Port Protest

Will Shutdown Ports Disrupt Import and Export Ops December twelfth?

Occupy Strikes Again: 12.12.11—It reads like a film poster. The individuals who wrote the slogan, most likely going for an epic sound with the Star Wars title reference, most likely wouldn’t examine the Occupy Motion to the evil Empire in George Lucas’ well-known movies. They might be more likely to narrate to the Insurgent Alliance in the event that they have been to make use of a Star Wars metaphor for the motion. But the newest plans of the Occupy Motion is a way more ominous sound to some than the Imperial March may ever be.

The Occupy Motion plans to close down the U.S. West Coast ports this upcoming Monday, December twelfth.

Can they do it? The logistics concerned in disrupting some ports can be tougher than others. The Lengthy Seashore-Los Angeles Port, for instance, stretches over miles with many totally different gateways and terminals and would require a big present of individuals to close down. In fact, it wouldn’t take even near 99% of Los Angeles’ practically 10 million inhabitants exhibiting up and forming picket strains to have an effect on the import and export operations.

On November 2nd, Occupy Oakland protestors stopped the evening operations on the Port of Oakland.

With the rising momentum of the Occupy Motion, port shutdowns are very doable.

The Port of Oakland is definitely taking the Occupy Motion’s plan to shutdown ports critically. The Board of Port Commissioners for the Port of Oakland despatched a letter to the neighborhood on December 4th imploring the individuals to assist hold the port open. The letter’s opening line reads, “From dockworkers to engineers, truckers to workplace staff—
the Port of Oakland is the place the 99% work.”

They’re additionally directing anybody who will take heed to a Hold the Port Open web site. The stance of the Board of Port Commissioners is that shutting down the port will accomplish nothing however hurting working households and neighborhood.

The Port of Oakland plea could also be falling on deaf ears because the Occupy Motion’s resolve doesn’t appear to be shaken.

Among the many Occupy Motion’s regular stance towards the function and energy held by multinational companies, main banks, and Wall Road over the democratic course of, the Occupy Motion says that shutting down the West Coast ports can also be standing in solidarity with The Worldwide Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU). The ILWU says the alternative.

Formally, the ILWU is towards the shutdown of west coast ports by the Occupy Motion.

In line with an article from the Journal of Commerce, “the ILWU stated though the union shares Occupy Wall Road’s considerations about company abuses and the way forward for the center class, the decision by Occupy forces to close down West Coast ports was made with none session with the union.

“’Solely ILWU members or their elected representatives can authorize job actions on behalf of the union, and any selections made by teams outdoors of the union’s democratic course of don’t maintain water, whatever the intent,’ stated ILWU President Robert McEllrath.”

For the reason that protest just isn’t deliberate by the union, the union is not going to acknowledge individuals with indicators standing in entrance of transport gateways at ports to be a picket line. The plan is that so long as it’s deemed secure for the employees, they are going to go to work on the docks on Monday.

Nonetheless, the official stance of the ILWU might not be a full image of the union’s perspective towards the state of affairs.

“If ILWU members don’t honor the neighborhood picket strains, it would trigger an irreparable breach with the neighborhood. If the ILWU can’t help the neighborhood, why ought to the neighborhood help the ILWU…” stated Clarence Thomas, third-generation longshoreman in Oakland and previous secretary-treasurer of ILWU Native 10 in a Employees World interview with reporter Cheryl LaBash.

Interviewed on the similar time was Leo Robinson. He’s retired, however is a former member of the ILWU Native 10 govt board. Mr. Robinson stated the union has noticed neighborhood picket strains “any variety of instances” and sited a 1977 neighborhood picket line at Pier 27 towards South African cargo due to apartheid which was not approved by the union for instance.

Clarence Thomas couldn’t have said it a lot stronger than as he was quoted on the finish of the interview, “The ILWU just isn’t some particular curiosity group. We’re a rank-and-file militant, democratic union that has a protracted historical past of being within the vanguard of the social justice and labor motion.

“We don’t cross neighborhood picket strains.”

It is going to be seen on Monday if the Occupy Motion protests will cease staff from going to their jobs and disrupt ocean freight import and export operations at U.S. West Coast ports.

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