As America celebrates Labor Day 2017, the officers and members of my union, the International Longshoremen’s Association, extend fraternal greetings to working families across our great nation. The ILA is proud of its successful history championing the rights of its membership who perform critically important labor for the good of America’s commerce.
The ILA has for 125 years represented a progressive labor movement with a diverse membership and a mission to best represent its members and promote equality, justice and freedom for dockworkers around the world.
We state with pride that ILA also represents: “I Love America!” and we stand firm against those forces that seek to strip away the advances we have made for our members for over a century.
We remember the words of Dr. Martin Luther King who noted the common thread between Labor and Civil Rights: “Our needs are identical with labor’s needs: decent wage, fair working conditions, livable housing, old-age security, health and welfare measures, conditions in which families can grow, have education for their children and respect in the community.”
The ILA is about to begin the final year of our six-year Master Contract. In future negotiations, we will insist our management counterparts continue to respect and compensate our members for the enormous contributions they continue to make to keep our industry strong and growing. We shout out the battle cry of the leadership of the International Dockers’ Council that the ILA is so proud to be a part of: “Not One Step Backwards!”