Occupy and ILWU

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Juan Conatz's picture
Juan Conatz
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Jan 14 2012 02:48
Occupy and ILWU

Not sure if others have heard about it, but there's been emerging conflict between Occupy and (some elements) of the ILWU.

Jan 6th 2012: Unity vs. Union Bureaucracy
http://www.occupyseattle.org/blog/2012-01-11/jan-6th-2012-unity-vs-union-bureaucracy

And now I saw this on Facebook:

Quote:
Occupy Seattle has been formally asked to leave the Seattle Waterfront.

This resolution passed overwhelmingly at our stop work meeting last night.

ILWU Local 19 Resolution Regarding "Occupy Seattle"

Whereas: we support the general critiques of the "Occupy" movement on our government and the economy, we object to their interference with our union's democratic process and in our struggle with EGT in Longview.
The "Occupy" movement has tried to substitute themselves for the membership in our struggle with EGT, and has attempted to subvert the ILWU on the following points:

1) They have shut down our ports while citing our struggle with EGT, without our consent;

2) They have claimed the ILWU "rank and file" support these shutdowns, without our consent or vote;

3) They have maligned and libeled individual members of our union, and our entire local, on the internet and in public;

4) They organized a community event locally "to support the struggle with EGT" without any meaningful prior communication with us;

5) They have denounced our democratically elected leadership for taking positions on behalf of our union in which they disagree;

6) They have appointed people to speak on behalf of the ILWU without our consent;

7) In Seattle, they initiated physical violence against our members for objecting to their actions;

[8)] They and their constituent parts continue this behavior, placing our unity, our union, and our struggle with EGT at serious risk;

9) They refuse to be receptive to pleas and requests to cease such actions as described above;

Therefore, Be It Resolved:

That all ILWU local 19 members withhold all support for "Occupy", formally or informally;

That we do NOT support or endorse any action taken by members of "Occupy" at the Port of Longview or anywhere else;

That we will only reconsider when representatives of "Occupy" come to our hall and apologize to our membership for their actions, agree to make that apology public, and agree to cease and desist in their actions as described herein;

Further Resolved:
That we will continue to support our Brothers and Sisters in Longview in their battle with EGT on terms set forth by Local 21 and our duly elected International leadership.

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Juan Conatz
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Jan 14 2012 09:00

From Insurgent Notes
http://libcom.org/news/all-eyes-longview-injury-one-injury-all-insurgent-notes-14012012

Video of disruption/argument

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Jan 14 2012 15:04

Though in the same general geographic area, I'm very far removed and don't know exactly whats happening. I hope some folks in the region could chime in.

Alot of the points raised Local 19 resolution are indeed troubling.

I've heard the argument that it isn't just the ILWU that has a right to take action against their employer. I think generally speaking that is true. Like in cases where an employers means of production are literally killing a community and such, you just gotta stop it. But what about this particular case? If the points raised in the resolution have some roots in reality, this doesn't seem good strategy even a bit.

Or is that resolution the result kind of fear-mongering from a conservative union leadership. Warning of the dangers of mingling with Occupy?

All very interesting to say the least, thanks for the posts Juan. cool

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Jan 14 2012 15:09

Oh damn, read the first link that Juan posted. Seems like some sort of inter-union issues with animosity between two locals or something? confused

I'm more read up on the Longview situation. Here is hoping none of this shit fucks with the action to stop the next grain ship when she finally comes in.

syndicalist
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Jan 14 2012 16:01

I've skimmed the Local 19 Resolution. This seems consistant with the line that the International ILWU has promoted going into December 12th.

Here's some comments I wrote to a comrade the other day.

"On 1/11/12, <syndicalistnyc

> Thanks ..... I skimmed real fast as I'm ready to leave work.
>
> Without a detail reading, I think some of this is a fight for
> "leadership control" of the Longview struggle. The WA ILWU Locals are
> more conservative, even if job conscious as the Longview struggle
> indicates. A quick look at the websites show American flags,
> etc....welll, the last time I looked at them they did.
>
> Again, I need to read closely and in detail. Between more conservative
> working members and more radical retirees. Perhaps some of this will
> portend an internal ILWU fight.
>
> I'll read the article and share some more thoughts.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It basically confirms what my quick read (and what the authors themselves said).

The one unique thing about the ILWU is the picket line question. If,
for example, community pickets become a norm, with workers honoring
them, it becomes a control of that tactic and ability to control the
tactic....and the possibility for the PMA to come down hard on the
ILWU, not the folks in the community. It's can be problematic as well
as a good anti-boss method.

