Labor Day Hooray: Longshoremen Cut Ties with AFL-CIO

9:02 am in Uncategorized by wendydavis

This post is brought to you by the letter H…for hotflashcarol, who sent me the link to the title story.  It’s a hella cool (as they say in Oaktown)  development, one that we hope spreads widely among  the nation’s unions.  But first, some background from Boots Riley, Dan Coffman, president of ILWU 21 in Longview, and others.  Ah, the early days of 2011; those were such heady days, weren’t they?  Before the heinous and horrific nationally concerted hammer-down of OWS and any (not-permitted, insured, yada, yada) dissent?  The glorious days of the Human Microphones!  ‘Mic Check!’  (You can read more on the Port Shutdown here.) As hotflashcarol had said on that post: ‘These Longshoremen are the real deal.

During ILWU’s contract negotiations and walkout, EGT brought in other union workers under the umbrella of the AFL-CIO at lower wages, essentially pitting union workers against other union workers.  Big Boss Richard Trumka called it a ‘jurisdictional issue’, and refused to halt the practice.  The strike at Longview got so contentious that Barack Obama ordered the Coast Guard to patrol the shores in order to ‘protect’ EGT grain ships.  EGT had hired modern day Pinkerton strike-busting thugs from Special Response Corporation which claimed expertise in “Counter-terrorism and threat mitigation systems” to help er…keep the peace and spread the anti-capitalist love

At the time, Robert McEllrath, president of the ILWU International had been painted into quite a corner, and had to parse his words very carefully over the Port Shutdowns aided by OWS in order to stay in compliance with Taft-Hartley and protect union members from firing and financial reprisals.  (Read more at the same link.)  But on August 29, with West Coast contract negotiations just ahead for the ILWU, Robert McEllrath sent the following message to Trumka (excerpts, my bolds):

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