On Monday, there is a shut down planned for all West Coast ports by the #OccupyMovement. Since the shut down was announced, there has been back and forth speculation of whether or not the port unions are involved and, if so, to what extent.
Publicly, the unions are not officially endorsing the shut down. However, rank and file members allegedly are.
Organizers of a planned Occupy Seattle “Port shutdown” on Monday say union members shouldn’t cross their picket line to get to work because they are forming a new kind of organized labor for everybody.
However, Occupy Seattle and at least seven other Occupy movements attempting similar shutdowns along the West Coast lack the crucial support of the longshoremen and maritime-trades union leadership.
“We’re hoping that the longshoremen won’t cross [our] picket line,” said Chris Eaton, an Occupy Seattle organizer. He said individual workers have “given us kind of the thumbs up.”
But union leaders have given them an emphatic thumbs down.
According to Oregon’s Salem News, the debate over whether or not the ILWU supports the port shut down is not up for debate:
Those organizing for action on the docks are neither the outside agitators described by employers nor the ultra-left adventurists snubbed by union leaders and their apologists. Rather, they are a grassroots network that includes rank-and-file longshore union members; nonunion port drivers; longstanding labor militants from a variety of unions; and new activists, union and nonunion, who have joined the Occupy movement to try to challenge the country’s economic priorities.
Until Monday, the nation will have to wait to see.