NO ADVERTISING, GOVERNMENT OR CORPORATE FUNDING
DONATE TODAY


  October 17, 2013

Longshoreman Strike Shuts Down Port of Baltimore


Port of Baltimore Shutdown: Longshoremen in solidarity with nationwide labor struggle
Members don't see ads. If you are a member, and you're seeing this appeal, click here
   


Audio

Share to Facebook Share to Twitter



I support The Real News Network because it is not Conservative, it is not Liberal; it is Real. - David Pear
Log in and tell us why you support TRNN


biography

Jaisal Noor is a producer for The Real News Network. His stories have appeared on Democracy Now!, Free Speech Radio News and other independent news outlets. Jaisal was raised in the Baltimore-area, and has a degree in history from the University of Maryland, College Park.


transcript

Longshoreman Strike Shuts Down Port of BaltimoreJAISAL NOOR, TRNN PRODUCER: This is the port of Baltimore, where some 1,300 longshoremen went on strike at midnight Wednesday. The union local no. 333 shut down the port after contract negotiations stalled with the Steamship Trade Association. The port handles more than 30 million tons of cargo per year as the 11th-largest port in the united states.

The Real News spoke to some of the striking longshoreman, who say they've been working without a contract since 2010.

ALONZO KEYS, LONGSHOREMAN, ILA LOCAL NO. 333: The problem is, the conditions don't change. We seek better conditions. We want to work in a safer environment. We want an opportunity to be more productive. And if the contract doesn't allow for those changes, we can't arbitrarily change anything.

NOOR: About 2,000 dock workers are affected by the strike, according to The Baltimore Sun.

CBS News reported that Richard Scher, a Maryland Port Administration spokesman, said: "The Port Administration is hopeful that the Steamship Trade Association and the ILA would be able to sit down and come to an agreement. The Port of Baltimore is the only port from Maine to Texas not working today, and it's very regrettable. Attempts are being made to have discussions today, and hopefully they are successful."

The Real News contacted the Steamship Trade Association but did not receive a response.

Bill Barry is the retired director of labor studies at the Community College of Baltimore, Dundalk. He argues the United States Maritime Alliance is using the expansion of the Panama Canal as an excuse to demand union concessions.

BILL BARRY, RETIRED DIRECTOR OF LABOR STUDIES, CCBC DUNDALK: Well, what's happening here is a local strike which is part of a nationwide negotiation, East Coast negotiation by the Longshoremen's Association. And as I said, it's intensified by the expanding of the Panama Canal and the changing of the industry, because ships will now, which normally would only go to the Pacific Coast ports, will now come here. And so the Maritime Institute seems to have felt that this is a time where they need to go after the union, both on a national level on issues of wages and benefits, and then on a local level. And the strike here is over local issues. And every large national negotiations involves two levels, one of which is the money and the benefits, which is done industry-wide, and in this case up and down the East Coast, plus local issues, which vary from region to region, local to local.

KEYS: If you permit those greedy corporate raiders or the people who are in corporate America to have their way, they're going to manipulate it so that again we are at the bottom of the totem pole. And it is un-American, what they're doing. They want us to work like sweatshop workers. You know what I mean? They want us to work for inferior wages. They don't want us to have an opportunity to educate ourselves and our family. It is indicative of what's happening across the United States right now. And it's not just Baltimore. It's Wisconsin. You know what I mean? It's New Jersey. It's all those states where the wealthiest of Americans are just bastardizing the rights of the rest of us, the 99 percent.

NOOR: Some are critical of the strikers and say their actions will have a detrimental impact on the city's economy. But the longshoremen we talked to said they're willing to maintain the strike because their fight is part of the bigger struggle.

ANDRE HOLDEN, LONGSHOREMAN, ILA LOCAL NO. 333: They want us, the working people, to fight among each other with respect to race, sexism, classism. They want us to be always competing so they can just reap the rewards. You know, I mean, I can give you another example. Look at Walmart. They don't want to pay the people their fair wages and benefits. Look at the fast food industry. They know that they're making millions of dollars, and they don't wanna pay them people fair living wages. It is a scheme to try to undercut the American way. I believe they are the traitors of this country.

NOOR: At the time of publishing, its unclear just how long the strike may last.

Reporting for The Real News, this is Jaisal Noor with Anton Woronczuk.

End

DISCLAIMER: Please note that transcripts for The Real News Network are typed from a recording of the program. TRNN cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.



Comments

Our automatic spam filter blocks comments with multiple links and multiple users using the same IP address. Please make thoughtful comments with minimal links using only one user name. If you think your comment has been mistakenly removed please email us at contact@therealnews.com

latest stories

Supreme Court Strikes Down Texas's Repressive Anti-Abortion Bill
Imagine a Decentralized Movement, Independent of the DNC, with a Hundred Times the Fundraising and Volunteer Power - People for Bernie Co-Founder
Lapavitsas: The Left Needs to Develop an Alternative Plan for Europe
Extreme Heatwaves, More Wildfires, and Dying Trees
Nina Turner: The Oligarchy Must Be Challenged by Everyday People
Sanders Delegate: People Understand that the System Is Rigged in Favor of the Billionaire Class
The Empire Files: Untold History of Imperial Japan & the Bomb
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard: I Remain Concerned about Clinton's Interventionist Foreign Policy
How Western Military Interventions Shaped the Brexit Vote
Sanders Delegate: Climate Change and the Israeli Occupation Must be Raised at the Convention
Activist: You Won't Find Justice in an Unjust System
Sanders Delegate - If No Significant Concessions at Dem. Convention, Then There Will be Civil Disobedience Inside and Out
Britain Votes to Leave the European Union
Where's the Anti-War Movement in the 'Political Revolution'?
Would the Cops Be Convicted if #FreddieGray was White?
Historic Ceasefire Agreement Signed in Colombia
Outrage after Officer Accused of Murder in Freddie Gray Case Found Not Guilty of All Charges
To End War in Syria, Adopt "First, Do No Harm" Diplomacy
Police Accountability Suffers Major Blow with Goodson Acquittal
Gun Control Sit-In Political Theater Can Be Used to Our Advantage
Commentary: Oaxaca Teachers Strike Is About Defending The Revolutionary Educational Tradition
The Empire Files: Puerto Rico's Debt to its Oppressors
Can the EU be Reformed from Within?
Green Party Candidate Margaret Flowers on Healthcare, Climate Change, and Community Economics
Kshama Sawant: Attempting to Work Within The Democratic Party Only Stymies Outside Strategy
How Union Contracts Shield Police Departments from DOJ Reforms
Is Foreign Direct Investment Driving Capital Flight from Africa?
RoseAnn DeMoro: Sanders Campaign a Historic Source of Political Education
Naomi Klein on the Ousting of President Rousseff
Nine Killed in Police Crackdown on Oaxaca Teacher's Strike

TheRealNewsNetwork.com, RealNewsNetwork.com, The Real News Network, Real News Network, The Real News, Real News, Real News For Real People, IWT are trademarks and service marks of Independent World Television inc. "The Real News" is the flagship show of IWT and The Real News Network.

All original content on this site is copyright of The Real News Network. Click here for more

Problems with this site? Please let us know

Linux VPS Hosting by Star Dot Hosting