President Barack Obama has authorized the Coast Guard to provide armed escort to a ship headed to the Port of Longview on the Columbia River in Washington. The ship is destined for a new $200 million grain terminal owned by EGT, a multinational grain conglomerate. That terminal was constructed with tax payer funded public financing.
It had been picketed by members of ILWU Local 21, whose members have performed all of the longshore work in that port for more than 70 years. EGT – violating its contractual obligations – refused to hire ILWU members to work at its terminal. It wants to eliminate a militant democratic union that has negotiated strong contract protections and good wages for its members over the course of decades of struggle.
The use of U.S. military forces in support of EGT is a dangerous step toward militarization of our society. Step by step, our rights of speech and assembly, the protection of habeas corpus, due process and a speedy trial by a jury of one’s peers are being stripped away.
We must not be silent in the face of this steady erosion of our basic rights and liberties. Tell the president not to send the U.S. military against workers in the U.S.
For more on this story, visit: Military Union Busting? That’s Disgusting!.