HOFFA: U.S. DOCK LABOR ôUNITED AS NEVER BEFOREö
International Brotherhood of Teamsters General President James Hoffa praised U.S. dock labor’s show of solidarity Thursday in support of International Longshore and Warehouse Union’s contract negotiations with West Coast waterfront employers.
“The forces of labor are united as never before,” said Hoffa at a rally in the Port of Oakland. “Once again, Teamsters and longshoremen are speaking with one voice.”
The Teamsters have entered into a coalition with the ILWU and the International Longshoremen’s Association to “make ports wall-to-wall union, and to provide mutual aid in times of struggle.”
“The ILWU is in tough negotiations for a new contract on West Coast ports, and the Teamsters union has pledged its support,” the union said.
The Teamsters have attempted to organize port drivers for the past two years. The union said port drivers are the some of the lowest paid workers in North America, earning about $7 to $8 an hour before taxes. There are more than 40,000 owner-drivers moving cargo in and out U.S. seaports.
In addition to Oakland, “solidarity” rallies and activities were held in Baltimore; Boston; Charleston, S.C.; Houston; Jacksonville, Fla.; Long Beach, Calif.; New Orleans; Newark, N.J.; Norfolk, Va.; Philadelphia; Savannah, Ga.; Seattle and Tacoma, Wash.