A Message to the Membership of ILWU Local 10

A Message to the Membership of ILWU Local 10
08/07/2016 - 13:52
By Derrick H Muhammad - ILWU Local 10, August 4

Brothers and Sisters: Ignorance is not bliss. Ignorance is death. Ignorance can never carry the union to where it needs to go. Ignorance will cause the union to stumble.

Speaking with intelligence and exemplifying knowledge of the issues on behalf of working class and marginalized people is a noble thing. It is a union thing. It is what our predecessors did. Study the history of Harry Bridges, Bill Chester, Leroy King and Cleophas Williams just to name a few. In addition to being longshoremen and warehousemen these men were profound thinkers. Everything these men did had political ramifications. It is unwise to think otherwise.

Make no mistake about it. Local 10’s voice carries weight in the community and in City Hall. It is our responsibility to all of those who came before us and to the generations of laborers’ yet to come to preserve what we have inherited and to make progress. Please don’t let anyone tell you anything different.

The question of the building of a marine terminal at the old Oakland Army Base and the question of coal exports from the same terminal are two distinct issues. In 2012, Local 10 and many others from labor, spoke in favor of the building of this marine terminal. Subsequently, the approval of the building of the marine terminal was given the green light by the City of Oakland. So even though coal exports are banned, the marine terminal project is supported and should still go forward.

Lastly, much respect and gratitude to all the B Men who responded to their union's call.

In Solidarity,

Derrick H. Muhammad
ILWU Local 10, Secretary-Treasurer

On June 27th, 2016 the Oakland City Council took a historical vote to ban coal from the Port of Oakland. This is a victory for Local 10 and the West Oakland community. Local 10’s position on the issue was the right position, as the evidence of the health impacts of coal was so overwhelming.

The union and its' many allies defeated all of the arguments of the pro-coal contingent by challenging them on their false claim of mitigation, by exposing their falsities of covered coal cars and debunking their claim of jobs for the community.

The truth of the jobs that were being promised to community members were jobs that they either weren’t eligible for, or jobs whose numbers were overly inflated.