Fw: Stevedoring Services of America (SSA) and APL - War Profiteers and collaborators with Oakland police

From: Paul Bullock (paulbullock@EBMS-LTD.CO.UK)
Date: Fri May 02 2003 - 17:24:14 EDT

Subject: Stevedoring Services of America (SSA) and APL - War Profiteers and
collaborators with Oakland police

Three leaflets
1. Mobilising for community picket Monday May 12th, evening
 2. SSA - operates out of Oakland, got contract for operating the port
 of Umm Qasr, meets with police to plan repression of demonstrators.
 3. APL - shipped equipment to Iraq.

> On April 7, 75O community members held a community picket against war
> profiteers APL and SSA. After closed meetings with these
> corporations, Oakland Police opened fire on protesters with
> potentially-lethal wooden bullets, metal-shot filled bags and
> concussion grenades. 3 members of the media, 9 longshore workers and
> 50 community members were injured.
> APL corporation profits from shipping ammunition, like that used
> in Iraq by the US Government to invade, kill and injure thousands of
> civilians and dozens of Iraqi anti-war/occupation protesters.
> SSA will profit from the 2nd corporate invasion of Iraq. The US
> Government, refusing to consider Iraqi's, has awarded SSA a 3 year
> monopoly contract with guaranteed profit to run Umm Qasr, Iraq's
> major port.
> Oakland Police and Jerry Brown must respect our right to protest
> and end their war at home; long term brutality and injustice against
> the people- particularly communities of color- of Oakland.
> We support directly democratic, ecological, peaceful, socially just
> alternatives to the war for empire and the system behind it.
> Direct Action to Stop the War
> ------------------------------------------------------------------
> Unplugging the War Machine: Stevedoring Services of America (SSA)
> Under the Guise of Providing Humanitarian Aid, Anti-Union Corporation
> Profits off of War.
> Spreading Bush's Vision of Corporatization and Privatization Around
> the World.
> "This is a preview of how American corporations will be the
> beneficiaries of this illegal war by securing contracts to rebuild
> and operate businesses in a post-war Iraq. This is part of the
> attempt to recolonize a sovereign nation." -- ILWU Anti-War Action
> Committee
> "It's going to give us exposure in the Middle East. We'll make
> additional contacts when we're over there that we don't know now." --
> Bob Watters, Vice President of SSA's organizing team for the Umm Qasr
> port, in the Seattle Times.
> Last week, the U.S. government awarded a $4.8 million contract to
> Stevedoring Services of America (SSA) to manage the Umm Qasr seaport
> in Iraq. But the $4.8 million is just the tip of the iceberg. The
> contract grants SSA rights to handle aid cargo for up the three
> years. SSA will be paid for that work under a s separate formula that
> GUARANTEES a PROFIT after costs are covered. In addition, while SSA
> will handle relief supplies initially, the contract doesn't preclude
> expanding to carry other goods for postwar Iraq.
> This arrangement has even angered the British military, members of
> who told The Guardian that they "do not want to seem imperialist
> invaders." Air Marshall Brian Burridge, Britain's chief military
> officer in the Gulf, told The Guardian that the port should be run by
> Iraqis as a model for the future reconstruction of the country, not
> by American corporations. "SSA is positioning itself for the postwar
> business," said David Olson of the University of Washington in the
> Seattle Times, "If the U.S. is there for three to five years in a
> major way, all that cargo ahs to go through one nodal point. That is
> an enormous amount of business activity. And with the backing of the
> U.S. government, you're not going to have any competition."
> Even the need for the U.S. humanitarian aid needs to be challenged,
> given that much of the humanitarian crisis in Umm Qasr was created by
> the invasion itself. For example, sufficient water was being
> transported to the city by the Baath regime before the US invasion.
> But since the invasion, no humanitarian agencies on the ground have
> been allowed into Iraq. If the invasion would stop, the humanitarian
> crisis would clearly be dramatically reduced.
> Seattle-based SSA, the largest marine terminal operator in the U.S.,
> has received dozens of contracts from the Pentagon for military cargo
> handling at U.S. ports. For example, they were recently awarded a $28
> million contract from the DOD for Army ports in North Carolina. SSA
> also has a direct connection to the Bush Administration: the
> company's Texas lobbyist, Reginald G. "Reggie" Bashur, is a former
> aid to then-Governor George W. Bush.
