Railroad Workers condemn use of military to escort scab grain
Railroad Workers United
Unity—Solidarity—Democracy: The Rank and File in Action!
railroadworkersunited.org l email@example.com
(206) 984-3051 l PO Box 1053, Salem, IL 62881
RWU Resolution Condemning the Use of the U.S. Military to Escort Scab Grain Ship in Longview, WA.
Whereas, EGT, a joint venture led by multinational grain giant Bunge, had originally agreed to hire union Longshoremen when accepting millions in taxpayer funds to build a huge new grain exporting terminal at the Port of Longview WA, but once the terminal was built, has now tried to void its contract and refused to hire ILWU labor; and
Whereas, EGT has managed to get enough scab grain across picket lines into the new terminal that EGT appears poised to load a ship soon in violation of their agreement with the port; and
Whereas, a solidarity caravan of thousands of union members and community activists – endorsed by ILWU Locals 10 and 21, the S.F. and Cowlitz County (Longview) labor councils and many others – is being organized to support our brothers and sisters in Longview, for an emergency mass protest when requested to do so; and
Whereas, according to Long shore & Shipping News, within a month, the empty grain ship will be escorted by armed U.S. Coast Guard vessels and helicopters, from the mouth of the Columbia River to the EGT facility; and
Whereas, this is the first known use of the United States military to intervene in a labor dispute on the side of management in 40 years – not since the Great 1970 Postal Strike when President Nixon called out the Army and National Guard in an (unsuccessful) attempt to break the strike; and
Whereas, the use of the armed forces against labor unions is something you might expect to see in a dictatorship or police state but never in a free and democratic society; and
Whereas, ILWU international President Bob McEllrath has stated: “ILWU’s labor dispute with EGT is symbolic of what is wrong in the United States today. Corporations, no matter how harmful the conduct to society, enjoy full state and federal protection while workers and the middle class get treated as criminals for trying to protect their jobs and communities”;
Therefore be it Resolved, that Railroad Workers United condemns any and all use of the United States military to provide an armed sea and air escort for the empty grain ship, which is due to call at the new EGT grain terminal, Port of Longview, Washington, to load scab grain for export to Asia; and
Be it further Resolved, that RWU join with allies in other cities on the West Coast to participate in any press conferences and demonstrations that are organized to denounce this use of the military to intervene in a labor dispute on the side of the foreign-owned “Wall Street on the Waterfront”; and
Be it finally Resolved, that RWU circulate this resolution to all rail unions, and urge our labor leaders to take a strong stand against this brazen assault, by a foreign corporation and our own government on the labor rights and civil liberties of our brothers and sisters in the ILWU. An assault on their labor rights is an assault on ours.
Adopted by the RWU Steering Committee January 24th, 2012