Longshore Caucus calls for Iraq war protest at ports on May 1
Nearly one hundred Longshore Caucus delegates voted on February 8 to support a resolution calling for an eight-hour “stop-work” meeting during the day-shift on Thursday, May 1 at ports in CA, OR and WA to protest the war by calling for the immediate, safe return of U.S. troops from Iraq.
“The Caucus has spoken on this important issue and I’ve notified the employers about our plans for ‘stop work’ meetings on May 1,” said ILWU International President Bob McEllrath.
Caucus delegates, including several military veterans, spoke passionately about the importance of supporting the troops by bringing them home safely and ending the War in Iraq. Concerns were also raised about the growing cost of the war that has threatened funding for domestic needs, including education and healthcare. Nobel prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz and Harvard economist Linda J. Bilmes recently estimated that the true cost of the War in Iraq to American taxpayers will exceed 3 trillion dollars–a figure they describe as “conservative.”
The union’s International Executive Board recently endorsed Barack Obama, citing his opposition to the War in Iraq as one of the key factors in the union’s decision-making process.
Caucus delegates are democratically elected representatives from every longshore local who set policy for the Longshore Division.
ILWU International President Robert McEllrath has written letters to President John Sweeney of the AFL-CIO and President Andy Stern of the Change-to-Win Coalition, and to the presidents of the International Transport Workers Federation and the International Dockworkers Council to inform them of the ILWU’s plans for May 1.