End the Siege of Gaza! Picket the Zim Shanghai Starting September 27 at the Port of Oakland!
Israel and Hamas agreed to a set of conditions for a ceasefire on August 26th, after Israel had killed more than 2,100 Palestinians in Gaza – mostly civilians, more than a quarter children – and destroyed much of Gaza’s infrastructure, housing, hospitals, schools and water supply.
Israel claims it does not “occupy” Gaza, yet it has complete control of Gaza’s land crossings, seacoast and air space. Israel severely restricts Palestinians’ movement and their access to food, medical supplies, and construction materials.
In 1984, protesting against South African Apartheid, the Bay Area longshore workers union, ILWU Local 10, went on strike for 11 days against the Nedlloyd Kimberley, a ship carrying South African cargo.
In 2010, responding to the deadly Israeli attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, Local 10 honored a picket of an Israeli-owned ZIM ship by 1,200 community and labor activists, refusing to unload the ship for 24 hours. In August 2014, Palestinian, community and labor activists, in an historic victory, blocked the Zim Piraeus for five days and forced it to leave the Bay with most of its cargo still on board.
We ask the ILWU to carry on its long historical tradition of opposing injustice and honoring community picket lines. Let’s keep the pressure on and continue this tradition of labor blockades against oppression.
Please come to a sustained community and labor activist picket beginning on September 27th to stop the Zim Shanghai from unloading or loading any cargo – from when it arrives in Oakland until it leaves. This will also send a message to stevedoring companies such as Stevedore Services of America (SSA) who are pushing for concessions right now against longshore workers who are working without a contract.
Picket Lines Mean Don’t Cross!
An Injury to One is an Injury to All!
Solidarity with the Palestinian people!
Stop ZIM Action Committee
Text “Join” to 88202 for alerts on ship location and picket status
A “sustained picket” means we will picket the Zim Shanghai from when it arrives until it leaves the Bay.
Morning assembly: 5am, West Oakland BART (starting September 27th)
Afternoon assembly: 4:30pm, West Oakland BART
Carpools will be available from West Oakland BART to the picket site. The ship is expected at the SSA terminal in the Port.
Typically, each picket will last only a few hours until longshoremen decide not to cross the picket. It may last longer depending on the situation. Volunteers are need for all shifts, but especially morning shifts and the first day (morning of September 27th).
Please check your phone/Twitter/FB for updates on the ship location and picket status, particularly the day before. ZIM may delay the ship’s arrival to avoid picketers.
Unions around the world, including the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions (Gaza) and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) have called for action against Israeli Apartheid.
We are asking that longshore workers honor this picket line as they have done before for the Zim Piraeus, and other ships such as the Nedlloyd Kimberley which carried cargo for the oppressive and discriminatory Apartheid regime of South Africa in the 1980s.
We understand the ILWU is currently in contract negotiations with the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) and that there is no contract in effect at this time. Further, SSA is one of the most aggressive stevedoring employers in the PMA going after the ILWU on work rules and concessions. ILWU longshore workers in the Pacific Northwest have been fired for work stoppages over health and safety violations despite the fact that there is no contract in effect. Working now under no contract as negotiations continue, there is more opportunity and reason to take action on behalf of workers and the community.
There is no arbitration procedure without a contract and longshore workers cannot be compelled to cross a labor and community picket line to comply with a contract. Honoring a picket line of the Israeli shipping line ZIM actively supports the Palestinian people, and shows that union members care about what happens to others who suffer discrimination and oppression. Supporting the community in this struggle further strengthens community support for the ILWU in fighting to keep the hiring hall, work rules, and other benefits union members have.
ILWU members should be aware that Israeli unions actively discriminate against Palestinians – who make up a significant portion of the labor force within Israel. As many of you are well aware, longshore workers in San Francisco and the entire West Coast established the hiring hall after the strike in 1934 to end discrimination in hiring based on union membership and race.
Download flier here