Charleston longshoremens union to picket Marine Corps
Unions representing Charleston dockworkers plan to picket the headquarters of the U.S. Marine Corps in Virginia and the Naval Weapons Station in North Charleston on Monday to protest the use of non-local labor for the loading of an ammunition ship.
Ken Riley, president of both the International Longshoremen’s Union Local 1422 in Charleston and the state AFL-CIO, said union officials have been working for months to try to resolve the labor jurisdiction issue with the Marine Corps, without success.
At issue are plans to load ammunition for the Marines at Joint Base Charleston Naval Weapon Station — a ship-loading job that could take 10 days. It’s work that the ILA normally handles for the Marines in North Carolina, Riley said, but in this case the work will be done in Charleston and handled by a Jacksonsville, Fla. company is expected to bring workers in for the job.
“Whether you’re in a union or not — I don’t think it’s prudent to bring in workers from another state to do work that South Carolinians could do,” Riley said. “We want to discourage this from happening in the future.”
Repeated requests by The Post and Courier for comment from the Marine Corps, and from the Jacksonville company, Portus, have gone unanswered.
Riley said longshoremen from South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia and Florida will join in the picketing on behalf of ILA locals 1422, 1422-A and 1771.
Read more in Wednesday’s editions of The Post and Courier.