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Global Solidarity on the Docks:

Global Solidarity on the Docks: The Ever Given, part of the Evergreen fleet, in the Suez Canal. Herry Lawford, Flickr 1061727 NLFXXX10.1177/10957960211061727New Labor ForumFox-Hodess research-article2021 New Labor Forum 2022, Vol. 31(1) 50 –58 Global Solidarity on the Docks Copyright © 2021, The Murphy Institute, CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies Article reuse guidelines: https://doi.org/10.1177/10957960211061727 sagepub.com/journals-permissions Katy Fox-Hodess DOI: 10.1177/10957960211061727 journals.sagepub.com/home/nlf Keywords global unions, dockworkers, logistics, structural power, internationalism In March 2021, the massive container ship Ever vulnerabilities along global supply chains as Given, part of the Evergreen fleet, carrying eigh- disruptions in key nodes trigger backlogs, send- teen thousand containers, ran aground, blocking ing ripples outward. the Suez Canal for six days. The ship’s cargo, valued at $1 billion, included everything from The structural power of logistics apparel to electronics to furniture and agricul- workers derives from the tural commodities. Yet, the losses extended far organization of just-in-time beyond the ship’s cargo itself, holding up the $9 production . . . billion worth of commodities—or roughly 12 percent of global trade—that crosses the Suez As sociologist Beverly Silver has argued, an Canal every day and creating bottlenecks, back- examination of the historical record suggests logs, and shortages in ports and their adjacent that the ability of any group of workers to facil- supply chains around the world. itate broader trade union movement revitaliza- Images of one of the largest container ships tion through their organizing efforts requires in the world blocking one of the most trafficked structural power, the power that workers pos- waterways on the planet made international sess as a result of their scarce skills or their role headlines, making visible the vulnerability of in the labor process or economic system. an economic system built on just-in-time global Workers have the kind of structural power with supply chains. Although the blockage itself was the potential to facilitate the development of primarily a result of environmental factors, it militant trade union movements more broadly suggested the potentially transformative power when, by taking industrial action, they are able of workers in the industry stemming from stra- to disrupt production far beyond their own tegic disruptions in key nodes—or distribution workplace as a result of the central role they locations—of logistics networks. play in the economy as a whole. In fact, a number of labor scholars and activ- In the United States, dockworkers from the ists have begun to identify the global logistics International Longshore and Warehouse Union industry as a likely sector for trade union move- (ILWU) have periodically exercised this role, ment revitalization. The logistics industry, using their strategic bargaining power after the which employs nearly six million workers in 1934 San Francisco general strike to organize the United States, encompasses all of the sec- inland warehouse workers. This power has also tors of the economy engaged in the storage and been in evidence when ILWU members have movement of commodities along supply chains, stopped work in support of a wide array of from road, air, rail, and docks to warehousing political causes over the years, from their and distribution centers. The structural power refusal to ship arms to fascist countries in the of logistics workers derives from the organiza- tion of just-in-time production, through which University of Sheffield, UK firms attempt to gain comparative advantage by minimizing the amount of time that inventory Corresponding Author: sits in storage. This has created increased Katy Fox-Hodess, katyrose@gmail.com 52 New Labor Forum 31(1) 1930s and to Vietnam in the 1970s to stoppages include anti-union legislation; union-busting in solidarity with racial justice movements and divide-and-conquer strategies of employ- from the United States to South Africa to ers; high turnover rates, subcontracting, and Palestine, to name just a few of the better known other precarious employment arrangements; examples. Recent cargo pile-ups as a result of and creeping automation and employer Covid-19 at the Port of Los Angeles-Long surveillance. Beach—the largest in the United States, han- dling approximately 40 percent of the country’s . . . [O]rganizing the logistics container traffic—only serve to underline how industry could . . . be the key to crucial these nodes of the global logistics indus- unlocking organizing gains for the try are. While the ILWU has come under attack in recent years by employers and the courts, it retail workers who labor at the end remains a bastion of trade union power, along point of these supply chains . . . with its East Coast counterpart the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA), which has Former ILWU organizing director Peter successfully negotiated to prevent port automa- Olney has argued that greater attention to orga- tion. Nevertheless, labor standards, employment nizing the logistics industry could therefore be numbers, and union density across the logistics the key to unlocking organizing gains for the industry vary considerably. Dockworkers, retail workers who labor at the end point of despite their small numbers in the tens of thou- these supply chains, as well as workers in sands, have nearly 100 percent union density in warehousing, if workers with the greatest power the United States and some of the highest labor in key nodes of these supply chains are willing standards of any blue-collar workers. At the to leverage that power to support the organizing opposite end of the spectrum, millions of work- efforts of workers at other locations. ers labor in warehouses and distribution centers Among logistics workers, perhaps no single in the United States, with union density in the group possesses greater structural power than single digits and notoriously poor working dockworkers, thanks to the central role they conditions. play in global trade, so understanding their abil- ity to organize across work sites and the strate- Recent cargo pile-ups as a result gies they employ provides a basis for of Covid-19 at the Port of Los understanding the possibilities of logistics and Angeles-Long Beach—the largest supply chain organizing more broadly. An example of a “best case scenario” for global in the United States, handling logistics worker organizing is the International approximately 40 percent of the Dockworkers Council (IDC), an independent country’s container traffic—only global union organization of workplace-level serve to underline how crucial dockworker union activists that I have these nodes of the global logistics researched for the past decade. industry are. The IDC’s experience not only helps us imagine the transformative impact that a better Given the outsized role of online retailers organized logistics sector could have for the like Amazon in the global economy and their labor movement as a whole—it also points to heavy reliance on smooth circulation, disrup- concrete strategies to help bring that into being. tions in key distribution centers should, in the- While organizing must be guided by the speci- ory, provide these workers with substantial ficities of each sector of the logistics industry, structural power. Yet, as recent organizing cam- the IDC case suggests some general principles paigns at Amazon distribution centers have for effective strategizing and intraorganiza- highlighted, workers in this sector of the logis- tional practices by worker activists. None of tics industry face substantial barriers to improv- these lessons on their own will provide the ing their working conditions. These barriers “magic bullet” needed to crack open the most Fox-Hodess 53 difficult to organize sectors and workplaces in comparison of some of the key disputes affili- the logistics industry, but they