Stevedores’ union says it stands in solidarity with Ukraine and stops handling Russian shipments

Port of Dutch Harbor. (Hope McKenney/KUCB)

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union said in a statement on Thursday that it would not touch Russian ships or goods.

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

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

The union represents more than 20,000 American dockworkers on the West Coast of the United States.

About 140 union members work at the international port of Dutch Harbor, along with about 200 other ILWU workers statewide.

Jeff Hancock, vice president of the Alaska Longshore division, said the union is actively tracking vessels owned or operated by Russians or likely to carry cargo loaded in Russia.

Hancock also said he doesn’t expect the decision to have a significant impact in Unalaska because the port doesn’t typically transport enough Russian goods for the community to feel the effects.

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

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

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