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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

November 13, 2014 at 3:40 PM

Idle West Coast ports: Hurting U.S. economy

Once again the intransigence and greed of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union hold hostage not just West Coast ports, but the entire American economy [“Congestion at ports rattles growers, importers and truckers,” Business, Nov. 11]. No doubt goods destined for stores nationwide, including New Jersey where I now live, are on container ships subject to the union’s slowdown.

Since the days when it was led by admitted communist Harry Bridges, the ILWU hasn’t given a fig or a farthing about any interests but its own.

More than two years ago, it engaged in criminal conduct to disrupt grain shipments at the Port of Longview — conduct for which its international president was found guilty in a court of law. The most recent labor dispute, with its refusal to identify the real issues or engage in mediation, shows that the union leopard hasn’t changed its spots.

The best way to face down a bully is to confront him. It’s time for the Pacific Maritime Association to advertise in West Coast newspapers, radio stations and on the Internet recruiting for replacement workers. Then, the PMA should lock out the union and use the replacements to unload the ships so that their goods can get to market.

Scott St. Clair, Belleville, N.J.

Comments | More in Port of Seattle | Topics: International Longshore and Warehouse Union, Pacific Maritime Association, Scott St. Clair

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