may provide ates have faced in recent years, as well as the helpful signposts pointing organizers in the broader organizational lessons, is therefore right direction. helpful in illuminating the potential of organiz- ing in the global logistics sector. History and Structure of the IDC Lessons from Labor Disputes Although the IDC was officially founded in at IDC Affiliates 2000, dockworker union activists already had decades of experience of cross-border solidar- An examination of major labor disputes facing ity and coordination during labor disputes, par- five of the IDC’s affiliates has yielded key take- ticularly in Europe. Many of the unions active aways relevant for logistics worker organizing in the IDC’s creation, including the ILWU, had more generally. First, disputes were resolved been excluded from the International Transport successfully when workers combined strategic Workers Federation (ITF), the mainstream industrial action with support from community global union federation in the transportation and trade union allies. Second, even the best sector, as a consequence of their left-wing poli- organizers struggled to reach successful out- tics during the Cold War. A shared perception comes when the broader political environment that the ITF had failed to adequately respond to was stacked against them, pointing to the need iconic dockworker disputes at the Port of to address issues beyond the workplace. Of Liverpool in the 1990s and the Port of these five disputes, three involved affiliates in Charleston in 2000 as a result of the organiza- Europe (the United Kingdom, Portugal and tion’s bureaucratic structure finally shifted the Greece) and two involved affiliates in Latin balance in favor of founding an independent America (Chile and Colombia). Two of the dis- global dockworker organization open not just putes had successful outcomes for the unions to national unions but to locals and even indi- (Portugal and Chile); one of the disputes was vidual dockworkers. partially successful (the United Kingdom); and two of the disputes had unsuccessful outcomes (Greece and Colombia). The International Dockworkers In Chile and Portugal, dockworker union Council . . . has been an experiment activists pulled off major successes that bene- in participatory democracy and fited not only the workers directly involved in independent, non-bureaucratic the disputes but also the trade union movements global unionism . . . in their countries more broadly. In Chile, dock- workers held weeks-long national strikes in The IDC from its inception, then, has been an 2013 and 2014 as part of an offensive to reverse experiment in participatory democracy and the decades-long decline in labor standards on independent, non-bureaucratic global unionism, the docks brought about by the Pinochet dicta- with decision-making through annual assem- torship–era reform of labor law, which had blies open to all members and de facto interna- atomized the country’s trade union movement. tional stewards’ councils at the regional level. In Portugal, dockworkers struck repeatedly in The General Coordinator is an unpaid part-time 2013-2014 as part of a defensive campaign to officer who remains embedded in his local prevent the breaking of the union-controlled union, and well into its second decade, the orga- hiring pools at the port, a provision demanded nization only employed a single staff member. by the European Union as part of Portugal’s Over the course of the organization’s twenty- bailout from its sovereign debt crisis. year history, the IDC has expanded signifi- In both cases, dockworkers won through a cantly from a primarily European dockworker strategy of effective industrial action, interna- organization to one with truly global reach, par- tional solidarity, and community/political sup- ticularly in Latin America and West Africa. A port. By understanding both when and where 54 New Labor Forum 31(1) they had the most structural power—that is to Gateway. At the time that it opened, it was the say, when and where withholding their labor only non-unionized port in the country. Unite, would have the greatest impact on key deci- the union that represents dockworkers in the sion-makers in each dispute—they set the stage United Kingdom, built a corporate campaign to for a successful confrontation. put external pressure on key decision-makers in Their industrial leverage was bolstered by the company with the help of labor and com- external support from the IDC and other allies munity allies but neglected to build a worker- in the trade union movement and domestic organizing base from within, making minimal social movements. As the disputes dragged on, progress in reaching an agreement. the IDC threatened to boycott the unloading of Nevertheless, when the first ship left the ships arriving from the ports, which proved to port, the IDC stepped up once again with a be a major tipping point in the conflicts. threat to refuse to work the ship at other ports of Ultimately, the Portuguese dockworkers call, resulting in an agreement allowing union retained their union-controlled hiring pools and organizers access to the workforce at the job the Chilean dockworkers negotiated a national site. However, because the union had not previ- agreement with the help of the government— ously built up a base of shop-floor activists, the the first time the Chilean state had facilitated company successfully engaged in a union- national-level sectoral collective bargaining avoidance campaign with its workforce, pre- since before the Pinochet dictatorship. venting Unite from winning sufficient support While it might seem counterintuitive that to push for union recognition. Over time, the workers capable of leveraging such significant union pivoted toward identifying effective structural power would need to call on non- worker organizers on the shop floor who could structural forms of support as well, union leaders build support for the union, and they were from both Chile and Portugal emphasized the eventually able to negotiate a collective agree- role played by community allies in their victories ment. The lesson, then, is an important one: in amplifying the impact of industrial action and international solidarity, and labor, and commu- increasing the likelihood that the government nity support are vital forms of leverage in the would intervene in ways favorable to organized logistics sector but cannot replace effective labor. Dockworker unions in both countries have shop-floor organizing. become iconic symbols for the trade union Finally, in Greece and Colombia, despite val- movement and the left more broadly of what is iant organizing efforts, dockworker union activ- possible when workers organize, and they have ists simply were not able to overcome the played a leading role in social and political constraints of their external political environ- movements in their countries since that time. ments. In Greece, dockworkers faced the whole- sale privatization of the country’s ports, a condition imposed as part of the EU bailout Dockworker unions in [Chile agreement for the Greek sovereign debt crisis. At and Portugal] . . . have become the largest port in the country, Piraeus, dock- iconic symbols for the trade union workers engaged in multiple rounds of industrial movement and . . . have played a action with strong support from labor, commu- leading role in social and political nity, and political allies. Yet, the scale of the eco- movements in their countries . . . nomic and political crisis in Greece was beyond the ability of any single sector of workers to In the United Kingdom, on the contrary, address, and the port was ultimately privatized. dockworkers were not able to win an outright In a very different context, Colombian dock- victory until they had built sufficient power on workers at the country’s largest port in the shop floor, which unlike in the Chilean and Buenaventura have been struggling for basic Portuguese cases had lagged. In 2013, Dubai union recognition at the ports since privatiza- Port World, a global terminal operator, opened tion in the 1990s destroyed