COURT READIES ORDER TO HALT VIOLENCE IN NY TUG STRIKE

COURT READIES ORDER TO HALT VIOLENCE IN NY TUG STRIKE

Stiff limits on strike actions by tug crew workers and boat owners were being shaped by U.S. District Judge Kevin T. Duffy to stop the violence and bloodshed marking a two-week-old work stoppage.

Judge Duffy called lawyers for both sides back to court late Friday to put the finishing touches on a peacekeeping injunction that would set limits to picket line activities ashore and afloat.Last week, the judge's temporary restraining order failed to halt instances of rifle and shotgun fire directed at the tugs from shore sites and low lying bridges.

In one attack, a tug captain was wounded in the face by flying glass after four blasts from a shotgun fired from a low-lying bridge tore into a tugboat wheelhouse.

After a company lawyer described the shooting last week in court, Judge Duffy said, I am going to stop that. There is going to be no more of that.

The strike was called Feb. 15 by Local 333, the tug crew arm of the International Longshoremen's Association, after a three-year contract expired. No new bargaining talks have been scheduled as union members continue to reject management wage and work rule proposals.

It was understood the final order the judge is writing will continue many of the tenants of the temporary order, but they probably will contain criminal penalties for contempt.

The essentials of the order will govern the number of pickets allowed at a tug mooring site, the distance that a union picket boat must keep away from working tugs and prohibitions against radio interference among working tugs.

Judge Duffy's order is also expected to bar intimidation by strikers against non-union workers and union members who have refused to strike. It also bars intimidation against third parties.

Last week, the judge held the threat of million dollar fines over the heads of the parties for violations of such things as the order he is drafting.

Although the six major companies asking for the injunction say they are continuing normal operations, the Hudson River Pilots Association said it is refusing to put its pilots aboard fuel and oil barges in the Hudson River running to points between New York City and Albany, 125 miles to the north.

The strike is directed against 10 tug and barge owners in the harbor, six of whom have asked for the court order.