As contract talks are underway between the Pacific Maritime Association and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, a Bush Administration task force has said that if the longshore workers strike, troops of the National Guard will be sent to occupy the ports, and members of the Navy will be used to load and unload ships. But this threat has only made the workers of the ILWU more determined to fight. In the name of the "War on Terror" Bush is attempting to destroy the most fundamental gain of the Labor Movement - the right to strike.
The West Coast shipping bosses have declared a lock-out which affects all 29
ports along the US Pacific coast. The bosses are demanding that new
technical jobs be non-union. This is a mortal attack on the union's future.
Thus while Bush prepares to go to war against Iraq he has another war
opening up on the home front - the class war - this time against US workers.
David May in the USA reports on the latest developments in this key struggle
of the American workers.
For the first time in
many years the Taft-Hartley bill has been used against the West Coast dockers
in the USA. This is a reactionary anti-union law that has been invoked to force
the dockers back to work. But this is only a temporary “solution” for the bosses.
The problems that forced the workers to take union action will not go away. Roland
Sheppard in the US looks at the issues involved.