ILWU President: What Gridlock? Don’t Listen to PMA’s Bulls***!

Ships gather off the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, California as a sailboat makes it way past them in this aerial photo taken February 6, 2015. REUTERS/Bob Riha Jr
Ships gather off the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, California as a sailboat makes it way past them in this aerial photo taken February 6, 2015. REUTERS/Bob Riha Jr

International Longshore and Warehouse Union President Robert McEllrath has released a strongly-worded video message to the ILWU membership on the ongoing stalled contract negotiations with the Pacific Maritime Association.

In the video, McEllrath accuses the PMA of using lies and tactics to turn the public and locals against them, as well as union members against each other. But McEllrath’s message is clear: stay united and “do not listen PMA’s bulls***!”

Here McEllrath’s full message below, released February 11, 2015:

This week, ILWU fought back against PMA’s claims of complete gridlock at southern California ports by releasing ariel photos showing “sufficient space” for containers at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

“PMA is leaving ships at sea and claiming there’s no space on the docks, but there are acres of asphalt just waiting for the containers on those ships, and hundreds of longshore workers ready to unload them,” said McEllrath in a statement released earlier this week. “The employers are deliberately worsening the existing congestion crisis to gain the upper hand at the bargaining table.”

Today, PMA members began its 4-day suspension of vessel loading and unloading at all 29 of the west coast ports it represents, accusing ILWU of initiating worker slowdowns that have severely diminished productivity. The suspension is scheduled for Thursday and Saturday through Monday, which coincides with “premium-pay” weekend and holiday vessel operations.

Here are the photos that the ILWU says show “what the PMA doesn’t want the public to see.”

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Photos taken Saturday, Feb. 6, 2015, at LB 94 and LBCT, by a team of longshore workers: Pilot Rollo Hartstrom from Local 13, and photographer Bill Kirk from Local 94. Courtesy ILWU