ILA Begins Protest Against Loss of Military Cargo in Washington DC and Port of Charleston, South Carolina
Union longshore workers from many Atlantic Coast District Ports are joining forces outside the United States Marine Barracks in Washington, DC to protest the loss of handling military cargo at the Port of Charleston, South Carolina. Hundreds more members of the International Longshoremen's Association are also picketing simultaneously at the Port of Charleston.
Both demonstrations in Washington and the Port of Charleston are to protest the US Marines allowing Portus Stevedoring Company, a Jacksonville-based company, to move its military cargo operation from Jacksonville, Florida to Charleston but bypassing the use of ILA workers in Charleston. The ILA learned that Portus intends to transport members of the International Union of Operating Engineers and, perhaps even non-union workers, aboard the vessel Lewis and Clark, and have these non-ILA members work the ship at Joint Base Charleston beginning on Monday.
For the past several months, International Vice President Kenneth Riley, ILA military consultant General Patrick Kelly and our ILA staff in Washington has been trying to resolve this issue with the International Union of Operating Engineers. We have been in frequent contact with the leadership of the AFL-CIO, the Seafarers International Union and other AFL-CIO affiliates to support our campaign.
Following Monday's demonstration, the ILA protesters in Washington will join their Sister and Brother ILA members for the remainder of the week at the Port of Charleston, South Carolina to protest near the Lewis and Clark vessel at Joint Base Charleston.
The protest in Washington at U.S. Marine Barracks, Eight Street and "I" (Eye) Street, Washington, DC continues until 2 p.m. today