fix articles 112131, gulf coasts
Why We Defend the ILWU and All Workers (tags)
In recent weeks, a showdown has loomed on U.S. docks between the shipping bosses and port workers that has rattled the capitalist ruling class. On the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts, the International Longshoreman's Association prepared to strike container shipping while the employers threatened to lock out 14,500 ILA members. On the West Coast, the grain shippers been demanding a giveback contract from the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), which would effectively bypass the union hiring hall, slash workers' vital safety protections and gut union power. Yet in the midst of the Northwest grain battle, an Occupy activist Peter Little publishes an article vociferously arguing against the call to defend the ILWU. While posing as ultra-left, this policy if actually carried out would aid the employers who are hell-bent on destroying ILWU union power on the waterfront. And blaming sellouts on the nature of unions lets the bureaucrats off the hook. We in the Internationalist Group say: all those who stand with the exploited and oppressed must come to the defense of the ILWU in this fight. And that defense includes forthrightly opposing the capitulations and betrayals by the labor bureaucracy which sells out vital union gains in the vain hope of an impossible "cooperation" with capital, endangering the workers organizations they preside over.
Longshore Workers, Truckers: Shut the Ports, Coast to Coast! (tags)
Following the nationally-coordinated police evictions last month of Occupy Wall Street and encampments across the country, on December 12 the Occupiers struck back. Ports up and down the West Coast were blockaded, from Seattle to San Diego. Despite a barrage of hostile propaganda in the media, opposition from union bureaucrats and heavy police repression in some places, overall the blockade was successful -- this time. The blockade was called in solidarity with longshore workers fighting a union-busting assault in Longview, Washington and port truckers seeking union recognition in the ports of Los Angeles/Long Beach. This support should have been greeted. But now the class war on the West Coast docks is coming to a head, and it can't be waged from the outside. Bay Area labor has called for a caravan to Longview. The goal should be a real occupation of the terminal by the workers to prevent the loading of the scab cargo. Longshore militants have called on the longshore unions to shut down every port on the West Coast, and the East and Gulf Coasts, to smash EGT's union-busting. Can it be done? Yes, but only though sharp struggle against the pro-capitalist labor bureaucracy.