NORTH BERGEN, NJ – (June 4, 2020) Leaders of the International Longshoremen’s Association, AFL-CIO (ILA) and United States Maritime Alliance, Ltd. (USMX), announced today that longshore labor and waterfront employers will honor the death of George Floyd with a “peaceful protest hour” at all ports from Maine to Texas on this Tuesday, June 9, 2020 from 12 noon to 1 pm. Harold J. Daggett, President of the 65,000-member ILA and David Adam, Chairman and CEO of USMX, which represents employers of the East and Gulf Coast longshore industry, said local port areas would organize their own tribute memorials between 12 noon and 1 pm when all ILA-USMX operations will be shut down.
“Our nation needs to heal, and we want to demonstrate a powerful unity among our ILA and USMX family to a grieving nation that is crying for change,” said Mr. Daggett and Mr. Adam. “Together we will shut down our cranes and computers; power off our equipment to pause and reflect on how we can find a way to be better as individuals and a country where all citizens should be guaranteed the same respect, freedoms and liberties.”
Labor and management have timed their peaceful protest hour to coincide with a final Memorial Service scheduled for Mr. Floyd on Tuesday, June 9th. The Floyd family has announced memorial services at multiple cities beginning today, Thursday, June 4th.
Mr. Floyd’s death adds to a grim total of senseless and seemingly racially motivated killings, some that have involved victims who were close to the ILA. In late February 2020, Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old black man who was friends with ILA Local 1423 President Richard Nixon in Brunswick, Georgia, was gunned down while jogging near Brunswick, by three white men who have been charged with his murder. In March, Breonna Taylor, an African-American Emergency Medical Technician, was killed by three Louisville, Kentucky police officers. In April 2015, Walter Scott, an unarmed black man and a friend of International Vice President Kenny Riley and other members of ILA Local 1422, Charleston, was shot and killed in North Charleston by a white police officer, Michael Slager, who is currently serving a 20-year sentence for the crime.
“We hope that the Floyd family can find some comfort in knowing that tens of thousands of waterfront ILA labor and USMX management representatives will collectively engage in this peaceful one-hour protest to express our solidarity, support and love,” said the ILA and USMX. “We know our ILA longshore labor force and employers grieve, as does the entire nation trying to recover from the horror of Mr. Floyd’s senseless death last week at the hands of four Minneapolis police officers and for all victims of similar crimes.”
Each port area will design its own activities for the Peaceful Protest Hour.
“We may sit on opposite sides of the negotiating table, but the ILA and USMX will be strongly united for this historic moment to honor the life of Mr. George Floyd, and all victims of racist violence and to pledge to be the leaders that bring change for the good for all people, so that George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Walter Scott and so many others will not have died in vain,” concluded the two organization leaders.
The United States Maritime Alliance, Ltd. (USMX) represents employers of the U.S. East and Gulf Coast longshore industry. Membership consists of Container Carriers, including the largest carriers and carrier alliances worldwide, all major Marine Terminal Operators, and Port Associations representing each port on the East and Gulf Coasts. USMX’s members are responsible for transportation and handling of cargo shipped to and from the United States.
The International Longshoremen’s Association, AFL-CIO represents 65,000 members working at Atlantic and Gulf Coasts from Maine to Texas; U.S. and Canadian Great Lakes ports; Easter Canadian Maritime Provinces; major U.S. Rivers; and Puerto Rico.