their former national a new port on the Thames called London union overnight. However, the ongoing civil Fox-Hodess 55 conflict in the region, widespread targeting of Labor Relations Board (NLRB) appoint- union activists by paramilitary organizations, ments and right-to-work laws in the South, and lack of enforcement of labor law have com- along with a range of other potential political bined to create an overwhelmingly difficult factors, constrain the environment for logis- context for organizing, in the ports and beyond, tics worker organizing across the board, par- despite support from a number of international ticularly for those workers with less structural organizations. power. Any effective strategy for new orga- While the Greek and Colombian contexts nizing in the logistics industry will have to are very different from what logistics workers find ways to work with or around these are likely to face in the United States, the key constraints. lesson remains relevant: even for workers who occupy highly strategic positions within global Lessons on Intraorganizational capitalism, the broader political environment Practices from the IDC for organizing can undermine the ability to exercise power effectively. Strategy must take In addition to providing lessons for the devel- account both of the industrial leverage workers opment of logistics worker-organizing strategy, possess and of how that power operates within the IDC’s organizational model provides les- a broader framework shaped not just by the sons on how to bring logistics workers together economy but also by the state. across disparate worksites—and even coun- tries. My research showed that the success of the IDC’s organizing model came from its prac- Even for workers who occupy highly tices of rank-and-file democracy, flexibility and strategic positions within global honesty with regard to the differential ability of capitalism, the broader political workers in disparate locations to take collective environment for organizing can action, and a model of solidarity among autono- undermine the ability to exercise mous local unions. power effectively. Unlike the mainstream global union federa- tions, which tend to rely heavily on paid profes- In the United States, one of the most signifi- sional staff and to be directed “from above” by cant contextual factors is the highly restrictive the leadership of national union affiliates, the system of labor law compared to other wealthy IDC’s success has depended on its bottom-up, Western democracies. Taft Hartley, for exam- participatory democratic organizing model, ple, which enables the president to prevent embedded in the needs and capacities of work- strikes that threaten national security, has been ers at the shop-floor level. invoked on our ports successfully only twice in Decisions are made collectively by activists the past fifty years, both times on the West and are arrived at by consensus. IDC activists Coast. And an ILWU dispute in the Pacific are, with few exceptions, working dockwork- Northwest in 2011 with a grain terminal opera- ers, rather than full-time union reps, allowing tor led then President Obama to threaten to call them to maintain a close connection to the rank- in the Coast Guard to escort the ship. More and-file of the affiliated unions. This connec- generally, the ILWU has fought battles again tion to the rank-and-file helps to ensure that and again to effectively take solidarity action— decisions made by the IDC will be carried out also restricted by Taft Hartley—by invoking collectively through local actions. health and safety provisions to refuse to cross One of the key organizational challenges the community picket-lines. Railroad workers in IDC has faced—relevant to logistics worker the United States, on the contrary, have a highly organizing more generally—is how to work restricted right to strike, and the power of together effectively while recognizing the dif- truck drivers has been severely eroded over ferential ability of workers to exercise power time by the deregulation of the industry and across disparate social, political, and economic concomitant rise of bogus self-employment. contexts. IDC activists emphasized the impor- At a broader level, the politicization of National tance of open, honest discussions of this issue 56 New Labor Forum 31(1) and a willingness on the part of each affiliate to employer in 2016, though enforcing it has do the most that they can do while accepting proved a more difficult struggle. In general, that what they can do will differ. While some when dealing with employers in the Global Western European and Latin American unions, South, threats from trade unions in major trad- for example, can call twenty-four-hour work ing partners like the United States are particu- stoppages at short notice with relative ease, larly significant. For example, eleven workers in other parts of the world face consid- dockworkers under house arrest and facing pos- erably greater obstacles to withholding their sible prison sentences during a major labor dis- labor, so they may contribute instead with pute in Paraguay were ultimately released after informal job actions (i.e., slowdowns) or pro- a delegation of dockworker union leaders from tests outside the workplace. the United States, France and Spain took steps to pressure the Paraguayan state—a particularly Amazon’s increasing reliance effective action as dockworkers downriver in Uruguay had already taken action to boycott on oversees sellers, . . . and its ships from Asunción. expansion into third party logistics In the global shipping industry, transship- operations in road, air, and sea ment ports—which focus on moving container transport have created strong cargo from one ship to another rather than incentives for workers in the ports importing and exporting—are especially cru- and other well-organized logistics cial in the network. In both the Portuguese and U.K. disputes discussed above, the decision by centers to enter the fray. dockworkers at the major Spanish transship- In addition to negotiating these power dif- ment port of Algeciras at the Strait of Gibraltar ferentials among affiliates, the IDC has devel- to refuse to work ships coming from the ports oped practices to address resource differentials. of Lisbon and London Gateway was the major To support the development of activist net- turning point in the disputes. works in Latin America and Africa among Conversely, the inability to effectively poorly resourced unions, dockworker unions address “holes” of support at critical locations from North America and Europe pay higher in a logistics network can significantly under- affiliation fees. Yet, crucially, this transfer of mine worker action. For example, although the resources to the Global South does not imply a IDC has affiliated most of the major ports in transfer of decision-making to the Global Europe, including Barcelona, Valencia, North. In other words, the Latin American and Marseilles-Fos, Le Havre, and Antwerp, other African networks maintain their own autono- key ports, such as Rotterdam in the Netherlands mous organizing structures and are led by rank- and Hamburg and Bremerhaven in Germany— and-file union activists from their regions who all among the largest in the region—are unaf- collectively define and carry out priorities filiated, creating incentives for shipping established by their affiliates with financial companies to simply divert vessels to these support from the Global North. ports when IDC affiliates are in dispute. The IDC has important lessons to impart as well regarding organizing strategy in the logis- What Are Next Steps? tics industry. The key insight is that power comes from the ability to disrupt the flow of The potential for tremendous power stemming goods across a network, so building connec- from strategic disruptions by workers in key tions across worksites is crucial. For example, nodes in the logistics industry is clear. What is although the Colombian dockworkers have needed now is a better understanding of how to made limited progress, pressure by Danish develop and harness it for trade union move- dockworkers on the Danish employer Maersk ment revitalization more generally. This will to respect workers’ rights at the Port of require workers in the strongest positions Buenaventura in Colombia helped the dock- within logistics networks—such as dockwork- workers there to reach an agreement with their ers—to consider how they can leverage their Fox-Hodess 57 structural power to support organizing among 2. Kit Chellel, et al. “Six Days in Suez: The Inside Story of the Ship that Broke Global workers in weaker positions—such as ware- Trade,” Bloomberg Businessweek, June 24, house workers. 