Supply Chain Research's blog

Energy Supply Chain Inquiry, San Francisco Zinn Bookfair, 4 Dec 2016

Bakken Route BNSF

"Energy Supply Chains: Working Class Solidarity & Stopping the Dakota Access Pipeline" presentation at 3rd Annual Howard Zinn Book Fair on Sunday December 4th, 2016 11:00 a.m. – 12 noon at San Francisco City College Mission Campus. Attendees will be taken through a "thought experiment" that imagines solidarity spreading throughout the entire energy supply chain in solidarity with the protests to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline.

"China on Strike" book talks, San Francisco Bay Area, 6-7 April 2016

China on Strike book cover

China on Strike is the first English-language book that provides an intimate and revealing window into the lives of workers organizing in China’s most profitable factories -- supplying Apple, Nike, Hewlett Packard, and other multinationals. This book has dozens of interviews with Chinese workers, documenting the processes of migration, changing employment relations, worker culture, and other transformations related to China’s explosive growth.

Supply Chain Inquiry, Los Angeles, 12 March 2016

PHL railroad LA/Long Beach port complex

"Supply Chain Worker Inquiry: China Through Los Angeles" presentation on Saturday, 12 March 2016 at The Public School Los Angeles from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. Attendees will be taken through a "thought experiment" that imagines solidarity spreading throughout the entire production process, from the recently striking Yue Yuen shoe factories Dongguan, China -- through the Los Angeles/Long Beach port complex -- to Walmart's distribution center in Elwood, Illinois (where in 2012 workers also went out on strike).

China supply chain inquiry report-back

Yue Yuen strike Dongguan, China 2014

In mid-November 2015 we facilitated two Supply Chain Inquiry Workshops in major cities in China. What follows are the presentation materials and report-backs from breakout discussions after the workshop.

Chicago, Illinois rail conference report-back

Chicago rail infrastructure

On 19 September 2015, at least a dozen rank-and-file railroad workers gathered at the United Electrical Hall in Chicago, Illinois for a conference of 80 people with the purpose of building bridges with ecologists, especially given the recent spate of oil train derailments and explosions.

Rail safety conference #3, Chicago Illinois, 19 September 2015

Chicago Rail Yard map

After two well-attended Rail Safety Conferences, the first on Saturday, March 14, 2015 in Richmond, California and the second on Saturday, March 21 in Olympia, Washington, a third -- titled "Railroad Safety: Workers, Community & the Environment" -- will be held on September 19, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois.

Wreck of Amtrak #188: talking points from RWU

Fix the hazards; dont blame the victims

On May 12, 2015, an Amtrak Northeast Regional train bound for New York City from Washington DC derailed and crashed on the Northeast Corridor in the Port Richmond neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Eight were killed and over 200 injured, 11 critically. The train was traveling at 102 mph (164 km/h) on a curved track in a 50 mph (80 km/h) zone when it derailed. Below are talking points from RWU.

Richmond, California rail conference report-back

San Francisco Bay Area oil-rail infrastructure

On 14 March 2015, two dozen rank-and-file railroad workers, as well as nine refinery workers who had recently been on strike, gathered in Richmond, California for a conference with the purpose of building bridges with ecologists, especially given the recent spate of oil train derailments and explosions.

Rail safety conference, Richmond California, 14 March 2015

Tesoro Golden Eagle Refinery, Martinez California

The Future of Railroads: Safety, Workers, Community & the Environment” is the title of two back-to-back conferences; the first on Saturday, March 14, 2015 in Richmond, California; the second on Saturday, March 21 in Olympia, Washington.

ILWU locked-out on West Coast for 2 days

EL Southern California logistic map

With contract negotiations dragging on since July 1, 2014, the collective of port managers in the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) at 29 West Coast intermodal container ports have locked out the International Longshore & Warehouse Union for the weekend of February 7-8, 2015. Despite PMA conceding and agreeing to pay 100% of longshore workers' health care costs, in addition to covering the "Cadillac Tax" under Obamacare and raising base wages 5% (and guaranteeing pensions of up to $88,800 a year), the union still has unmet demands; with port congestion reaching a crisis point, PMA is playing a game of brinksmanship by locking out the union at all West Coast ports.

