LA/LB Port clerical dispute hits a rough patch

According to a report today from Containerisation International, negotiations between employers of the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles and office clerical workers have hit a rough patch.

In a statement written by the Los Angeles/Long Beach Harbour Employers Association (LALBHEA), the union representing the clerical workers were accused of ‘remaining on strike at the negotiating table.’

“Despite resolving issues on minor contract provisions during the past week, negotiations over core issues remain stalled after yesterdays bargaining sessions between harbour employers and the OCU,” said the LALBHEA in its press statement.

The walkout began when the clerk’s contract expired on July 1. A key issue in the dispute is the introduction of new technology and its potential impact on job security. In addition, there is a wide gap between workers salary demands and the terms offered by employers.

Cargo flow has not yet been affected by the dispute as the arbitrators have refused to recognize the legitimacy of the strike action judging that the OCU had not negotiated in good faith.

The OCU, however, is in the process of appealing the arbitrator’s decision. A ruling in favour of the OCU could cause the dispute to spread to dock workers thereby affecting cargo flows.

Over 40% of U.S. imports move through the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

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