2021, available at https://www.bloomberg.com/ In the United States, perhaps the most obvi- news/features/2021-06-24/how-the-billion- ous target for support is worker organizing in dollar-ever-given-cargo-ship-got-stuck-in- Amazon distribution centers around the coun- the-suez-canal. try, such as the campaign in Bessemer, Alabama. 3. Mary Ann Russon, “The Cost of the Suez Amazon, the second largest employer in the Canal Blockage,” BBC News, March 29, 2021, country, depends on the smooth circulation of available at https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/ goods through its supply chains for its business business-56559073. model—from last-mile delivery drivers and in- 4. Jake Alimahomed-Wilson and Immanuel house warehouse workers to dock, road, and Ness, eds., Choke Points: Logistics Workers Disrupting the Global Supply Chain (London: rail workers a bit further down the line. Pluto Press, 2018); Edna Bonacich and Jake Amazon’s increasing reliance on oversees sell- 23 B. Wilson, Getting the Goods: Ports, Labor, ers, particularly from China, and its expan- and the Logistics Revolution (Ithaca, NY: sion into third party logistics operations in road, Cornell University Press, 2008); Kim Moody, air, and sea transport have created strong On New Terrain: How Capital Is Reshaping incentives for workers in the ports and other the Battleground of Class War (Chicago, IL: well-organized logistics centers to enter the Haymarket Books, 2017); Kim Moody, “Labour fray. As the IDC case suggests, doing so would and the Contradictory Logic of Logistics,” Work not be a case of altruism but instead a way of Organisation, Labour and Globalisation 13, no. ensuring their own position long-term by 1 (Spring 2019): 79-95. addressing “holes” of worker power within the 5. Eli Rose, “Organizing Amazon Is Do-or-Die for the Labor Movement,” Jacobin, September broader logistics network in which they are sit- 29, 2021, available at https://jacobinmag. uated and ensuring that Amazon’s notoriously com/2021/09/organizing-amazon-union-team- poor working conditions do not bleed over into sters-logistics-warehouse-shipping-labor-move other sectors of the logistics industry. ment?fbclid=IwAR2FAfcS10mJF9jiaDg6Pbsj7 YJ7oA9oGrx0EzU-jS85lp4JOPVXcSu9OZY. Declaration of Conflicting Interests 6. Beverly J. Silver, Forces of Labor: Workers’ The author(s) declared no potential conflicts of inter- Movements and Globalization since 1870 est with respect to the research, authorship, and/or (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003). publication of this article. 7. Ana Monteiro, “Biggest U.S. Port Complex to Work Nights, Weekends to Cut Logjam,” Bloomberg, September 17, 2021, available Funding at https://www.bloomberg.com/news/arti- The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following cles/2021-09-17/biggest-u-s-port-complex-to- financial support for the research, authorship, and/or work-nights-weekends-to-cut-logjam. publication of this article: Research for this article 8. Ari Paul, “The Multinational Trying to Bankrupt was supported by funding from the Social Science the Dockworkers Union Has a Sordid Past,” Research Council. In These Times, January 16, 2020, available at https://inthesetimes.com/article/ilwu-fed- ORCID iD eral-jury-international-container-terminal-ser- Katy Fox-Hodess https://orcid.org/0000-0003 vices-workers-rights. -3081-6273 9. Hugh R. Morley, “Tentative ILA-USMX Master Contract Bans Full Terminal Automation,” The Journal of Commerce, August 14, Notes 2018, available at https://www.joc.com/ 1. Charmaine Chua, “The Ever Given and the port-news/longshoreman-labor/international- Monstrosity of Maritime Capitalism,” Boston longshoremen%E2%80%99s-association/ Review, May 4, 2021, available at https:// tentative-ila-usmx-master-contract-has-termi- bostonreview.net/class-inequality-politics/ nal-automation-ban_20180814.html. charmaine-chua-ever-given-and-monstrosity- 10. Andre Perry et al, “Amazon’s Union Battle in maritime-capitalism. Bessemer, Alabama Is about Dignity, Racial 58 New Labor Forum 31(1) Justice and the American Worker,” Brookings, at https://www.railwayage.com/news/ratifica March 16, 2012, available at https://www. tions-make-rail-strike-unlikely/. brookings.edu/blog/the-avenue/2021/03/16/ 18. Rachel Premack, “How a Little-known 1980 the-amazon-union-battle-in-bessemer-is-about- Law Slashed Pay for Millions of Truck Drivers dignity-racial-justice-and-the-future-of-the- and Created Big-box Retail as We Know american-worker/. It,” Business Insider, July 25, 2020, avail- 11. Peter Olney. “Where Did the OUR able at https://www.businessinsider.com/ Walmart Campaign Go Wrong?” In truck-driver-pay-motor-carrier-act-retail- These Times, December 14, 2015, avail- 2020-7?r=US&IR=T. able at https://inthesetimes.com/article/ 19. Of course, politicization of NLRB appoint- our-walmart-union-ufcw-black-friday. ments works in both directions, as recent 12. For a blow-by-blow account of the Charleston labor-friendly changes have emboldened dispute, with background on the Liverpool workers from the Amazon distribution cen- dispute and founding of the IDC, see: Suzan ter in Bessemer, Alabama. See Luis Feliz Erem and E. Paul Durrenberger, On the Global Leon, “Hearing Officer Recommends Rerun Waterfront: The Fight to Free the Charleston 5 of Amazon Bessemer Election,” Labor Notes (New York: Monthly Review Press, 2008). August 3, 2021, available at https://labornotes. 13. For further information on the disputes dis- org/blogs/2021/08/nlrb-hearing-officer-recom- cussed, see: Katy Fox-Hodess, “In the Face of mends-rerun-amazon-bessemer-election. Austerity, Portuguese Dockworkers Win Back 20. For further information on the IDC’s organiza- Union Jobs,” Labor Notes, December 19, 2014, tional model, particularly within Europe, see: available at https://labornotes.org/blogs/2014/12/ Katy Fox-Hodess, “Labor Internationalism face-austerity-portuguese-dockers-win-back- ‘From Below’: Lessons from the International union-jobs; Katy Fox-Hodess, “(Re-)Locating the Dockworkers Council’s European Working Local and National in the Global: Multi-Scalar Group,” Work, Employment and Society 34, no. Political Alignment in Transnational European 1 (January 2020): 91-108. Dockworker Union Campaigns,” British Journal 21. Fox-Hodess, “Worker Power, Trade Union of Industrial Relations 55, no. 3 (April 2017): Strategy, and International Connections.” 626-47; Katy Fox-Hodess, “Worker Power, Trade 22. Rose, “Organizing Amazon Is Do-or-Die.” Union Strategy, and International Connections: 23. Jack Germain, “Made in China, Sold on Dockworker Unionism in Colombia and Chile,” Amazon: The Numbers Are Skyrocketing,” Latin American Politics and Society 61, no. 3 E-Commerce Times, March 30, 2021, avail- (May 2019): 29-54; Katy Fox-Hodess and Camilo able at https://www.ecommercetimes.com/ Santibañez Rebolledo, “The Social Foundations story/87077.html. of Structural Power: Strategic Position, Worker 24. Charley Dehoney, “Commentary: Amazon Isn’t Unity and External Alliances in the Making of the Going into 3PL Business; It’s Already There,” Chilean Dockworkers Movement,” Global Labour Freightwaves, January 15, 2021, available at Journal 11, no. 3 (September 2020): 222-38. https://www.freightwaves.com/news/commen- 14. David E. Sanger. and Steven Greenhouse. tary-amazon-isnt-going-into-3pl-business-its- “President Invokes Taft-Hartley Act to Open 29 already-there; Shefali Kapadia, “Report: Amazon Ports,” New York Times, October 9, 2002, avail- Ramps Up Ocean Shipping Services,” Supply able at https://www.nytimes.com/2002/10/09/ Chain Dive, January 22, 2019, available at https:// us/president-invokes-taft-hartley-act-to-open- www.supplychaindive.com/news/amazon-ship- 29-ports.html. ping-freight-forwarding-first-mile/546548/. 