The International Longshore and Warehouse Union is closing all west coast ports today to protest the ongoing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. I see a lot of these guys in my practice since we're sandwiched between the Ports of Seattle and Tacoma. Not your typical radical socialists, actually most of them have seen a lot of hard living. For the most part, these guys come from the kind stock that are being fed to the U.S. military meat grinder and *a lot* of them are vets.
It's dangerous for those in power to allow these guys the luxury of a political voice. High school educated blue collar workers are usually spend most of their time struggling to stay ahead of debt and health care bills. But give them stability and good benefits and suddenly they have a lot to say about what it takes to create a just society. It's an historical quirk that Longshoremen still have powerful union protection and I wonder how much longer it will last. But more power to them.