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Peter McGraw, spokesman for the Port of Seattle, tells Seattle Weekly that he's taking a threat of a "total West Coast port shutdown" by Occupy

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Occupy Oakland Votes to Shut Down Entire West Coast Port System on Dec. 12

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Peter McGraw, spokesman for the Port of Seattle, tells Seattle Weekly that he's taking a threat of a "total West Coast port shutdown" by Occupy and labor protestors to "very seriously."

The threat was announced via a resolution passed by the Occupy Oakland "general assembly", which cited the ongoing fight between Port of Longview union workers at the port's EGT company as one of the main reasons for demanding the work stoppage.

The group released the following call to action, which was picked up by numerous Indy Media sites:

We call on each West Coast occupation to organize a mass mobilization to shut down its local port. Our eyes are on the continued union-busting and attacks on organized labor, in particular the rupture of Longshoremen jurisdiction in Longview Washington by the EGT. Already, Occupy Los Angeles has passed a resolution to carry out a port action on the Port Of Los Angeles on December 12th, to shut down SSA terminals, which are owned by Goldman Sachs.

Occupy Oakland expands this call to the entire West Coast, and calls for continuing solidarity with the Longshoremen in Longview Washington in their ongoing struggle against the EGT. The EGT is an international grain exporter led by Bunge LTD, a company constituted of 1% bankers whose practices have ruined the lives of the working class all over the world, from Argentina to the West Coast of the US. During the November 2nd General Strike, tens of thousands shutdown the Port Of Oakland as a warning shot to EGT to stop its attacks on Longview. Since the EGT has disregarded this message, and continues to attack the Longshoremen at Longview, we will now shut down ports along the entire West Coast.

Participating occupations are asked to ensure that during the port shutdowns the local arbitrator rules in favor of longshoremen not crossing community picket lines in order to avoid recriminations against them. Should there be any retaliation against any workers as a result of their honoring pickets or supporting our port actions, additional solidarity actions should be prepared. In the event of police repression of any of the mobilizations, shutdown actions may be extended to multiple days.

In Solidarity and Struggle,

Occupy Oakland

McGraw says that the local port is doing all it can to prepare to a possible work-stopping protest, but it will be up to port workers whether they heed Occupy Oakland's call.

A union worker with ILWU Local 19, which has been at the center of the heated labor battle in Longview, said he hadn't heard about the work stoppage, but felt that it would be "against our contract." The worker, who asked not to be identified, forwarded a message to ILWU president Cameron Williams for further comment.

A spokesperson for the Port of Longview wasn't immediately available.

More on this as it becomes available.

 
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