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May Day strike protests Iraq war
May 1, 2008 7:30 AM   Subscribe

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) has announced that it will shut down West Coast ports today, to protest the war in Iraq.

Oddly, the ILWU website's top page has no mention of the action. Following a link to their newspaper The Dispatcher, however, we find a page 2 article on the planned action, only available as a PDF.

Supporting the action are the San Francisco Labor Council and Vermont AFL-CIO.

And while you may not agree with everything the Internationalist Group has to say, you may find some of the photo documentation of past demonstrations on this page to be of some interest.
posted by flapjax at midnite (70 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
And if you live in the SF Bay Area, come join in the fun!
posted by serazin at 7:33 AM on May 1, 2008


They're not just protesting the Iraq war, they're also protesting our war in Afghanistan.
posted by gyc at 7:50 AM on May 1, 2008


I'm usually neutral on present-day union activities, but closing down the port for the day seems to be the honorable thing to do.
posted by jsavimbi at 7:50 AM on May 1, 2008


here's a letter that provides some background/context :P

cheers!
posted by kliuless at 7:50 AM on May 1, 2008


right on!
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 7:52 AM on May 1, 2008


And while you may not agree with everything the Internationalist Group has to say,

Good comedy reading though.
posted by smackfu at 7:54 AM on May 1, 2008


Good for them. Good that anyone's doing anything.

And shame, again, on Bush for threatening the union that a shutdown would jeopardize national security, but allowing a 13-day lockout which ended only when he pulled out the Taft Hartley trump card and forced the longshoremen back to work under unfavorable conditions.
posted by notsnot at 7:58 AM on May 1, 2008 [3 favorites]


Attention Congressional Democrats: That's how you do it.
posted by EarBucket at 7:59 AM on May 1, 2008 [7 favorites]


Doesn't seem like a smart move to me. They keep up stuff like this, and they're going to start seeing more and more cargo go through highly-automated non-union greenfield Mexican ports and bring it north by truck/rail. The U.S. West Coast ports are not as indispensable as I think they think they are, and they're already stunningly unproductive when compared internationally to the major Asian ones.

It's one thing to strike when it's part of a labor negotiation, but it's another thing when you're doing it as part of a more general political statement, where the businesses you're impacting have little to no practical control over the situation.

Eventually they're going to push the liner companies past the tipping point where it will become preferable to deal with someone else. I would think that the port industry -- how many dead or near-dead, formerly-great port cities are there around the world? -- would be a little more careful when it comes to biting the hand that feeds.
posted by Kadin2048 at 8:00 AM on May 1, 2008 [4 favorites]


this is awesome.
posted by yonation at 8:02 AM on May 1, 2008


when it comes to biting the hand that feeds.

union workers are the hand that feeds. the bosses are the ones getting fat while nipping at the hands that keeps them that way.
posted by saulgoodman at 8:06 AM on May 1, 2008 [5 favorites]


Yeah, good for them. It's nice to know that the ability of the United States to engage in foreign trade is subject to the political ideology of the longshoremen's union. Maybe EMS workers can show their support for the longshoremen by not answering any calls today.

This is outrageous, and I'm not even sure it's legal. I was under the impression that for a union to call a strike, there had to be some labor-related dispute with management. What precisely does the war in Iraq have to do with the union's labor deal with the government?

We have a government. You don't like it, vote them out. Otherwise, shut up and do your job.
posted by Pastabagel at 8:12 AM on May 1, 2008 [3 favorites]


It is really silly to be "neutral." You either support labor or you do not. Fence sitting means uyou are like the non-voter: someone else decides for you. I love the way anti-[union folks simply badmouth the bad apples who often run unions, as though CEOs and top management are all nice peope working for the common good. Please recall that the Viet Nam war only ended when enough Americans demanded it end...congress, passive as ususual, saw the handwriting (voting) on the wall.
posted by Postroad at 8:15 AM on May 1, 2008


We have a government. You don't like it, vote them out. Otherwise, shut up and do your job.

