Wow! It looks like it really is going to happen. ILWU plans to protest the Iraq war by holding an eight hour strike on May 1. Their stance comes at a price, threatening future contract negotiations but they will do it nonetheless…
This decision came after an impassioned debate where the union’s Vietnam veterans turned the tide of opinion in favor of the anti-war resolution. The motion called it an imperial action for oil in which the lives of working-class youth and Iraqi civilians were being wasted and declared May Day a “no peace, no work” holiday. Angered after supporting Democrats who received a mandate to end the war but who now continue to fund it, longshoremen decided to exercise their political power on the docks.
Last month, in response to the union’s declaration, the Pacific Maritime Association, the West Coast employer association of shipowners, stevedore companies and terminal operators, declared its opposition to the union’s protest. Thus, the stage is set for a conflict in the run up to the longshore contract negotiations.
We all need to support the ILWU for their brave stance to fight for our troops and to bring them home.