Los Angeles / Long Beach Harbor Employers Association


Date: Sat, Dec 1st, 2012

Talks Continue as Impacts from Port Strike Expand

Number of idle ships, workers growing; further threatening local and national economic recovery and putting good-paying jobs at risk

LOS ANGELES (Dec. 1, 2012, 12 p.m. PST) - 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"):

Following late-night talks Friday that extended into the early morning, representatives of the harbor employers and OCU leadership have resumed negotiations today in an effort to reach a fair agreement that will end the strike initiated by OCU employees.   

Unfortunately, as the port-wide strike extends into its fifth day, continued picketing by 600 of the highest paid administrative clerical workers in America mean more lost work and pay for thousands of truckers, longshoreman, railroad and warehouse workers and businesses that serve the port communities.  The growing number of idle ships at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach mean new delays in the loading, unloading and movement of cargo that drives the national economy.

Employers remain committed to reaching a fair agreement as quickly as possible, but it requires movement by the OCU on a number of key issues, including the employers' ability to have flexibility in hiring new or temporary workers only when there is work for them to do.  Employers have offered to protect every existing job - including absolute guarantees against layoffs and increases to annual $165,000 compensation packages - but will not support keeping artificial staffing levels if they are not needed in the future.  It's really that simple.

Competition among ports on the West Coast is fierce, and operations at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach require modern business practices that promote growth.  The OCU is pressing irresponsible demands that reward absenteeism, reduce efficiency, and are out of touch with the needs of the ports and the local port communities in preserving the good-paying jobs that the OCU leadership claims it wants to protect.

Our focus is on keeping these two ports operating smoothly, and in helping to ensure their status as a reliable U.S. destination for cargo at a time when shippers have growing options in Canada, Mexico and the Panama Canal. 

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.
Link: http://www.harboremployers.com/web/news/press/details/?LOS-ANGELES-LONG-BEACH-WATERFRONT-LABOR-NEGOTIATIONS-UPDATE-63