Don't like what they're doing? Join their union, vote them out. Otherwise, shut up and do YOUR job.
posted by [NOT HERMITOSIS-IST] at 8:17 AM on May 1, 2008 [16 favorites]


It is really silly to be "neutral." You either support labor or you do not.

you're either a patriot or not - you're either an american or not - give me a break

this day off is symbolic - it's more of a rationalization that they "did something" than a real attempt to end the war

i'm not even confident that "voting them out" will end this war - we'd have to end the government, end the culture, end the underlying myth of americans making the world "right" through redemptive violence

i'm not holding my breath
posted by pyramid termite at 8:26 AM on May 1, 2008


We have a government. You don't like it, vote them out. Otherwise, shut up and do your job.

No, shut up and don't do your job.
posted by saulgoodman at 8:27 AM on May 1, 2008


I wonder why they're also protesting the war in Afghanistan. I thought the issue most people had was that we should be focusing more on Afghanistan instead of being distracted by also fighting the war in Iraq.
posted by gyc at 8:29 AM on May 1, 2008


I think what Pastabagel is trying to say, in other words, is "You union workers need to learn to keep your mouths shut."
posted by saulgoodman at 8:30 AM on May 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


Historical precedent: The Februarystrike 1941, "one of the greatest acts of resistance in the struggle against Hitler-fascism."
posted by No Robots at 8:37 AM on May 1, 2008 [3 favorites]


We have a government. You don't like it, vote them out. Otherwise, shut up and do your job.

That's a very stupid attitude to take. Imagine telling blacks in the civil rights era to "shut up and vote, and if your votes don't do anything, tough luck!" I'm not sure that this particular protest is very worthwhile in isolation, but if it was something that happened all the time and ran the risk of more seriously damaging the economy, then other voters would have to more seriously consider their support for pro-war candidates.

In other words, protests against the 'ruling party' still make sense when the 'ruling party' is actually composed of a majority of fellow voters.
posted by delmoi at 8:38 AM on May 1, 2008 [2 favorites]


postroad - As I recall, the Vietnam war ended when American troops were driven out by the Viet Cong. Remember all those helicopters leaving Saigon? It wasn't American protesters they were running from.

Sorry, off topic. As an American/Canadian living in the UK, I say anything that makes the USA look like they're actually trying to END THIS WAR has to be at least partially a good thing. Mainstream newspapers in the UK describe the US government with terms such as 'incompetent zealots', and nobody protests because everybody knows it's true.

The US gov't couldn't care less if you walk around with signs. They don't care if you write letters. They don't care about anything you do as long as business continues as usual. You have to jam the works to make a difference, and that's what these dock workers are very courageously doing. I think it's inspiring to see a union taking a moral stand, rather than just striking in their own interest.
posted by crazylegs at 8:40 AM on May 1, 2008 [6 favorites]


...shut up and do your job.

Hear hear!

/smokes pipe, dons waistcoat and tophat, returns to counting gold dubloons
posted by DU at 8:45 AM on May 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


the Vietnam war ended when American troops were driven out by the Viet Cong.

The war ended in part because increasing numbers of soldiers within the army refused to fight.
posted by scody at 8:47 AM on May 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'll tell you how to end the war:

Bring back the draft.

But instead of drafting soldiers, draft materials and weapons. The government should force Haliburton, GE, General Dynamics, Raytheon, et. al. to provide weapons and material for the war AT COST, with no profits to shareholders.

Bet you it would be over pretty damn fast.
posted by crazylegs at 8:49 AM on May 1, 2008 [24 favorites]


This administration doesn't seem to pay attention to any sort of rules or guidelines atall -- it's a perpetual gloves off war against the common man. I may think the union's action will be largely ineffective, but as far as pulling the white cotton gloves off -- it's about damn time the common man did it too.

