The organization that represents most West Coast shipping bosses is suing the longshore workers' union local for the Bay Area over a one-day work stoppage earlier this year to show solidarity with the struggle against union-busting in Wisconsin.
International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Local 10 was answering the call by the AFL-CIO for a day of solidarity with Wisconsin workers on April 4. Following the AFL-CIO's slogans of "We are all one" and "No business as usual," rank-and-file members of Local 10 decided unanimously to stay off the job.
Now, the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) is suing ILWU Local 10 and its president Richard Mead for "unspecified damages" over the work action.
The PMA is citing the notorious Taft-Hartley Act – an anti-union law passed in 1947. Taft-Hartley was crafted to ban solidarity strikes – secondary boycotts, mass pickets and wildcat strikes – actions that built union strength in the 1930s. The last time Taft-Hartley was used against the ILWU was in 2002, when the PMA locked out longshore workers who were facing attacks on their working conditions, wages and benefits.
ILWU Local 10 needs our support now. If the PMA succeeds in its campaign, the labor movement will be pushed backward – and in a moment when we need rank-and-file union activism and solidarity to grow, not dwindle. The battle against the current attacks on all workers in the United States and internationally needs Local 10 and they need us now, more than ever! Click here to show your support for ILWU Local 10.