Dear Democracy Now! Visitor: We are an independent, ad-free daily news program that serves millions of viewers and listeners each month. Our show is special because we make it our priority to go where the silence is. We put a spotlight on corporate and government abuses of power and lift up the stories of ordinary people working to make change in extraordinary times. We do all of this with just a fraction of the budget and staff of a commercial news show. We do it without ads, corporate sponsorship or government funding. How is this possible? Only with your support. If every visitor to this site in December gave just $10 we could cover our basic operating costs for 2016. And, today a generous funder will match your donation dollar for dollar. That means when you give $10 today, your donation will be worth $20. Pretty exciting, right? Please do your part today. It takes just a couple of minutes to make sure that Democracy Now! is there for you and everybody else in 2016.

Your Donation: $

Labor Day Special: As Dockworkers Negotiations Break Down and a Work Slow-Down Looms, Bush Threatens to Bring in Troops

September 02, 2002

Negotiations over the West Coast dockworkers’ contract broke down over the weekend. This means that over 10,000 members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union may begin work slowdowns as early as tomorrow at some 30 major West Coast ports that handle the booming Pacific Rim trade.

If they do, the shipping lines say they will lock out the dockworkers. The LA Times recently reported the Bush administration has threatened to bring in troops to quell any strike. The ports which would be affected handle more than $300 billion in trade annually.

Labor observers see the dispute as possibly the defining union conflict of the Bush era.

In a recent report for the Inter Press Service, labor journalist David Bacon writes, "The traditional bargaining issues–wages, benefits and working conditions–have been pre-empted by a much more basic one: do dockers have the right to strike at all?

Bacon continues, "Union leaders fear signs that President George W. Bush will attempt to benefit from his ongoing 'war on terror' to label any future strike by the workers a "threat to national security."


  • Jack Heyman, officer of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union.

Related link: