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Wesley ‘Wes’ Furtado

Statement from ITF President and ITF Dockers’ Section chair Paddy Crumlin.

On behalf of the members, affiliates and officers of the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) we extend our deepest condolences and sincerest sympathies on the passing of our dear brother and comrade Wesley ‘Wes’ Furtado.

In particular, to Marla, Levana and Kyan, our thoughts and prayers, and best wishes are with you as you journey through your great loss and grief at this time.

To the members, our brothers and sisters of the International Longshore & Warehouse Union (ILWU), and Local 142 in particular, we reach out with thoughts and solidarity at the loss of an outstanding leader, a greatly respected and true internationalist, who always kept the spirit of Aloha in every thought and action on behalf of working men and women around the globe.

Wesley’s union journey from the docks of Honolulu was as long as it was meaningful. It was founded on the hard rock of his belief in social and economic justice for all workers, and blessed with a gentle but pervasive charisma. His achievements and actions bettered the lives of all he touched and were as steady as the Kona winds of his home.

It was my great honour to share in much of that journey with him, side by side with the many great leaders of your union, both of his generation or the next generations whether they be delegates, activists or officers of the mighty ILWU.

The words and workings of Wes’ life were not solely dedicated to his fellow longshore and dock workers. He was a formidable and relentless activist for peace, an advocate for sovereign rights and true political independence and accountability, and of course a warrior for justice, equality and universal access to all material benefits regardless of race, gender, age or religious denomination.

Again, to all our brothers and sisters, especially to Marla, Levana and Kyan, you have our deepest and most heartfelt thoughts for the great love you had for Wes and now the great loss you are confronted with.

We hope that in a small way these words may ease the passage of that loss and its great accompanying grief.

Vale Brother Wesley Furtado. Mahalo for your gifts of life, dignity and freedom on our behalf. Journey well and be at peace on the winds and waves before you.