Kyle Mackey, Secretary Treasurer of the Cowlitz Wahkiakum Counties Central
Labor Council in Washington State and a member of ILWU Local 21, has
distributed this Call to Action. It is followed by the resolution passed
on January 2, 2012, by that Labor Council.

ILWU International President McElrath’s statement is here:

Messages of solidarity and donations can be sent to ILWU Local 21,
617-14th Avenue, Longview, WA 98632, Dan Coffman, President, Shelly
Porter, Sec.-Treas., phone: 360.423.0950, fax: 360.423.5498, email:

A Call to Action:

It is estimated, sometime in late January or early February the [scab] EGT
facility at the port of Longview will receive its first grain ship to be
loaded at its berth. The name and timing of this ship will undoubtedly be
kept secret until the last possible moment. It is likely there will be a
few days to as little as 24 hours notice of when the ship will dock.
Notification will be given via the Internet and any other relevant means
of networking throughout the country.

We are imploring all able working class people willing to take time out of
his or her own lives, to come to Longview, Washington for a historic

This is the time for workers everywhere to take a stand. Unions and the
working class standard of living that have benefited from collective
bargaining for so long are in danger of being extracted completely. You
can see this systematically taking place over the last 30 years or longer,
and especially in recent times. Unions have lost ground over this period
of time due to unjust anti-labor laws, corporate influence on the
government, and complacency on the part of organized labor among other

We recognize the danger of, and view the government attack on collective
bargaining of public employees as a warning shot to labor as a whole.
Wisconsin was ground zero and the spark that awoke the sleeping giant that
is labor. Workers are beginning to remember there is indeed strength in
numbers, regardless of how many unjust laws are made to divide us.

We have not been pacified long enough, as to give up our constitutional
rights or to give up all the gains our forefathers fought and died to
achieve over the last hundred years. People inherently ask WHY? Why should
I, or others come to the aid of the ILWU? Why should I care, and what does
it matter if this ship gets loaded and they lose this struggle?

The ILWU has a proud history of being arguably the strongest labor union
in the world for almost 80 years. The secret of this success lies in the
bottom up, rank and file democratic structure. This empowers and involves
every member. And the intelligence and foresight of the leaders who knew
without unity on the entire west coast and unity with the working class,
there was no strength.

EGT is attempting to break the ILWU. EGT is operating on public port
property where the ILWU have worked for decades. They are in violation of
their lease agreement, which states that the ILWU is to be the workforce
on port property. Longshoremen have done work in port grain elevators
before the ILWU was formed [in the 1930s]. If EGT succeeds, they will have
essentially broken the ILWU.

First, they will set a precedent that work on public port docks is no
longer automatically Longshore Jurisdiction. Then within less than a year,
when the northwest grain handlers agreement is set to be negotiated, all
the other grain elevators will seek to either go non-ILWU or will seek to
match the eroded standard EGT creates. Shortly thereafter in 2014, the
ILWU will negotiate its master contract with the Pacific Maritime
Association. If they lose, you can bet the PMA will take notice and hit

Most importantly to note is that grain accounts for 30% of the ILWU health
and welfare package. If you lose a third of your bargaining power and your
traditional jurisdiction on port property, what are you left with? Either
no ILWU, or a union that would resemble nothing like what it once was.
There would be little or no collective power up and down the west coast,
and no way to fight for social justice or defend the working class, just
as the ILWU has done for so long, in its entrenched and strategic position
at the gates of international commerce.

Longshoremen have traditionally been a rough and tough bunch, but they
always make sure to educate their members on the importance of history,
unity and the power of collective bargaining. People nowadays forget or
have not been taught their own history, they forget what it means to cross
a picket line, and become a scab the rest of their life. For 30 years or
more we have been sliding downhill, while some would argue unions have
outlived their time. The reality is unions are the last defense when the
imperfect system of checks and balances within our government fails to
serve the interests of the workers.

The class struggle never really goes away. Right now the rich and the
ruling class are attempting to deal a blow that labor might never recover
from. The ILWU has always been the vanguard of labor everywhere. Today,
the ILWU’s value of “An Injury to One, Is an Injury to All” couldn’t be
any more pertinent for all organizations. So please, if you believe in a
better future for the 99% of us that work for a living, do what you can to
support ILWU Local 21.

“The most important word in the language of the working class is
solidarity.”– Harry Bridges

In Solidarity,

Kyle Mackey, Secretary/Treasurer Cowlitz -Wahkiakum Counties Central Labor
ILWU Local 21 Member

RESOLUTION of the Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Counties (Washington ) Central Labor
Council –
Adopted January 2, 2012

Whereas: the ILWU has always been at the forefront in the struggle for
social justice and better working conditions. And,

Whereas: ILWU Local 21 has inspired working people worldwide. And,

Whereas: ILWU jurisdiction is under an unprecedented attack. And,

Whereas: It is clear to all working people that EGT is seeking to race to
the bottom and destroy a long history of good family wage jobs throughout
the area. And,

Whereas: The Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Counties Central Labor Council, hereinafter
called the council, recognize the blatant union busting tactics of EGT, as
well, the danger of losing the ILWU as a powerful ally for the working
class. And,

Be it Resolved: that this Council call out to friends of labor and the
“99%” everywhere to come to the aid of ILWU Local 21, and to support them
in any way possible in their fight against multi national conglomerate
EGT. And,

Be it further Resolved: that this Council request that anyone willing to
participate in a community and labor protest in Longview , Washington of
the first EGT grain ship, do so when called upon by this body. And,

Finally be it Resolved: that the Council forward this resolution to all
local unions, the Washington State Labor Council, Oregon Federation of
Labor, California Labor Federation, the AFL-CIO, and all other relevant

Respectfully submitted,

Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Counties Central Labor Council Executive Board

[Note: This is the Central Labor Council for the Longview , WA area.]

Distributed by:

All Unions Committee For Single Payer Health Care–HR 676
c/o Nurses Professional Organization (NPO)
1169 Eastern Parkway, Suite 2218
Louisville, KY 40217
(502) 636 1551