Below is text to a flier that is being circulated in response to the recent attacks on the ILWU. Click the image below to see a full PDF version of the flier. Please feel free to circulate For our previous coverage on the ongoing ILWU struggle see here and here.
Pacific Northwest Grain Handlers Association (PNGHA) — a consortium of grain handlers that includes United Grain — locked
out 44 ILWU workers, of local 4 in Vancouver, Washington. This port ships over 5 million metric tons a year with United Grain Corporation being the main employer at this port, and the largest wheat exporter on the US West Coast. On December 21, 2012, 94% of 3,000 ILWU workers in the Northwest voted down a proposed contract by the PNGHA that made over 750 changes, including eliminating the power of the hiring hall. This PNGHA sponsored contract is inspired by the Longview Washington contract passed in February 2012. The Longview Washington contract is the worst contract passed in the whole history of ILWU, eliminating key components of worker power within the workplace and in ILWU local 21.
It is clear that the maritime capitalist, in this case, an alliance between United Grain Corporation and other companies who incorporated and organized in the Pacific Northwest Grain Handlers Association, aspire to crush the ILWU. As a response, the Longshore workers, with the whole working class, needs to organize an offense against such attacks. The concrete space of battle will be the picketlines at the ports of Vancouver, Washington. The potential solidarity longshore rank and file ILWU local 13 members in Los Angeles, local 10 in Oakland/San Francisco, local 8 Portland and local 19 in Seattle could do is central in shifting the power relations against the PNGHA’s sponsored attack.
An Injury to one, is an Injury to All
For the defense of ILWU local 4
For a Classwide Offensive against PNGHA