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Canadian Dock Workers Refuse To Load Military Cargo

Dock workers protest Iraq invasion
WebPosted Mar 18 2003 09:12 AM EST

SAINT JOHN - Port city longshoremen are refusing to load ships with any military cargo meant for use against Iraq.

That includes any equipment or supplies bound from Camp Gagetown to the Persian Gulf.

International Longshoremen's Association Local 273 spokesperson Pat Riley says his is the first Canadian port union to announce what's known as a "hot cargo edict."

"We know that there are other unions and ports in the world that have taken a similar stance, specifically in Turkey and in Italy," Riley says. "We know that the vast majority of people throughout the world are against this war and we anticipate that unions and port workers throughout the world are going to be taking specific stances in the days and months to come."

LINK: International Longshoremen's Association Web site.

Riley says the move will tell Ottawa that Saint John longshoremen believe any war not backed by the United Nations is immoral.

But the union's message may not have much heft behind it. Port CEO Al Soppitt says the dock hasn't seen much outgoing military cargo in recent years, nor is he anticipating any shipments to Iraq in the near future.