Frankly, anyone reading from the "be nice and follow the rules" political playbook hasn't taken a close look at the battlefield -- that ain't the terms of this war.
posted by seanmpuckett at 8:53 AM on May 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


This decision came after an impassioned debate where the union's Vietnam veterans turned the tide of opinion in favor of the anti-war resolution. The motion called it an imperial action for oil in which the lives of working-class youth and Iraqi civilians were being wasted and declared May Day a "no peace, no work" holiday. Angered after supporting Democrats who received a mandate to end the war but who now continue to fund it, longshoremen decided to exercise their political power on the docks.

Last month, in response to the union's declaration, the Pacific Maritime Association, the West Coast employer association of shipowners, stevedore companies and terminal operators, declared its opposition to the union's protest. Thus, the stage is set for a conflict in the run up to the longshore contract negotiations.

The last set of contentious negotiations (in 2002) took place during the period between the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the invasion of Iraq. Representatives of the Bush administration threatened that if there were any of the usual job actions during contract bargaining, then troops would occupy the docks because such actions would jeopardize "national security." Yet, when the PMA employers locked out the longshoremen and shut down West Coast ports for 11 days, the "security" issue vanished. President Bush then invoked the Taft-Hartley Act, forcing longshoremen back to work under conditions favorable to the employers.
That's from the SF Gate piece; remember though, it was written by an ILWU member. In any case, it's clear that this is part of the negotiations with the shipping and stevedoring companies, to demonstrate that the union will not knuckle under to federal pressure - not least because the federal government will not apply such pressure in the name of "national security", given the widespread discontent with this administration and its policies.

I would also like to point out that this is an 8-hour strike, so the ships are going to get loaded and unloaded, it's just going to be a busier evening than usual. I am heartened to see that American labor is still capable of flexing its muscles. The work rules that we in the USA benefit from are, for the most part, attributable to the actions of organized labor.
posted by Mister_A at 8:53 AM on May 1, 2008


...provide weapons and material for the war AT COST..

This is a pretty awesome idea. Real patriots contribute to their country without recompense, right? Making a profit on bullets and armor reduces availability, which is hurting TheTroops(tm).
posted by DU at 8:56 AM on May 1, 2008


It is really silly to be "neutral." You either support labor or you do not.

Care to explain? There is no middle ground? You can't be anti-union and anti-corporate? How about just being anti-corruption?
posted by Pollomacho at 9:00 AM on May 1, 2008


A strike to protest a massive debacle that is killing thousands of people from across the country, that has trashed our economy and severely damaged the reputation of our country around the world and that disproportionately impacts the lower and middle class that unions tend to represent? Sounds pretty damn reasonable to me.

General strikes are one of the few tools of power that average citizens have. They can write letters and they can vote every two years and I support people doing just that. But in the day to day running of our country, they have very few options to effect the way the country is run. When there were protests and marches, I saw all sorts of people on here saying "its just signs and words. No one is going to listen to that". Well, now some people are going beyond that and doing something that has a palpable effect. Good for them.

And the argument that they shouldn't do it or it will send more freight to Mexico instead? That's laughable and absurd. This administration has been doing everything it can to do that already, without provocation. Sitting quietly and hoping that the remaining crumbs get thrown your way is pretty stupid. Unions need to stand up and rattle the status quo a bit or they are going to keep shrinking, keep getting smacked down and fade into irrelevancy.
posted by afflatus at 9:01 AM on May 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


Care to explain? There is no middle ground? You can't be anti-union and anti-corporate? How about just being anti-corruption?

It's the converse of the "you're with us or you're with the terrorists". It's still illogical, even when viewed in a mirror image, though.
posted by deadmessenger at 9:05 AM on May 1, 2008


> union workers are the hand that feeds.

That may be true if and when they're irreplaceable, but I think that's a pretty dangerous assumption to make.

The West Coast (US) ports are only in operation because they happen to be the cheapest way to move goods both into the US from Asia, and across the North American "land bridge" to Europe.