15. Jane Slaughter, “Longshore Union Settles Grain Dispute as Confrontation Loomed,” Labor Author Biography Notes, January 26, 2012, available at https:// www.labornotes.org/2012/01/longshore-union- Dr. Katy Fox-Hodess is a lecturer in Employment settles-grain-dispute-confrontation-loomed. Relations and Research Development Director of the 16. Peter Cole, “No Justice, No Ships Get Loaded: Centre for Decent Work at the University of Sheffield Political Boycotts on the San Francisco Bay and in England. A cofounder of the International Labour Durban Waterfronts,” International Review of and Logistics Research Network, her research exam- Social History 58, no. 2 (August 2013): 185-217. ines the foundations of worker power and the chal- 17. “Ratifications Make Rail Strike Unlikely,” lenges and potential of trade union internationalism Railway Age, December 1, 2017, available in the global logistics industry. Explore and discover more from SAGE SAGE Perspectives Blog SAGE Journals Author Gateway SAGE Perspectives focuses on highlighting The SAGE Journals Author Gateway is an topical and interesting research published in essential website for all aspiring academic SAGE books and journals. 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Global Solidarity on the Docks:

New Labor Forum , Volume 31 (1): 9 – Dec 3, 2021

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Abstract

The Ever Given, part of the Evergreen fleet, in the Suez Canal. Herry Lawford, Flickr 1061727 NLFXXX10.1177/10957960211061727New Labor ForumFox-Hodess research-article2021 New Labor Forum 2022, Vol. 31(1) 50 –58 Global Solidarity on the Docks Copyright © 2021, The Murphy Institute, CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies Article reuse guidelines: https://doi.org/10.1177/10957960211061727 sagepub.com/journals-permissions Katy Fox-Hodess DOI: 10.1177/10957960211061727 journals.sagepub.com/home/nlf Keywords global unions, dockworkers, logistics, structural power, internationalism In March 2021, the massive container ship Ever vulnerabilities along global supply chains as Given, part of the Evergreen fleet, carrying eigh- disruptions in key nodes trigger backlogs, send- teen thousand containers, ran aground, blocking ing ripples outward. the Suez Canal for six days. The ship’s cargo, valued at $1 billion, included everything from The structural power of logistics apparel to electronics to furniture and agricul- workers derives from the tural commodities. Yet, the losses extended far organization of just-in-time beyond the ship’s cargo itself, holding up the $9 production . . . billion worth of commodities—or roughly 12 percent of global trade—that crosses the Suez As sociologist Beverly Silver has argued, an Canal every day and creating bottlenecks, back- examination of the historical record suggests logs, and shortages in ports and their adjacent that the ability of any group of workers to facil- supply chains around the world. itate broader trade union movement revitaliza- Images of one of the largest container ships tion through their organizing efforts requires in the world blocking one of the most trafficked structural power, the power that workers pos- waterways on the planet made international sess as a result of their scarce skills or their role headlines, making visible the vulnerability of in the labor process or economic system. an economic system built on just-in-time global Workers have the kind of structural power with supply chains. Although the blockage itself was the potential to facilitate the development of primarily a result of environmental factors, it militant trade union movements more broadly suggested the potentially transformative power when, by taking industrial action, they are able of workers in the industry stemming from stra- to disrupt production far beyond their own tegic disruptions in key nodes—or distribution workplace as a result of the central role they locations—of logistics networks. play in the economy as a whole. In fact, a number of labor scholars and activ- In the United States, dockworkers from the ists have begun to identify the global logistics International Longshore and Warehouse Union industry as a likely sector for trade union move- (ILWU) have periodically exercised this role, ment revitalization. The logistics industry, using their strategic bargaining power after the which employs nearly six million workers in 1934 San Francisco general strike to organize the United States, encompasses all of the sec- inland warehouse workers. This power has also tors of the economy engaged in the storage and been in evidence when ILWU members have movement of commodities along supply chains, stopped work in support of a wide array of from road, air, rail, and docks to warehousing political causes over the years, from their and distribution centers. The structural power refusal to ship arms to fascist countries in the of logistics workers derives from the organiza- tion of just-in-time production, through which University of Sheffield, UK firms attempt to gain comparative advantage by minimizing the amount of time that inventory Corresponding Author: sits in storage. This has created increased Katy Fox-Hodess, katyrose@gmail.com 52 New Labor Forum 31(1) 1930s and to Vietnam in the 1970s to stoppages include anti-union legislation; union-busting in solidarity with racial justice movements and divide-and-conquer strategies of employ- from the United States to South Africa to ers; high turnover rates, subcontracting, and Palestine, to name just a few of the better known other precarious employment arrangements; examples. Recent cargo pile-ups as a result of and creeping automation and employer Covid-19 at the Port of Los Angeles-Long surveillance. Beach—the largest in the United States, han- dling approximately 40 percent of the country’s . . . [O]rganizing the logistics container traffic—only serve to underline how industry could . . . be the key to crucial these nodes of the global logistics indus- unlocking organizing gains for the try are. While the ILWU has come under attack in recent years by employers and the courts, it retail workers who labor at the end remains a bastion of trade union power, along point of these supply chains . . . with its East Coast counterpart the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA), which has Former ILWU organizing director Peter successfully negotiated to prevent port automa- Olney has argued that greater attention to orga- tion. Nevertheless, labor standards, employment nizing the logistics industry could therefore be numbers, and union density across the logistics the key to unlocking organizing gains for the industry vary considerably. Dockworkers, retail workers who labor at the end point of despite their small numbers in the tens of thou- these supply chains, as well as workers in sands, have nearly 100 percent union density in warehousing, if workers with the greatest power the United States and some of the highest labor in key nodes of these supply chains are willing standards of any blue-collar workers. At the to leverage that power to support the organizing opposite end of the spectrum, millions of work- efforts of workers at other locations. ers labor in warehouses and distribution centers Among logistics workers, perhaps no single in the United States, with union density in the group possesses greater structural power than single digits and notoriously poor working dockworkers, thanks to the central role they conditions. play in global trade, so understanding their abil- ity to organize across work sites and the strate- Recent cargo pile-ups as a result gies they employ provides a basis for of Covid-19 at the Port of Los understanding the possibilities of logistics and Angeles-Long Beach—the largest supply chain organizing more broadly. An example of a “best