Posted on April 25, 2011 by the Labor Committee.
This statement can be downloaded and printed as a flyer: click here.
A statement of solidarity from the Peace and Freedom Party Labor Committee
Approved by the Peace and Freedom Party State Executive Committee
The Peace and Freedom Party wishes to go on record as standing with the Bay Area's Local 10 of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) whose rank and file membership decided to take a work action by not reporting for work on April 4, 2011.
April 4th was declared a day of national solidarity with the workers of Wisconsin by the “We are One” campaign called for, nationally, by the AFL-CIO. The rank and file members of Local 10 take solidarity seriously: they chose not wait for the end of the work day to take action. As a result, the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) is retaliating by suing the union on the spurious grounds of violating the Labor–Management Relations Act (Taft Hartley) of 1947. Taft Hartley is a notorious piece of legislation passed to “fix” what were viewed as short-comings in the National Labor Relations Act of 1935.
The Peace and Freedom Party wishes to point out that 64 years ago it took a majority of the Democrats in Congress - joining with the Republicans - to override Truman's veto of Taft Hartley. In 1947 - as now - bi-partisanship carried the day when it came to attacking workers' rights.
The Peace and Freedom Party understands and defends the right of workers to withhold their labor in support of other workers. The brave actions of Local 10, who are private sector workers, took this action in a spirit of solidarity with public sector workers. The attempts by legislators in Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan, and elsewhere, to attack collective bargaining rights created a context for workers to fight back . Today, public sector workers, right here in the Bay Area, are also under attack: The San Francisco Muni TWA, Local 250-A operators have been pushed so far to the wall that a strike authorization vote passed overwhelmingly, and on July 1st, the contracts are up for city workers in Oakland represented by SEIU, Local 1021.
By taking this action PMA is clearly siding with the right-wing attacks on worker's rights and views the actions of the Local 10 membership as a threat which must be “nipped in the bud.”
In the view of the Peace and Freedom Party, the work stoppage of the ILWU, Local 10 membership does indeed pose a threat: The threat of a good example of true workers' solidarity. True solidarity unites private and public sector workers, unites workers across borders, unites all workers into a powerful force for the economic betterment of all.
In the words of the ILWU slogan: “An Injury to One is an Injury to All”
We call on all workers to defend the ILWU, Local 10, who have stood with with us against illegal wars, in defense of political prisoner, Mumia Abu Jamal,and on countless other occasions. Now is time for us to stand with them and lend our voices in the demand that the Pacific Maritime Association Drop All Charges!