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The Story of the Neptune Jade

On September 28, 1997, a picket line was set up in the port of Oakland against the scab cargo-laden ship, Neptune Jade, in solidarity with 500 sacked Liverpool dockers. While this was not an IWW initiated campaign, many of the participants and organizers of these picketlines were members of the Bay Area IWW.

Members of ILWU Local 10 refused to cross the picketline for three straight days.  The Neptune Jade then left Oakland with its cargo still unloaded, but workers in its later ports of call having been inspired by the actions in Oakland, also refused to unload the ship!

Global shipowners, represented by the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA), sued the labor activists who picketed and the longshore union locals whose member honored that picket line. The Liverpool Dockers Defense Committee was organized to build a united front defense campaign to demand PMA drop their case against the Neptune Jade defendants.

Through a campaign of global solidarity, the working class organizers and militant rank & file transportation union workers and their allies were able to beat back the backlash from the Pacific Maritime Association.  Here are some of the accounts of this story:

Workers Victorious:

The Neptune Jade Pickets (September 1997)

The PMA Lawsuit (October 1997 - November 1998)

Resolutions in Support of the Neptune Jade Picketers

Wobblies and other workers picket the entrance to Berth 23 on Maritime Street in the port of Oakland, California in September, 1997. The Neptune Jade (above, right), left Berth 23 after three days, its cargo still fully loaded.