There are other ways to do it, including bringing the goods into Mexican ports and bringing them north via truck and rail, or bringing them into East Coast ports (after taking them either through the Canal or across the Mexican or Isthmian land bridges). Right now, those alternatives aren't used too much because they're more expensive.

If the West Coast longshoremen want to go on politically-motivated strikes, that's certainly their right. But they need to be very aware of the fact that they could be out of a job if they make themselves less competitive than they already are. If they keep this up, eventually they're going to push the shipping companies to the tipping point where it's worthwhile to do a lot of capital investment (say, in a highly-automated port somewhere in Mexico, or even somewhere else in the U.S.) rather than deal with their shenanigans anymore. And then they're going to be out of work.

In the past, dockworkers' unions in particular have a history of overestimating their own value and irreplacability, sometimes to their own very dramatic detriment. (E.g., the collapse of many traditional ports that attempted to resist containerization in the 60s and 70s.) There's a very fine line between standing your ground and being arrogant, and I think they're very close to it.
posted by Kadin2048 at 9:14 AM on May 1, 2008 [3 favorites]


Wow, I didn't realize it was 1924. I don't have to support the union to support labor. This strike has nothing to do with their labor contract or with a contract of another union. So this has nothing to do with supporting labor or unions. It has to do with enabling labor unions to exercise their government sanctioned monopoly to achieve unrelated political ends. Which is a very bad idea.

How would you feel if in 2003 they went on strike because the U.S. hadn't yet gone to war?
posted by Pastabagel at 9:15 AM on May 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


Don't like what they're doing? Join their union, vote them out. Otherwise, shut up and do YOUR job.
posted by [NOT HERMITOSIS-IST] at 11:17 AM on May 1


I'm not a longshoreman, so I'm not allowed to join their union. If I was a longshoreman, I would have no choice but to join their union and go on strike, even if I didn't want to. Are you beginning to see the problem?
posted by Pastabagel at 9:18 AM on May 1, 2008


That may be true if and when they're irreplaceable, but I think that's a pretty dangerous assumption to make.

It's also a pretty dangerous assumption to make that capital holds all the cards. If capital continues to outsource and otherwise relocate jobs in their fundamentally un-Patriotic and anti-American attempts to undermine the moral and legal rights of the American worker, who'll be left to buy all the cheap crap they import anyway? As for exports, well, not much going on in that line these days anyway.

There's a very fine line between standing your ground and being arrogant,

There are definitely some people out there stomping all over that line, but I think you're seriously misguided about which side it is.
posted by saulgoodman at 9:30 AM on May 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


bravo!
posted by cazoo at 9:33 AM on May 1, 2008



"You don't like it, vote them out."


actually, we did that, but the SCOTUS decided differently...

good for the union!
posted by HuronBob at 9:36 AM on May 1, 2008


Solidarity Forever. 'nuff said.
posted by sporb at 9:41 AM on May 1, 2008


"If I was an longshoreman, American Taxpayer I would have no choice but to join their union and go on strike, let my tax dollars be used to fund the war effort even if I didn't want to. Are you beginning to see the problem?"

Lots of things in this world are unfair like that. Suck it up.
posted by saulgoodman at 9:46 AM on May 1, 2008 [2 favorites]


Good for them. Bravo!
posted by homunculus at 10:01 AM on May 1, 2008


We have a government. You don't like it, vote them out. Otherwise, shut up and do your job.

Fixed that for you, citizen. Now move along.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:10 AM on May 1, 2008 [4 favorites]


I have a feeling of pride and optimism that a union is taking this stand. The American working class is so typically portrayed as a bunch of reality tv watching, fastfood eating boobs. There are thoughtful, motivated people in every walk of life, and it is a hopeful precedent to see organized labor take a stand on something more than the membership's immediate self interest.

Will this even be reported in mainstream media?

