« Back | LOS ANGELES / LONG BEACH WATERFRONT LABOR NEGOTIATIONS UPDATEDate: Thu, Nov 29th, 2012
LOS ANGELES / LONG BEACH WATERFRONT LABOR NEGOTIATIONS UPDATE
Employers Renew Their Offer of Mediation to Reach Agreement
With their Port Strike, 600 Clerks Earning $165,000 Annual Compensation Packages Put Thousands of Jobs and the National Economy at Further Risk
(LOS ANGELES November 29, 2012, 12:30 p.m.) - The negotiating teams representing employers at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach released the following statement regarding the status of negotiations with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 63 Office Clerical Unit ("OCU"):
The OCU continues to strike terminals in the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach today, completely shutting down operations at 10 of the 14 terminals in the ports. The strike has already had a severe impact on the flow of cargo and on jobs in the harbor community, with multiple ships sitting idle at berth or at anchor in the harbor and hundreds of workers in the ports out of work.
Together, the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports bring in over 40% of the nation's imports, support 4.7 million jobs throughout the nation, and generate hundreds of billions of dollars in annual U.S. trade value. The OCU's strike puts all of this in jeopardy in an effort to pressure employers to accept its unreasonable demands.
We are encouraged by the involvement of elected and community leaders who have asked both the employers and the OCU to end the disruption and resume talks.
In an effort to resolve this dispute, the harbor employers have offered to enter into mediation on numerous occasions throughout the last two and one-half years, as recently as this week. However, the OCU rejected the offer and put up pickets instead. These uncompromising and disruptive tactics run counter to the best interests of the Los Angeles region and the nation.
Now, the Mayor of Los Angeles has called for the parties to meet with a mediator. The harbor employers welcome that invitation and are ready to meet with a mediator so we can reach a fair agreement and get the cargo flowing again.
OCU employees are already the highest paid clerical workers in America, with annual compensation packages of approximately $165,000 per year. By comparison, the average annual wage for a freight and cargo agent in the United States is $40,680, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On top of this, the employers have offered the OCU wage and pension increases and absolute job security through a guarantee against layoffs.
The OCU's unreasonable demands and unwillingness to meet with a mediator continue to hold the harbor - and national - economy hostage for the sake of their own self-interest. That is simply irresponsible.
About the Los Angeles/Long Beach Harbor Employers Association
The Los Angeles/Long Beach Harbor Employers Association is a not-for-profit association representing shipping agencies and terminal operators in Southern California. The Association assists its members in matters relating to the employment of ILWU Local 63 office clerical employees, including the administration of the labor contracts of member companies.