The authors write:

'Many of us came away from Friday’s action more determined to support
Longview rank and filers who risked so much to be present in Seattle
to build with the Occupy movements. We believe that together, we can
present a 21st century version of class struggle based on the
principle: An Injury to One is an Injury to All. Narrow minded,
parochial tunnel visions held by bureaucrats and their loyal
followers, will only destroy class struggle. ....
The problem is that old forms of struggle
that gave birth to the unions no longer work in this globalized world,
and the union leaders are sending goons to prevent us from building
something new that actually would work; they are trying to prevent us
from transcending their dying structures, and they are insisting that
we all go down with the ship.'

There's both a truism to this....and a problem. As well as a clarity issue.

The analysis of American trade unionism is mainly true. The problem is
folks can not expect the ILWU hierarchy and its multipule local
hierarichies not to defend, as you say, their truf. And definately not
by and from "outsiders".

Of course, there are many "Catch 22's" here. For the ILWU, the loss of
some solid community support. And for the Occupiers, the break in an
uneasy tactical alliance. Perhaps what this does is sharpen the below
the surfice schism
and tensons and allows for more direct rank and file appeal increasing
the workerist base and extending militancy threough relation building.
I dunno. I dunno the Locals
or their memberships at all. So this is idle speculation that could be
incorrect."

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Jan 18 2012 03:58

I think you're accurate about the conservatism of the Washington locals, but I've seen critiques saying the ILWU International insists on American flags at demos to show "patriotism."

The union conservatives keep harping on the fact that actions (even if they are "community pickets" where an arbitrator decides they're a "health and safety" hazard and sends workers home with pay) at any of the intermodal container ports -- all of which are under contract with PMA -- would be secondary boycotts in violation of Taft-Hartley. Which means instead of activist demos, they need to be truly wildcat strikes that are large and effective enough to neutralize management's invoking their illegality. The only illegal strike is one that loses!

The day of the sabotage at the Longview EGT terminal on September 8th sparked wildcat strikes at these 5 ports:

1.) Anacortes
2.) Everett
3.) Seattle
4.) Tacoma
5.) Portland

so I'm sure the bureaucrats at the highest level, the International, are freaking out about lockouts -- especially with a new contract coming up in 2014 and the PMA aiming to introduce "labor saving" technology, like RFID and GPS, which would eliminate the job of many IWLU clerks (who still manually scan barcode on the physical containers themselves) and longshore workers. Container ports like Hamburg and Rotterdam have already done this:

Edna Bonacich wrote:
In Hamburg and in Rotterdam there are docks that operate with no visible human presence. Once a container is moved off a ship, it is picked up by an automated crane, which puts it on an automated guided vehicle, which transfers it to the yard, where two automatic rail-mounted gantry cranes, or ARMGs, stack and retrieve containers. Sensor technology creates a grid around the yard, and GPS systems keep track of where each container is. No need for crane operators, no need for clerks. Where, typically in the U.S.A., two operators, and sometimes a marine clerk, are assigned to each rubber-tired gantry crane that moves containers around the yard, here a single worker can oversee the independent functioning of many machines from a control tower. Maybe a clerk is on hand in the event of an error. Port truckers are given a code or a card that they insert in another machine, which gives the order to the ARMG to pick up the containers they have come for. The driver is signaled to a bay, where the machine puts the coded container on the truck. The truck and its cargo are checked at the gate with automatic character recognition, and cameras photograph the vehicle and its license plate. The closest U.S. equivalent is APM’s new terminal in Norfolk, Virginia, where six yard cranes run by GPS, cameras and computers are operated at once by one worker in a computer booth.

This is a revolution in dock work at least as dramatic as containerization, which in the 1960s cut the gang unloading a ship from 125 longshoremen to 40, with phenomenal increases in speed. A number of U.S. and European terminals not yet fitted with full automation have already reduced worker hours by installing GPS and other technology to eliminate work formerly performed manually by clerks.

