The Militant (logo)  

Vol. 76/No. 17      April 30, 2012

Longshore union hall
in Wash. is attacked
(front page)
LONGVIEW, Wash.—On the night of April 9, the headquarters of International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 21 here was broken into, robbed and vandalized. Union funds were stolen from a safe and three office computers were taken. Graffiti in red spray paint was written on the union office walls, table and trophy case. The graffiti said “F--k ILWU,” “ILWU Scabs” and “ILWU F-gs.” The stolen computers were found in a dumpster not far from the union hall.

Following an eight-month struggle, the Longshore union won a victory against EGT Development’s effort to shut the union out of its grain terminal at the Port of Longview. At the end of January, EGT recognized the ILWU as the representative for workers in its terminal and the union’s members have been working there since the first week of February.

According to Dan Coffman, president of ILWU Local 21, the break-in was discovered around 6:30 a.m. April 10 by two union members. The unionists immediately called the police and Coffman. When Coffman arrived 45 minutes later from his home 30 miles away there were still no cops. The police sent a parking meter enforcement officer to take a report nearly an hour after the call, according to Coffman.

“We have no idea why anyone would attack the union hall, but we want an investigation,” Coffman told the Militant.

On April 11 some 40 unionists gathered to show support for ILWU member Ronald Stavis, who began his 22-day jail sentence in Kelso, Wash., on trespassing and other trumped-up charges stemming from a Sept. 8 union protest at EGT’s terminal.

“We came out today to have a show of solidarity and support for our member who stood up for the union,” Coffman said. “There are two sets of rules in this country. You can have bankers that steal millions of dollars and don’t see any jail time. But we will continue to fight to defend our union and our members.”

At the same time, county prosecutor Sue Baur is moving ahead with the frame-up charges against two more unionists related to union protest activity during the battle against EGT’s union busting.

Felony charges are pending against Conner McLeod and William “Sonny” Halladay. McLeod’s charges come from the Sept. 8 port protest. Halladay is charged with endangering a train during a Sept. 21 protest at the EGT terminal. At the time, Halladay was operating a log loader separated by a fence from the tracks where the union protest was taking place. Both men are scheduled to go to trial next month.
Related articles:
Port truckers in L.A. win union recognition battle
16 month lockout ends at NY apartment complex  
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