Maritime Union says US pressure on nukes disgrace

Published: Thu 9 Oct 2003 10:14 PM
Maritime Union says US pressure on nukes a disgrace
The Maritime Union of New Zealand says that pressure from the United States of America on New Zealand¹s anti-nuclear policy is a wake up call to New Zealand workers.
Maritime Union Joint National President Dave Morgan says comments by the United States ambassador Charles Swindells in Wellington yesterday indicate a right-wing American Government is preparing for further illegal military aggression.
"New Zealand seafarers and waterfront workers were leading activists in the fight for a nuclear free New Zealand in the eighties" says Mr Morgan.
"Watersiders were vilified in this country and Australia when they refused to load pig iron for fascist Japan just prior to World War Two."
"Likewise, watersiders , seafarers and harbour workers stood together against the USS Truxton, leaving the nuclear warship stranded in Wellington harbour in 1984 because we would not bring her alongside," he says.
Mr Morgan says the Maritime Union continues to oppose nuclear madness and military aggression.
"It is to their undying shame National and ACT politicians talk of our inability to secure a free trade agreement with the United States if the anti nuclear legislation remains in place," says Mr Morgan.
New Zealand seafarers and waterfront workers have always had a simple approach to the question of peace and the anti nuclear campaigns.
"In the Second World War, one in eight who died was a merchant seafarer," says Mr Morgan.
"It is always the workers who pay with their lives for the wars started by their so-called leaders."
The Maritime Union says its statements are not directed against the American people but against the American regime.
"The Maritime Union of New Zealand holds great respect for our American friends, and we have extremely good relations with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), our sister Union on the West Coast of the United States and Canada."
Watersiders delegates travelled to the United States in 2001 to support locked out dockers (waterfront workers) in California.

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