LA-Long Beach Strike Ends With Six-Year Contract

Villaraigosa late Tuesday announced the end of the strike by some 600 members of the Office Clerical Unit of International Longshore and Warehouse Unit Local 63. He said cargo handling at the two ports would resume Wednesday morning.

Details of the agreement are sketchy pending a vote of the membership, but the contract will expire on June 30, 2016. That makes it a six-year contract as it is retroactive to June 30, 2010, when the previous pact expired.

Stephen Berry, the lawyer who negotiated on behalf of the 14 waterfront employers, confirmed that there will be no outsourcing of OCU jobs, and workers would receive increased pay and benefits. Previous reports indicated the total annual package of wages and benefits would reach $190,000 per worker over the life of the agreement.

Although it appears the contract includes guarantees of no layoffs and other job security provisions sought by the OCU, there is no immediate information on the key demand of employers. They had insisted that employers should not have to fill jobs when OCU members are absent, if there is no work to be done, and that they should not have to fill positions when OCU members retire, if the work is not needed.

With cargo-handling under way at the ports, the need for continued diversion of vessels is over, but it could take weeks for the ports to return to normal.

Elizabeth Parke-Kincaid
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Author: Elizabeth Parke-Kincaid
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Website:www.joc.om