The following press release from Occupy the EGT appeared on Sunday, February 12, 2012, and announces the settlement between ILWU Local 21 and the Export Grain Terminal (EGT). After the Oakland General Strike of November 2, 2011, and the West Coast Port Shutdown of December 12, 2011, this negotiated settlement is cause for celebration. Pressure on EGT continued through February, and Occupiers across the globe have been awaiting news of this lengthy negotiation. This announcement marks a significant victory for the labor movement in the US.
Coordinated action by West Coast Occupys proves effective as ILWU Local 21 ratifies contract
Longview, WA – On Friday, members of the ILWU and the labor community named the Occupy Movement as key to the settlement reached Thursday between ILWU Local 21 and the Export Grain Terminal (EGT). The contract finally provides for the use of ILWU labor in the grain terminal at the Port of Longview. After staging the December 12 port shutdowns in solidarity with Local 21, the West Coast Occupy Movement planned coordinated action together with labor allies for a land and water blockade of the EGT ship in Longview, should it attempt to use scab labor to load. Occupys in states where EGT’s parent company, Bunge, has its growth and operations were also planning actions against the company on the day of the arrival of the ship.
“This is a victory for Occupy in their involvement in forcing negotiations. Make no mistake – the solidarity and organization between the Occupy Movement and the Longshoremen won this contract,” said Jack Mulcahy, ILWU officer with Local 8. “The mobilization of the Occupy Movement across the country, particularly in Oakland, Portland, Seattle, and Longview were a critical element in bringing EGT to the bargaining table and forcing a settlement with ILWU local 21.”
“West Coast Occupys had already demonstrated their ability to stage such a blockade by shutting down ports along the West Coast on December 12th, as well as the Port of Oakland on November 2nd,” said Anthony Leviege, ILWU Local 10 in Oakland. The Occupy Movement shut down ports in order to express solidarity with port truckers and Local 21, as well as responding to a nationally-coordinated eviction campaign against Occupy.
(to read the rest of the article, please visit the website of Occupy the EGT.)