Supply Chain News / Ocean / Ports

Port of LA Clerks Strike

Arbitrator declares picket lines not “bone fide.”

Members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 63 Office and Clerical Unit (OCU) began a strike at noon (local time) on November 27th to stop international carriers and terminal operators from outsourcing jobs.

The three-year contract with the union expired on June 30, 2010, and the 800 workers that belong to the ILWU Local 63 0CU say they have been negotiating for over two years. OCU President John Fageaux was quoted as saying the strike is not about wages or benefits but about outsourcing and future jobs.

The Los Angeles/Long Beach Harbor Employers Association issued a statement that, “The OCU once again initiated a strike today, picketing at one harbor employer’s terminal facilities, despite the harbor employers’ offers of complete job security, increased wages and pensions, guaranteed pay and maintenance of all generous health benefits.”

The Harbor Employers Association further noted that “Not one OCU job has been sent overseas, or anywhere else.” It explained that the 51 jobs the union had identified as being outsourced were employees who had retired with full benefits, quit or passed away in the past three years. It further stated that none of those positions had been replaced.

Later in the evening of the 27th, the Employers Association issued a statement saying, “For the fourth time since July 2010, an Area Arbitrator ruled tonight that the OCU has failed to bargain to a good faith impasse and that the OCU picket lines are not bona fide.” The arbitrator directed the striking union members and those who had honored the picket lines to return to work.

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