> It is not surprising that Bush chose SSA to help rebuild Iraq in his
> own corporate image given that SSA is a notoriously anti-union
> company that has led efforts to break longshore unions here in
> Oakland and around the world. Last year's lockout of West Coast
> longshore workers was driven in large part by SSA. ILWU President
> James Spinosa termed SSA "the primary roadblock to an effective West
> Coast longshore contract settlement," and accused them of
> "undermining negotiations, because their primary interests are in
> breaking the union."
> As the ILWU Anti-War Action Committee wrote in a newsletter to its
> members:
> "SSA is an American corporation that is benefiting from America's
> `privatizing the spoils of war' in Iraq. SSA and other companies
> represent the next wave of invaders in Iraq. The Iraqi people have
> not had a say in SSA or any other company coming in and taking over
> its ports. This war is not about democracy, ending terrorism,
> chemical weapons or weapons of mass destruction. This war is about
> controlling the oil resources in Iraq, controlling the Mid-East, and
> providing billions of dollars for American Corporations to rebuild
> what the American and British governments have destroyed."
> --------------------------------------------------------------------
> APL: War Profiteer - Arm of the U.S. Military - Corporate Globalizer
> Neptune Orient Lines (APL's parent company) is "seen among the few to
> benefit from the war in Iraq, with unit APL carrying US military
> cargo to Baghdad." -- AFX-Asia "Stock Alert."
> APL is not only a carrier of military cargo; they also operate as a
> direct arm of the U.S. Department of Defense. In their own words, APL
> has a "close, decades-long working relationship with the U.S.
> Department of Defense (APL website)."
> APL, headquartered in Oakland, receives millions of taxpayer dollars
> every year for shipping military cargo through the Department of
> Defense (DOD) Maritime Security Program (MSP). APL makes nine of its
> vessels available to the DOD in order to move "ammunition and
> sustainment cargo." Several of these vessels have already been called
> up to service the military this year. The MSP is authorized to make
> payments of $2.1 million per vessel per year through the program.
> Therefore, APL is potentially receiving $18 million dollars of
> taxpayer money per year from the U.S. military to be a gunrunner.
> But it gets worse, APL's parent company, Neptune Orient Lines Ltd,
> (NOL), is receiving $100 million in U.S. tax-payer money annually
> from the DOD for its 47 ships (including APL's nine) that participate
> in the MSP.
> APL is not only profiting off of this war, they made millions off of
> the last Persian Gulf War. In 1991, APL's net income rose to $94
> million due in part to the money it received from the DOD for APL's
> "Ready Reserve" ships which were activated to carry military cargo.
> At Concord Naval Weapons station, APL's stevedoring company, Eagle
> Marine Services, provides the stevedoring (a stevedore is another
> name for longshoreman, loads and unloads cargo) for the military
> cargo that goes out of Concord.
> APL was the second-largest container shipping company in the U.S.
> until it merged with Singapore-based Neptune Orient Lines (NOL) to
> become one of the top five cargo carriers in the world with total
> sales in 2001 of nearly $4.7 billion. On the U.S. West Coast, it
> operates ocean terminals at Seattle, Oakland and Los Angeles.
> Corporate Globalizers Without Shame
> When APL isn't making money from military imperialism, they are
> making it from economic imperialism - leading the drive to force
> countries, including the U.S., to eliminate protections for workers,
> the environment, consumer heath and safety and democracy so that they
> can increase their profits. APL boasts about the company's
> involvement in "many, diverse efforts to promote the understanding of
> international trade." Included among these is a program "designed to
> promote the understanding of world trade among young people ranging
> from kindergartners to high school students."
> APL is a member of the Emergency Committee for American Trade (ECAT).
> This group of U.S. multinationals is the leading corporate voice for
> free trade in the U.S. It has poured millions of dollars into
> lobbying campaigns for the passage of Fast Track, the proposed Free
> Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) and expansion of the World Trade
> Organization (WTO), among other agreements.
> Fast Track, the FTAA and the WTO push a corporate privatization
> agenda that is remarkably similar to that being brutally forced upon
> Iraq by the Bush Administration in this war.
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