How Occupy Can Work with Labor to Win, A West Coast Story

February 24th, 2012

In a great story on, Josh Edelson details how OWS helped support the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) in their battle against EGT, a multinational conglomerate, who had tried to bust the union. While EGT had fought against the ILWU for over a year, the militant union fought back.

A victory by EGT would have emboldened employers up and down the coast to seek to free themselves of ILWU influence.  And if the union — with the help of the Occupy movement — had not defied the law, EGT would have succeeded.

The Longview struggle began last March when, after initial discussions with ILWU Local 21, EGT announced its intention to run its new grain terminal without them.  The ILWU held protest rallies, and joined the Port of Longview’s lawsuit charging that EGT was bound by the union’s contract with the publicly owned port.  The union may have had a good legal case.  But so did Washington’s Boeing workers when their boss blamed their strikes for its decision to take new work to South Carolina. Boeing mostly got away with it anyway.