rest of the pro-capitalist labor bureaucracy, seeks “labor peace” with the bosses. In his letter to Sweeney, ILWU International president tried to present the action as an effort to “express support for the troops by bringing them home safely,” although the motion voted by the delegates says nothing of the sort. Playing the “support our troops” game is an effort to swear loyalty to the broader aims of U.S. imperialism. It aids the warmongers, when what’s needed is independent working-class action against the system that produces endless imperialist war. Yet despite the efforts to water it down and distort it, the May 1 action voted for by the ILWU delegates is a call to use labor’s muscle to put an end to the war.

Mobilize Labor’s Power to Defeat the Bosses’ War!

For the West Coast dock workers union to shut down the ports against the war means a big step forward in the class struggle. The Internationalist Group has uniquely fought for workers strikes against the war, when all the popular-front “peace” coalitions dismissed this and even some shamefaced ex-Trotskyists refused to call for it, saying it had “no resonance” among the workers (see our October 20007 Special Supplement to The Internationalist, “Why We Fight For Workers Strikes Against the War [and the Opportunists Don’t]”). With signs, banners and propaganda we have sought to drive home the central lesson that it is necessary to defeat the imperialist war abroad and the bosses’ war “at home” by mobilizing the power of the workers movement independent of and against the capitalist parties.

That means fighting the war mobilization down the line. First and foremost, this means actively joining the struggle for immigrant rights as the government turns undocumented working people into “the enemy within.” Class-conscious workers should demand full citizenship rights for all immigrants. Last year, San Francisco Local 10 voted to stop work and join marches for immigrant rights on May 1, but this was opposed by the employers PMA and sabotaged at the last minute by the union tops. Shamefully, Local 13 in Los Angeles, a majority Mexican American port, made no protest when police attacked immigrant rights protesters that same day. Today, as the ICE immigration police stage Gestapo-style raids across the country, organized labor should take the lead in organizing rapid response networks to come into the streets to block the raids. Despite the campaign by the capitalist media and politicians to whip up anti-immigrant hysteria, there is widespread disgust among American working people toward the jackbooted storm troopers who are terrorizing immigrant communities.

At the same time, the unions should use the power to put a halt to the attacks on civil liberties which are part of the home front of the imperialist war. Driver’s licenses with biometric data, TWIC identification cards with “background checks,” warrantless spying and phone tapping, setting up special military tribunals for “trials” in which defendants are denied the right of habeas corpus, to know the “evidence” or even the charges against them – all these are part of a drive that is in high gear pushing the United States toward a full-fledged police state. There have been scores, perhaps hundreds of resolutions by unions and city, county and state labor bodies against the U.S.A. PATRIOT Act, showing that labor activists are well aware of the danger. But just as is the case with the countless union antiwar resolutions, there has been no labor action. It is commonplace in the labor movement to bemoan the lack of real action when Reagan broke the 1981 PATCO air traffic controllers’ strike, paving the way for massive union-busting, takeaways and racist attacks all down the line. Let’s not let the labor bureaucrats bury the vital struggles of today.

Now is the time to turn words into deeds, to speak to the capitalist rulers in the only language they understand. The imperialist war parties must be defeated by a class mobilization of the working people at the head of all the oppressed. The ILWU motion to stop work on May Day to put a stop to the war can provide working people everywhere with the opening to turn from impotent protest to a struggle for power. For that the key is to build a class-struggle workers party fighting for a workers government, for socialist revolution here and around the world, that will put an end once and for all to the system of endless war, poverty and racism.

Write to the Internationalist Group, Box 3321, Church Street Station, New York, NY 10008. E-mail: internationalistgroup@msn.com. Visit us on the Internet at: www.internationalist.org

§Text Of ILWU Resolution and ILWU Letter To AFL-CIO and CTW
by repost Monday Mar 3rd, 2008 8:45 AM
http://www.labournet.net/docks2/0802/ilwu1may1.htm
US West Coast dockers:
1st May Workers Action to Stop the War
ILWU
26 Feb 08

ILWU letter to AFL-CIO Pres. John J. Sweeney

español
français
Deutsch
العربية (Word)

M/S/C as amended
FOR WORKERS’ ACTION TO STOP THE WAR

WHEREAS: On May 1, 2003, at the ILWU Convention in San Francisco resolutions were passed calling for an end to the war and occupation in Iraq; and

WHEREAS: ILWU took the lead among labor unions in opposing this bloody war and occupation for imperial domination; and

