Occupying the Ports? #Occupy’s War on the Working Class

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The Occupy movement intends to shutdown ports on the West Coast tomorrow, Monday, December 12. OccupySD plans are listed here. There stated aim is to draw attention to “unfair and unjust business practices of multinational corporations.” That there is a nexus between multinationals and the ports is left to the imagination of the reader. They also claim that their purpose includes:

– our picket lines are picket lines organized by working class people, in solidarity with fellow workers

One problem with that assertion is that the unions aren’t too happy. From the SF Chronicle.

“Support is one thing,” Robert McEllrath, president of the International Longshoreman and Warehouse Union, wrote to his members last week. “Outside groups attempting to co-opt our struggle in order to advance a broader agenda is quite another and one that is destructive to our democratic process.”

Not the 1 percent

The Alameda County Building and Construction Trades Council’s secretary-treasurer, Andreas Cluver, said many of his union’s workers were recently hired at port building projects after long stretches on unemployment. Given that, a port shutdown aimed at punishing the 1 percent “makes no sense,” he said.

He said no union at the port supports the shutdown.

“We’re extremely supportive of the message of Occupy Oakland, and we did come out to support the Nov. 2 general strike, but we’re not behind this one,” Cluver said. “When working people aren’t involved in the decision on whether to shut down their jobs at the port, that’s problematic. And we weren’t consulted. Losing a day of wages is hard.”

Also, given that this protest is planned for a Monday, is this really a protest of working people? Or maybe its a protest against working people for their effrontery in working for big corporations in order to put food on the table for their families. It seems that the #OWS and its affiliate’s protests are actually a war against those who work, regardless of their “percent” by the leisured class of those who subsist off the generosity of our society.


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