ILWU will untie ship with military cargo...
Port of Oakland
A ship at the Sealand Terminal in Oakland carrying military cargo will be the first vessel to go out to sea from a West Coast port
For Immediate Release: Oct. 2, 2002
First crack in PMA lockout: ILWU will untie ship with military cargo at the
Port of Oakland
( Oakland ) A ship at the Sealand Terminal in Oakland carrying military
cargo will be the first vessel to go out to sea from a West Coast port since
the second PMA-imposed lockout began on Sunday. That ship, the Maersk
Innovator, takes off at 4:00 p.m. today. It was partially loaded before the
lockout, but was unable to set sail before the PMA shut down all West Coast
ports. After three days of efforts, the ILWU and Maersk were able to
convince the PMA to allow longshore workers to get the ship on the way.
"This is the first crack in the PMA lockout," said ILWU Local 10 President
Richard Mead. "But we finally convinced PMA to order longshore workers out
of the hall and get the essential military cargo out."
Mead and other ILWU longshore workers, along with members of the Masters,
Mates and Pilots (MMP) and Maritime Engineers Beneficial Association (MEBA),
the crew and officers aboard the ship, will walk through the Maersk-Sealand
terminal gates together this afternoon. ILWU linesmen will untie the ship
and send it off.
The ILWU is committed to shipping all military cargo.
The Maersk-Sealand terminal is located off Maritime Street at Berth 21.
For more information call ILWU Local 10 President Richard Mead at
415-760-8453 or ILWU Communications Director Steve Stallone at 415-775-0533
ext. 114 (office) or 510-390-4748 (cell) or see www.ilwu.org
< http://www.ilwu.org/> .
ILWU offers to load military, Alaska cargo
>From the National Desk
Published 9/30/2002 10:39 PM
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SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 30 (UPI) -- Longshoremen remained locked out of West
Coast seaports Monday evening, but they made a firm public offer to resume
the loading of ships bound for Alaska and overseas military bases while
their union meets with representatives of the shipping industry to seek a
breakthrough in their stalled contract negotiations.
More than 10,000 members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union
were left without jobs, and operations at usually bustling seaports such as
Long Beach, Calif., Seattle and Oakland, Calif., came to a eerily quiet halt
late Sunday when the Pacific Maritime Association determined that the union
was engaged in a deliberate slowdown that had virtually paralyzed West Coast
The ILWU and the Pacific Maritime Association remained at loggerheads Monday
over the future role that technology will play on the docks while ships
rested at anchor offshore or idled at the docks. Although the work stoppage
was expected to create a rapidly spreading ripple effect through the Pacific
Rim already fragile economy, the president of ILWU, Jim Spinosa, told
reporters that the flow of supplies to U.S. military installations overseas
would continue if the shippers' employers cooperated and allowed workers on
"We have told the military that our obligation to this country and to our
military effort is one that we will not move away from," Spinosa stated. "We
will continue to make ourselves available and anything our country needs in
the interests of national defense, this union will provide. Whether they
order manpower or not, we will work those ships on behalf of our nation and
especially in time of need."
The ILWU also volunteered to make sure that the maritime supply stream from
Puget Sound to Alaska continued and did not cause shortages of essential
"Our members are willing to work under our normal hiring and dispatch
methods," said Dick Marzano, spokesman of ILWU Local 23 in Tacoma, Wash.
"The employer's action of locking out the ILWU prohibits us from providing
for the citizens of Alaska."
Marzano said that during the weekend lockout, a union work detail struck an
agreement with management to load the Westward Venture with a cornucopia of
cargo and sent her on her way to Anchorage.
"We recognize that the citizens of Alaska are dependent on this cargo. We
loaded perishable food items, mail and consumer goods. We have never failed
to deliver these necessities," said Marzano.
Residents and merchants in Hawaii had been stocking up on consumer goods for
much of the summer as a precaution against a strike that would cut their
lifeline to the mainland. Matson Navigation, which operates much of the
ocean trade in and out of the islands, said it managed to get three ships
out of California just prior to the lockout.
"Given the state's dependence on ocean transportation, Matson recognizes
that this situation is one that impacts virtually all residents of the
islands," Matson President James Andrasick said in a statement. "We will do
our best to communicate regularly with our customers, government officials,
and the general public as new developments occur."
The Westward Venture was packed and ready to sail for Alaska within 36
hours, but the PMA has said that they were forced to call a lockout after
ILWU members started a slowdown that snarled cargo movement to the point
that the longshoremen may as well have been on strike.
"I have said before, and I will say again: I will not pay workers to
strike," vowed Joe Miniace, president and chief executive officer of the San
Francisco-based PMA. "I will only pay them to work."
The PMA said Monday that the ILWU forced their hand by refusing to sign any
further extensions of the previous three-year contract and had staged the
The PMA is insisting that cargo handling on the West Coast be made
increasingly reliant on technology to track and plan the movement of
thousands of shipping containers and other freight. The ILWU is demanding
that the jobs created by such upgrades be given to union members who
currently perform such tasks.
"The lack of technology is already creating severe bottlenecks at the ports,
and there's no chance that we will be able to accommodate the expected trade
growth from Asia without it," PMA spokesman Tom Edwards told reporters
Monday. "The top ports in Asia, and in Europe, are at least a decade ahead
of us. Our ports literally cannot keep up."
In the meantime, concerns were growing over the economic impact of a
prolonged lockout. West Coast ports handle about 40 percent of the goods
imported and exported by the United States, including virtually all trade
with Asia. The cargo has a value of about $300 billion annually and has an
impact on several major industry sectors including retail, autos,
agriculture and steel.
"Our economy, particularly on the West Coast, is dependent on the free flow
of goods, and when all of that stops, it has a tremendous effect on the
people's ability to continue their jobs and business to continue to be
productive," California Gov. Gray Davis said in an interview Sunday night
with Sacramento, Calif. television station KCRA. "So there are a lot of
victims being hurt by this."
(Reported by Hil Anderson in Los Angeles) Copyright © 2002 United Press
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