First off, love this poster for more than just the Longshoremen’s struggle (Kudos to Political Loudmouth or you can also check out their website here). I think it’s apt for just about everything happening these days. Some background:
We object that after a twenty-two year working relationship with the International Longshoremen’s Association at the Port of Philadelphia, Del Monte Fresh Produce Co. gave notice that on October 1, 2010 it would be moving its fruit ships away from an ILA worked Pier 5 facility in Camden, New Jersey.
This move means that 200 to 225 full-time ILA jobs, or 400,000 labor hours have been lost to the ILA, representing about one-third of the union’s hours annually worked on the Delaware River.
Workers who will now unload Del Monte produce at the Holt-owned Gloucester Terminal earn substantially less in wages and benefits than workers who collectively bargain through ILA.
Del Monte’s callous actions will devastate Camden workers and their families, as well as undermine local communities that benefit from the union jobs at this tri-state port that serves Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.
The move by Del Monte, is even more shameful because Del Monte abandoned Camden and ILA after pressuring the ILA into $5 million in wage and other labor concessions; and after the State of New Jersey, in an effort to keep the Del Monte jobs and business, made approximately $25 million in infrastructure improvements, offered more acreage at no cost, and agreed to a cap on electricity bills to reduce Del Monte’s energy costs from $1.3 million to $700,000.
While Del Monte’s actions grievously hurt working families and communities, Del Monte had record-setting sales years in 2008 and 2009, with “net” profits of more than $300 million.
Communities and workers alike vigorously oppose Del Monte and its collusion with the Holt family, both of which stand to gain financially from the move to Gloucester; and in response to Del Monte’s action, the ILA has called for a boycott of Del Monte products.