As we went to press, the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF), representing 5 million civil aviation, rail, truck and sea transport workers worldwide pledged support for the International Longshore and Warehouse Union in its contract negotiations.

In addition, more than 200 leaders of the ITF dockworkers section representing 400,000 port workers in 170 countries signed a letter to President George W. Bush demanding he stop interfering in negotiations.

Pledging to stand with the ILWU, the strongly worded letter to Bush calling “the use of post-Sept. 11 security concerns as grounds for helping corporations … intimidate port workers” ominous.

Launching was the ILWU is calling Phase 32 of its contract battle – in which international pressure will be brought into the fight and the targeting of specific shipping lines by dockers will occur – was a rally by 2,000 longshore workers Aug. 15 the Port of Los Angeles against Danish shipping line Maersk, the largest in the world.

A full story will appear on these
developments in next week’s edition.