In a major step for the U.S. labor movement, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) has announced that it will shut down West Coast ports on May 1, to demand an immediate end to the war and occupation in Iraq and Afghanistan and the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the Middle East. This is the first time in decades that an American union has decided to undertake industrial action against a U.S. war. The action announced by the powerful West Coast dock workers union, to stop work to stop the war, should be taken up by unions and labor organizations throughout the United States and internationally. And the purpose of such actions should be not to beg the bourgeois politicians whose hands are covered with blood, having voted for every war budget for six and a half years, but a show of strength of the working people who make this country run, and who can shut it down!Leftist propaganda and wishful thinking? or the beginning of a mass popular movement against the war, with real roots in the working class? Another leftist paper noted this action earlier this year:
OAKLAND—Three ships sat idle at the Stevedoring Services of America (SSA) terminals on May 19 as dock workers dispatched by International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Local 10 and clerks dispatched by ILWU Local 34 honored a picket line protesting the Iraq war....Stay tuned.
Among the picketers was a union contingent from the Oakland Education Association (OEA).