I think not. It doesn't tell a story they are comfortable telling.
posted by readery at 10:26 AM on May 1, 2008


This is pretty friggin' awesome. I know a few longshoremen here in Seattle. These guys are not your typical socialist protesters. In large part, they come from the same stock that is being fed to the U.S. military meat grinder. Hell, a lot of them are vets. It's an historical quirk that they belong to a union that still guarantees them a decent working salary with benefits. This is what happens when you give blue collar workers the luxury of a political voice.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 10:32 AM on May 1, 2008


Will this even be reported in mainstream media?

Hmm... Let's hope that a couple of major newspapers, like maybe the San Fransisco Chronicle or the Seattle Post-Intelligencer pick it up.
posted by god hates math at 10:50 AM on May 1, 2008


L.A. Times on-line now has this coverage.
posted by saulgoodman at 11:05 AM on May 1, 2008


Yay Longshoremen Yay!

Yay draft on war profiteers Yay!

(you can definitely SAY you support labor without supporting organized labor, but if you denounce organized labor you are denouncing that which gives labor its power - its collectivity. So in actuality you cannot support "labor" without supporting organized labor. )

(if needing to support organized labor in order to support organized labor -> 1924 then
1924, but I think that the fallacy is really that it doesn't need to be 1924 in order for you to need to support organized labor in order to support labor)


(Nobody said unions are perfect but they provide workers with some dignity and some space to organize for better conditions.)
posted by goneill at 11:24 AM on May 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


I think you may be confusing the denouncement of Unions and Organized Labor with the denouncement of the right of laborers to organize, goneill. Laborers getting organized and their right to do so is a different subject from big Unions as they exist in 2008. I think very few people here or anywhere disparage the right to assemble and the right of people to unite to collectively fight oppression. Saying that someone is anti-union does not make them anti-collective bargaining.
posted by Pollomacho at 11:42 AM on May 1, 2008


Glad to hear the west coast media is covering it. I will be pleased to see television news and newspapers, whose readership is not directly effected, carry the story.

The mere fact that organized labor is willing to strike for a principle, losing wages for their members, is really an incredible thing.
posted by readery at 11:46 AM on May 1, 2008


All I can say is BRAVO! Let's see some more of this kind of thing.
posted by snsranch at 12:01 PM on May 1, 2008


I'm sure this action has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that their current contract expires on July 1st.
posted by euphorb at 12:07 PM on May 1, 2008


We have a government. You don't like it, vote them out.

Government != democracy
posted by regicide is good for you at 12:23 PM on May 1, 2008


Also, this is great, but come get me when they're doing it for more than one day. I don't understand the caution among the American left (et. al.)... What, exactly, is it you think you have to lose at this point?
posted by regicide is good for you at 12:25 PM on May 1, 2008


Pollomacho writes "Laborers getting organized and their right to do so is a different subject from big Unions as they exist in 2008."

How strong are "big unions" in 2008? My impression that very little of the workforce is unionized anymore. I often get the impression that all the talk about "big unions" is driven by "big business," a force that is monumentally more powerful than the unions.
posted by krinklyfig at 1:22 PM on May 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


What, exactly, is it you think you have to lose at this point?

The same as usual, I would imagine... Their jobs, houses, and so on?
posted by Juffo-Wup at 1:23 PM on May 1, 2008


It's nice to know that the ability of the United States to engage in foreign trade is subject to the political ideology of the longshoremen's union.


LOL. As opposed to the political ideology of the Bush Administration? Or the Real Politik ideology of Wall Street?

Seems like everybody on the top side of the supply side gets to exert their ideology when ever they feel like it. And that's been working out so well.

For them.
posted by tkchrist at 1:24 PM on May 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


How strong are "big unions" in 2008?

