Monday, Mayor Ras Baraka, community leaders and Newark residents conducted a motorcade from City Hall to the Newark Seaport demanding that the International Longshoreman’s Association end discriminatory practices in hiring.
The event began with a press conference on the front steps of City Hall, followed by the motorcade. Participants protested the union’s failure to address gender and ethnic inequalities in its hiring practices at the port. A previous march was held in May, in which Baraka and marchers delivered job applications for positions at the port, ultimately disrupting port activities for an hour.
International Longshoremen’s Locals 1 and 1804-1 both have less than 6 percent Black members and less than 13 percent Hispanic members. Local 1233 has close to 600 active registrants, and fewer than 1 percent of the registrants are Black. Local 1804-1 has more than 1,300 members, and only 40 members are Black and none are women.
The Port is located in a diverse community. Newark and Elizabeth have a combined Black and Latino population of 77 percent. The two locals remain segregated despite years of attempts by the Waterfront Commission, civil rights organizations and the City of Newark to desegregate the Port.
A 2015 report stated that of the 3,299 registered longshore workers at the Port, only 299 (6.3 percent) had Newark addresses and that of the 3,299 workers, 2,055 are white, 787 Black, 410 Hispanic, 17 Asian and 30 others. Only 302 were women.