In response to present plans to have armed Coast Guard vessels escorting the STX PanOcean grain carrier:
January 19, 2012
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear President Obama:
With over 4,500 members of the NC Public Service Workers Union- UE local 150 aware of the sad and disturbing news about the planned use of U.S. military to intervene on the side of management in a crucial labor dispute in the state of Washington, our entire Executive Board voted to urge you not to use our government’s military to intervene in this dispute. We unanimously condemn such intervention.
In December 2008, workers across the U.S. and world had hope. When you stood with workers against unfair treatment and union busting during the sit-in (occupation) of the Republic Windows and Doors manufacturing plant in Chicago. We urge you to stand up again with the longshore workers like Dr. King stood with the City of Memphis sanitation workers on April 4th, 1968.
Over the past few months, we have read how the International Longshoremen Workers Union is targeted by “Big Business”at the Port of Longview, Washington. A powerful multinational company, EGT, is attempting to operate as the West Coast’s only non-union facility, despite promising otherwise after receiving millions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies to build its grain exporting terminal.
It is reported that Coast Guard ships and helicopters will be used to escort this ship after it fills up with grains. As working people in the midst of the current economic crisis of budget cuts in public service programs, schools and public sector jobs, we are angry that our government is using our tax dollars and our military to assist such union busting tactics that continues to lower working people’s standard of living !
Mr. President, we voted for “hope” and “change”. As Commander in Chief, we call upon you to order the Coast Guard and all government military forces to not interfere on the side of management in this labor dispute.
Workers know that hope, which we believe in and that Dr. King believed in, is based on our action as well as your action in ordering the military to stand down. Honor Dr. King with action…Stand down.
Angaza Laughinghouse, President
N.C. Public Service Workers Union-UE Local 150
Pres. Bruce Kipple, National United Electrical Radio & Machinists Workers of America
Pres. Deb Gornall, U.E. Regional
Pres. James Andrews, NC AFL-CIO
Brad Miller, U.S. Congress
Pres. Rich Trumka, AFL-CIO
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