ILWU workers return to work after brief work stoppage
Excerpt from American Shipper | By Chris Dupin | Tuesday, July 08, 2014
Several terminals in Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach were briefly closed Tuesday morning after members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union honored picket lines set up by Teamster protesters.
A spokesman for the Port of Los Angeles said APL and Evergreen terminals were briefly shut down at around 9 a.m. PDT when ILWU walked off the job in response to pickets from truckers striking three drayage companies, but then returned to work at around 11 a.m. PDT when a local arbitrator ruled it was not a bona fide picket line.
A spokesman for the Port of Long Beach said the Long Beach Container Terminal was also closed at about 9:50 when ILWU members honored a Teamster picket line, but that the longshoremen returned to work after being informed of the arbitrator’s decision.
Justice for Port Truckers, part of the Teamsters Port Division, speakers said about 120 drivers are participating in what they are calling an “unfair labor practice strike” aimed at three companies — Green Fleet, Total Transportation Services, Inc., and Pacific 9 Transportation.
Alex Paz, one of the drivers, said workers are being misclassified as independent contracts instead of employees and are being fired for trying to collect wages and assert their rights.
The Teamster protesters have set up picket lines at the truck terminals of the three companies and have set up pickets to protest at the marine terminals in the two ports to protest if trucks from the three companies arrive.
The ILWU and PMA said Monday that they had agreed to extend their previous six-year contract for three days through 8 a.m. PDT on Friday while they suspended their negotiations on a new contract. They extension allows the ILWU to attend to other contract matters. By extending the contract for three days, they also put arbitration procedures back in place for three days.
That seemingly leaves open the possibility of further disruptions at the port later this week if the Teamster protest is not resolved, and the ILWU and PMA have not reached a contract agreement or have agreed to extend their contract past Friday morning so the arbitration provisions remain in place.