Tag Archives: ILWU

Winograd invites Hahn & Bowen to Spread the Word: Boycott Rite Aid

Dear Debra and Janice,

Rather than ask you to sign a pledge, I thought I would simply request your assistance in the ILWU struggle for union recognition at Rite Aid.  I’ve written a letter to the corporate headquarters, explaining why I support the union’s boycott and urging the company to respect collective bargaining rights.

Please join me and rank and file ILWU members at the harbor in boycotting this store and urging your supporters to do likewise.  Together, we can condemn all anti-union rhetoric and lend our support to workers living in fear of employer retribution. As my ILWU brothers and sisters remind us, “An injury to one is an injury to all,” so let us be staunch advocates of self-determination at the workplace.

  Your sister in struggle,

   Marcy Winograd


4.1.2001 * ILWU Rally, San Pedro, California

[My letter to Rite Aid below the jump]


Rite Aid Corporation

c/o Corporate Secretary

P.O. Box 3165

Harrisburg, PA 17105

[email protected].

April 5, 2011

Dear Rite Aid Board of Directors:

As a candidate for California’s 36th congressional district, I join the ILWU in boycotting your stores until Rite Aid agrees to bargain in good faith with its workers.  I am referring to warehouse employees, working under sweltering conditions, at your Rite Aid store in Lancaster.  These workers deserve to be treated humanely and in accordance with the union certification they won years ago.  To express my support for these workers’ demands, I joined with ILWU workers in the Los Angeles harbor to walk the picket line in front of Rite Aid in San Pedro. Following the picket,  I learned more about Rite Aid’s record with labor:

***In Ohio, workers at six Rite Aid stores began a strike on March 14th to protest the company’s violation of employee and union rights. Rite Aid’s also trying to cut their health benefits;

***At the giant Lancaster, CA, distribution center, Rite Aid is trying to gouge employees by marking-up their cost of health insurance by 28 times over the increases being charged by insurers.

***In Pennsylvania, Rite Aid has been trying extract harsh concessions from store employees for months, weakening morale.

***In New Jersey, Rite Aid also is looking to gouge employees by changing their already expensive health care plan to an even more unaffordable plan and trying to prevent workers at its newly acquired stores from joining a union to secure their rights on the job.

Consequently, I ask thousands of my supporters throughout the nation to join in the ILWU boycott of Rite Aid.  I am posting this letter to my 3,000 friends on facebook and tweeting a link to it, so that the message reverberates nationwide.  Additionally, I ask my leading opponents in this May 17th special election to join me in boycotting Rite Aid and publicly urging their supporters to do the same.

I look forward to hearing from you – and receiving assurances from your corporate headquarters that your company will respect hard-fought collective bargaining rights.


Marcy Winograd

[email protected]

13428 Maxella Ave., #359

Marina del Rey, CA  90292


ILWU’s Michael Morales and Marcy Winograd



Phil Abraham, Winograd for Congress 2011

Please join me in supporting the ILWU.  Sign up at Winograd for Congress 2011.

General Strike

There was some question whether or not this would actually happen, but I’m proud of the ILWU for putting principles first and pulling this off.

Thousands of dockworkers at all 29 West Coast ports, including Los Angeles and Long Beach, took the day off work today in what their union called a protest of the war in Iraq, effectively shutting down operations at the busy complexes.

The action came two months before the contract expires between the dockworkers, represented by the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, and the Pacific Maritime Assn., which represents port operators and large shippers, many of them foreign-owned.

“We are supporting the troops and telling politicians in Washington that it’s time to end the war in Iraq,” said union President Bob McEllrath.

This is the first major general strike against the war I can think of in my personal memory.  Two years ago most truckers stayed away on May Day to protest immigration policy and attend rallies in LA.  But this is the entire west coast of the US and Canada.

The longshoremen understand what our politicians must: this war is immoral, unnecessary, catastrophic, and damaging to our national character.  It needs to end.

(This is also why a strong labor movement needs to be sustained.  Not only does it provide an engine to upward mobility for the working class, it takes the role of our national conscience.)

UPDATE: Here’s an example of why the ILWU is out in the streets today.

Sgt. 1st Class David L. McDowell, 30, of Ramona, California died Tuesday in Afghanistan of “wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked using small arms fires.” The San Diego Tribune reports, “He had been deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq seven times and was a recipient of two Bronze stars and a Purple Heart.”

Seven tours of duty.  No end in sight.  What a tragedy.

May Day Happenings

Tomorrow is May Day, and the combination of anniversaries – the traditional holiday for workers (that started in the United States, it is most certainly NOT a Communist holiday), a day of action in the Latino community, and the 5th anniversary of “Mission Accomplished” – means that there are goings-on all over the state tomorrow.

• Latino groups will stage a May Day rally for immigrant rights tomorrow in downtown Los Angeles.  You may remember that last year’s event in Macarthur Park ended in chaos with tear gas and brutality marring a peaceful protest.  The cops have actually been practicing and preparing so that there are no such incidents this year.  Organizers expect anywhere between 25,000-100,000.

• There’s at least one budget cut/fee increase protest being planned at Cal-State Northridge, organized by students.  It should start around 12:00 on the bookstore lawn.  I believe this is part of a continuing action by students to raise awareness about the crime Arnold Schwarzenegger wants to commit on public education this fiscal year.  There’s more at The Alliance for the CSU.

• On the anniversary of “Mission Accomplished,” True Majority and CREDO Mobile are teaming up to deliver the Responsible Plan to End The War in Iraq to incumbent House members, and urge them to sign on to the bills in the plan that have already been proposed.  The House leadership is planning on cravenly offering more money in the war supplemental than even George Bush asked for, funding it through 2009 without any checks or conditions.  This is dead wrong, and there are steps Congress can take right now to rein in military contractors, aid in the humanitarian crisis, and increase regional diplomatic efforts, instead of allowing Bush to muddle through and pass off the disaster to his successor.  You can find one of the 210 events in your area by clicking this link.

• The west coast chapters of the International Longshoreman Worker’s Union (ILWU) is planning on shutting down all west coast ports on May Day to protest the ongoing occupation of Iraq.  Information on Bay Area events is here.  There’s also information at this blog.  This is the biggest general strike I can remember, and coming from longshoremen it can hardly be considered the work of dirty hippies.  This is a very important event.

• And in what may in the final analysis be the most revolutionary event, word has it that Tesla Motors will open their very first store tomorrow in West LA, on Santa Monica Boulevard just east of the 405 Freeway, which paradoxically is one of the most congested spots in the city.  Tesla has created an electric vehicle that runs like a sports car, and in future years their sedan model will be relatively affordable while getting the equivalent of 135 miles per gallon.  As this event is the closest to me, I might actually get to this one. 🙂