Longshore union says it stands in solidarity with Ukraine, stops handling Russian cargo

Boats at port with mountains in the background
Port of Dutch Harbor. (Hope McKenney/KUCB)

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union announced in a statement Thursday that they won’t touch Russian ships or cargo.

ILWU President Willie Adams said in the statement that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine prompted the action.

“With this action in solidarity with the people of Ukraine, we send a message that we unequivocally condemn the Russian invasion,” Adams said.

The labor union represents more than 20,000 U.S. dockworkers across the West Coast of the United States.

Approximately 140 union members work in the International Port of Dutch Harbor, with around 200 more ILWU workers around the state.

Jeff Hancock, vice president of the Alaska Longshore Division, said the union is actively tracking vessels which are Russian owned or operated or that may be carrying cargo loaded in Russia.

Hancock also said he doesn’t foresee the decision creating a significant impact in Unalaska, because the port does not typically move enough Russian cargo for the community to feel the effects.

The last Russian vessel the union worked on in Unalaska was a research vessel that docked in Unalaska/Dutch Harbor in February.

Editor’s note: Jeff Hancock is the partner of KUCB’s General Manager, Lauren Adams.

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