May 1st Longshore Workers Strike Against War

The strike, being organized by the Longshore Caucus of the International Longshore & Warehouse Union (ILWU), will seek to shutdown all west coast ports for a period of 8 hours on the day of May 1st 2008. Endorsements by General Union of Port Workers in Iraq, Swedish Dockworkers Union, Vermont AFL-CIO, APWU New York Metro, South Carolina AFL-CIO, South Bay AFL-CIO.

ILWU Coast Longshore Caucus Calls for May Day Work Stoppages Against the War

by Bob McEllrath, International President, ILWU

FOR WORKERS' ACTION TO STOP THE WAR

WHEREAS: On May 1, 2003, at the ILWU Convention in San Francisco resolutions were passed calling for an end to the war and occupation in Iraq; and

WHEREAS: ILWU took the lead among labor unions in opposing this bloody war and occupation for imperial domination; and

WHEREAS: Many unions and the overwhelming majority of the American people now oppose this bipartisan and unjustifiable war in Iraq and Afghanistan but the two major political parties, Democrats and Republicans continue to fund the war; and

WHEREAS: Millions worldwide have marched and demonstrated against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan but have been unable to stop the wars; and

WHEREAS: ILWU's historic dock actions,

1) like the refusal of Local 10 longshoremen to load bombs for the military dictatorship in Chile in 1978 and military cargo to the Salvadoran military dictatorship in 1981 and

2) the honoring of the teachers' union antiwar picket May 19, 2007 against SSA in the port of Oakland stand as a limited but shining example of how to oppose these wars; and

WHEREAS: The spread of war in the Middle East is threatened with U. S. air strikes in Iran or possible military intervention in Syria or the destabilized Pakistan;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED:

That it is time to take labor's protest to a more powerful level of struggle by calling on unions and working people in the U. S. and internationally to mobilize for a "No Peace No Work Holiday" May 1, 2008 for 8 hours to demand an immediate end to the war and occupation in Iraq and Afghanistan and the withdrawal of U. S. troops from the Middle East; and

FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED:

That a clarion call from the ILWU be sent with an urgent appeal for unity of action to the AFL-CIO, the Change to Win Coalition and all of the international labor organizations to which we are affiliated to bring an end to this bloody war once and for all.

Submitted by:

ILWU Local 10

passed overwhelmingly after thorough debate

If you need any further information or wish to send messages of support and solidarity please contact Bob McEllrath, International President, ILWU, 1188 Franklin Street, San Francisco, California 94109.

Tel: (+1 415) 775 0533 Fax: (+1 415) 775 1302. Email: robert.mcellrath@ilwu.org

May Day Message from the Port Workers in Iraq to West Coast dock workers in the U.S.

General Union of Port Workers of Iraq
April 29th, 2008

U.S. Labor Against the War is pleased to be able to share with you a statement of solidarity from the General Union of Port Workers in Iraq to the members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) in support of the decision by ILWU members to shut down all the ports on the West Coast on May Day 2008 as a demonstration of their opposition to the war and occupation of Iraq.

In solidarity with the ILWU, the General Union of Port Workers in Iraq will stop work for one hour on May Day in the ports of Umm Qasr and Khor Al Zubair.

Dear Brothers and Sisters of ILWU in California

The courageous decision you made to carry out a strike on May Day to protest against the war and occupation of Iraq advances our struggle against occupation to bring a better future for us and for the rest of the world as well.

We are certain that a better world will only be created by the workers and what you are doing is an example and proof of what we say. The labor movement is the only element in the society that is able to change the political equations for the benefit of mankind. We in Iraq are looking up to you and support you until the victory over the US administration's barbarism is achieved.

Over the past five years the sectarian gangs who are the product of the occupation, have been trying to transfer their conflicts into our ranks. Targeting workers, including their residential and shopping areas, indiscriminately using all sorts of explosive devices, mortar shells, and random shooting, were part of a bigger scheme that was aiming to tear up the society but they miserably failed to achieve their hellish goal. We are struggling today to defeat both the occupation and sectarian militias' agenda.

The pro-occupation government has been attempting to intervene into the workers affairs by imposing a single government-certified labor union. Furthermore it has been promoting privatization and an oil and gas law to use the occupation against the interests of the workers.

We the port workers view that our interests are inseparable from the interests of workers in Iraq and the world; therefore we are determined to continue our struggle to improve the living conditions of the workers and overpower all plots of the occupation, its economic and political projects.

Let us hold hands for the victory of our struggle.

Long live the port workers in California!

Long live May Day!

Long live International solidarity!