From the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

UNION MEMBERS IN 2007


In 2007, the number of workers belonging to a union rose by 311,000 to
15.7 million, the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics
reported today. Union members accounted for 12.1 percent of employed wage
and salary workers, essentially unchanged from 12.0 percent in 2006. In
1983, the first year for which comparable union data are available, the
union membership rate was 20.1 percent. Some highlights from the 2007
data are:

--Workers in the public sector had a union membership rate nearly five
times that of private sector employees.

--Education, training, and library occupations had the highest unioniz-
ation rate among all occupations, at 37.2 percent, followed closely
by protective service occupations at 35.2 percent.

--Among demographic groups, the union membership rate was highest for
black men and lowest for Hispanic women.

--Wage and salary workers ages 45 to 54 (15.7 percent) and ages 55 to
64 (16.1 percent) were more likely to be union members than were
workers ages 16 to 24 (4.8 percent).


So 1 out of every 8 workers is a Union worker. 1 in every 3 teachers. I'd say that's a pretty significant power base.
posted by Pollomacho at 2:23 PM on May 1, 2008


What, exactly, is it you think you have to lose at this point?

The same as usual, I would imagine... Their jobs, houses, and so on?


Which, a quick scan of recent news suggests, are completely guaranteed in perpetuity.
posted by regicide is good for you at 2:30 PM on May 1, 2008


I caught part of their rally in Justin Herman Plaza. The speaker praised Rev. Wrights condemnation of the US, asked for the release of the Cuban Five, of course, good old Mumia. Also there were 'selling' Communist newspapers for a 'donation' of a dollar.

These are all good ways to keep people on the fence out of your club.

It always bothers me to see the Socialist Worker or Communist pamphleteers at peace rallies decrying capitalist system, as if their economic systems are incapable of waging war.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 2:39 PM on May 1, 2008


Viva la revolucion!

Now get back to work, proles; these containers ain't gonna unload themselves, and our Chinese bosses have a bottom line to think about.
posted by not_on_display at 2:48 PM on May 1, 2008


readery writes: Will this even be reported in mainstream media?

god hates math replies: Hmm... Let's hope that a couple of major newspapers, like maybe the San Fransisco Chronicle or the Seattle Post-Intelligencer pick it up.

god hates math, you've linked, of course, to the 2 news storys I linked in the FPP, and it's probably worth noting here that those 2 articles were the only news coverage I could find at time of posting, all across the whole big fat throbbing internet. I think that pretty much makes readery's point, right there.

In all fairness, however, the fact that ILWU itself had no mention of the action whatsoever on their website (outside of that pretty well-buried story on page 2 of the PDF version of their union newsletter) would go some way toward absolving "mainstream media" from lack of coverage. You can't cover something you don't even know about, and obviously ILWU isn't gonna win any awards for timely and visible public notice of this action.

Which, come to think of it, leads one to wonder, maybe they didn't want to make too much noise about it before the fact, in order to forestall any possible government preventative action?

And finally... anyone seen any reports on this yet? A cursory scan of some news sites turns up nothing. Hell, did it even happen?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:58 PM on May 1, 2008


It's probably worth noting here that those 2 articles were the only news coverage I could find at time of posting

To be expected, as is the way when the labor reporter is almost gone.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 5:23 PM on May 1, 2008 [4 favorites]


That's a good essay you linked to there, MiltonRandKalman, thanks.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:35 PM on May 1, 2008


god hates math, you've linked, of course, to the 2 news storys I linked in the FPP, and it's probably worth noting here that those 2 articles were the only news coverage I could find at time of posting, all across the whole big fat throbbing internet. I think that pretty much makes readery's point, right there.

Yeah, I was actually trying to make the point that Readery appeared to not have actually, you know, read the post, something which annoys the crap out of me in general, and seemed to be all over this thread in general.

More to the point, checking google news, I'm seeing stories from Reuters, the AP, the NY Times, the Guardian, all the west coast papers and the CBC.

