14 November 2007
Wildcat Strike at the Port of Tacoma; IWW & SDS Stand in Solidarity
MAERSK UNION STRIKE IN TACOMA - By Tacoma SDS, Indymedia- November 8, 2007
http://seattle. indymedia. org/en/2007/ 11/262632. shtml
An unannounced wildcat strike was called to push the administration of Maersk (headquarters in Tacoma) to allow union workers to join the union of their choice instead of the union the company requires them to be members of, Securitas, which doesn't provide or bargain for workers' basic needs.
The strike at the Port of Tacoma yesterday was unannounced publicly, to catch the company off-guard and to require an arbitrator from the longshoremens' union (ILWU) to come to the port and declare the picket line the Maersk workers staged was unsafe to cross. Jobs With Justice organized the strike. Tacoma SDS and other community members who heard about it went to the port to show solidarity.
Maersk is the largest shipping company in the world, Adam Hoyt said. Its North American headquarters are located in Tacoma. The workers are not granted basic needs that other union workers are, such as a pension plan. Workers are forced to join the Securitas union which is acts as a pacifier to the union workers. Maersk has tried its hardest to convince workers Securitas is a good union, and that other unions are dangerous.
Tacoma P.D. singled out Tacoma SDS members and asked for identification and phone numbers. There were no physical confrontations, but our group felt it was unfair and absurd that officers would single out SDS without any reasonable suspicion. They asked us if we were attending the Smash Tacoma ICE protest, trying to glean information about it. We told them we would not consent to any of their questions or searches. Officer Darlington said the port has been the site of conspiracies to conduct terrorism. "People ride jetskis next to tankers and then they speed off in the other direction," he said. Tacoma SDS was not convinced.
(Editor's note: some of the members of SDS are also members of the IWW).
More info at: http://www.iww.org/