The General Union of Port Workers in Iraq
An Affiliate Union with General Federation of Workers Councils and Unions in Iraq (GFWCUI)

Vermont AFL-CIO Calls on Workers to Support West Coast Strike Against War

Montpelier, VT – The Executive Board of the Vermont AFL-CIO, representing thousands of workers in countless sectors across Vermont, have unanimously passed an historic resolution expressing their “unequivocal” support for the first US labor strike against the war in Iraq. The strike, being organized by the Longshore Caucus of the International Longshore & Warehouse Union (ILWU), will seek to shutdown all west coast ports for a period of 8 hours on the day of May 1st 2008. The Vermont AFL-CIO is the first state labor federation to publicly back the Longshoremen; other state federations are expected to follow.

The resolution, among other things, calls the war in Iraq “immoral, unwanted, and unnecessary”, states that the vast majority of working Vermonters oppose the war, and contends that the war will only be brought to an end by “the direct actions of working people.” Many other Vermont labor unions and organizations, including the Vermont Workers’ Center, have also made official statements condemning the war.

The resolution also calls on working Vermonters to “discuss the actions of the Longshoremen, to wear anti-war buttons, and to take various actions of their own design and choosing in their workplace on May 1st, 2008.”

“Workers in Vermont and all across this nation are against this war. We have already demanded that the government end it, but they have consistently failed to heed our words. Therefore working people are beginning to take concrete steps to make our resistance known. If the war does not immediately end we, the unions and working people of Vermont, will also be compelled to take appropriate action,” said David Van Deusen, a District Vice President of the Vermont AFL-CIO.

Traven Leyshon, President of the Washington, Lamoille & Orange County Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO, said, “Vermont labor has long called for an end to this war. The untold billions being spent on the war could instead be used to address our domestic needs. It is working people who pay the cost of the war - in some cases with our lives, but always with our sacrifices.”

For Immediate Release April 23, 2008
Contact Persons:
David Van Deusen
District Vice President of the Vermont AFL-CIO
(802) 522-5812

Traven Leyshon
President of the Washington-Orange-Lamoille Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO
(802) 522-3484

April, 2008

Vermont AFL-CIO Resolution In Solidarity With Longshoremen’s West Coast Strike Against War

April, 2008

Whereas the war in Iraq is immoral, unwanted, and unnecessary,

Whereas this unjust war is opposed by the great majority of Americans & Vermonters, the bulk of organized labor, and by thousands of enlisted military personal,

Whereas this unjust war has already resulted in over 4000 American dead (including a disproportionate number of brave Vermonters), and tens of thousands of service men & woman being wounded,

Whereas this unjust war has further resulted in untold number of Iraqi deaths,

Whereas the Federal Government has not made any constructive moves towards the ending of this war and the full removal of US troops, and instead has taken the course of escalation and indefinite occupation,

Whereas the government of Vermont, and especially Governor Jim Douglas, have failed to find ways to bring Vermont National Guard troops home from Iraq,

Whereas this war will only be brought to an end by the direct actions of working people,

Therefore, Let It Be Resolved that the Vermont AFL-CIO continues to stand in firm opposition to this war, and unequivocally supports the decision of the Longshore Caucus of the International Longshore & Warehouse Union (ILWU) to shutdown the west coast ports for a period of 8 hours on May 1st, 2008, as a means of resistance.

Let It Be Resolved that the Vermont AFL-CIO stands in full solidarity with the New York Metro Local of the American Postal Workers

who have resolved to conduct two minute periods of silence on May 1st, 2008, at 1PM, 5PM & 9PM in protest of the war and in support of the Longshoremen.

Let It Be Resolved that the Vermont AFL-CIO encourages all Vermont workers to stand in solidarity with the historic actions being taken by the Longshoremen & other labor unions to end this war.

Let It Be Further Resolved that the Vermont AFL-CIO calls for all Vermont workers to discuss the actions of the Longshoremen, to wear anti-war buttons, and to take various actions of their own design and choosing in their workplace on May 1st, 2008 as a means of resistance against this unjust war.

