Longshoremen stay home in Iraq war protest

TACOMA, Wash. — More than 25,000 West Coast International Longshore and Warehouse workers, including many hundred in Tacoma, took Thursday off protest of the war in Iraq. May Day is traditionally a day to celebrate labor and workers’ rights.

Scott Mason, spokesman for Tacoma’s ILWU Local 23, said that the 200 to 300 dockworkers who normally would be working stayed home. Four ships waited to be unloaded in the Port of Tacoma and the truck gates are quiet.

ILWU International President Bob McEllrath said the workers are “standing down on the job and standing up for America.”

“We’re supporting the troops and telling politicians in Washington that it’s time to end the war in Iraq,” McEllrath said.

Read the full story at