WHEREAS: Many unions and the overwhelming majority of the American people now oppose this bipartisan and unjustifiable war in Iraq and Afghanistan but the two major political parties, Democrats and Republicans continue to fund the war; and

WHEREAS: Millions worldwide have marched and demonstrated against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan but have been unable to stop the wars; and

WHEREAS: ILWU’s historic dock actions,

1) like the refusal of Local 10 longshoremen to load bombs for the military dictatorship in Chile in 1978 and military cargo to the Salvadoran military dictatorship in 1981 and

2) the honoring of the teachers’ union antiwar picket May 19, 2007 against SSA in the port of Oakland stand as a limited but shining example of how to oppose these wars; and

WHEREAS: The spread of war in the Middle East is threatened with U. S. air strikes in Iran or possible military intervention in Syria or the destabilized Pakistan;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED:

That it is time to take labor’s protest to a more powerful level of struggle by calling on unions and working people in the U. S. and internationally to mobilize for a “No Peace No Work Holiday” May 1, 2008 for 8 hours to demand an immediate end to the war and occupation in Iraq and Afghanistan and the withdrawal of U. S. troops from the Middle East; and

FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED:

That a clarion call from the ILWU be sent with an urgent appeal for unity of action to the AFL-CIO, the Change to Win Coalition and all of the international labor organizations to which we are affiliated to bring an end to this bloody war once and for all.

Submitted by:

ILWU Local 10

passed overwhelmingly after thorough debate

If you need any further information or wish to send messages of support and solidarity please contact Bob McEllrath, International President, ILWU, 1188 Franklin Street, San Francisco, California 94109.

Tel: (+1 415) 775 0533 Fax: (+1 415) 775 1302. Email: robert.mcellrath [at] ilwu.org

Messages of support and solidarity should also be sent to ILWU Local 10 President Melvin Mackay
fax (+1 415) 441 0610 and/or melmackay [at] aol.com

Please send copies to dockers [at] gn.apc.org (sacked Liverpool dockers)

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Les Evenchick
Sunday Mar 2nd, 2008 10:03 AM
I have forwarded this call to several dozen green, socialist, and activist groups of various sorts around the country.

On question. Why can't i find a copy on the internationalists web site? http://www.internationalists.org

Les Evenchick
New Orleans. LA
by ten
Sunday Mar 2nd, 2008 9:43 PM
Is this true? I can't find any announcement of this from the ILWU, or anywhere besides a copy and paste of this document. And I don't really know who these "Internationalists" are [a front group for].
by ILWU member
Monday Mar 3rd, 2008 10:35 AM
Yes, the plan to shut down US West Coast ports (Vancouver and Honolulu are not included )by a ''stop work '' meeting by the Longshore Division is most certainly true . it was decided at a intense session of the Longshore Caucas recently held in San Francisco . There were no votes opposing it and at least two of the speakers backing the motion had intially supported the war and had opposed the 2003 ILWU resoulution condemming the invasion .
This is a significant step forward. It should be noted though that the majority of iLWU members are not directly affected by this . Just as most Teamsters are not truck drivers most ILWU members do not work on the docks . They are employed at warehouses, small factories, canneries(in the Northwest, British Columbia , and Alaska . ) hotels, (the vast majority of the 20, 000 plus members in Hawaii are in tourism ) and the medical industry . (The Largest single ILWU workplace in the Bay area is at Bayer Pharm. in Berkeley . ) I would suspect that antiwar sentiment is just as high in these workplaces as they are on the docks . But due to the unique postion of the Longshore division and their exceptionally strong contract such a action is possible . That being said i hope this May Day shutdown will embolden others in ILWU as well as the labor movement as a whole to work towards these type of direct actions , which as previously noted, are potentially far more effective than marching down Market street.
by Conor
Monday Mar 3rd, 2008 10:14 PM
The "' Internationalist Group '' is either a split or a expelled faction of the Spartacist League .(I don't know or really care which . Trots have a unfortunate tendency to split like atoms ! Which actually is a shame because they often are more thoughtful and accurate in their commentaries and political predictions than many other groups on the Left )
But regardless of all that i do thank them for announcing this upcoming action . While it's importance shouldn't be exaggerated , (due the Longshore contract they do have a right to call ''stop work '' meetings '' ) this is a significant step towards the type of action that might end the war even before'' Hilary '' or "' Barack '' complete their first term in office !
I will take a May day off (probably a ''dental appointment '' ) and join whatever public rallies they or Immigrant workers organizations may have planned.
by Robert McEllrath (repost by Aaron Aarons)
Tuesday Mar 4th, 2008 8:07 AM
http://www.labournet.net/world/0802/ilwu1may2.html
http://www.labournet.net/world/0802/ilwu1may2.pdf

Here's the text:

February 22, 2008

John J. Sweeney, President
AFL-CIO
815 16th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20006

President Sweeney,

ILWU delegates recently concluded a two-week caucus where we reached agreement on our approach for bargaining a new Pacific Coast Longshore Contract that expires on July 1, 2008. We expect talks to begin sometime in March and will keep you informed of developments.

