(Occupy Portland) PORTLAND, Ore. – Today, rank and file union members, non-union workers, the unemployed, the retired, veterans, and other members of the 99% march on,”Wall Street on the Waterfront” at the Port of Portland. Organizers expect hundreds of people to mobilize to engage in a moving community picket of the terminals at the port, effectively shutting down the ports on this day.
The West Coast Port Shut Down specifically aims to disrupt business-as-usual for Wall Streeton the Waterfront.
Goldman Sachs, a well know Wall Street institution, is the majority shareholder of Stevedore Services of America (SSA), which provides services, equipment and labor at Terminal 2, and full operational management at Terminal 5 at the Port of Portland.LA port truck drivers are in a labor struggle with SSA for what the drivers term a ‘sweatshop on wheels’. 17,000 truck drivers are on strike in Los Angeles to demand their right to organize and for safe working conditions.
EGT is a multinational grain export corporation and another target of this action. Bunge Ltd is the largest partner in EGT who reported $2.5 billion in profit in 2010 and has direct ties to Wall Street. Locally, EGT is refusing to honor the Longshore worker union contract in Longview, WA.
“By shutting down work at the ports this one more day that Goldman Sachs and Wall Street firms are unable to create profit,” said Kari Koch, organizer with Shut Down the Ports Working Group of Occupy Portland. “We are picketing to say, Enough! We will not stand for corporate profits at the expense of working people, we will not stand for attacks on workers, and we will not allow our schools to be closed, social services slashed, and families to be impoverished by your greed!”
The community picket is organized by Occupy Portland with the support of rank and file union members. Occupy Portland has been engaging directly with rank and file port workers multiple times a day during the organizing; and numerous rank and file union members are active in the working group.
“The support from workers at the port has been incredible. We were out at the ports talking to workers multiple times a day during the organizing of this action and today we see them honoring the community picket,” says Jordan McIntyre rank and file union painter “Occupy is a place for union members, non-union, and the unemployed to gather together to change the inequality of wealth and power in our system.”
The Portland action is part of a West Coast Port shut down movement that is historic in scope. The West Coast Port Shut Down demonstrates a notable level of coordination between at least 30 different occupy movements across the country, including Oakland, Eugene, Seattle, Vancouver BC, Anchorage, and Longview, beyond the West Coast, Houston, TX, Honolulu, HI, and the Doro-Chiba railway workers in Japan will participate.