Port Strike Ends In Victory!
December 6, 2012 9:25 am
A well publicized port strike that brought business at the largest shipping hub in America to a standstill has ended after eight days. A deal was announced at 10:30pm Tuesday night after the intervention of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villairogosa and after a federal mediator, George H. Cohen, had arrived.
Ray Familathe, vice president of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, the union that represents the 800 clerical workers that were on strike, spoke to the Long Beach Press-Telegram about the agreement with employers:
“I’m really pleased to tell all of you that my 10,000 longshore workers at the ports of LA and Long Beach are going to start moving cargo on these ships,” Ray Familathe, vice president of the ILWU, said at a news conference. “We’re going to get these ships serviced, and we’re going to get cargo moved throughout the supply chains and this country.”
Workers from ILWU Local 63 had been laboring without a contract for over two years, and went on strike to gain assurances that their jobs would not be outsourced. In a dramatic show of solidarity, the region’s 10,000 ILWU members honored the clerical workers strike and effectively shut down 10 of the 14 terminals at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.
The Associated Press reported on the broader implications of a strike against outsourcing and ILWU’s reaction to the tentative agreement:
Union leaders said if future jobs were not kept at the ports, the result would be another section of the U.S. economy taking a serious economic hit so that huge corporations could increase their profit margins by exploiting people in other states and countries who would be forced to work for less.
After the tentative deal was announced, the workers’ union released a statement thanking members for supporting the strike.
“This victory was accomplished because of support from the entire ILWU family of 10,000 members in the harbor community,” said Robert McEllrath, the international president of the International Longshore & Warehouse Union.
In addition to the workers losing pay and management losing money, retailers will certainly be breathing sighs of relief at the strike’s conclusion. The ports handle an estimated $1 billion in cargo per day.
Image from here