The president of the West Coast longshore union pledged cooperation with the International Longshoremen’s Association and criticized other unions he said were poaching dockworker jobs.
Bob McEllrath, president of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, told delegates at the ILA’s quadrennial convention that employers “are using the word ‘competition’ to put a wedge in between” the ILWU and ILA.
“We are one,” he said. “I’m going to work with the new (ILA) president, Harold Daggett…We’re going to fight together, we’re going to keep our jurisdiction and we’re going to keep our (unions’) jobs.”
McEllrath complained that other unions from other industries are trying to take traditional longshore work on both East and West coasts.
“Everybody is coming after our jobs,” he said.
The ILWU is battling the operating engineers’ union over work jurisdiction at a grain elevator in Longview, Wash.
“Where in the hell is this country going to?” McEllrath said. “Where is labor going to? Are we going to backdoor everybody? Is that where we’re going? Absolutely not.”