12 March 2022
7 March 2022. Port Portal. The Russian invasion of Ukraine continues, with US dockworkers signalling they would refuse to load or unload any Russian vessels or handle any inbound or outbound Russian cargo.
The announcement by the International Longshoremen’s and Warehousemen’s International Union covers some 20,000 workers at the 29 US West Coast ports, according to The Seattle Times.
“With this action in solidarity with the people of Ukraine, we are sending a powerful message that we unequivocally condemn the Russian invasion,” said Willie Adams, president of ILWU International.
The amount of cargo arriving from Russia is not much, commented Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero. Of 9.4 million containers that came through the port in 2021, only 11,497 were imports from Russia.
Port of Los Angeles executive director Gene Seroka made a similar assessment. “Trade with Russia is negligible. Less than two-tenths of one per cent of all cargo at the Port of Los Angeles emanates to or from Russia.”
In a statement, the union called the invasion of Ukraine “an act of aggression that endangers a population of over 40 million people, including millions of innocent men, women, and children.”
The statement continued, “effective immediately, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, some 20,000 workers strong in 29 ports along the West Coast of the United States, will refuse to load or unload any Russian vessels or Russian cargo entering or leaving all West Coast ports from Bellingham, Washington, to San Diego, California.”
The International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) brings together dock workers on the West Coast of the United States, Canada, and Hawaii. It was founded on 11 August 1937 and is headquartered in California.