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Shippers under siege

By Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
April 05, 2011

Teamsters turned out on Monday, April 4th, for rallies commemorating the death of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The anniversary was also used to recognize the efforts Dr. King made for organized labor and civil liberty.

This is all well and good, if it hadn’t severely disrupted cargo operations at the Port of Oakland and other ocean cargo gateways nationwide.

As we reported here yesterday, a labor action at Oakland supported by both the Teamsters and International Longshore and Warehouse Union workers had shippers scrambling for distribution alternatives.

These are the same two unions, one must remember, which lobby against independent owner-operators of drayage trucks.

While courting a wide array of “green” constituencies, these tribes hope to end free-market trucking operations at ports nationwide, while creating even higher barriers of entry to industrious entrepreneurs.

At the same time, Boston Teamsters from Local 25 joined other unions to rally in front of the state Republican Party headquarters to “stand in solidarity with workers in Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana, New Hampshire and other states fighting corporate politicians seeking to destroy collective bargaining.”

In Atlanta, Teamsters gathered for a “We Are One” rally at the King Center. In New York City, Local 804 Teamsters rallied in front of the UPS terminal in Manhattan to support the “Stop the War on Workers” efforts. Teamsters turned out in force in Oklahoma City.

Teamsters Local 76 members showed up at Harrisburg, and other Teamsters rallied in Philadelphia. There were rallies all over Ohio, including a solidarity rally at Local 957 in Dayton and at the Greater Abyssinian Baptist Church in Cleveland, co-sponsored by Local 507.

Teamster members of Local 364 marched from the South Bend Civil Rights Heritage Center in Indiana to a “Respect Our Rights” rally later that day. Teamsters from Local 630 in Los Angeles were at an IBEW Solidarity rally last night. That was just one of 20 solidarity rallies held in California.

On the East Coast, Longshoremen (ILA) on the ports of Charleston, Savannah, Ft. Lauderdale, Mobile, Philadelphia, and Bayonne flew the Wisconsin flag.

College students and professors are hosting more than 175 teach-ins across the country.

In Syracuse, New York, people stood at 40 intersections to talk to people in their cars the war on workers. In Raleigh, North Carolina, a 15-minute silent protest was held across from the Statehouse.

As this nation struggles back from the Great Recession, one must wonder what really is behind the Big Labor’s agenda. It certainly can’t be job creation. Nor can it be in strengthening our position as a global trade power.

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About the Author

Patrick Burnson
Executive Editor

Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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