case scenario” for global in the United States, handling logistics worker organizing is the International approximately 40 percent of the Dockworkers Council (IDC), an independent country’s container traffic—only global union organization of workplace-level serve to underline how crucial dockworker union activists that I have these nodes of the global logistics researched for the past decade. industry are. The IDC’s experience not only helps us imagine the transformative impact that a better Given the outsized role of online retailers organized logistics sector could have for the like Amazon in the global economy and their labor movement as a whole—it also points to heavy reliance on smooth circulation, disrup- concrete strategies to help bring that into being. tions in key distribution centers should, in the- While organizing must be guided by the speci- ory, provide these workers with substantial ficities of each sector of the logistics industry, structural power. Yet, as recent organizing cam- the IDC case suggests some general principles paigns at Amazon distribution centers have for effective strategizing and intraorganiza- highlighted, workers in this sector of the logis- tional practices by worker activists. None of tics industry face substantial barriers to improv- these lessons on their own will provide the ing their working conditions. These barriers “magic bullet” needed to crack open the most Fox-Hodess 53 difficult to organize sectors and workplaces in comparison of some of the key disputes affili- the logistics industry, but they may provide ates have faced in recent years, as well as the helpful signposts pointing organizers in the broader organizational lessons, is therefore right direction. helpful in illuminating the potential of organiz- ing in the global logistics sector. History and Structure of the IDC Lessons from Labor Disputes Although the IDC was officially founded in at IDC Affiliates 2000, dockworker union activists already had decades of experience of cross-border solidar- An examination of major labor disputes facing ity and coordination during labor disputes, par- five of the IDC’s affiliates has yielded key take- ticularly in Europe. Many of the unions active aways relevant for logistics worker organizing in the IDC’s creation, including the ILWU, had more generally. First, disputes were resolved been excluded from the International Transport successfully when workers combined strategic Workers Federation (ITF), the mainstream industrial action with support from community global union federation in the transportation and trade union allies. Second, even the best sector, as a consequence of their left-wing poli- organizers struggled to reach successful out- tics during the Cold War. A shared perception comes when the broader political environment that the ITF had failed to adequately respond to was stacked against them, pointing to the need iconic dockworker disputes at the Port of to address issues beyond the workplace. Of Liverpool in the 1990s and the Port of these five disputes, three involved affiliates in Charleston in 2000 as a result of the organiza- Europe (the United Kingdom, Portugal and tion’s bureaucratic structure finally shifted the Greece) and two involved affiliates in Latin balance in favor of founding an independent America (Chile and Colombia). Two of the dis- global dockworker organization open not just putes had successful outcomes for the unions to national unions but to locals and even indi- (Portugal and Chile); one of the disputes was vidual dockworkers. partially successful (the United Kingdom); and two of the disputes had unsuccessful outcomes (Greece and Colombia). The International Dockworkers In Chile and Portugal, dockworker union Council . . . has been an experiment activists pulled off major successes that bene- in participatory democracy and fited not only the workers directly involved in independent, non-bureaucratic the disputes but also the trade union movements global unionism . . . in their countries more broadly. In Chile, dock- workers held weeks-long national strikes in The IDC from its inception, then, has been an 2013 and 2014 as part of an offensive to reverse experiment in participatory democracy and the decades-long decline in labor standards on independent, non-bureaucratic global unionism, the docks brought about by the Pinochet dicta- with decision-making through annual assem- torship–era reform of labor law, which had blies open to all members and de facto interna- atomized the country’s trade union movement. tional stewards’ councils at the regional level. In Portugal, dockworkers struck repeatedly in The General Coordinator is an unpaid part-time 2013-2014 as part of a defensive campaign to officer who remains embedded in his local prevent the breaking of the union-controlled union, and well into its second decade, the orga- hiring pools at the port, a provision demanded nization only employed a single staff member. by the European Union as part of Portugal’s Over the course of the organization’s twenty- bailout from its sovereign debt crisis. year history, the IDC has expanded signifi- In both cases, dockworkers won through a cantly from a primarily European dockworker strategy of effective industrial action, interna- organization to one with truly global reach, par- tional solidarity, and community/political sup- ticularly in Latin America and West Africa. A port. By understanding both when and where 54 New Labor Forum 31(1) they had the most structural power—that is to Gateway. At the time that it opened, it was the say, when and where withholding their labor only non-unionized port in the country. Unite, would have the greatest impact on key deci- the union that represents dockworkers in the sion-makers in each dispute—they set the stage United Kingdom, built a corporate campaign to for a successful confrontation. put external pressure on key decision-makers in Their industrial leverage was bolstered by the company with the help of labor and com- external support from the IDC and other allies munity allies but neglected to build a worker- in the trade union movement and domestic organizing base from within, making minimal social movements. As the disputes dragged on, progress in reaching an agreement. the IDC threatened to boycott the unloading of Nevertheless, when the first ship left the ships arriving from the ports, which proved to port, the IDC stepped up once again with a be a major tipping point in the conflicts. threat to refuse to work the ship at other ports of Ultimately, the Portuguese dockworkers call, resulting in an agreement allowing union retained their union-controlled hiring pools and organizers access to the workforce at the job the Chilean dockworkers negotiated a national site. However, because the union had not previ- agreement with the help of the government— ously built up a base of shop-floor activists, the the first time the Chilean state had facilitated company successfully engaged in a union- national-level sectoral collective bargaining avoidance campaign with its workforce, pre- since before the Pinochet dictatorship. venting Unite from winning sufficient support While it might seem counterintuitive that to push for union recognition. Over time, the workers capable of leveraging such significant union pivoted toward identifying effective structural power would need to call on non- worker organizers on the shop floor who could structural forms of support as well, union leaders build support for the union, and they were from both Chile and Portugal emphasized the eventually able to negotiate a collective agree- role played by community allies in their victories ment. The lesson, then, is an important one: in amplifying the impact of industrial action and international solidarity, and labor, and commu- increasing the likelihood that the government nity support are vital forms of leverage in the would intervene in ways favorable to organized logistics sector but cannot replace effective labor. Dockworker unions in both countries have shop-floor organizing. become iconic symbols for the trade union Finally, in