ILWU members organized a coordinated group of solidarity actions on March 19 to support the 292 workers who were recently – and illegally – sacked by the Ports of Auckland, Ltd. In New Zealand.
In each location, ILWU members delivered a letter explaining how the use of bribery and sackings by Ports of Auckland, Ltd is an abusive tactic that is illegal in the United States and many other nations.
In Washington, DC, a letter of concern was delivered to the Ambassador at New Zealand’s Embassy by a delegation that included ILWU International Secretary-Treasurer Willie Adams, International Executive Board and Local 63 member Peter Peyton, and Local 10 member Adam Mendez.
In Los Angeles, ILWU Local 13 Vice President Bobby Olvera, Jr., led a delegation of 35 members to the New Zealand Consulate in Santa Monica. A group of representatives had a 15-minute meeting with the Consul General, who promised to directly convey our concerns to his home office.
In Oakland, California, a delegation delivered their letter of concern to Port of Oakland Deputy Executive Director Jean Banker. The delegation was led by ILWU International Vice President, Mainland, Ray Familathe, Local 34 President Sean Farley, and Local 10 Secretary-Treasurer Ed Ferris.
In Portland, Oregon, ILWU Local 8 President Jeff Smith and Local 8 member Mike Gardner delivered a letter of concern to Port of Portland official Dan Pippenger.
In Tacoma, Washington, the ILWU delegation of 15 members was led by Local 23 President Scott Mason who delivered a letter of concern to Don Esterbrook, Chief Commercial Officer at the Port of Tacoma. Port CEO John Wolfe later confirmed he would make contact with the Port Authority in Auckland to convey concern and request a satisfactory resolution.
In Seattle, Washington, the delegation was led by Local 52 President Andrea Stevenson and Local 19 President Cameron Williams. Their delegation met with Seattle Port Commissioner Rob Holland. The group also communicated with Port of Seattle CEO Tay Toshitani.