From Edna Bonacich's “Pulling the Plug: Labor and the Global Supply Chain,” New Labor Forum (2007)

The ILWU is deeply divided and the Occupy activists are clearly not connecting well with rank-and-file workers. Some of the actions are being called by a bureaucratic Occupy elite in a vanguardist way, oblivious to the longshore workers themselves. Here's what a Bay Area based Inland Boatmens Union (IBU, a maritime division of the ILWU) member says about that lack of connection with ILWU workers for the December 12th port shutdown:

Quote:
A note by a very involved Occupy Legal member and ILWU member on the West Coast Port Shutdown

December 9, 2011

We are only a few days away from the Occupy Movement's blockades of West Coast Ports. I have been watching this unfold for a few weeks now and would like to express some of my hopes and frustrations for this action. As someone who is both active in the Occupy Movement and is a member of the ILWU (Marine Division/IBU) I hope that this action is successful. I have been a member of the ILWU/IBU for 5 years and have helped organize various port shutdowns with the Longshore Division as well as with community groups. Everyone has been approaching me for my opinion on the shutdown...well...here it is.

I was first won over by this tactic when I was present for the 2008 Longshore Caucus when a resolution was brought to shut down the west coast ports against the war in Iraq. Even the people (mostly radicals and leftists) who drafted and brought the resolution to the convention were convinced that it would get voted down by the delegates. But, to our surprise, member after member of the union spoke up in support of the resolution (even some of the most conservative members of the union) to shut down the coast. Some of the most moving statements of support came from veterans and parents of children in the military who all gave stirring speeches in support of a coast wide shutdown. The resolution passed and on May 1st, 2008 the ILWU shut down the coast. This shutdown was not a community picket or a stop work meeting (both legal tactics used to shut down the port while still honoring the contract), this shutdown was initiated by one of the top decision making bodies of the union, by rank and file members and was in violation of the contract.

I bring this up for two reasons. First, this was one of my first interactions with the national union. I was also semi-convinced that this resolution would fail. Looking back on it, I think the majority of leftists and radicals were convinced of it's failure from the beginning because they simply did not have faith in the rank and file membership of their own unions. We have let ourselves become convinced that the membership of our unions are reactionary and conservative. The May 1st shut down proved many of us wrong. It was also an action that brought the entire union together and forced people to take a stand. Go to work or support the shutdown. Everyone supported the shutdown.

Secondly, I was reminded of this in light of the upcoming Occupy movement's community pickets. The ILWU has a long history of honoring community picket lines and supporting social movements. Anyone can search for that history online so I won't go into every action the Longshore Division has taken on various social issues. What disappointed me about how the organizing for the upcoming port action went down was that there was no outreach or organizing done among allies in the ILWU prior to the proposal for a shut down being brought to the General Assembly. I know this because I personally made it known that I was interested in working on a solidarity action and was never invited to a meeting or asked for contacts in the union. I also know that other leftists and radicals in and associated with the ILWU were not consulted in the initial drafting of the port shutdown proposal nor were we invited to any preliminary planning meetings. ILWU members (of all political persuasions) are very well known around Occupy Oakland and the Bay Area and none of us were consulted prior to bringing the proposal to the Oakland GA. Now you have a situation where a large scale action was organized very quickly by a fairly small number of people and without prior input from union members.

As someone who has considered myself an anarchist for over 10 years and as someone who believes very strongly in horizontal decentralized organizing I was sad to see a proposal with so much potential rushed through the General Assembly and that a chance for real solidarity to be built among Occupy, Longshoremen and truckers was lost (or at least put at risk). I don't know why we weren't consulted from the beginning. Maybe the organizers from Occupy Oakland fell into the same trap I did before the May 1st shutdown, maybe they thought the ILWU rank and file would oppose a shut down. Or maybe they thought that consulting a union with dozens of locals all along the coast would take too long, who knows. It's easier to draft something among friends and run with it right ? Yeah it's easy...but it's not democratic or in the spirit of anarchist politics to organize this way.

Another disappointment is how this has given a voice and a platform to some of the more reactionary and conservative elements in the union. Our prior actions (community pickets, stop work meetings and the May 1st shutdown) were all endorsed or supported on some level by one or more elements of the ILWU (either a Local Union or a body of delegates). This action was not supported or organized by any decision making body of the union or even a significant number of union members. Therefore it created a perfect target for the reactionaries in our union to attack.

I was told a few days ago by a supporter of the shutdown that one of the goals of this action was to "heighten the contradictions". After being told this I snidely replied, "well, the contradictions of MY union are MINE to heighten". I was being flippant, but there is truth in it as well. Of course there are contradictions within the ILWU and I agree that they need to be confronted. But there are radicals within the unions who are pushing them as flawed institutions, challenging their bureaucracy and fighting alongside our co-workers to confront these contradictions. There are union members who are strong supporters of the Occupy Movement and many who are also fighting against capitalism and oppression and support the same goals of building a more just world. ILWU members have been at all of the occupations in the Bay Area, we have been a part of housing actions, have stood on the barricades, have been next to you in meetings, have linked arms to protect encampments.

