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Docks to Stage a Sympathy Strike

September 07, 1997| Associated Press

Longshoremen along the West Coast say they will shut their ports Monday for one eight-hour shift in an international show of solidarity with dockworkers in England who lost their jobs two years ago.

Members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, based in San Francisco, said the shutdown will last in ports from San Diego to Seattle from 6 p.m. Monday until 2 a.m. Tuesday. That shift is one of the busiest times of the week, officials said.

Similar protests are planned in Australia, Scandinavia and elsewhere.

In addition to taking up the British cause, the longshoremen said they are protesting a nonunion coal facility in the Port of Los Angeles.

"Privatization is an issue worldwide, and this international action is critical in winning our struggle," said a statement released Saturday and signed by the International Committee for the Victory of the Liverpool Dockers.

About 330 dockworkers in Liverpool were fired two years ago for refusing to cross a picket line while fighting privatization of their docks. The pickets were set up by employees of an independent endeavor that had collapsed at the Merseyside Docks and Harbour Co.

The firings sparked one of England's longest-running industrial disputes.

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