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Obama's Coast Guard tries to break the ILWU strike in Longview, WA

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Submitted by affinis on

https://twitter.com/eloft/status/158740510612271104

Submitted by lambert on

Remember how the OFB were all triumphalist about The Droner's recess appointments? Well, Coffin was one of them. I keep forgetting how many levels deep my distrust of these guys should go. I mean, I knew it was as scam; I didn't know it was also a union-busting set-up for a giant grain corp.

Submitted by Alcuin on

Reagan is one of Obama's heroes, isn't he? This is nothing new - the elite has always turned, when other measures didn't work, to the armed forces to break unions. For some reason, there doesn't appear to be published work available on this topic. Maybe another Correntian will prove me wrong on that, though! Obama is making a mistake with his "solution" to this current incident - it is not in his (or his masters') best interests to be seen as endorsing military suppression of union activities. Of course, this isn't the first mistake he's made.

Submitted by MontanaMaven on

Cleanandsafeports.org

I heard these guys yesterday on Mike Feder's Sirius left radio show. They talked about Obama bringing in the Coast Guard to escort the scab ship. The history of striking workers and presidents using military against them is a long and ugly one.

Submitted by MontanaMaven on

links just like right wingers do on this story. Oops? He said "The inflammatory nature of the claims of using military against US
citizens (which this definitely is NOT), brings me down squarely on the
side opposite side of the position they are presenting. I have read
some on both sides of the issue as I mentioned before. The parallel
that comes to mind is the so called "pro life" movement and all their
outrageous disinformation efforts, pictures of mangled fetuses, lies and
distortions. The coast guard is doing their duty... period... which
is to protect shipping. Conflating that with the posse comitatus
thing is utter nonsense. This is exactly the same sort of thing the
right engages in constantly and which I despise so much. "

He had previously said to me that union people were unloading at this facility and it was the "Operating Engineers". He says the ILWU was resisting the building of the more efficient building there because of loss of jobs at other facilities and so he believed it was not the union busting portrayed in the articles.

I know there is always more than meets the eye and that there is disinformation on every side. Help me out here.

Submitted by Alcuin on

Since I don't know the kind of "inflammatory links" that you sent, nor anything about the person you sent them to, it's hard to attempt to provide help. What are "inflammatory links" to one person are mild to another. World views are very hard to change - it takes a lot of time, patience and understanding on the part of the person trying to get people to consider new ideas. Sometimes, it just doesn't work. I have a good friend with whom I agree on a very large number of political issues, but on two issues, I'll never yield. It might be best to leave it be for the time being. I did read that the Posse Comitatus Act does not apply to the Coast Guard, so if there were suggestions to the contrary in the links you sent, then that is just plain wrong. See if you can find some points of agreement and then build on those, slowly and surely, instead of inundating the person with ideas that he is not ready to consider. Maybe, some day, you'll be successful!

affinis's picture
Submitted by affinis on

Straight up, your friend (at least in this case) is F.O.S. (though when articles start bringing in Posse Comitatus, etc. I have a slightly aversive reaction myself - e.g. as Alcuin points out, Posse Comitatus Act doesn't apply to Coast Guard).

EGT's actions = unambiguous attempt to circumvent/undercut ILWU (something the major shippers have been lusting after recently), in violation of existing contract. Pretty much everyone in the labor community recognizes this. Hiring workers from Operating Engineers 701 allows them to undercut ILWU wage scale, etc. If EGT (which is basically a subsidiary of the agribusiness giant Bunge) gets away with this at Longview, everyone will be immediately attempting it elsewhere. And bringing military (of any form) into a labor dispute hasn't been done since Nixon. [As an aside, ILWU is one of the most truly progressive unions, with long history of supporting social justice struggles; ILWU motto "An injury to one is an injury to all".]

Some links with additional info (don't have time to nicely format and write up right now):
http://www.transportworkers.org/node/2115
http://tdn.com/news/local/article_5520b8...
http://subterraneandispatches.wordpress....
http://www.longshoreshippingnews.com/201...
http://www.thestand.org/2011/09/heres-wh...
http://www.wslc.org/2011res.htm#30
http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id...
http://www.themilitant.com/2012/7604/760...
http://www.icl-fi.org/english/wv/984/ilw...
http://www.iacenter.org/labor/longshore0...
http://labornotes.org/blogs/2011/07/long...

There was an announcement today that a possible settlement has been negotiated between EGT and ILWU (after Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire got involved in the negotiations). However, ILWU has not yet voted on the terms of this proposed settlement. And there's some concern that EGT is playing games to keep ILWU and supporters (including Occupy folks) from interfering in the current shipment. So the request is that ILWU supporters/Occupy continue with plans to converge on the port.

Submitted by MontanaMaven on

This story of the Longview strike has become very important to me. It's like Wisconsin. If we don't hang together, we are all going to hang.

As some of you know, I used to live in NYC, grew up in the country but near Chicago, and went to school near Detroit. Been a student and supporter of the union movement, warts and all. Love the labor writer and lawyer, Tom Geoghegan's books especially "Which Side Are You On?"

Now I live in a small town of 1500 and so you take your "friends" sometimes where you can get them. I do not talk politics or big ideas by e-mail but prefer to come here to the cyber cafe and chew the fat with other critical thinkers in a mostly civil manner. I made an exception with this "friend" and would e-mail back a short reply to his lengthy rants that were usually not directed at me but with unthinking religious right wingers who unfortunately are his closest neighbors.

But this ILWU deal has really got him all riled up, so Alcuin is right. Time to set this topic aside with this "neighbor". And I will politely tell him that I would prefer a one on one conversation with him in person and so will not be e-mailing. (Interesting that e-mails seem to be for rants and not at all like real time blogging that demands listening. I hadn't thought about it before.)

And thanks to Affinis too. Prior to seeing your post with all the links, I had woken up and started to do as much reading as I could and came away still believing that the protest and support of Occupy in solidarity with ILWU Local 21 is a right cause to put my support behind. I was shocked at the anti-union vitriol in the comments section of The Oregonian. Did you know that all union members are fat thugs who take bong breaks?
Does this guy's butt look big to you?
Year of Strife - AP Don Ryan Pic

Submitted by lambert on

I think "contract violation" ought to work in any context. And follow that up with the idea that the Operating Engineers had a price for scabbing: The seat on the NLRB that Obama gave them.

Submitted by Alcuin on

Communication is hard enough in person; it is nearly impossible with e-mail. Without tone-of-voice and body language, communication bogs down. I like Corrente a lot - like you said, the conversations here are mostly civil and there are a lot of very well-educated people who hang out here. So that is valuable. But it is also a choir, mostly. So trying to use e-mail with someone who is influenced by "religious right wingers" is problematic, at best. This article, which appeared on the ISO website, might be useful. You may already have read it - your comment and the article share the same picture! In dealing with this person (and others like him) you might consider reading Bob Altemeyer's work on authoritarianism, if you haven't already done so. And you can sharpen your points (religiously, anyway) by familiarizing yourself with radical Christian websites. I'd recommend Jesus Radicals as a starting point. Always keep in mind that it is a long process. Even though I had radical parents, I read the Wall Street Journal for 20 years and my good friend had a hard time breaking through to me. So if it took her 5 years with me, imagine what you are up against!