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Home » Ports » ILWU to Shut Down All 29 West Coast Ports for 8 hours on Juneteenth (June 19)

ILWU to Shut Down All 29 West Coast Ports for 8 hours on Juneteenth (June 19)

PortandTerminal.com, June 12, 2020

The mass labor action will also coincide with President Trump’s first election rally during the coronavirus pandemic in Tulsa, Oklahoma – the scene of one of the worst race massacres in US history in 1921.

OAKLAND, CA – One week from today, on June 19th, members of the International Longshoremen and Warehouse Union (ILWU) will shut down all 29 ports along the West Coast in solidarity with ongoing protests over the murder of George Floyd.

The day of action is slated for Juneteenth, the day celebrating the heralding of the emancipation proclamation to Texan slaves more than two years after the proclamation took effect in 1863.

The mass labor action will also coincide with President Trump’s first election rally during the coronavirus pandemic in Tulsa, Oklahoma – the scene of one of the worst race massacres in US history in 1921.

For now, the shutdown is scheduled to overlap with a coastwide ILWU stop-work meeting, a tactic that falls within protections afforded by the union contracts. The longshore workers intend to use their day of action to call on other unions to stand in solidarity with all those threatened by police violence and exploitation.

Efforts are underway to coordinate with East coast dockworkers in the International Longshoreman’s Association (ILA) in an effort to organize the first dual-coast port shutdown in American history, and ILWU members are hoping their shutdown will inspire inland unions to join forces as well.

Since George Floyd’s murder, the planned ILWU shutdown is one of the highest-profile labor actions to take shape. It follows on the heels of unionized bus drivers in Minneapolis and New York City refusing to transport arrested protesters and also serves as a significant escalation at a time when some of the largest and most powerful unions—in addition to the AFL-CIO—are facing progressive challenges to long-entrenched moderate leadership.

This article draws upon the reporting of journalist Daniel Boguslaw at The Nation. The original can be read by clicking here.

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