Written by Angela Landes (News Writer)
In 2014, a Zim company cargo ship attempted to dock and unload cargo in trade from Israel to the United States. Local organization Arab Resource & Organization Center (AROC) worked with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) to organize a labor strike, refusing to touch the cargo or unload the ship. Their goal was to put pressure on Israel in response to missile strikes sent to Palestine. Israel and the United States have had a very close allyship, and the U.S. provides billions of dollars in aid to Israel each year. The Zim company failed to offload the ship, which was considered a great loss to the company.
More recently in May of this year, the very same organizations- AROC and ILWU- received information that the Zim company would send a ship once again to the Port of Oakland. The Palestine General Federation of Trade Unions contacted the ILWU and other worker organizations, sending out an ask for workers to boycott Israel in response to more missiles being sent to Gaza, among other things. The ILWU workers of the Oakland port decided to not touch the cargo coming on or off the ship. AROC organized a massive text update system which over 2,000 protesters signed up for within a few days. In response, the Zim company ship turned around, only one day before it was supposed to dock in Oakland.
The Zim company has not released any official public statements but has sent another cargo ship, scheduled to arrive at the Port of Oakland on or around May 29th. AROC, ILWU, and their public supporters plan to once again block the ship from going through with any trade. Conversely, the Oakland Police Department has not shown any recognition of these events and has not released any statements on the matter. It is to be seen how these events play out in the coming weeks.