This morning 6 of us locked down and locked out the PMA as a solidarity action with the ILWU. Press release below. It went great.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Celia Alario: 310-721-6517
Loren Finkelstein 510-798-8170
PMA LOCKED OUT!
Local Environmental and Social Justice Groups Support ILWU By Locking PMA Out Of Own Headquarters, Dropping Banner
San Francisco - October 10, 2002 - Bay Area environmental, economic and social justice leaders gave the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) a taste of its own medicine today by locking the shipping bosses out of their downtown San Francisco headquarters. During the lockout, activists unfurled a 120 square foot banner reading, "Bush Makes PMA Rich; Workers Get The Taft," from above the doorway of the PMA building. The lockout and banner hang were staged to support the ILWU in its efforts to protect worker's rights and to protest President Bush's recent decision to invoke the Taft-Hartley Act, stripping the ILWU of its right to collectively bargain and protect its jurisdiction.
The lockout is the latest gesture of solidarity with the ILWU by environmental, social and economic justice organizations, who recently participated in ILWU picket lines and rallied in support of the Union's fight to defend worker's rights against the Pacific Maritime Association. Juliette Beck of Public Citizen, Mike Dolan of Public Citizen, Karen Pickett of the Alliance for Sustainable Jobs and the Environment, and Rainforest Action Network President Randy Hayes, participated in this morning's lockout.
"The ILWU has provided immeasurable support to organizations working for environmental and social justice," said Randy Hayes, of Rainforest Action Network. "Now we're here to stand in solidarity with the Union and support the right to collectively bargain and protect its jurisdiction."
This morning's lockout echoed PMA's own response to the ILWU's demand for a guarantee that clerk jobs created by new technology are filled by Union labor. The PMA's decision to lockout the ILWU rather than agree to fill new jobs with union labor would break the Union's power to protect workers.
"It's clear that the PMA is using new technology jobs as an opportunity to hire non-union employees and bust the union," said Karen Pickett of the Alliance for Sustainable Jobs and the Environment. "Low tech or hi-tech, all jobs should be union."
For decades, the ILWU has been a leader standing up for environmental and social justice causes. In 1984, the Union refused to unload ships from South Africa, helping to spark a national and international divestment movement that led to the collapse of the apartheid government. In recent years, the union has played a vital role in the struggle for workers rights in sweatshops and the efforts to end the trade in wood from endangered forests around the world. In 1999, the union closed all ports on the West Coast in solidarity with environmental, fair trade, consumer and human rights groups demonstrating against the World Trade Organization in Seattle.
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