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May 02, 2008

Dockworker shut down ports yesterday to protest the War [krakatoa]

They shut down West Coast shipping in a pique of political grandstanding.

The action also, as one labor historian put it, added significant support for May Day, which has become the preeminent working-class and protest event of the year...

"This union looks at itself as the vanguard of the working class on the West Coast, and I think there was a sense that they needed to participate in this event," said Nelson Lichtenstein, a UC Santa Barbara history professor and director of the school's Center for the Study of Work, Labor and Democracy.

Looks to me like the union is not so much the vanguard of the average laborer as the avant-garde of American Neo-Liberalism (warmed over Marxism for those who aren't paying attention) with it's reverence for May Day, a popular national holiday of the world's Communist and Socialist states.

More below the break...


The union's 25,000 members decided in early January to stand down on May 1. Their day off came despite an arbitrator's order on Wednesday that they report to work. That order followed a Pacific Maritime Assn. complaint about the planned action, which it said violated contract obligations....

Why am I not surprised that Leftists would refuse abide by their own contracts and honor the arbitrator's ruling?

..."Is this a voluntary war protest or a strike aimed at leveraging labor negotiation? We're not sure," said Steve Getzug, spokesman for the association. "We're concerned. We thought these kinds of old tricks were a thing of the past."

Please tell me you didn't buy any real-estate from these guys while you were at it, Mr. Getzug.

I remember some 6 years ago when they were striking in a contract dispute... these cats averaged 80k per year then, not counting the additional benefit package that averaged another 70k.

During the last negotiations in 2002, employers accused the union of a work slowdown and locked out the union at West Coast ports for 10 days, causing a retail business crisis that was interrupted when President Bush invoked the Taft-Hartley Act. At the time, economists estimated that the labor dispute cost the economy $1 billion to $2 billion a day.

I imagine they make far more now, plus they get to go on strike for political statements.

What exactly does Taft-Hartley say about all this?

The amendments enacted in Taft-Hartley added a list of prohibited actions, or "unfair labor practices", on the part of unions to the NLRA, which had previously only prohibited "unfair labor practices" committed by employers. The Taft-Hartley Act prohibited ... political strikes ... and monetary donations by unions to federal political campaigns.

I think we have a serious and growing threat here. This isn't democracy in action, it isn't patriotism, and I doubt seriously it's even a 1st amendment issue.

It looks more like blatant extortion to achieve a political argument they haven't been able to win via the ballot box. And it also appears to be illegal, vis-a-vis Taft-Hartley.

Lucky for them, we Republicans rarely impose on the Left the same consequences we ourselves are faced with when breaking the law.

NOTE: I got the ok to post this by Ace, but no way I was going to bump his
Seal/Penguin 'Love that cannot be spoken' post before it had a chance to really gain the exposure and thoughtful consideration it deserves.

Dockworker Sven Pengsvuckerson protests the Iraq War in a time-honored family tradition.

digg this
posted by xgenghisx at 09:40 PM

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