On December 12, as Occupy activists were preparing to shut down ports across the West Coast, five port truck drivers wrote them a letter. The drivers, elected by committees of their co-workers at seven ports, declined to take a stance on that week’s controversy: whether dock workers and their unions should join the attempted shutdowns. But they praised the Occupy movement’s vision and leadership, and asked for its help in publicizing their own terrible working conditions. And the port truckers made a promise; that they and their co-workers would “organize ourselves and do what is needed to win dignity, respect, and justice.”
Two months later, one group of port workers has filed for a rare union election, backed by international solidarity. Another just ended a two-week strike that brought the Port of Seattle to a near standstill.