We are ready to fight with you....you just need to call us next time...
... and more than 2 hours before you present the proposal would be nice smile

I hope everyone can head down to the ports this Monday. We need masses of people to shut down these ports. I'm sure that many Longshoremen will support you. But we need to make this big in order to make it work.

syndicalist
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Jan 14 2012 17:52

Not to derail, just for information purposes. The question of automation is fery much on the New Jersey bosses agenda as well:
Longshoremen's union rallies against plans to automate Jersey City-Bayonne port
http://www.nj.com/jjournal-news/index.ssf/2012/01/post_104.html

syndicalist
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Jan 19 2012 13:58

All Eyes On Longview: An Injury To One Is An Injury To All
http://insurgentnotes.com/2012/01/all-eyes-on-longview-an-injury-to-one-is-an-injury-to-all/

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Jan 19 2012 17:48
Quote:
Some of the actions are being called by a bureaucratic Occupy elite in a vanguardist way, oblivious to the longshore workers themselves.

Any way you could expand on this? I agree that there appears to be a lack of connection made between Occupy and the rank-and-file, but is the definitely down to a bureaucratic elite or just a hangover from an activist method of organising, which is what I see in London Occupy. (I'd guess one could argue "activism" has inherent vanguardism, but that's probably a different argument.)

Also, that write-up from a longshore worker, is that from an active Bay area IWW member?

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Jan 19 2012 19:38

http://socialistworker.org/2012/01/19/the-solidarity-we-need

what do folks think of this article by ISO...seems like they are siding with the bureacracy to me.

syndicalist
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Jan 20 2012 13:57

I've started reading the pieces. The BOC piece is long and covers lots
of stuff, but, seems somewhat interesting, just long.

Hard to comment on some of the events surrounding the meeting, etc
and it's always good to get someone on the ground to comment on
those aspects.

Briefly, I think you're starting to see some of the contours and
contradictions within both the more radical OWS elements and the labor
movement. The narrow questions and conflicts arising over job control
and control of workers actions; labor bureaucracy, contract and other
legal aspects and direct attacks -- by the more radical OWS folks -- on
trade unionism and controlled militancy and vision are coming to play.

Some of the contradictions will continue to play out where local trade
unions, central labor bodies and so forth engage OWS ..... and seek to
exert its own stamp and vision on it. A perfect example of this is in
NY where there's substantial trade union engagement by the "progressive"
wing of the trade union movement.

What might be interesting is to see how some of the post-Seattle (1999),
growth of Jobs With Justice, younger comrades entering both the radical and
reformist union movements and how some of that stuff measures up to current situation.
To see if any lessons can be learned and to contrast two periods of contemporary
struggle. I suspect there are significantly different nuances and situations, but might be
of some value.

I need to finish both pieces to comment further.

syndicalist
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Jan 20 2012 18:52

From the Black Orchid site:

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Chilli Sauce
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Jan 20 2012 18:47

Thanks S, that makes for very interesting reading.

wojtek
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Jan 20 2012 22:37

Thought this might be of interest, perhaps take cues from Quaderni Rossi (Red Notebooks) and Potere Operaio (Workers Power)?

A Constituent Power Greater Than its Parts: Occupy and Workers from the Port Shutdown to the Primaries

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Chilli Sauce
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Jan 20 2012 23:04

S, I see you took down the whole article, so I'm gonna quote the bit I thought was the most illuminating:

Quote:
Local 19’s January 12th Stop Work Meeting passed a “Resolution Regarding Occupy Seattle”, a blatantly dishonest and slanderous attack against the Occupy movement, an act of sabotage against Local 21’s efforts to conduct outreach for the EGT struggle, and a repressive McCarthy-style measure to curtail the political freedoms of Local 19 members. It begins with a list of outrageously false accusations, including the allegation that Occupy “initiated physical violence against our members” in Seattle, where multiple videos clearly show that the opposite is actually true.

It then goes on to order that “all ILWU Local 19 members withhold all support for ‘Occupy’, formally or informally”. Here is the resolution’s real purpose: To create the conditions for a witch hunt against Local 19 members who participate in or support this new working class movement....

That the resolution’s author is none other than Local 19 Executive Board member John Persak—formerly a radical and leader of the Seattle IWW, who for a decade raged against the “repressive ILWU bureaucracy”—makes it doubly hypocritical.

syndicalist
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Jan 20 2012 23:18

Yes, I took the article down because there's some personal questions raised to me off list.
I will not raise them here.

