We the Executive Board of ILWU Local 5 stand in solidarity with our union sisters and brothers. We champion the right to the collective bargaining process, the right to picket and strike, the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and, ultimately, the right to be free from the economic terrorism of the capitalist ruling class. We are now at the crux of history where our own leaders are aggressively threatening those rights.
While we support all struggles against the tyranny of government and bureaucracy, of most immediate and crucial concern for us, are the recent developments on the longshore. The Bush Regime has indicated that they are looking at four options: 1) Invoking the Taft-Hartley Act; 2) Running the ports with Navy personnel; 3) Placing the docks under the Railroad Labor Act and 4) Breaking up the coast wide contract. Each one of these threats against the ILWU is a direct attack on the power each and every worker. We must not allow this to happen.
If the Bush Regime succeeds in disemboweling the ILWU, they will not stop. In the name of free trade, capitalism, and the “American” way, they will pick off unions one by one until there is nothing left of the Labor Movement. Already, history has shown that the United States Government is capable of being a tool for big business to wield against the workers.
It is the actions of the Bush Regime, acting in concert with the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) that has escalated this situation. While the Bush Regime claims they will keep the ports running “by any means necessary”, we, the united unions of America, are ready to meet this threat with the same amount of vigor.
No more war without borders or end, or the approval of Congress!
No more clandestine Task Forces to spy on the American worker!
No more oppression of the American people!
No more lies! No more threats!
We call upon all workers of the Americas to unite against this attack on the basic rights of our livelihoods and against all the oppressions and tyrannies of the Bush Regime. We support the community organizing efforts to stage a demonstration against the Bush Regime on his visit to Portland, Oregon on August 22nd, 2002 and will mobilize the Labor Community to the best of our ability to ensure the event is a success.
We must exercise our rights to organize, to collectively bargain, to picket and strike, and to engage in other direct actions. The erosion of worker rights in the Americas must stop here.
ILWU Local 5 Executive Board