United States military against dockworkers

This video from the USA is called ILWU Local 21 Longview president Dan Coffman Speaks At Occupy Oakland.

By Hector Cordon in the USA:

US Coast Guard to escort grain ship against dockworkers’ protest

12 January 2012

In the first use of the military against a labor struggle since President Nixon ordered troops against the 1970 Postal strike the US Coast Guard announced that they would escort a grain ship to the EGT terminal at the Port of Longview, Washington.

According to The Daily News, “The Coast Guard will deploy one or two vessels to escort the grain ship up the Columbia River, with more on call if necessary, said Lt. Lucas Elder, a spokesman for the Coast Guard’s Portland-based marine safety unit. Other law enforcement agencies will also be present, he said.”

In addition to armed ships, the Coast Guard plans to deploy helicopters and small vessels from the mouth of the Columbia River to the EGT facility. Additional law enforcement will be present from multiple jurisdictions as well as local police.

EGT, a joint venture between Japan-based Itochu, St. Louis-based Bunge North America and Korean shipper STX Pan Ocean, has been seeking over the last year to quash the requirement of the Port that they hire members of Local 21 of the International Longshore and Warehouse Workers (ILWU).

To this end, EGT filed a lawsuit against the port a year ago contending that its contract allows hiring of non-ILWU labor. The company estimates it would save $1 million yearly by using outside labor. It presently has a contract employing workers from another union, General Construction and Operating Engineers Local 701.

Ongoing protests by dockworkers since January of last year escalated in September when ILWU members and supporters sought to block a train heading to the terminal. Two separate attempts to stop the train were suppressed by riot police, who arrested 19 protestors in the process. The next morning several hundred workers and supporters entered the port’s terminal grounds and dumped grain from the train cars.

That day thousands of dockworkers in the Northwest responded to these attacks in a wildcat strike, shutting down ports in Seattle, Tacoma, Everett and Anacortes, Washington in solidarity with the struggle in Longview. (See, “Wildcat strikes shut down Washington docks for one day”)

Bank of New York-Mellon seeks to evict Occupy Pittsburgh: here.

Why Now? What’s Next? Naomi Klein and Yotam Marom in Conversation About Occupy Wall Street. Naomi Klein and Yotam Marom, The Nation: “Naomi Klein: One of the things that’s most mysterious about this moment is ‘Why now?’ People have been fighting austerity measures and calling out abuses by the banks for a couple of years, with basically the same analysis: ‘We won’t pay for your crisis.’ But it just didn’t seem to take off, at least in the US”: here.

2 thoughts on “United States military against dockworkers

  1. Pingback: New York, Chicago against war | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Tell President Obama: No Taft Hartley! Hands Off Int’l Longshoremen’s Assn’s Right to Strike!

    Click HERE to sign and send a message to President Obama and Labor Secretary Solis telling them NO TAFT HARTLEY! HANDS OFF THE ILA’S RIGHT TO STRIKE!

    The Southern Workers Assembly Says No to Taft-Hartley!

    The current negotiations between the International Longshoremen’s Association and the Maritime Alliance is critical for the future of the U.S. labor movement in terms of the role of government in the collective bargaining. In addition to the corporate strategy to get states to enact right-to-work laws, the call by the Florida Gov for Presdent Obama to impose Taft-Hartley placing restrictions on the ILA’s right to strike, is part of the corporate strategy to weaken the power of the labor movement and to keep it in a position of concessionary and austerity bargaining.

    As U.S. and global corporations seek to maximize profits and maintain the dominance of the capitalist system, they must have the means to import and export raw materials, food products and finished goods to domestic and global markets. The longshore workers represent a key part of the global capitalist supply chain, and a decisive organized sector of the working class in the struggle against the abuses of the capitalist system against the workers.
    Click HERE to sign and send a message to President Obama and Labor Secretary Solis telling them NO TAFT HARTLEY! HANDS OFF THE ILA’S RIGHT TO STRIKE!

    Text of Petition:

    Dear President Obama and Labor Secretary Solis,

    I strongly urge you not to impose the Taft-Hartley Act on the negotiations between the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) and the Maritime Alliance, and particularly against the ILA’s right to strike against the failure of the Maritime Alliance to bargain in good faith.

    The ILA represents 15,000 workers spanning from the ports on the East to the Gulf Coasts. They have been working under a concessionary contract for some time. Now the Maritime Alliance wants more concessions; one being the elimination of the “container royalty” for new hires. The container royalty was established in 1960 to compensate workers for job lost caused by automated container shipping.

    This use of automation to replace workers and create massive unemployment should require corporations to compensate the workers as a minimum and basic human right.

    The economic crisis that is raging among working people, is largely the result of this type of corporate greed seeking to force endless amounts of capital from the workers in the form of lower wages, the loss of jobs, higher premiums for benefits and the elimination of gains won over the years to create good paying jobs and to protect worker rights.

    Labor unions supported your election with funds that came from our labor, along with hard work on the ground to turn out the vote.

    If you impose Taft-Hartley against the ILA, it would represent the same anti-worker agenda that the Tea Party and other conservatives are promoting by their campaign to establish right-to-work legislation and cuts in social programs in states across the country, that benefit the 1% and severely hurts most of the 99%.

    You must make it clear in your second term, that you support the rights and demands of working people against greedy corporations and anti-worker conservatives.

    No Taft-Hartley!

    Sincerely yours,
    (your signature here)

    Click HERE to sign!
    Southern Workers Assembly


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