Admittedly, this is all post-facto coverage, but that's hardly surprising. It takes money to have a good newsroom. It's a lot easier just to re-word the wire feed and call it your own.
posted by god hates math at 7:27 PM on May 1, 2008


The Iraqi port unions are shutting down (have shut down?) the docks for one hour at Umm Qasr and Khor Alzubair in solidarity. And they've sent a message:
Dear Brothers and Sisters of ILWU in California:

The courageous decision you made to carry out a strike on May Day to protest against the war and occupation of Iraq advances our struggle against occupation to bring a better future for us and for the rest of the world as well.

We are certain that a better world will only be created by the workers and what you are doing is an example and proof of what we say. The labor movement is the only element in the society that is able to change the political equations for the benefit of mankind. We in Iraq are looking up to you and support you until the victory over the US administration's barbarism is achieved.

Over the past five years the sectarian gangs who are the product of the occupation, have been trying to transfer their conflicts into our ranks. Targeting workers, including their residential and shopping areas, indiscriminately using all sorts of explosive devices, mortar shells, and random shooting, were part of a bigger scheme that was aiming to tear up the society but they miserably failed to achieve their hellish goal. We are struggling today to defeat both the occupation and sectarian militias' agenda.

The pro-occupation government has been attempting to intervene into the workers affairs by imposing a single government-certified labor union. Furthermore it has been promoting privatization and an oil and gas law to use the occupation against the interests of the workers.

We the port workers view that our interests are inseparable from the interests of workers in Iraq and the world; therefore we are determined to continue our struggle to improve the living conditions of the workers and overpower all plots of the occupation, its economic and political projects.

Let us hold hands for the victory of our struggle.

Long live the port workers in California!

Long live May Day!

Long live International solidarity!
posted by stammer at 8:11 PM on May 1, 2008 [5 favorites]


To be fair, I saw those articles as more local coverage. I hadn't seen any coverage ahead of time in Chicago newspapers or the NY Times or heard anything on NPR - my usual sources. Been a bit out of the loop media-wise today. I will make a point to see if this gets much coverage tomorrow.

I agree too much notice ahead of time could lead to heavy handed police presence. Current forms of protest, where the group first must get a permit, then march streets lined with police seems not to be in the true spirit of dissent.
posted by readery at 8:27 PM on May 1, 2008


checking google news, I'm seeing stories from Reuters, the AP, the NY Times, the Guardian, all the west coast papers and the CBC.

Yeah, but taking a look at those links you've offered, I'd say that's some pretty thin coverage there. Bare bones. Neither the very short Reuters nor the very short AP feed give any but the barest details. Hell, the Guardian "article" (one absurdly short paragraph in the business section) didn't even say WHY the dock workers are striking. The NY Times is by far the best of the articles, since it at least carries one direct quote from the ILWU president regarding why this action is being taken. The CBC article, on the other hand, quotes only Steve Getzug, spokesman for the Pacific Maritime Association, and they, unsurprisingly, oppose the strike.

Well, I reckon there'll be more news coming in in the next few hours, fleshed out with a few more relevant details and quotes. One would hope so, anyway.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:28 PM on May 1, 2008


Wait: The USA has a left now?

Bravo!
posted by pompomtom at 9:45 PM on May 1, 2008


The CalTrade Report covers the strike.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:03 AM on May 2, 2008


Well, no mention of the strike in either of the Chicago dailies.

Although I learned that there was a 6.5 earthquake in a remote part of Alaska and black children are less likely to learn how to swim.

Chicago is a Big Union town. My ex is union and most in places in the metro area, non-union can not be hired. But that doesn't mean squat politically.

Saw the NYTimes article online, but no longer get the print edition daily.
posted by readery at 5:20 AM on May 2, 2008


Workers of the west coast arise!

Seriously, I'm super proud of them
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:42 AM on May 2, 2008


Longshoremen Union Protests Iraq War: Some Say Walkout Signals a Working-Class Weary of War
posted by homunculus at 9:20 PM on May 21, 2008


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