LA-LB Port Workers Focus on Local Issues

LA-LB Port Workers Focus on Local Issues

Negotiators for the Office Clerical Unit of International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 63 and employers at the Los Angeles-Long Beach remained in talks on local issues Monday while cargo handling at terminals went on normally.

The talks were the latest in a series of meetings that have gone on since workers left picket lines and returned to their jobs, setting up what is likely to be lengthy negotiations over a new contract.

Each of the 14 companies is negotiating with the local union representative on job descriptions and other local issues, said Stephen Berry, the attorney who represents employers.

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“We’re working on cleaning up issues that can be discussed,” Berry said.

With issues specific to each of the 14 individual contracts dominating the discussions, employers and the union have not been negotiating recently on the master contract issues involving information technology, job security and the employers’ demand for more flexibility in assigning labor.

Berry said he plans to meet soon with the union’s attorney on pension, health and welfare issues.

The OCU contract expired at midnight June 30. Except for two interruptions earlier this month, the OCU workers have worked without a contract in the offices of the shipping lines and terminal operators.

--Contact Bill Mongelluzzo at
bmongelluzzo@joc.com.