Saturday, 28 April 2007

Troqueros Declare Victory: Independent Trucker shut down LA port on May 1st

From the IWW Toronto mailing list:

Torqueros Declare Victory!

Written by Leslie Radford Friday, 27 April 2007

Independent truckers announce the LA port will shut down on May 1, thefirst victory for the 2007 May Day Mobilization for Immigrants'Rights.

PORT OF AZTLAN, April 27, 2007--

The independent truckers of the Portof Aztlan, working with the Industrial Workers of the World, made good on their promise to shut down the Los Angeles port on May 1, in support of nationwide migrants' rights protests scheduled for that dayand the truckers' struggle to organize.

This morning the Los Angeles Port Authority declared the port would be closed for a May 1"holiday," thereby avoiding potential litigation from shippers facing dockers' and demurrage fees for goods left on the dock during thetruckers' strike. Ernesto Nevarez, spokesperson for the truckers, explained, "[The PortAuthority] knows the truckers are going to do it [strike] anyway. By calling it a legal holiday, they avoid liability for the shutdown. We forced them to recognize May Day."

The announcement culminated several months' worth of planning, according to the IWW representative at the Harbor protest this morning, who added that he hoped that "the Port Authority would make May Day a regular holiday, and that the troqueros would remember it every year."

According to the IWW organizer, independent truckers of the Port ofAztlan lost their right to organize thirty years ago, during the deregulation of the Reagan presidency. The IWW has joined with trucking organizers to "assist with their organizing." Several truckers promised to use their day off on May 1 to join hunger strikers for immigrants' rights now in their fifth day of a fourteen-day strike at the feet of La Virgen de Guadalupe mural outside La Placita Church.

Navarez recalled the independent truckers 2006 port shutdown in conjunction with last year's May 1 immigration boycott and their commitment to the May Day 2007 National Mobilization to Support Immigrant Workers. "Migrants are just the victims of the global economy and politics, people who want to survive. That's why we're out here." Nearly every other truck honked for the half-dozen guys packing up their signs calling for the May Day strike, while two police cars parked just down the block watched the developments.

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