Chili, see PM.

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Jan 21 2012 10:27

Here is BOC responding directly to the ISO article.

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Jan 21 2012 12:06

This interesting. Have ILWU Local 21 made an official response to the "events" during the 6th January solidarity event and the resolution by Local 19?

I understand that I.S.O are an international Trotskyist grouping. Their article about the 6th January solidarity event is highly speculative, i.e. "if the letter from ILWU President had been read out, the gathering would have been more unified". Anyone know anymore about their role in the occupy movements?

syndicalist
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Jan 21 2012 16:03

As I just wrote a WSA comrade:

"Yes, the ILWU,is a very complicated. I'll come back to this. But I
think some form of "inside/out" strategy is best. How that would work,
not real sure if there are no organic ties with the rank-and-file.
Simply trashing the ILWU is not good enough. Because the ILWU ---- at
least port workers --- are somewhat key on the West Coast. Of course,
one doesn't want to get into taling like the ISO and other left groups
do.

What I'm curious about is the internal ILWU dynamic. One can suspect
there's lots of internal debates/dicussions and so forth. Of course
there's the whole legal concern, set-up and possible trap for the the
ILWU.

There's the "narrow" issue of job control (Local 21) and the more
broad and perspectives of Occupy and libertarian labor, for example.
Controlled trade union militancy versus Occupy direct action and so
forth.

Also, having a retired Local 10 member (Heyman) in a port with an
active Local (19), without any Local 19 participation raises an
eyebrow. So, what's that dynamic all about?

More later."

"Right quick.....

> One of the commenters in that thread suggested the problem was "an activist
> approach." An activist approach is different than a mass organizing or
> organizer's approach, which would have done the sorts of things that the
> IBU/IWW dual carder suggested.

Here's where I think the inherent conflicts between experianced workerists (-:))
and folks who may be highly political, direct action oriented but
little sense of the nuances that go into worker organizing...."

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Juan Conatz
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Jan 22 2012 06:34

I only post this because of the directness of it, but the Socialist Worker's Party included this in a recent article. I have no idea their relation to this struggle. Also can't find this online (someone forwarded this on a list I'm on)

Quote:
Anarchists and ultraleft sectarian forces associated with some “occupy” groups on the West Coast have been planning a provocative action when the scab ship arrives that, if carried out, would give the bosses’ government a handle to deepen its assault on the ILWU. Couched in solidarity with the union’s fight, these forces seek to further their own political agendas, without regard for the consequences for the longshore workers and the ILWU. If you support this labor struggle, then follow the lead of the workers’ union leadership and do no harm.
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Jan 22 2012 06:39
Awesome Dude wrote:
I understand that I.S.O are an international Trotskyist grouping. Their article about the 6th January solidarity event is highly speculative, i.e. "if the letter from ILWU President had been read out, the gathering would have been more unified". Anyone know anymore about their role in the occupy movements?

ISO are probably the most important socialist group in the States. They were part of the same international as SWP (UK), but broke from them sometime in the '80s. They mostly are organized on campus. Not sure what their role in Occupy has been. In my experience, they are very rarely a positive force in anything and anarchists, communists and Wobblies have clashed with them well, in every movement of the last 20 years. They are Trots, but the kind that flirt more with social democracy/progressive caucus than insanity.

bastarx
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Jan 22 2012 07:53

Nah the US ISO franchise was expelled by head office in London in 2001 because they didn't recruit enough from the anti-globalization movement. Still pretty much the same opportunist end of Trotskyism politics AFAIK.

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Jan 22 2012 08:45

Didn't Left Turn briefly get the U.S. franchise by feigning Anarchist and milking the anti-globalization movement?

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Jan 22 2012 17:55

But Left Turn broke with the UK SWP because the latter wanted them to become a party which Left Turn does not want to do. They tend to be more "social movement left" than "partyist left" in their approach.

I think the SWP that J.C. quotes is the American SWP, not the British one. The American SWP is an authoritarian cult that has almost disappeared.

syndicalist
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Jan 22 2012 18:28

Not to derail the conversation, as I think the issues/appraches are more important then the ISO.

Peter wrote:
Nah the US ISO franchise was expelled by head office in London in 2001 because they didn't recruit enough from the anti-globalization movement. Still pretty much the same opportunist end of Trotskyism politics AFAIK.

This is essentially my understanding as well.