Greece and Colombia, despite val- movement and the left more broadly of what is iant organizing efforts, dockworker union activ- possible when workers organize, and they have ists simply were not able to overcome the played a leading role in social and political constraints of their external political environ- movements in their countries since that time. ments. In Greece, dockworkers faced the whole- sale privatization of the country’s ports, a condition imposed as part of the EU bailout Dockworker unions in [Chile agreement for the Greek sovereign debt crisis. At and Portugal] . . . have become the largest port in the country, Piraeus, dock- iconic symbols for the trade union workers engaged in multiple rounds of industrial movement and . . . have played a action with strong support from labor, commu- leading role in social and political nity, and political allies. Yet, the scale of the eco- movements in their countries . . . nomic and political crisis in Greece was beyond the ability of any single sector of workers to In the United Kingdom, on the contrary, address, and the port was ultimately privatized. dockworkers were not able to win an outright In a very different context, Colombian dock- victory until they had built sufficient power on workers at the country’s largest port in the shop floor, which unlike in the Chilean and Buenaventura have been struggling for basic Portuguese cases had lagged. In 2013, Dubai union recognition at the ports since privatiza- Port World, a global terminal operator, opened tion in the 1990s destroyed their former national a new port on the Thames called London union overnight. However, the ongoing civil Fox-Hodess 55 conflict in the region, widespread targeting of Labor Relations Board (NLRB) appoint- union activists by paramilitary organizations, ments and right-to-work laws in the South, and lack of enforcement of labor law have com- along with a range of other potential political bined to create an overwhelmingly difficult factors, constrain the environment for logis- context for organizing, in the ports and beyond, tics worker organizing across the board, par- despite support from a number of international ticularly for those workers with less structural organizations. power. Any effective strategy for new orga- While the Greek and Colombian contexts nizing in the logistics industry will have to are very different from what logistics workers find ways to work with or around these are likely to face in the United States, the key constraints. lesson remains relevant: even for workers who occupy highly strategic positions within global Lessons on Intraorganizational capitalism, the broader political environment Practices from the IDC for organizing can undermine the ability to exercise power effectively. Strategy must take In addition to providing lessons for the devel- account both of the industrial leverage workers opment of logistics worker-organizing strategy, possess and of how that power operates within the IDC’s organizational model provides les- a broader framework shaped not just by the sons on how to bring logistics workers together economy but also by the state. across disparate worksites—and even coun- tries. My research showed that the success of the IDC’s organizing model came from its prac- Even for workers who occupy highly tices of rank-and-file democracy, flexibility and strategic positions within global honesty with regard to the differential ability of capitalism, the broader political workers in disparate locations to take collective environment for organizing can action, and a model of solidarity among autono- undermine the ability to exercise mous local unions. power effectively. Unlike the mainstream global union federa- tions, which tend to rely heavily on paid profes- In the United States, one of the most signifi- sional staff and to be directed “from above” by cant contextual factors is the highly restrictive the leadership of national union affiliates, the system of labor law compared to other wealthy IDC’s success has depended on its bottom-up, Western democracies. Taft Hartley, for exam- participatory democratic organizing model, ple, which enables the president to prevent embedded in the needs and capacities of work- strikes that threaten national security, has been ers at the shop-floor level. invoked on our ports successfully only twice in Decisions are made collectively by activists the past fifty years, both times on the West and are arrived at by consensus. IDC activists Coast. And an ILWU dispute in the Pacific are, with few exceptions, working dockwork- Northwest in 2011 with a grain terminal opera- ers, rather than full-time union reps, allowing tor led then President Obama to threaten to call them to maintain a close connection to the rank- in the Coast Guard to escort the ship. More and-file of the affiliated unions. This connec- generally, the ILWU has fought battles again tion to the rank-and-file helps to ensure that and again to effectively take solidarity action— decisions made by the IDC will be carried out also restricted by Taft Hartley—by invoking collectively through local actions. health and safety provisions to refuse to cross One of the key organizational challenges the community picket-lines. Railroad workers in IDC has faced—relevant to logistics worker the United States, on the contrary, have a highly organizing more generally—is how to work restricted right to strike, and the power of together effectively while recognizing the dif- truck drivers has been severely eroded over ferential ability of workers to exercise power time by the deregulation of the industry and across disparate social, political, and economic concomitant rise of bogus self-employment. contexts. IDC activists emphasized the impor- At a broader level, the politicization of National tance of open, honest discussions of this issue 56 New Labor Forum 31(1) and a willingness on the part of each affiliate to employer in 2016, though enforcing it has do the most that they can do while accepting proved a more difficult struggle. In general, that what they can do will differ. While some when dealing with employers in the Global Western European and Latin American unions, South, threats from trade unions in major trad- for example, can call twenty-four-hour work ing partners like the United States are particu- stoppages at short notice with relative ease, larly significant. For example, eleven workers in other parts of the world face consid- dockworkers under house arrest and facing pos- erably greater obstacles to withholding their sible prison sentences during a major labor dis- labor, so they may contribute instead with pute in Paraguay were ultimately released after informal job actions (i.e., slowdowns) or pro- a delegation of dockworker union leaders from tests outside the workplace. the United States, France and Spain took steps to pressure the Paraguayan state—a particularly Amazon’s increasing reliance effective action as dockworkers downriver in Uruguay had already taken action to boycott on oversees sellers, . . . and its ships from Asunción. expansion into third party logistics In the global shipping industry, transship- operations in road, air, and sea ment ports—which focus on moving container transport have created strong cargo from one ship to another rather than incentives for workers in the ports importing and exporting—are especially cru- and other well-organized logistics cial in the network. In both the Portuguese and U.K. disputes discussed above, the decision by centers to enter the fray. dockworkers at the major Spanish transship- In addition to negotiating these power dif- ment port of Algeciras at the Strait of Gibraltar ferentials among affiliates, the IDC has devel- to refuse to work ships coming from the ports oped practices to address resource differentials. of Lisbon and London Gateway was the major To support the development of activist net- turning point in the disputes. works in Latin America and Africa among Conversely, the inability to effectively poorly resourced unions, dockworker unions address “holes” of support at critical