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Seattle City Council members: PMA's 'destructive negotiating tactic' has cost the US economy up to $2 billion a day

Support for ILWU from members of the Seattle City Council

Download a PDF of the letter by clicking on the image.

Dear James C. McKenna:

We would like to express our strong disappointment in the Pacific Maritime Association’s (PMA) decision to repeatedly suspend port activity along the West Coast. These temporary lockouts are a destructive negotiating tactic that has caused shipments to be delayed in Seattle and other port cities.

To increase the profits of a few multinational corporations, you have cost the US economy up to $2 billion a day and made longshore workers lose wages. The PMA has blamed the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) for the shipping backlog. If you are concerned about these delays, however, why impose these lockouts, and why were crane crews cut last month?

In Seattle, the port workers and their unions, ILWU Local 19 and others, have proved that they will not accept a contract that fails to protect Seattle workers. When you sent each worker home two hours into their shift, the ILWU refused to be intimidated, and they will not be intimidated by weekend and holiday lockouts either. They have learned that when workers stand together, they can win.

Please accept the reasonable demands of the ILWU. There must be no more lockouts, no more intimidation, and no more attempts to hold our economy hostage. As long as our longshore workers are locked out, we will be supporting their efforts to achieve a fair settlement.


Councilmember Kshama Sawant
Councilmember Nick Licata
Councilmember Mike O’Brien

PDF of this letter available at this link


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