South Carolina AFL-CIO Resolution

In Solidarity With Longshoremen’s West Coast Strike Against War

April, 2008

Whereas the war in Iraq is immoral, unwanted, and unnecessary,

Whereas this unjust war is opposed by the great majority of Americans & South Carolinians, the bulk of organized labor, and by thousands of enlisted military personal,

Whereas this unjust war has already resulted in over 4000 American dead (including a disproportionate number of brave South Carolinians), and tens of thousands of service men & woman being wounded,

Whereas this unjust war has further resulted in untold number of Iraqi deaths,

Whereas the Federal Government has not made any constructive moves towards the ending of this war and the full removal of US troops, and instead has taken the course of escalation and indefinite occupation,

Whereas the government of South Carolina, and especially Governor Mark Sanford, have failed to find ways to bring South Carolina National Guard troops home from Iraq,

Whereas this war will only be brought to an end by the direct actions of working people,

Therefore, Let It Be Resolved that the South Carolina AFL-CIO continues to stand in firm opposition to this war, and unequivocally supports the decision of the Longshore Caucus of the International Longshore & Warehouse Union (ILWU) to stop work in all West Coast ports for a period of 8 hours, beginning on May 1st, 2008, as a means of resistance.

Let It Be Resolved that the South Carolina AFL-CIO stands in full solidarity with the New York Metro National Association of Letter Carriers who have resolved to conduct two minute periods of silence on May 1st, 2008, at 1PM, 5PM & 9PM in protest of the war and in support of the Longshoremen.

Let It Be Resolved that the South Carolina AFL-CIO encourages all South Carolina workers to stand in solidarity with the historic actions being taken by the Longshoremen & other labor unions to end this war.

Let It Be Further Resolved that the South Carolina AFL-CIO calls for all South Carolina workers to discuss the actions of the Longshoremen, to wear anti-war buttons, and to take various actions of their own design and choosing in their workplace on May 1st, 2008 as a means of resistance against this unjust war.

South Bay AFL-CIO Labor Council backs

ILWU May Day action in West Coast ports

Whereas, the South Bay AFL-CIO Labor Council has a longstanding position calling for an immediate end to the US war and occupation in Iraq; therefore be it

Resolved, that the South Bay AFL-CIO Labor Council supports the decision of the Longshore Caucus of the International Longshore & Warehouse Union (ILWU) to stop work for 8 hours on Thursday, May 1, 2008 -- International Workers Day -- at all West Coast ports, to demand "an immediate end to the war and occupation in Iraq and Afghanistan and the withdrawal of US troops from the Middle East." The Council supports the decision of Branch 214 of the National Association of Letter Carriers to observe 2 minutes of silence in all carrier stations at 8:15 a.m. on May 1st, in solidarity with the ILWU action and to express their opposition to the war in Iraq; and be it further

Resolved, that the South Bay AFL-CIO Labor Council encourages other unions
to follow ILWU's call for a 'No Peace-No Work Holiday' or other labor actions on May Day, to express their opposition to the US wars and occupations in the Middle East; and be it finally

Resolved, that the South Bay AFL-CIO Labor Council send a letter of congratulations to ILWU President Bob McEllrath for his union's bold initiative to use the occasion of International Workers Day to stop work to stop the war.

-- Resolution adopted by the South Bay AFL-CIO Labor Council, April 21,
2008, by unanimous vote.
Roberth McEllrath25 April 2008
International President
International Longshore & Warehouse Union
1188 Franklin St
San Francisco
California 94 109

Swedish Dockworkers Union

I write you in solidarity with the anti war movement in the USA and the close down of all ports on the US West Coast on the MayDay in protest of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The12:th National General Assembly of the Swedish Dockworkers Union on the 24 – 26 April 2008 took a unanimous decision in support of the ILWU action on MayDay and the demand to stop the war in Iraq and Afganistan. The decision also included efforts to make this protest wellknown during the celebrations of MayDay, which is a public holiday here in Sweden.

We fully support your action and your demands to end the war in Iraq and Afganistan and we wish you all success.

In solidarity

SWEDISH DOCKWORKERS UNION
Björn A.Borg
President

APWU New York Metro Supports ILWU Call for May Day Actions Against the Occupation

New York Metro - American Postal Workers Union

WHEREAS New York Metro has long opposed the U.S. war against and occupation of Iraq as unnecessary and unjust; and

WHEREAS the Bush administration is threatening to expand the war to Iran and Syria; and

WHEREAS the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) is planning to shut down all Pacific Coast ports on 1 May 2008---International Workers Day, or Mayday---to protest the war; and

WHEREAS National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) Branch 214 in San Francisco is requesting its members to observe a 2-minute period of silence in all stations on Mayday in solidarity with the ILWU;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that New York Metro requests that all its members in all its stations observe a 2-minute period of silence at 1AM, 9AM and 5PM on Mayday in solidarity with the actions of our brothers and sisters in the ILWU and NALC; and

THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that New York Metro requests all its members to wear a button, ribbon, badge or some other symbol in protest of the war on Mayday.