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ILWU Local 19
Seattle Washington

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Organize your workplace!!!

It's Your right

Federal Law gives all workers a legal right to organize a Union. It is illegal for your employer to threaten you or discriminate against you because you support a Union. It is illegal for your employer to threaten to close down the business because workers organize a Union

A Union is working people getting together to defend each other, and to work in unity to make improvements on the job. In the ILWU and our marine division , the IBU, the members make the decisions about the issues that affect us. That's democracy. That's what a Union is all about.

There is not a single US Citizen who has not benefited from the struggles, sacrifices and victories of the US labor movement. Things we take for granted--child labor laws, unemployment insurance, the 8-hour day, the minimum wage, health and safety regulations--are a direct result of the strikes, sit-downs, slow-downs, and actions of organized workers. 

Unfortunately, most of this history has been effectively purged from our collective memory. The US political establishment portrays unions as out of date and somehow no longer necessary.

Let the ILWU help you in organizing your workplace. It doesn't matter what business or industry you are in or what part of the country you are in, we can help. Don't be afraid to approach any union, regardless of their name : hospitals have been organized by the Longshoremen, office workers by the United Auto Workers, etc.


Quote on Organizing the Unorganized

"I would say here that the first step to organizing the unorganized is organizing the unionized. We have an immense arsenal in our own membership both active and retired. Our own Longshore Union membership is a key to convincing the unorganized workers that they have a future in the trade union movement. It helps to them know that they can also play a major role in rebuilding of the labor movement. 

It’s a first step toward a better future and the rewards far outweigh the disadvantages and risks in any organizing campaign! Volunteer to help you Local Union and all AFL-CIO labor Unions engaged in organizing campaigns in your area. This is a great way to repay organized labor for the benefits we now enjoy as union members."


Links to Helpful Organizing Sites


Past Organizing Successes

Security Officers for the Portland-based
Metropolitan Exposition-Recreation Commission (MERC)

ILWU Local 28
July 16, 2003


The ferry terminal workers at Friday Harbor on San Juan Island.
The workers, employed by Aeronautical Services
IBU Puget Sound Region
January 03, 2002


IBU Alaska Region
June 14, 2001


Food service workers employed by Fine Host
Corporation at The Evergreen State College:
ILWU Local 47
January 11, 2001


Portland, Oregon
ILWU Local 5
April 22, 1999


Orcas Island ferry loading, organized by the IBU
March 25,1999


Ground Transport administrative staff at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport
ILWU Local 9
January 12, 1999


San Francisco Bicycle Couriers
ILWU Local 6
1999


The Mission Council on Alcohol Abuse in San Francisco : 
ILWU Local 6
November 25, 1998


Yang Ming Line Office Clerical Unit Los Angeles
ILWU local 63,
January 1996


"With all their faults, trade-unions have done more for humanity than any other organization of men that ever existed. They have done more for decency, for honesty, for education, for the betterment of the race, for the developing of character in man, than any other association of men."

- Clarence Darrow (1857-1938), U.S. lawyer, writer. The Railroad Trainman (Nov. 1909)
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