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ILWU Locals Initiate Actions on Juneteenth
Source Alan Benjamin
Date 20/06/16/18:22

ILWU Locals 10, 34, 75 and 91 Call on Unions in the United States and Internationally to Join Them and Initiate Actions on Juneteenth, June 19, 2020 to Stop Police Terror and End Systemic Racism

The entire International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Coast Longshore Division will stop work and shut down all 29 West Coast ports from Bellingham, Washington to San Diego, California for eight hours on Juneteenth – June 19 – the holiday celebrating the end of slavery in the United States.

“In the 157 years since the Emancipation Proclamation,” noted the ILWU Coast Longshore Committee, "changes necessary to end systemic racism have come slowly or not at all, as the murder of Mr. George Floyd on May 25, 2020 demonstrated."

“The time is now to use our power for our union to shut down all West Coast ports in solidarity against racism and repression,” declared Trent Willis, President ILWU Local 10; Keith Shanklin, President ILWU Local 34; Billy Kepo’O, President ILWU Local 91; and Ryan Murphy, Secretary-Treasurer/Business Agent, ILWU Local 75, in a united voice.

“We think that the most effective way to stop police terror,” stated Clarence Thomas, past Secretary-Treasurer, ILWU Local 10 and co-convener of the Million Worker March in 2004, “is by the working class taking action at the point of production.” Thomas continued, “If the working class is to be heard, labor must shut it down.”

The Bay Area ILWU locals 10, 34, 75 and 91 have issued a call to unions in the United States and internationally to join them and initiate actions on Juneteenth to Stop Police Terror and End Systemic Racism. These ILWU locals, together with other ILWU locals up and down the coast, are joining forces with community organizations, class struggle groups, and youth activists to prepare massive car caravans, marches and rallies in their respective communities.

The Juneteenth protest follows on the heels of the Tuesday, June 9, 2020 action, when the men and women of the ILWU Coast Longshore Division, the International Longshoremen’s Association, AFL-CIO (ILA), International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 808, the Farm Labor Organizing Committee, AFL-CIO (FLOC), along with workers — organized and unorganized — across the United States and internationally stopped work and laid down their tools for an 8 minutes 46 second vigil of silence to honor the memory of George Floyd and all those murdered at the hands of THE police.

Now is the time to act.

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