Climate change and workers' strategies, San Francisco, 18 Dec 2014

Kurtz arctic research

As we more fully understand the effects of anthropogenic climate change, there is a need to bring this awareness into struggles to counteract capitalism's ecocidal destruction. Nathan Kurtz presents his research and we will discuss how transportation workers -- especially along fossil fuel supply chains -- could be at the forefront of these struggles.

Caribbean port strikes

Costa Rican dockers strike 22 October 2014

A docker strike on the island of Martinique, started on October 20, 2014 at the main port in Fort-de-France, is over the health and safety risks of siting an industrial-waste processing plant at the port. The strike at two ports in Costa Rica, Puerto Moín and Puerto Limón (pictured), began on October 25 over privatization of the terminals by Dutch firm APM (a subsidiary of Maersk).

Port trucker strike Ningbo, China

Throwing rock at truck August 2014

On 18 August 2014 over 10,000 port truckers in Ningbo, China, went on strike, not having had a raise in over 8 years. The strike lasted almost a week, with management offering a 12% raise. It involved nearly the entire trucking fleet of Ningbo, which is China's 3rd busiest port and the world's 6th busiest. During the strike, the port was paralyzed and ships were diverted to Shanghai.

Zim ship sits unloaded at Port of Oakland

ILWU shift not reporting to work

After Zim Integrated Shipping Service ship Zim Piraeus was kept offshore due to a pro-Gaza protest at the Port of Oakland on Saturday, August 16, 2014, a longshore shift from ILWU refused to cross "community pickets" on Sunday, August 17, leaving the ship docked but unloaded.

Strike at world's largest sports shoe maker in Dongguan, China

Yue Yuan strike, April 23, 2014

A strike against Yue Yuan International, world's large manufacturer of sport shoes, began on April 14, 2014. It now includes 60,000 workers at all seven factories in the Dongguan complex.

Toyota workers in India continue strike

Strike Toyota Kirloskar factory India

A strike by Indian workers at a Toyota Kirloskar auto factory near Bangalore bear a striking resemblance to the strike of Honda workers in Foshan, China in the spring of 2010 that set off a strike wave in Guangdong of auto workers at other companies (like Toyota), as well as electronics and even brewery workers. Confirming Beverly Silver's research on patterns of labor unrest, there have already been militant strikes at automakers Hyundai, Honda, Mahindra & Mahindra, and Maruti Suzuki in India.

Hong Kong dockers strike -- US speaking tour

HK dockers tour

In the spring of 2013, a 40 day strike by 500 dockworkers at the Hong Kong Port aroused massive support in Hong Kong society and throughout the world. The target was one of the world's richest and most powerful men - oligarch Li Kai-shing.

Union truckers join strike at Port Metro Vancouver

Union truckers on strike at Port Metro Vancouver March 10, 2014

Both unionized and non-unionized truckers are now on strike at Port Metro Vancouver in Canada. 1,400 non-union drivers in the United Truckers Association went out on February 26, 2014. Up to 400 drivers from the Unifor-Vancouver Container Truckers’ Association went out today, March 10, 2014.

Scab bus blocked at Port of Vancouver

Scab bus stopped Vancouver WA Feb 26, 2014

On February 26th, 2014, 30 community members and Union supporters confronted and temporarily stalled a bus transporting a scab workforce to the Port of Vancouver. This action came one day before the 1 year anniversary of the International Longshoremen and Warehouse Union (ILWU) being locked out by United Grain in Vancouver, Washington. By Lataya Dailey, Dustin Hawks, and Shane Burley.

Portland dockers honor Honduran pickets

Honduran dockers at Port of Portland OR March 4, 2014

On Tuesday, March 4, Central American port workers from the labor union Sindicato Gremial de Trabajadores del Muelle (SGTM) from Puerto Cortés in Honduras established a picket line in front of ICTSI’s Oregon’s operation at Terminal 6 in Portland.