(Ana Swanson – Washington Post)
Seven days a week, at 6 a.m. and 4 p.m., workers flock to the hiring center a few blocks from the Mississippi River and line up against the chain-link fence according to their seniority.
They bow their heads as they recite the Lord’s Prayer. “Give us this day our daily bread,” the union leader intones. Then the dockworkers lift their union cards high in hopes of securing work that day.
There’s a saying here that the ships don’t run on paper, they run on water. Because it’s never certain when a ship will dock, the longshoremen, who are mostly African American, must vie daily at the hiring center for work. And they fear that more workers could soon be turned away, as fewer steel boats sail into the Port of New Orleans. Click here to read more.