When I think of unions, I think of Teamsters, United Auto Workers and the Longshoremen. All three "were" great, strong unions. This is a great article filled with history and detail about what is going on with ILWU. This union as many of you know captures my attention because I grew up not far from the LA Harbor and had two relatives that were longshoremen. I think what is going on with the ILWU is exactly what is going on with the UAW members and the IBT members. An agonizing death of what were once proud unions.

In early July, 120 mostly poor and immigrant port truckers set up picket lines at three trucking companies in LA-Long Beach Harbor, extending their longstanding campaign to unionize. The next day, workers from the powerful and historically militant International Longshore and Warehouse Union honored the truckers’ picket by walking off their jobs, immediately shutting down three waterfront terminals.

The dockworkers had found themselves contractually free to refuse to cross the port truckers’ line, when their union’s agreement with the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) had expired a short time before.

But almost immediately, a waterfront arbitrator ordered the longshoremen back to work. The ILWU had suddenly and without warning extended their agreement with the PMA for three days. Following the rules of their own contract, the union told its members to cross the truckers’ pickets and return to their jobs.