From Tue Aug 13 07:30:10 2002
Date: Mon, 12 Aug 2002 23:10:45 -0500 (CDT)
From: ListMeister <>
Subject: No More PATCO's/Portworkers Solidarity Committe Statement
Article: 143634
To: undisclosed-recipients:;

The Charade Is Exposed

SolidarityInfoServices, 12 August 2002

Bush's “War On Terrorism” is now being aimed squarely at the ILWU. Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge has called the ILWU leadership and told them they had better not go on strike. He also used a veiled threat that the army would be brought in to take over the docks and protect scabs if they did go on strike.

This open threat of union busting by Bush and Ridge has emboldened Pacific Maritime Association Pres. Miniace and the PMA bosses to take a hard line. The PMA bosses now include “union free” companies like Walmart, The Gap and Home Depot. Why should they negotiate, when they think the government will use it's full weight to attack the union? They have demanded major concessions including eliminating the hiring hall, cutting healthcare benefits and destroying union jurisdiction.

These threats are not just aimed at the ILWU but all workers. Using the government's logic, any strike could be a threat to national security.

From airline workers and bus drivers to telephone workers, no one is safe. Already, they are demanding under the proposed Maritime Security Act that any longshoremen who has been convicted of a felony would be kicked off the docks and the government and the bosses would have the right to “screen” any “disloyal” worker off the docks. Does this sound like the McCarthy period?

For this reason the AFL-CIO and the entire labor movement are beginning to rally around the fight of the ILWU. In order for this battle to be won, we must rely on the rank and file of organized labor and the communities.

If the ILWU goes on strike or is locked out we must make sure that there is no use of troops or the corporate controlled legislation to break the strike and destroy a coast wide contract that gives the union it's power.

We need to make our brothers and sisters aware that this fight is their fight and if troops are brought in, direct action in the streets and on the job should be taken to stop Bush's union busting.

A Defeat For The ILWU Is A Defeat For ALL Workers

A defeat for the ILUW would be a defeat for unions in the United States and workers internationally. This is what Bush and his “Fast Track/Free Traders” are working for. They want to break the back of organized labor so they can impose wage cuts and destroy our union contracts as they have done to workers throughout the world using the IMF & World Bank. This is already the plan in the airline industry where the Democratic controlled US Senate helped pass a bill that forces airline workers to take wage cuts in order to make the airline eligible for government loans. At UAL and US Air, the bosses backed by the government are using the threat of bankruptcy to impose wage cuts.

At the same time the government and the Congress are now working to prepare for a war against Iraq. This war will not only be paid for by killing thousands of Iraqi's and Americans but by massive cutbacks on healthcare, social services and social security. Their war on Iraq is a war on all working people and they will use the war hysteria to also attack the ILWU.

The Bush gang is already saying that they have to eliminate union rights for over 170,000 federal workers who they want to transfer into the “Homeland Security Department”.

We cannot allow Bush to get away with this. We must stand united to stop the union busting and the so called “war on terrorism” which is really aimed at US workers. Join the Portworkers Solidarity Committee to support the ILWU struggle. Get a speaker and video to your union to explain what the issues are and how your union can become involved. Your basic rights are under threat!

An Injury To One Is An Injury To All

Portworkers Solidarity Committee

Let me give you a word on the philosophy of reform. The whole history of the progress of human liberty shows that all concessions yet made to her august claims have been born of earnest struggle. Find out just what people will submit to, and you have found the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; and these will continue until they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.

Frederick Douglass

Beware the leader who bangs the drums of war in order to whip the citizenry into a patriotic fervor, for patriotism is indeed a double-edged sword. It both emboldens the blood, just as it narrows the mind. And when the drums of war have reached a fever pitch and the blood boils with hate and the mind has closed, the leader will have no need in seizing the rights of the citizenry. Rather, the citizenry, infused with fear and blinded by patriotism, will offer up all of their rights unto the leader and gladly so. How do I know? For this is what I have done. And I am Caesar.

Julius Caesar