Carpenters' Local 156 letter to ILWU
Originally posted at Longshore & Shipping News.
Dear brothers and sisters:
We send this letter to express our support of your struggles with EGT in Longview. We are humbled by your passion and commitment to securing work for your members. All members and leaders in organized labor should take note of your efforts.
As members of the working class, we must stand together in all clashes between Labor and Employer. Labor must stop taking the wrong path as we have so many times in the past of fighting each other on behalf of the employing class. The struggle with EGT is a prime example. Early on, EGT was feeling pressure from all of labor for turning their back to the ILWU, but as we have all too often, and to our detriment, we have made this a fight of Labor versus Labor. This tactic by EGT has been played out by employers for all history and has been the leading cause of struggles of the Labor Movement.
The ILWU has been a beacon for all workers in the fight for a better life through conditions at work. The ILWU has long been the first members of Organized Labor to join a struggle and support workers around the world in their times of need. Now is the time for ALL of Organized Labor to stand with you in this time of need. The members of Carpenters Local 156 understand the gravity of this struggle as much more than gaining a few jobs for its members. This is a line in the sand where all of labor wakens to the attempt of the employing class to erode the rights and working conditions around the world by continuously pitting one group against another.
The members of Operating Engineers Local 701 have been the best friends and biggest supporters of Carpenters in Oregon and SW Washington. That relationship will continue as the members of Local 156 will support Local 701 in all of their struggles with management. With the benefit of this close relationship, we must be the ones to point out when one of us is choosing the wrong path. Local 156 appreciates the attempts of Local 701 to secure more work for its members. However, in this situation Local 701 is doing more harm long term, for its members and all the Labor Movement.
An injury to one is an injury to all. This must be something more than just a saying or a logo we print on stickers and shirts. When all of us in the struggle of the Working Class embrace this as a belief and not just a motto, refuse to take on a fight on behalf of Management, and make decisions with the concern for all in the Labor Movement, and not just in a short term benefit to a select few, as a goal, we will truly see the power we hold and the tremendous change we can affect with it.
Good luck in your continued struggle and best wishes for a positive outcome. Please know that you have the support and deepest gratitude of the members of Local 156 and all of us in the Labor Movement.
On behalf of the members and Executive Board of Carpenters Local 156