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Labor Unites Against Covert White House Unionbusting Plans

News and latest updates on the ILWU portworkers struggle from Global Indymedia.
The International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) is engaged in an historic battle with the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA).

Working for months under an expired contract, 10,000 West Coast longshore workers face a threatened lockout by the PMA, which is attempting to eliminate jobs, cut healthcare and other benefits, attack workers' rights, and threaten public services. Allied with the PMA is the 'West Coast Waterfront Coalition', a front group for corporations who import $260 billion of goods through the West Coast ports each year from sweatshops abroad.

The union revealed last week that the Bush administration has formed a secret task force to consider federal intervention in stalled negotiations between the longshore workers and PMA. The Bush task force has reportedly threatened to break up the ILWU's coastwide contract, and to invoke a seldom-used provision of the Taft-Hartley Act allowing the government to prevent strikes when the "national health or safety" is imperiled. Moreover, they are discussing the preemption of possible ILWU actions by enlisting National Guard troops to operate the docks until the union is forced to agree to contract terms.

Rallies are being held on Monday, August 12 in Seattle, Tacoma, Portland, Oakland, Los Angeles and elsewhere. In the event of a lockout or strike, unofficial "action centers" in major ports around the world will support the ILWU workers.

Stay tuned for continuing coverage at Portland IMC, Seattle IMC, and SF Bay IMC.

Additional solidarity links:

Portworkers Solidarity Committee 2002 | Friends of Labor




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