locations from North America and Europe pay higher in a logistics network can significantly under- affiliation fees. Yet, crucially, this transfer of mine worker action. For example, although the resources to the Global South does not imply a IDC has affiliated most of the major ports in transfer of decision-making to the Global Europe, including Barcelona, Valencia, North. In other words, the Latin American and Marseilles-Fos, Le Havre, and Antwerp, other African networks maintain their own autono- key ports, such as Rotterdam in the Netherlands mous organizing structures and are led by rank- and Hamburg and Bremerhaven in Germany— and-file union activists from their regions who all among the largest in the region—are unaf- collectively define and carry out priorities filiated, creating incentives for shipping established by their affiliates with financial companies to simply divert vessels to these support from the Global North. ports when IDC affiliates are in dispute. The IDC has important lessons to impart as well regarding organizing strategy in the logis- What Are Next Steps? tics industry. The key insight is that power comes from the ability to disrupt the flow of The potential for tremendous power stemming goods across a network, so building connec- from strategic disruptions by workers in key tions across worksites is crucial. For example, nodes in the logistics industry is clear. What is although the Colombian dockworkers have needed now is a better understanding of how to made limited progress, pressure by Danish develop and harness it for trade union move- dockworkers on the Danish employer Maersk ment revitalization more generally. This will to respect workers’ rights at the Port of require workers in the strongest positions Buenaventura in Colombia helped the dock- within logistics networks—such as dockwork- workers there to reach an agreement with their ers—to consider how they can leverage their Fox-Hodess 57 structural power to support organizing among 2. Kit Chellel, et al. “Six Days in Suez: The Inside Story of the Ship that Broke Global workers in weaker positions—such as ware- Trade,” Bloomberg Businessweek, June 24, house workers. 2021, available at https://www.bloomberg.com/ In the United States, perhaps the most obvi- news/features/2021-06-24/how-the-billion- ous target for support is worker organizing in dollar-ever-given-cargo-ship-got-stuck-in- Amazon distribution centers around the coun- the-suez-canal. try, such as the campaign in Bessemer, Alabama. 3. Mary Ann Russon, “The Cost of the Suez Amazon, the second largest employer in the Canal Blockage,” BBC News, March 29, 2021, country, depends on the smooth circulation of available at https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/ goods through its supply chains for its business business-56559073. model—from last-mile delivery drivers and in- 4. 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Silver, Forces of Labor: Workers’ The author(s) declared no potential conflicts of inter- Movements and Globalization since 1870 est with respect to the research, authorship, and/or (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003). publication of this article. 7. Ana Monteiro, “Biggest U.S. Port Complex to Work Nights, Weekends to Cut Logjam,” Bloomberg, September 17, 2021, available Funding at https://www.bloomberg.com/news/arti- The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following cles/2021-09-17/biggest-u-s-port-complex-to- financial support for the research, authorship, and/or work-nights-weekends-to-cut-logjam. publication of this article: Research for this article 8. Ari Paul, “The Multinational Trying to Bankrupt was supported by funding from the Social Science the Dockworkers Union Has a Sordid Past,” Research Council. In These Times, January 16, 2020, available at https://inthesetimes.com/article/ilwu-fed- ORCID iD eral-jury-international-container-terminal-ser- Katy Fox-Hodess https://orcid.org/0000-0003 vices-workers-rights. -3081-6273 9. Hugh R. Morley, “Tentative ILA-USMX Master Contract Bans Full Terminal Automation,” The Journal of Commerce, August 14, Notes 2018, available at https://www.joc.com/ 1. Charmaine Chua, “The Ever Given and the port-news/longshoreman-labor/international- Monstrosity of Maritime Capitalism,” Boston longshoremen%E2%80%99s-association/ Review, May 4, 2021, available at https:// tentative-ila-usmx-master-contract-has-termi- bostonreview.net/class-inequality-politics/ nal-automation-ban_20180814.html. charmaine-chua-ever-given-and-monstrosity- 10. Andre Perry et al, “Amazon’s Union Battle in maritime-capitalism. 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For a blow-by-blow account of the Charleston labor-friendly changes have emboldened dispute, with background on the Liverpool workers from the Amazon distribution cen- dispute and founding of the IDC, see: Suzan ter in Bessemer, Alabama. See Luis Feliz Erem and E. Paul Durrenberger, On the Global Leon, “Hearing Officer Recommends Rerun Waterfront: The Fight to Free the Charleston 5 of Amazon Bessemer Election,” Labor Notes (New York: Monthly Review Press, 2008). August 3, 2021, available at https://labornotes. 13. For further information on the disputes dis- org/blogs/2021/08/nlrb-hearing-officer-recom- cussed, see: Katy Fox-Hodess, “In the Face of mends-rerun-amazon-bessemer-election. Austerity, Portuguese Dockworkers Win Back 20. 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Jack Germain, “Made in China, Sold on Dockworker Unionism in Colombia and Chile,” Amazon: The Numbers Are Skyrocketing,” Latin American Politics and Society 61, no. 3 E-Commerce Times, March 30, 2021, avail- (May 2019): 29-54; Katy Fox-Hodess and Camilo able at https://www.ecommercetimes.com/ Santibañez Rebolledo, “The Social Foundations story/87077.html. of Structural Power: Strategic Position, Worker 24. Charley Dehoney, “Commentary: Amazon Isn’t Unity and External Alliances in the Making of the Going into 3PL Business; It’s Already There,” Chilean Dockworkers Movement,” Global Labour Freightwaves, January 15, 2021, available at Journal 11, no. 3 (September 2020): 222-38. https://www.freightwaves.com/news/commen- 14. David E. Sanger. and Steven Greenhouse. tary-amazon-isnt-going-into-3pl-business-its- “President Invokes Taft-Hartley Act to Open 29 already-there; Shefali Kapadia, “Report: Amazon Ports,” New York Times, October 9, 2002, avail- Ramps Up Ocean Shipping Services,” Supply able at https://www.nytimes.com/2002/10/09/ Chain Dive, January 22, 2019, available at https:// us/president-invokes-taft-hartley-act-to-open- www.supplychaindive.com/news/amazon-ship- 29-ports.html. ping-freight-forwarding-first-mile/546548/. 15. Jane Slaughter, “Longshore Union Settles Grain Dispute as Confrontation Loomed,” Labor Author Biography Notes, January 26, 2012, available at https:// www.labornotes.org/2012/01/longshore-union- Dr. Katy Fox-Hodess is a lecturer in Employment settles-grain-dispute-confrontation-loomed. Relations and Research Development Director of the 16. Peter Cole, “No Justice, No Ships Get Loaded: Centre for Decent Work at the University of Sheffield Political Boycotts on the San Francisco Bay and in England. A cofounder of the International Labour Durban Waterfronts,” International Review of and Logistics Research Network, her research exam- Social History 58, no. 2 (August 2013): 185-217. ines the foundations of worker power and the chal- 17. “Ratifications Make Rail Strike Unlikely,” lenges and potential of trade union internationalism Railway Age, December 1, 2017, available in the global logistics industry. Explore and discover more from SAGE SAGE Perspectives Blog SAGE Journals Author Gateway SAGE Perspectives focuses on highlighting The SAGE Journals Author Gateway is an topical and interesting research published in essential website for all aspiring academic SAGE books and journals. 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New Labor ForumSAGE

Published: Dec 3, 2021

Keywords: global unions; dockworkers; logistics; structural power; internationalism

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