The Townsville community today rallied in support of the Longview Dockers - a group of Washington State waterfront workers under attack from an unscrupulous employer for the simple act of standing up for their jobs and their rights.
A community delegation supported by the International Transport Workers’ Federation gathered at the Townsville Port in front of the New Accord, a ship owned by the parent company of the firm unfairly attacking the Longview Dockers.
ITF Australian Co-Ordinator Dean Summers said the rally was a demonstration of solidarity, to show multinational shipping company STX Pan Ocean that the Longview Dockers have global support.
“The treatment meted out to the Longview Dockers by EGT and its parent company STX Pan Ocean in Washington State is nothing short of horrendous,” Mr Summers said.
“Today we’re gathering in Townsville to show the Longview Dockers that they have the support and solidarity of their brothers and sisters around the world.
“We will not stand idly by and ignore bullying of trade unionists. No one should face threats and intimidation for standing up for basic rights.”
Concerned by EGT’s reluctance to guarantee local jobs, the Dockers were peacefully protesting at railroad tracks in Longview on September 9, blocking a grain train on its way to EGT’s loading facility.
They were then detained by police in riot gear.
The ITF has vowed to support the Longview Dockers in their campaign for justice.
“There’s a crucial principle at stake here. Multinational companies must not feel that they can simply waltz into a community and tear it to pieces,” Mr Summers said.
“We will defend jobs, communities and families wherever and whenever it is necessary.”