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ILWU Local 10 Shuts Port In Solidarity With Wisconsin Workers

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OAKLAND, Calif. -- Labor unions marked the 43rd anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination Monday with a day of marches and rallies, celebrating his message of peace and equality. Organizers from the San Francisco Labor Council anticipated about 1,500 union members at the meet-up in front of the former Bank of America building, who would then march through the streets of San Francisco to the Federal Reserve building for a rally.

ILWU Local 10 Shuts Port In Solidarity With Wisconsin Workers-Thousands Of Union Workers Protest Labor Backlash

Thousands Of Union Workers Protest Labor Backlash

Christien Kafton/KTVU
April 4, 2011

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Labor unions marked the 43rd anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination Monday with a day of marches and rallies, celebrating his message of peace and equality.

Organizers from the San Francisco Labor Council anticipated about 1,500 union members at the meet-up in front of the former Bank of America building, who would then march through the streets of San Francisco to the Federal Reserve building for a rally.

Labor unions all around the bay marched, including hundreds of union members from Solano and Contra Costa counties who crossed the Carquinez Bridge to meet up in the middle.

Leaders of the march said that the recent passing of bills in Wisconsin and Ohio that strip unions of collective bargaining rights showed that organized labor was under attack.

“They've targeted the labor movement and the workers that have a good job, maybe good benefits saying they're the cause of the economic problems in this country,” said Jon Riley of the Napa-Solano Labor Council. “Nothing could be further from the truth.”

Union leaders and religious leaders say Martin Luther King's legacy is inextricably tied to the labor movement, pointing to the fact that King was assassinated while he was lending his voice to striking sanitation workers in Memphis.

“It had nothing to do with race, and so this is why we're here as a faith community, saying this has nothing to do with race, it has everything to do with marching for the rights to collective bargaining,” said Rev. David Isom of the St. Stephen CME Church.

At the port of Oakland earlier that day, trucks sat idling and work ground to a stop because of the union event.

A spokesman for the International Longshore and Warehouse Union confirmed they halted work in support of their fellow union members in Wisconsin and Ohio.

The move left independent truck drivers grumbling that the one day work stoppage left them out in the cold.

“Screws up our whole day, don't even know if we're going to get home. It's idiotic,” said J.T., a truck driver.

http://transportworkers.org/node/1756

http://www.ktvu.com/news/27429947/detail.html

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