A solidarity delegation of members from ILWU Locals 10 and 13 joined the ILWU Longshore Locals from the Pacific Northwest in Portland and Vancouver, WA the weekend of May 3rd to walk the picket line with locked-out members of Locals 4 and 8 who are in a protracted struggle to get a contract with the Pacific Northwest Grain Handlers’ Association (PNGHA).
A delegation of ILWU members from Hawaii Longshore visited the lock-out lines a few weeks before and Locals 94 and 63 have also been sending delegations to stand with their locked-out brothers and sisters on the picket lines.
“It’s been really energizing for us to have these solidarity visits from our brothers and sisters in the ILWU. It shows us that our struggle here has not been forgotten and that we are not alone,” said Cager Clabough, President of Local 4.
ILWU members have maintained strong, round-the-clock picket lines since Japanese-owned Mitsui/United Grain Corporation (UGC) locked-out members of ILWU Local 4 in Vancouver in February 2013 and Japanese-owned Marubeni/Columbia Grain (CGI) locked-out ILWU Local 8 members in Portland in May of 2013.
“It’s important for rank-file-members to see firsthand what is happening to our brothers and sisters in the Northwest. They are bringing their stories back to the local to help everyone understand that the ILWU is under attack from the North to the South,” said Local 13 President Bobby Olvera, Jr., who was a part of the Local 13 delegation to the Northwest.
He added that a solidarity delegation of rank-and-file Local 13 members will be visiting the Portland and Vancouver every two weeks.