Hi Sam, Since you’ve been speaking of worker action, I just wanted to clue you in: The International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) has threatened to call a “day of action” to shut down ports along the East and Gulf coasts to protest “government interference” in hiring practices and job losses on the docks. The union is expected to soon announce the date (*probably march 10*) for the work stoppage, which would also include a march on Washington, DC. This action is under review at other union ports on the US west coast and around the world.
The complete story can be found here: https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/02/27/dock-f27.html
The call for a work stoppage follows a number of recent job actions, including a one-day unsanctioned walkout in New York and New Jersey in January, 2016 and a slowdown at the Port of Charleston, South Carolina earlier this year. Internationally the situation is just as volatile. Most recently, 6,000 Spanish dockworkers have carried out protests and are preparing to strike in March to defend jobs against attacks by employers and the Spanish and EU governments. Over the past month, informal negotiations resumed between the ILA and the United States Maritime Alliance, which represents employers, well in advance of the September, 2018 contract expiration. The main issues, according to the ILA, are ensuring local contracts are settled concurrently with the master contract and preventing full terminal automation.