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Resolution by the California Labor Federation,

August 1998 - Resolution in Defense of the Right to Picket and act in Solidarity

Whereas, the California Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO has always resisted attacks on organized labor's freedom of association, its First Amendment rights of free speech and assembly, the right to picket and honor picket lines and the right to act in solidarity for social justice and workers' rights, and

Whereas, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union has consistently held high labor's banner, "An injury to one is an injury to all" implementing this basic labor principle, by supporting oppressed workers internationally, whether under the gun of South African apartheid or the right-wing military dictatorships of Chile and El Salvador; and

Whereas, presently the ILWU is currently under legal attack from the Pacific Maritime Association, the employer organization representing global shipowners and stevedoring companies, because longshore workers here in the port of Oakland refused last year to cross a picket line of labor activists (against the containership Neptune Jade with scab cargo from England) in support of the Liverpool dockworkers, themselves waging an international struggle against unionbusting, and

Whereas, before the court hearing the California Labor Federation, AFL-CIO passed a resolution in support of the Neptune Jade defendants, and

Whereas, the California Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO helped turn out Bay Area organized labor turned out in force in downtown Oakland on February 26, 1998 to demand the charges be dropped and to protest the PMA's strategy of harassment and intimidation, using McCarthyite tactics to demand defendants "name names" of individuals and unions involved in the protest, and

Whereas, in the wake of this mass labor demonstration Judge Henry Needham Jr., on March 4, dismissed the charges against all but picket captain Robert Irminger, citing their right to exercise the First Amendment, and

Whereas, the PMA, intent on halting future ILWU actions of international labor solidarity and as part of a campaign by global maritime employers to break dockworkers unions around the world has raised the ante, adding new plaintiffs and going to court on July 22, 1998, to compel the ILWU International and ILWU Locals 10 and 34 to turn over internal union documents to gather evidence against Irminger and other possible defendants,

Therefore be it resolved that the California Labor Federation, AFL-CIO condemns PMA's anti-union attack and its witch hunt tactics with the full weight of the organized labor movement and demands that this case be dropped once and for all and be it finally

Resolved that the California Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO reaffirms its support of workers' First Amendment rights and the right to picket and honor picket lines in solidarity with other workers.