There’s potential in Portland and of course the big one set for December 29th here on the East Coast, but don’t think the folks on the Left Coast aren’t going to flex their muscles a bit
LOS ANGELES—Most of the nation’s largest port complex is shut down as clerical workers strike the Los Angeles and Long Beach terminals. Union spokesman Craig Merrilees says members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union are picketing Thursday.
Port spokesmen say seven of eight Los Angeles terminals and three of six in Long Beach are closed. In LA, 14 ships in dock and in the harbor aren’t being serviced.
On Wednesday, dockworkers refused to cross clerical worker picket lines even though an arbitrator ruled the strike invalid.
The clerical workers have been locked in a contract dispute with more than a dozen shippers for 2 1/2 years. They claim terminal operators have been outsourcing their jobs overseas. Shippers deny that and say they’ve even offered to guarantee local jobs.
At issue is the union’s contention that terminal operators have outsourced jobs to lower-paid paperwork pushers in the U.S. and places such as Costa Rica, India and Taiwan. A union release contended that 51 clerical jobs have been lost in the past five years.
The negotiating group for the shippers denied that any local union clerical jobs were outsourced and said in a statement that the 51 workers had quit, died or retired with full benefits in the past three years.
Their positions weren’t filled because there was no “business need,” said a statement from the Los Angeles/Long Beach Harbor Employers Association.
In addition, the companies have offered to guarantee current union clerical workers their jobs for life, Berry said.
He claimed that the union wants contract language to permit “featherbedding”—the practice of requiring employers to call in temporary employees and hire new permanent employees even when there is no work to perform.
Unions turned out big and put Obama’s re-election over the top; they will expect to be rewarded.