Saturday, May 3, 2008

The ILWU makes history once again…



The members of the ILWU (International Longshore and Warehouse Union) are my heroes. These guys have shown us repeatedly what real trade unionism is all about. Not only does their union stand up against the bosses when it comes to protecting their own jobs and livelihoods, but the union has proven repeatedly that it will use its considerable muscle to fight for justice for working people world wide. In the 1980’s longshore workers refused to handle the cargo of South African ships as a protest against apartheid and refused to load ships sending weapons to the repressive, blood thirsty government of El Salvador. This Mayday, the ILWU once again proved they are the vanguard of organized labor in the United States.

Here is the announcement of their planned action from their website…

“The ILWU west coast longshore workers have voted to stop work to protest the US war and occupation on Iraq and Afghanistan on May Day 2008. They have also called on the AFL-CIO, Change To Win (CTW) and other labor organizations to join them in action on May Day against the war and to commemorate the International Workers Holiday.”

Last Thursday the west coast dock workers where as good as their word and shut down every march port on the West Coast for 8 hours. The first union to strike in opposition to a war in our nation’s history. Here is a link to their website…

http://maydayilwu.googlepages.com/

Here are links to the ILWU Strike rallies on Mayday…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BspANxukBgg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VKzLEjzvtfM

That second link is one of the very, very few mainstream news outlets to cover the strike.

You can hear more by listening to tomorrow’s Labor Express Radio program. I will air an interview with ILWU Local 10 Executive Board member Jack Heyman about the one day strike…

http://www.laborexpress.org/

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