One of the resolutions adopted by caucus delegates called on longshore workers to stop work during the day shift on May 1, 2008, to express their opposition to the war in Iraq.

We’re writing to inform you of this action, and inquire if other AFL-CIO affiliates are also planning to participate in similar events on May 1 to honor labor history and express support for the troops by bringing them home safely.

We would appreciate your assistance with spreading word about this May 1 action.

In solidarity,

Robert McEllrath
International President
by Sunni Ruiz
Tuesday Mar 4th, 2008 10:58 AM
I appreciate the comments by the ILWU member and Conor. I agree that is a big step forward but it shouldn't be overemphaized . It's not a mini General strike and unless the Pacific Maritime totally ignores the contract , the Longshore men and women aren't in danger of losing their jobs over this action . Unlike members of other unions or even other members of the ILWU .
I agree with Conor that who or whatever the Internationalist group is, they should be thanked for putting this on Indymedia .
One Big question :Is there going to be a '' Great American walkout '' of Immigrant workers again this may day and will the ILWU Longshore coordinate with those organizers ?
by Thomas W. McGuire
Friday Mar 7th, 2008 5:39 AM
I fully concur with this action. The US invasion of the Middle East, which Allan Greenspan says was for oil, has become a black mark on our history. These are not wars--they are occupations of countries who have never been a threat to America. The "war on terror" is a fraud and it is bankrupting our country under the facade of protecting our freedom. Ron Paul has advised America to wake up to our corrupt course of events. The ILWU has awakened, and shown a brave hand in doing just what is needed at this time.
by Jan
Friday Mar 7th, 2008 6:50 AM
If the government will not act for "We the People" then we the people will keep our own safe. I am all for this.
by Col. USM Ret.
Friday Mar 7th, 2008 7:04 AM
Finally, some action for truth in the darkness of night.
As a servant of the people, I can not state with more enthusiasm --
POWER TO THE PEOPLE! RIGHT ON!
by D. Stanley
Friday Mar 7th, 2008 10:27 AM
Finally we have true Americans standing up for the real America, Swing those brass Balls into action
America. Do not let up close it all down and demand a Just America.
by Wink
( wbutz [at] optonline.net ) Friday Mar 7th, 2008 10:38 AM
Best news that I have heard since the dick head entered er, stole the presidency...
by Henry K
Friday Mar 7th, 2008 12:03 PM
The Union cannot do anything against this group. They stopped Ron Paul who had millions of dollars and mllions of followers. The zionists can stop anyone. Only Israel benefits from these endless Middle East wars. Iraq is the beginning. As we commit war-crimes in Baghdad, the US gov't commits treason at home by opening mail, eliminating habeas corpus, using the judiciary to steal private lands, banning books like "America Deceived" from Amazon and Wikipedia, conducting warrantless wiretaps and engaging in illegal wars on behalf of AIPAC's 'money-men'. Soon, another US false-flag operation will occur (sinking of an Aircraft Carrier by Mossad) and the US will invade Iran.. Then we'll invade Syria, then Saudi Arabia, then Lebanon (again) then ....
Final link (before Google Books bends to gov't demands and censors the title):
http://www.iuniverse.com/bookstore/book_detail.asp?&isbn=0-595-38523-0
by treetopflyer
Friday Mar 7th, 2008 1:04 PM
How sad it is , that only this group has the courage to take a stand, Im not a socialist or a communist nor do I support such things , but where are other groups , where are all the legal proffessionals, [ YOU HAVE DONE NOTHING WHILE THIS COUNTRY HAS BEEN SOLD OUT , AND DESTOYED BY TREASONOUS Traitors and criminals} where is the intelectual leadership, where are the organized farmers and educators, where are the scientists, and is there no one left in the military who understands their oaths, wake up and get active, the window of opportunity is almost closed
by Constitution Signer
Friday Mar 7th, 2008 1:38 PM
Asa full Dr.Paul supporter, I know he backs what you are doing as it is constitutional, and we wrote the constitution just to protect these kinds of things. It of course should have been done years ago but better late than never. Soon there will be 5000 dead "official" deaths, but really a lot higher..Please keep supporting Ron Apul as he is being censored by the media, he should be the next president..Bless this union and I hope all others follow suit, a general walkout across the country would be great and for longer than 1 day!!!Peace and equality to all..
by anonymoose
Friday Mar 7th, 2008 4:02 PM
I'm making a note to seek out ILWU members in my Western harbor city and offer material support.
by michael jay
Friday Mar 7th, 2008 5:03 PM
Good for you!

