In the latest effort to strengthen labor's hand in the global economy, West Coast dockworkers this month welcomed pilots at the Panama Canal into their union. Meanwhile longshore unions on the nation's Atlantic and Pacific coasts are forging new ties.
At one of the world's strategic passageways, the Panama Canal Pilots Union joined the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) on Sept. 7, the 32nd anniversary of the United States turning over control of the Canal Zone to Panama. The ILWU represents longshore workers along the West Coast of the U.S. and Canada.
In welcoming the canal pilots, ILWU International President Bob McEllrath said, "This is an historic agreement that unites workers in different countries with a critical link in the global supply chain," reported the Dispatcher, the ILWU's publication.