The Portworkers Rally at the Port of Oakland at 11:00 am on Thursday, June 27, 2002 (music begins at 10:30) will be broadcast over a web/microradio network along the West Coast. A live microradio broadcast at 102.5 FM from the Port of Oakland will be received by the SF IMC and web cast from IP address 220.127.116.11:8000 to other IMC's, where the streams will be picked up and broadcast via the Internet and microradio.
As contract negotiations reach their final hours, and the possibility of a shutdown of ports along the entire West Coast looms, portworkers will hold a major rally at Port View Park (end of 7th Street), Port of Oakland. The rally is sponsored by the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, and co-sponsored by the Teamsters Port Division and the International Longshoremen’s Association.
National and international labor leaders, including James Hoffa, Jr. (president, Teamsters), Jim Spinosa (president, ILWU International), John Bowers (president, ILA International), Richard Trumka (Secretary-Treasurer, AFL-CIO) and Wilson Borja Diaz (president, Union of State Service Workers, Columbia), will speak. Solidarity rallies will also happen at ports along the entire West Coast.
On June 30, contracts with the Pacific Maritime Association expire for nearly all West Coast maritime workers’ unions, including over 10,000 longshore workers, sailors, firemen, mates, engineers and maintenance workers. PMA has been stonewalling the negotiations and is threatening a lockout of the unions. At issue are PMA’s attempt to roll back health
benefits, prevent cost-of-living increases in pensions, circumvent important jurisdiction issues, eliminate the union hiring hall, and avoid measures that would provide real security against terrorism via our ports. It appears this is a full-scale effort by PMA to break the power of the portworkers’ unions.
It is reported that Walmart, one of the PMA's largest clients, now essentially controls the negotiations. Their efforts to break the portworkers' unions are an extension of Walmart's anti-union, anti-labor policies.
From the 1934 General Strike and before, portworkers’ unions have a long and proud history of racial integration, internal democracy, and international solidarity.