I was just talking about the ILWU this past week to a uaw member and was explaining how the way you work is the the way all unions should operate. The government knows you have teeth and I'm happy your showing them again!

I hope you encourage the rest of your brothers & sisters in the other countries to support you as well. Let the world feel the pain!
by Anonymous
Friday Mar 7th, 2008 6:27 PM
This is the type of action we need. Kudos to everyone participating in this protest. It is time we stand up and speak truth to power. We will not support an unnecessary war. An unjust war. A bloody war. An illegal war. A ideological war. A senseless war. A political war. An imperialistic war.

We stand united once again.

You are not alone.

Thank you.
by Pao
Saturday Mar 8th, 2008 10:23 AM
Does it really make sense to strike at a time when the country is moving into a recession and people are out of jobs? There are companies engaged in marine transportation that do not deal with unions, primarily on the east coast. The greatest result of this action will be for more terminals and shipping companies to shift to non-union labor. People need jobs, if you won't do yours, someone else will.
by jeffreydj
Saturday Mar 8th, 2008 10:42 AM
How, precisely, could a federal court and by extension the Bush admin declare a worker (and his brethren) staying home for a day to be illegal? I've never heard of a law that criminalizes not showing up for work. Fire them all? Then the docks would stay shut for months or perhaps years while the shippers struggle to train scabs. Send a police car to every dock workers house, lights a-blazing and force each worker to the jobsite or jail? Sounds like a logistical nightmare and those cops are all union, too. How sympathetic could they be to the shippers' predicament?

Hmmm, maybe the legal threats issued by the ruling class this time is just wind blowing out their ass.
by James McCabe
Saturday Mar 8th, 2008 12:24 PM
The ILWU has my full support. I hope the unions across the the nation join them. Many other lesser countries make their voice heard through national strikes. Why not America on May Day? Nothing gets the attention of the ruling class like turning off the money spigot. Of course, it may not happen because most Americans are too busy watching TV.
i applaud your efforts in that you are willing to put your money where your mouths are. anyone and any organization that supports peace and prosperity has my support.

the iraq war is absurd, unconstitional and extremely destructive to the people in iraq and the u.s. the government is taking away our individual rights in the name of protecting us from the boogy-man. this war is destroying our social fabric, economy and our individual liberty.

if the u.s. government wants to have a system based on peace and prosperity then it has to follow the founding fathers warnings about creating entangling alliances. we need less government, not more. the nanny state has to come to an end. all the wars that the u.s. government have fought in in the twentieth century have been used to get the u.s government out of the economic maliaswe that the politians created.

the strongest economic decade in the twentieth century was the first one. their was no federal income tax or federal reserve. the u.s. economy experience 7% compunded growth per year with approximately 2% unemployment during the decade and inflation of about 1% per year during the entire decade. the united states immigration policy was one of virtually total acceptance, provided the people who came here could show that they were not organized thugs or seriously ill.

during the second decade of the twentieth century the u.s. government involved itself in the first world war. the government passed the income tax law and the federal reserve bank. strangely enough the third decade led to what is labeled as the great depression.

it has been shown that the depression primarilly was created by the hawley-smoot tariff act and the federal reserve bank's massive reduction in the available currency. the u.s. economy was in worse financial condition in 1937 than it was in 1933.

the only way to have peace and prosperity is through individual freedom. the people of this country have been lead to believe that prosperity can be achieved if only the right indiovidual were to be elected. i think that we need to get our heads out of the ether and wake up.

we need action taken now or it may be very devastating to all of us. the government is a zero sum game. only in a free market can people succeed. i am talking about a free market in everything, not just economics. the primary purpose of any government is to defend our individual liberty.

