Los Angeles / Long Beach Harbor Employers Association

« Back | OCU Clerks at a Glance

Date: Tue, Jul 31st, 2012
Q.  How are the office clerical workers compensated?

A.  The office clerical workers as a group are among the highest paid clerical workers in America.  Their annual compensation packages currently total an average of $165,000, including the following:


  • Average hourly wages of $40.50, or approximately $85,000 per year, with some earning up to $250,000 per year - by comparison, the average wages for a freight and cargo agent in the United States is $40,680,* according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.


  • A "Cadillac" health care plan - for which they pay nothing - although the cost of premiums paid by the employer for family coverage under the plan is $41,000 per year (benefits include, e.g., $0 co-pay for generic drugs; $0 for x-rays, diagnostics, and lab tests; $5 office visit co-pays; 90% coverage for infertility; and more).


  • Pensions of up to $60,000 per year after retirement.


  • Early retirement with full benefits after as little as ten years of work.


  • Total paid time off of over a quarter of the working year, including: an average of four and up to seven weeks of vacation per year; an average of over four weeks of holiday pay per year; an average of approximately three weeks of sick leave per year; and additional paid time off for medical and dental appointments, medical leave, bereavement, and other forms of leave.


  • Meal and transportation allowances.


  • Education reimbursements.

*May 2011 National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates United States

Q.  What role do office clerical workers play at the ports?

A.  Clerks with the ILWU Local 63A Office Clerical Unit (OCU) perform various clerical functions relating to the movement of cargo through the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.  For example, clerk work may include assisting customers with the booking of cargo, the filing of customs documentation, tracking and tracing cargo shipments, and monitoring movement of containers in and out of terminals at the Los Angeles/Long Beach harbor.  They are employed by shipping agencies and terminal operators doing business at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, but they are represented by the OCU.

Q.  Do they load and unload cargo?

A.  No.  That's the role of the longshoremen.  The office clerical workers largely work in office environments and handle paperwork associated with the movement of the cargo loaded and unloaded by the longshoremen.

Q.  Are the office clerical workers covered by the Coast-wide agreements between the ILWU and the Pacific Maritime Association?

A.  Although the OCU is part of the ILWU, it is not party to the coast-wide contracts between the ILWU Longshoremen and Marine Clerks and the Pacific Maritime Association.  Instead, the OCU negotiates and administers individual collective bargaining agreements on behalf of its members with each company that employs office clerical workers.

Q.  What is the current status of the contracts between the OCU and the harbor employers?

A.  The previous, three-year OCU contracts between the OCU and the 14 harbor employers expired in June 2010, and negotiations for new contracts have proceeded for more than two years.  Office clerical workers continue to work on a day-by-day basis under the terms of the prior contracts.

Link: http://www.harboremployers.com/web/news/faq/details/?OCU-Clerks-at-a-Glance-7