SAN PEDRO, CA (Aug. 19, 2014), Congresswoman Hahn released the following statement after the ILWU Local 10’s initial decision not to unload a Zim ship docked at the Port of Oakland last week.
Anti-Israel protesters temporarily blocked the unloading of the ship through intimidation and picket lines.
The congresswoman recognized the damage to the local economy that these BDS protesters could cause, including the loss of local jobs, if Zim and other carriers were to choose safer and friendlier ports than Oakland.
“It is critical to the state’s local economy that this ship be unloaded. I urge the local police department to take steps to ensure ILWU Local 10 workers’ safety so that they may reconsider their decision and unload this Zim ship. This issue is about commerce in the United States not the political situation in the Middle East. Failing to unload this ship threatens the local economy and jobs this community relies on. I have been assured that the local police can guarantee the safe passage of workers at the terminal while allowing the peaceful protests to continue.
With cargo diversion a constant threat to our West coast ports, not unloading this cargo, simply sends the wrong message.
Last week in my San Pedro office, I convened a meeting with the local ILWU, the Israeli Counsel General, clergy, and representatives from Jewish Labor and the Port of Los Angeles to discuss this issue. We were assured by our ILWU leadership that they are neutral on the political situation in the Middle East and guaranteed that the ships in LA and Long Beach would be unloaded. As the co-chair of the Congressional PORTS Caucus, I hope that we can hold similar meetings in Northern California to bring key leaders to the table to find a resolution.
Finally, I stand with the Teamsters in calling on the ILWU to unload the Zim ship and allow important commerce to continue.”
Congresswoman Hahn is the founder and co-chair of the Congressional PORTS Caucus. She represents America’s Port – the Port of Los Angeles. With the Port of Long Beach, it is the largest port complex in the nation.