Friday, October 7, 2016 – With Hurricane Matthew slamming the Georgia Coastline on Friday morning, ILA members at South Atlantic ports are taking necessary action to protect their families and property. Major ILA ports from Jacksonville north to Savannah are closed and ILA leaders await word from their respective Port Authorities about when they will resume activities.
“Our port is not directly in the evacuation zone,” said Vincent Cameron, President of ILA Local 1408 and an International Vice President. Cameron remained in Jacksonville and said the Port Authority will assess the situation on Saturday as to when it will reopen.
Fellow International Vice President Willie J. Seymore moved his family to Atlanta from his Port City of Savannah where water surges and high winds are expected to pose life-threatening dangers. Seymore has been in contact, almost hourly, with Griff Lynch, Executive Director at Georgia Ports Authority. Savannah hopes to resume operations on Sunday.
At the Port of Charleston, South Carolina, Kenneth Riley who is president of ILA Local 1422 remains in Charleston and has secured the union hall. He said most members and their families have evacuated the area as they away Hurricane Matthew to hit the South Carolina Port City.
In addition to caring for his Charleston ILA members, Riley has been in touch with longshore members from the Bahamas who reported extensive and devastating damages from Hurricane Matthew after it cut through Freeport and other cities a few days ago.
Riley has been working with dockworkers from the Bahamas for the past three years, organizing them into the ILA umbrella.
“They told me the damages are horrible there,” said Riley.
At the Port of Wilmington, North Carolina, ILA General Vice President Wilbert Rowell reports on Friday that city and port are tracking Hurricane Matthew and will take necessary proactive and protective action as the situation warrants.