Frederick Douglass

"Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did, and it never will. Find out just what people will submit to, and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them..." Frederick Douglass

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Ilwu/Longview Update, 11 Jan.

San Franciso Labor Council Condemns Use of US Military to Escort Ship to Pick Up Scab Grain

The state intervening on the side of capital. What a shock!

San Francisco unions support ILWU Local 21 at EGT

The U.S. military has been called out in Washington state to support some of the world's worst grubby lying 1% corporatists -- who received federal funds to build their port operation in Longview, but only after promising to hire ILWU members. And then, after their federally-funded facility was built, these grubby low-lifes went back on their word. ..

A letter from the Transport Workers' Solidarity Committee:

Join the Caravan to Mass Labor Protest

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union is waging a battle against union-busting. ILWU Local
21 in Longview, Washington is under attack by a giant consortium, EGT, which has built a $200 million grain
terminal and is running it as a scab operation. This directly violates the port agreement with ILWU which has had
jurisdiction for over 75 years. This union-busting must be stopped. It’s the fight of working people everywhere.
If EGT succeeds, other grain handlers will push for scab operations as well. That would affect the entire
ILWU, as grain contracts contribute 30% to our benefits. Not only health & welfare but also our pension fund,
dangerously underfunded at 64%. Breaking ILWU jurisdiction would immediately threaten our container ports.
ILWU is one of the most militant unions in the country. This is a make-or-break struggle for all organized labor.
Longview Local 21 and San Francisco Local 10, Harry Bridges’s local, are asking for your support. The
struggle is coming to a head as EGT plans to bring in a ship to load the scab grain stored in their terminal in
Longview. This could happen at any time, possibly in mid- to late-January. We are urging workers to join a
caravan to go to Longview from your area when the ship comes in and to participate in a mass labor protest rally.
It’s your right and your duty, to your fellow union members and to yourself.
If thousands of union brothers and sisters show up, along with supporters in other unions and the Occupy
movement who have aided the struggle against EGT in Longview, we can put a stop to this union-busting
operation. We won’t have much advance warning. So we need to prepare to come with our workmates, friends,
family, with everyone who understands that our future is at stake in Longview. Get ready to be there!
It can be done. Longshore workers have done it. Last July a thousand ILWU members and supporters
blocked a train carrying grain to the scab terminal. On September 7, 400 union supporters blocked a grain train in
Vancouver, Washington, and then again in Longview. The next morning hundreds of longshore workers arrived
from all the Northwest ports before dawn, and news media reported thousands of tons of grain ended up on the
tracks. The ports of Seattle, Tacoma, Everett, Vancouver and Portland were shut down – the workers were all in
Longview. Now we need you to “meet and greet” the scab ship.
The brothers and sisters in Longview are doing their part. Under a police reign of terror Local 21 with
only 225 members has 220 arrests for defending ILWU jurisdiction. They have built a large and broad support
campaign with rallies and mass pickets several totaling over a thousand.
Others have contributed too. On Nov. 2, Occupy Oakland mobilized 30,000 people to shut down the port
to show their “commitment to solidarity with Longshore workers in their struggles against EGT in Longview,
Washington.” Local 21 President Dan Coffman speaking about Nov. 2 at Occupy Oakland said, “You can’t believe
what you people did for the inspiration of my union members...” And on Dec. 12, Occupy called to shut down the
coast in support of the struggle in Longview. Again shipping in the port of Oakland was shut down, along with
terminals in Seattle, Portland and elsewhere.
We’re all in this together. The San Francisco and Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Counties Central Labor
Councils have already declared their support. We will be signing up people who are ready to go up to
Longview in a caravan when they call us. Local 21 is leading the way. Northwest locals have stepped up to
the plate, as has the Occupy movement. Now it is everyone’s turn. Together we have the power! Use it or
lose it. Show that working people are ready, willing and able to fight for our rights.
January 4, 2012

An excellent piece from Ben Shreiner

The Looming Showdown in Longview

Some background on the corporate criminals.

ILWU Longview action from felix G. glee on Vimeo.

And of course the bourgeois press is marshaling their forces for a defamation campaign.

Top Ten Union Corruption Stories of the Year

Promoting ethics? Likely committed crimes? This is just the beginning. The corporate media/reactionary commentariat will be spring-loaded to cover the violence which plain-clothes law enforcement will initiate. There just getting warmed up here.