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Charleston: ILWU Longshore Caucus Backs International Action

Jack Heyman
17 Mar 2001

The following resolution along with an assessment of $2 per month of all ILWU longshore division members (nearly 10,000) was passed unanimously in support
of the Charleston longshore workers at the ILWU Longshore Caucus on March 15, 2001.

Solidarity with the Charleston Longshore Workers

WHEREAS, Charleston Longshore ILA Local 1422 and Clerks' Local 1771 have been the target of a sustained attack by both the scab stevedore company W. S. I. and the state of South Carolina; and

WHEREAS, the two unions have successfully reached agreement with the shipowner Nordana on a collective bargaining agreement, but W. S. I. and South Carolina State Attorney General Charles Condon continue their joint attack - with a $1.5 million dollar civil lawsuit for damages criminal charges of "rioting" against five union pickets, and

WHEREAS, these black and white brothers, known as the "Charleston Five", face lengthy jail terms for exercising their right to picket and defend union jobs, and

WHEREAS, in this increasingly globalized economy it is imperative that maritime unions join together in international solidarity for our common defense, just as consolidated shipping interests have done to combat organized labor and undermine our fundamental rights, and

WHEREAS, the ILWU has organized solidarity actions in support of longshore workers under attack, like the Liverpool dockers, the Australian wharfies and the Veracruz, Mexico stevedores, and

WHEREAS, these predatory capitalist practises have now landed on the shores of this country in the port of Charleston, South Carolina,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT we, the Longshore Division of the ILWU, call for an international day of solidarity action in ports around the world through the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) and the International Dockworkers' Council to be coordinated in one powerful display of union protest on the first day of the trial of the Charleston Five to demand the charges be dropped, and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED THAT we appeal especially to our ILA brothers and sisters on the East, South and Gulf Coasts to put aside any differences of the past and join us in this day of action, forging an unbreakable bond in the spirit of labor's solidarity slogan - "An injury to one is an injury to all."

submitted by Local 10

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