The Third International after Lenin

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Be part of large protest on the day of the ship loading

Line editorial from the latest Militant

Help build ILWU action in Wash.

The Militant encourages workers, farmers, and youth—anyone repelled by the myriad social ills of capitalism being multiplied and magnified by the deepening crisis of the profit-driven system—to actively back International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 21 in Longview, Wash., in its fight against EGT Development.

EGT bosses have refused to hire ILWU labor at their grain terminal at the Port of Longview in blatant disregard for a long-standing agreement between the union and the port. The union-busting maneuver is essentially a lockout, part of a growing trend in the capitalists’ war on workers worldwide as the bosses and their governments drive to foist the burden of their crisis on the backs of working people and change the relationship of class forces.

If EGT succeeds in icing out Local 21, it would set a dangerous precedent as the first West Coast terminal run without ILWU labor in 80 years.

EGT says it’s bringing in its first ship to load grain stored at the terminal later this month.

The union is preparing to mount a large protest on the day of the ship loading. They expect only four day’s notice.

Discuss the importance of this fight and upcoming action with fellow workers, including those involved in strikes and other struggles, students, friends, and others. Doing so now will be decisive in bringing as many as possible to stand in solidarity with the ILWU when the ship comes in. Find other groups and individuals planning to go, and travel with them to Longview.

The San Francisco Labor Council passed a resolution backing a solidarity caravan to join the protest, and “will spread the word about the caravan to its membership and constituency groups, and encourage their participation, when requested to do so by ILWU Local 21.”

It is important that those who come to support the longshore workers act in a disciplined manner and follow the lead of ILWU Local 21, which will make whatever tactical decisions it deems most effective. Longview workers have been threatened with revocation of their work papers by the Coast Guard and other consequences if the bosses can successfully smear them as “interfering” with EGT operations.

Go to Longview and stand with Local 21 to meet the scab shipment. But don’t go alone! Help make the protest there as large as possible and send the bosses—both EGT and more broadly—a message.

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