Labor Unites Against Covert White House Unionbusting Plans|
The International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) revealed this week that the Bush administration has formed a secret White House Task Force to consider possible Federal intervention in stalled negotiations between 10,000 west coast longshoremen and their employers, represented by the Pacific Maritime Association. 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.
Administration sources say they're discussing pre-empting possible ILWU actions by enlisting National Guard troops to operate the docks until the union is forced to agree to contract terms. Unions charge that the Bush administration and port bosses are trying to exploit concerns about national security and a fragile economy, using these concerns as an excuse to attack one of the nation's strongest unions.
In Seattle, 25% of jobs are port-related. In Tacoma, 40% are port-related. If Bush is able to break the back of the ILWU, all workers in the Puget Sound will pay the price. On Monday, Aug. 12, Seattle unions will hold a March & Rally for a Fair Contract for West Coast Longshore Workers. At 4:30, after a barbecue at pier 37, union regulars and supporters will march along Alaskan Way to rally at the pier 66 Cruise Terminal. Many of the area's unions have pledged their participation; and simultaneous rallies will take place in Portland and in Oakland, site of large ILWU rallies earlier this summer.
ILWU | Port Solidarity Committee 2002 | SF Indymedia
Death by Lethal Injunction: National Emergency Strikes Under The Taft-Hartley Act (pdf)