Here's some fun pieces on the ISO:

http://www.angelfire.com/journal/iso/isoist.htm
http://www.whatnextjournal.co.uk/Pages/back/Wnext19/Swp.html
http://www.marxists.org/history/etol/newspape/socialistvoice/ISOSWPPR61.html
http://www.marxists.org/history/etol/newspape/socialistvoice/ISOPR51.html

syndicalist
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Jan 23 2012 17:15

"Socialism is working-class self-emancipation. Only mass struggles of the workers themselves can put an end to the capitalist system of oppression and exploitation.

"We support trade unions as essential to the fight for workers' economic and political rights. To make the unions fight for workers' interests, rank-and-file workers must organize themselves independent of the union officials."

And so write the ISO in their "Where We Stand" statement: http://socialistworker.org/where-we-stand

Of course, the rhetoric sounds nice. But, as the expression goes, the "proof of the pudding is in the eating." And, thus far, the pudding ain't so good and the eating even worse.

Years ago there was this really terrible pamphlet by former SDSer turned Maoist, Carl Davidson, "Left in form, right in Essence". While being a dogmatic piece of shit stalinist critique of Trotskyism, the title is so apropo for the ISO (and others).

They talk left, but follow a rightist policy. But, hey, so did Lenin. In his "State & Revolution" he preached a sorta libertarian perspective. Mainly to out manouver the anarchists and others who shared similar ideas. He then followed by this with his rightist "Left-wing Communism: An Inftile Disorder". So, I guess, the leninist lineage claims to hold some water.

Anyway, I suppose the ISO can argue that certain "progressive" unions are more membership run than others. Perhaps there's some minor merit to that. Yet when workers "organize themselves independent of the union officials" there seems to be a sort of freak out, as with the Seattle event and beyond.

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Jan 23 2012 22:08

ILWU reaches settlement in Longview labor dispute

A Longshore union says it has reached a temporary settlement to end a months-long labor dispute at the Port of Longview.

By MIKE BAKER

Associated Press

OLYMPIA, Wash. —

A Longshore union says it has reached a temporary settlement to end a months-long labor dispute at the Port of Longview.

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the company, EGT, did not immediately disclose details of the agreement Monday. The ILWU has been aggressively protesting the company since last year, when EGT decided to use a contractor that staffed a new grain terminal with workers from a different union.

Union protesters blocked trains and repeatedly faced arrest despite the warnings of a federal judge. The judge has fined the union more than $300,000 for the tactics.

ILWU President Robert McEllrath said in a statement Monday that the agreement is a win for the union, the company and the Longview community. He says they are looking forward to developing a positive working relationship with EGT.

From: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2017313951_apwaunionclash.html

syndicalist
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Jan 23 2012 22:30
Quote:
ILWU President Robert McEllrath said in a statement Monday that the agreement is a win for the union, the company and the Longview community. He says they are looking forward to developing a positive working relationship with EGT

You betcha ..... let's see what sort of "partnership" arrangement was reached.

Anyway, I would really like to engage on the broader question of Occupy and labor.

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Jan 23 2012 22:45

At last Friday's all-day anti-bank activist-fest in San Francisco, some Occupy comrades did "occupy" the Itochu office in the city:

http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2012/01/21/18705206.php

Which seemed like a pretty good action, especially since several rank-and-file ILWU local 10 members were part of organizing it.

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Joined: 30-09-03
Jan 23 2012 22:43

It was kind of badly handled in Seattle... I couldn't participate that much (although I was at the port shutdown and the disrupted meeting) because many of the key meetings were during working hours, besides I was a bit fed up with occupy. I still haven't formed a clear opinion - it seems like some ILWU members here had some legitimate complaints about how Occupy handled things but it's hard to separate that from the confusing internal politics, leftist bureaucratic ambitions and blind loyalty to the union, amongst other things. On the Occupy side, there are the overblown claims about being a new form of unionism that just don't have any real backing (yet?)

syndicalist
Offline
Joined: 15-04-06
Jan 24 2012 01:58

Cat just brought this to my attention.....

"ILWU officials shouldn't get a pass"
http://socialistworker.org/2012/01/23/ilwu-officials-shouldnt-get-a-pass

Cat:
> This person, a bay area member, doesn't really overtly disagree with the
> line in the previous piece, but wants to be more critical of the action of
> the union leaders, while arguing for building rank and file pressure inside
> the unions.

Syndicalist:

I agree with this, but from our perspective (of course):

"This organizing is very new and is going to be tricky and
challenging. Around the December 12 port action in Oakland, some
elements of organized labor tried to stop the action, while other
union members, including ILWU members and Teamsters, played a
significant role in making the action successful."