Who is Stevedoring Services of America (SSA)?

     Stevedoring Services of America (SSA) is a multi-national corporation
based in Seattle Washington. SSA has offices and operations across the
country--including New Orleans--and the world.  Stevedoring companies like
SSA are involved in the unloading and loading of goods onto and off of
ships.  SSA also operates a number of ports as well.

Why should the anti-war movement protest SSA?

* SSA profits from the War

     The US government's so-called  "Agency for International Development"
has awarded a  multi-million dollar contract to SSA to run the Iraqi port in
Umm Qasr, where Iraqi workers and soldiers continue to put up heroic
resistance to the US and British imperialist troops.  This contract
represents what this war is all about--US and British capitalists stealing
the resources and dominating the economy of Iraq.  SSA is profiting from the
United State's colonial conquest of Iraq.  The US is beginning by
privatizing the ports, and then they will go after the real prize--the
state-owned oil company.
    SSA also profits from this genocidal war by placing war material on
ships. SSA and other stevedoring companies direct the loading onto ships of
armaments and other materials needed to carry out daily atrocities against
the Iraqi people--like the US "smart" bomb that killed over 50 civilians in
an open air market in Baghdad on March 28. Stop the war profiteers!

* SSA is anti-union

     SSA has been a leader in the bosses attack on the working conditions
and standard of living of dockworkers in New Orleans.  SSA has demanded, in
their drive for super-profits, that workers and their unions accept lower
wages, reduced benefits, lower staffing levels, and elimination of safety
and heath regulations. As a result of the attack carried about SSA and other
stevedore companies, along with the pro-management leadership of the
International Longshore Association (ILA),  the New Orleans dockworkers now
make less--in nominal terms--than they did 20 years ago! The number of jobs
have declined as trade has increased.  Exploitation has been intensified.
    SSA's anti-worker and anti-union activities are not limited to New
Orleans.  SSA has led the attack on the west coast longshore union
(ILWU)--the most progressive union in the US. The SSA, with the rest of the
shipping industry, worked with the Bush administration to force dockers back
to work under the provisions of  the Taft-Hartley act--the slave labor
act--last fall. Bush also threatened to militarize  the ports if the dockers
went out on strike. These moves were designed to get the ILWU to accept a
concessionary contract.
    Therefore, taking a stand against SSA makes the connection between the
war abroad, and the war at home, on workers.

* SSA supports institutionalized racism

The attacks on unionized labor on the docks has been inherently racist. The
dockers in New Orleans are overwhelmingly African American.  Historically
the docks were a source of good paying jobs for African Americans.  The
attacks by SSA and the shipping industry in general  has changed this and
led to a deepening of racist inequality in the US.  This racism parallels
the racism of the war in which African Americans are over represented in
both the military and in those killed in war.

* To expand the antiwar movement

     This action is way to reach out to organized labor, such as the members
of the ILA that work on the docks, and members of the Teamsters union that
transport goods to and from the docks.  These workers can take powerful
anti-war actions--as their counterparts in Europe and other parts of the
world already have--by refusing to handle goods for the war effort, or by
shutting down production altogether. This can be done in the US! US workers
have taken actions against imperialist wars and intervention. The west coast
dockers refused to handle goods from the US's death squad client state in El
Salvador in the 1980s,  or load arms destined for counter-revolutionary
forces in China during the civil war in the late 1940s, and for Russia in

* SSA attacks workers around the world

     The SSA works with the US controlled World Bank, International Monetary
Fund, Inter-American Development Bank, World Trade Organization,  and other
imperialist controlled institutions to push privatizations of ports around
the world. Currently workers in Bangladesh are fighting the privatization of
their countries ports and turning them over to SSA. Privatization, as the
Bangladeshi workers realize,  invariably results in layoffs, union busting
and lower wages.
   By drawing the links between SSA's role in Iraq and around the world, we
can strengthen the international links of the anti-war movement.  Indeed, we
are contacting our brother and sisters in Bangladesh to let them know about
the action we are taking against SSA in New Orleans.

* SSA supports the government's attack on Civil Liberties

SSA and the US shipping industry have been major backers of the recently
passed Maritime Transportation Security Act, which gives the government
wider power to militarize the nation's ports and requires invasive
background checks of dockworkers and other waterfront workers. Workers with
recent felony convictions or prison time will be barred from work--as will
any immigrant whose legal status in question.  And in an echo of the
anticommunist witch-hunts of the 1950s, the law allows the government to
deny a "transportation security card"--that is, employment on the
waterfront--to anyone who "poses a poses a terrorism security risk to the
United States."
     The attack on civil liberties by Bush, and the growing machinery of
state repression from the Homeland Security Act to the Patriot Act, which
employers like SSA are supporting, is central part of the government's
effort to crush both any opposition to the war and the deepening austerity
being implemented to finance the war.