02 Oktober 2014

[021014.EN.SEA] ZIM Ship Targeted by Pro-Palestinian Protesters Again

İsraeli-owned containership Zim Shanghai was prevented from unloading this weekend in the Port of Oakland by pro-Palestinian protesters and had to head to the Port of Los Angeles.

According to Marine Traffic’s  data the vessel departed Oakland on Sunday evening fully loaded and is expected to arrive in Los Angeles on Tuesday.

“The Zim Shanghai arrived at the Port of Oakland early Saturday morning, docking at Stevedore Services of America (SSA) at 5:16am.  The Stop ZIM Action Committee organized pickets of the ZIM ship during two work shifts at SSA, which ILWU Local 10 longshore workers respected,” Stop ZIM Action Committee said in a release.

The Committee said that the action resulted in changing the vessel’s departure time and itinerary. The Zim Shanghai, which was originally scheduled to leave at 1:00pm for Vostochnyy, Russia, instead left at midnight for the Port of Long Beach. The cargo ship will most likely try to unload its Oakland cargo in Los Angeles which will be trucked back up to Oakland causing additional costs to ZIM.

The Stop ZIM Action Committee expressed gratitude to the longshore workers of ILWU Local 10 in what they depicted as “resounding success from August 27″, since they “stood aside, gave up a day’s pay and respected the picket lines we put up.”

“At 6:00 PM Saturday, ILWU Local 10 and 34 represented longshoremen and clerks dispatched to work the vessel ZIM Shanghai at SSA’s Oakland California Terminal were met with hostile demonstrators, effectively blocking all access to the terminal,” International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) said.

ILWU added that its longshoremen and clerks were threatened physically at some points of ingress and their personal vehicles were physically blocked.

” As such, all personnel stood-by outside of the demonstration perimeters for health and safety purposes. At approximately 8 PM SSA released all personnel from work,” ILWU went on to say.

According to ILWU, the protests were organized by a coalition of individuals and organizations under the name of “Block the Boat for Gaza” online.

“The ILWU is not among the groups organizing the protests, and the leadership and membership of the ILWU have taken no position on the Israel/Gaza conflict,” ILWU stressed.

“Block the Boat for Gaza” online called on  ILWU  before the protest “to carry on its long historical tradition of opposing injustice and honoring community picket lines.”

“ This will also send a message to stevedoring companies such as SSA who are pushing for concessions right now against longshore workers who are working without a contract,” the call read.

ZIM’s cargo ships have been targeted by activists for a couple of months now preventing them from docking at either the ports of Oakland, California, Seattle or Vancouver.

The protests have resulted in considerable delays and disruption of ZIM’s schedules.

ZIM Piraeus was faced with four-day delay before it could be unloaded at Oakland terminal in mid-August. In over a week, a similar protest at the Port of Tacoma was staged to prevent ZIM Chicago from unloading. However, the  ship was unloaded and loaded as planned by the longshore workers.

Source : SN-TR, 30.09.14.

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