our founding fathers warned us about entangling alliances. it is time that we listened

three cheers for your efforts.
by Bill Proctor
( nitelongie19 [at] yahoo.com ) Sunday Mar 9th, 2008 8:35 AM
STRIKE? Who said strike?s It's a on e day action of 8 hour duration! We on the West Coast employ three shifts in the course of a day, the employers will still get their cargo moved!
by Robert
Sunday Mar 9th, 2008 9:17 AM
Thank you ILWU. I only can hope that unions nationwide will take a similar stand.
The unions can and must play a profound role in getting the country once again headed in the right direction.
by Tim M in Spain
Sunday Mar 9th, 2008 2:03 PM
Well, I would love to see this happen, but I'll tell you that a one day strike won't do anything. It's a good start, though. I'd love to see other unions in on the game, such as teacher's unions, government worker's unions, carpenters, electricians, UFCW, etc. In fact, let's try to get non-union workers in on it, too. Close everything except the hospitals and other essential services.

We also should do it for several days. I live in Spain and I'd love to see a general strike here in Europe to demand an end to the Bush regime and NATO's illegal occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan.

We've got about two months before May 1st. That should be enough time to organize a significant group of people. Set the date. Ask people to prepare for a week off of work. Get people to sign and pledge to take off work. Then get everyone out in the streets for the strike days.

The goal should be no less than an immediate end to the war and ESPECIALLY the resignation of President Bush, Dick Cheney, and the whole creepy neocon cabal.

Thing big now!
by Michael Wegrzyn
( MikeRuSober [at] yaoo.com ) Sunday Mar 9th, 2008 11:03 PM
The World thanks you....Member of Sprinkler Fitters 709 Los Angeles. You have my full support..
by Arturo
Monday Mar 10th, 2008 10:58 AM
I'm one of the 86% of the workplace that aren't in a Union. But not from choice. I have been in the past and I recently calculated that i made approx. 15% more annually ,had better benefits, and far better protection as a worker from abusive bosses when i worked as a Unionized Building Trades worker than i currently do as a '' White Collar'' ''financial professional '' !
So aside from envy that i'm not in a great Union like the ILWU , i applaud this action . If there is a public rally organized by the Longshore division (and thanks to ' Ilwu member'' for explaining the different jobs that workers do in that union ) i too will have a urgent dental appointment and will participate .
by a history of violence
Monday Mar 10th, 2008 7:30 PM
this is interesting, i mean think of all we don't need. I am beginning to not need the media, so i turned of my television. i am close to giving up my 999 channels of endless boring cable i would rather read a book now. i am tired of low quality crap from china, so i will just not buy it because I don't need it anymore. Since when do all our toys take over our lives? everyday it is The Same Thing I Did Yesterday. same job same food same supply and Demand. so I've decided to make changes, like letting the things that don't truly matter just slide. i am tired of doing do my best and it gets me lower than i was before.

if i want so called change i wont wish for it anymore, ill just get rid of the things i don't need.

YOU DON'T OWN YOUR TOYS THEY END UP OWNING YOU !!!!
by morlock, 29 B
Monday Mar 10th, 2008 11:36 PM
I agree with brother Proctor, one shift in three with only the dockside activity curtailed is a limited action.

As I understand it, passenger ships cannot, according to the ILWU contract, be left unattended.
There's year round cruise ship terminal activity in San Diego now. I don't yet know the cruise schedule for that day.

Will tie-ups and let-goes be exempted from this declaration ?
by whocares
Thursday Mar 20th, 2008 8:50 PM
You can strike all you want, the American people don’t want any more immigration and we want to win in Iraq and Afghanistan. We are sick of liberals telling the white people in the nation that we are racist and we are idiots. The real war is the war against the white heterosexual male, aka whitey, the man, etc. We are preparing to wipe out all liberals and our enemies and take back our land by force.
by ultimateovercomer
Friday Apr 11th, 2008 1:10 PM
great idea and this would give bush the incentive to initiate martial law but who cares it's coming anyway
by Vermont AFL-CIO
Wednesday Apr 16th, 2008 8:21 PM
Montpelier, VT –The Executive Board of the Vermont AFL-CIO, representing thousands of workers in countless sectors across Vermont, have unanimously passed an historic resolution expressing their “unequivocal” support for the first US labor work stoppage against the war in Iraq. The work stoppage, being organized by the Longshore Caucus of the International Longshore & Warehouse Union (ILWU), will seek to shutdown all west coast ports during the day on May 1st 2008. The Vermont AFL-CIO is the first state labor federation to publicly back the Longshoremen; other state federations are expected to follow.

The resolution, among other things, calls the war in Iraq “immoral, unwanted, and unnecessary”, states that the vast majority of working Vermonters oppose the war, and contends that the war will only be brought to an end by “the direct actions of working people.” Many other Vermont labor unions and organizations, including the Vermont Workers’ Center, have also made official statements condemning the war.

The resolution also calls on working Vermonters to “discuss the actions of the Longshoremen, to wear anti-war buttons, and to take various actions of their own design and choosing in their workplace on May 1st, 2008.”

“Workers in Vermont and all across this nation are against this war. We have already demanded that the government end it, but they have consistently failed to heed our words. Therefore working people are beginning to take concrete steps to make our resistance known. If the war does not immediately end we, the unions and working people of Vermont, will also be compelled to take appropriate action,” said David Van Deusen, District Vice President of the Washington-Lamoille-Orange region AFL-CIO.

Traven Leyshon, President of the Washington-Orange-Lamoille Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO, said, “Vermont labor has long called for an end to this war. The untold billions being spent on the war could instead be used to address our domestic needs. It is working people who pay the cost of the war - in some cases with our lives, but always with our sacrifices.”

***

Vermont AFL-CIO Resolution
In Solidarity With Longshoremen’s
West Coast Strike Against War
April, 2008

Whereas the war in Iraq is immoral, unwanted, and unnecessary,

Whereas this unjust war is opposed by the great majority of Americans & Vermonters, the bulk of organized labor, and by thousands of enlisted military personal,

Whereas this unjust war has already resulted in over 4000 American dead (including a disproportionate number of brave Vermonters), and tens of thousands of service men & woman being wounded,

Whereas this unjust war has further resulted in untold number of Iraqi deaths,

Whereas the Federal Government has not made any constructive moves towards the ending of this war and the full removal of US troops, and instead has taken the course of escalation and indefinite occupation,

Whereas the government of Vermont, and especially Governor Jim Douglas, have failed to find ways to bring Vermont National Guard troops home from Iraq,

Whereas this war will only be brought to an end by the direct actions of working people,

Therefore, Let It Be Resolved that the Vermont AFL-CIO continues to stand in firm opposition to this war, and unequivocally supports the decision of the Longshore Caucus of the International Longshore & Warehouse Union (ILWU) to shutdown the west coast ports for a period of 8 hours on May 1st, 2008, as a means of resistance.

Let It Be Resolved that the Vermont AFL-CIO stands in full solidarity with the New York Metro National Association of Letter Carriers who have resolved to conduct two minute periods of silence on May 1st, 2008, at 1PM, 5PM & 9PM in protest of the war and in support of the Longshoremen.

Let It Be Resolved that the Vermont AFL-CIO encourages all Vermont workers to stand in solidarity with the historic actions being taken by the Longshoremen & other labor unions to end this war.

Let It Be Further Resolved that the Vermont AFL-CIO calls for all Vermont workers to discuss the actions of the Longshoremen, to wear anti-war buttons, and to take various actions of their own design and choosing in their workplace on May 1st, 2008 as a means of resistance against this unjust war.

by John Hanks
( portage [at] uwyo.edu ) Monday Apr 28th, 2008 5:14 PM
Even if it accomplishes little politically, it does do something to make the wishes of ordinary people visible. My nephew was badly wounded over there, just so rich filth could run rackets and make a buck.
by Michelle Johnston
Tuesday Apr 29th, 2008 6:20 PM
I've never seen so many inaccuracies about the US: From what US candidates stand for regarding the war to how irreplaceable people are. Anyone remember what Reagan did to the Air Traffic Controllers?
by james
Tuesday Oct 20th, 2009 4:41 AM
New Jersey Port Truckers to Strike Over Fuel and Energy Costs Workers Will Rally Off the New Jersey Turnpike in Large Work Stoppage WHAT: Port truckers will stop work for two days to protest rising fuel and energy costs. WHY: Rising fuel and energy costs are threatening the ability of port truckers to earn a decent living and support their families as well as negatively impacting communities across the country. NJ port truckers are taking action as part of a national effort of transportation workers including - longshoremen and women, taxi workers wireless internet, port and long haul truck drivers, and railway workers - to build rank and file unity. WHEN: April 30th at 10:30am. HERE: Vince Lombardi Truck Stop at Exit 18 of the New Jersey Turnpike. WHO: Port truckers, labor supporters from the Industrial Workers of the World IU460/640 and Teamsters Local 805, and community allies. Vince Lombardi Truck Stop at Exit 18 of the New Jersey Turnpike. WHO: Port truckers, labor supporters from the Industrial Workers of the World IU460/640 and Teamsters Local 805, and community allies.