Los Angeles / Long Beach Harbor Employers Association


Date: Tue, Jul 6th, 2010

  Harbor Employers to OCU:  No outsourcing, no layoffs

Ports' office clerical workers would get job guarantees despite work shortage;

Receive pay, benefits increases on top of their current $165,000 annual compensation package

July 6, 2010




Steve Getzug

For the Los Angeles/Long Beach Harbor Employers Association

(213) 219-8990 (mobile)


LOS ANGELES (July 6, 2010) - The negotiating teams representing employers at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach released the following statement regarding the status of negotiations with the ILWU Local 63A Office Clerical Unit (OCU):


The Harbor Employers have answered the OCU's most vocalized concern - job security - by offering complete protection against layoffs due to existing or new workplace technologies and vowing not to outsource any jobs or transfer any bargaining unit work away from the OCU.


These offers come on top of employer proposals to provide a wage increase, a 10 percent increase in the already extremely generous pension benefit, and maintenance of all in-network PPO health plans despite dramatically rising costs.  The employees' current average annual compensation package of $165,000 already makes them the highest paid clerical workers in America.


The issue for the employers is who controls when and how many employees are needed.  The OCU continues to press "featherbedding" demands that would require employers to call in temporary employees or hire new employees even when there is no work to perform.  The OCU's demands are a relic from an earlier era, encourage and reward absenteeism, reduce efficiency and succeed only in making work for the OCU when none exists.


The OCU also persists in attempting to undo contract language on implementation of new technology that the two sides agreed upon in 2004 and again in 2007.  Employers insist on retaining their right to introduce technology to better serve their customers. 


To date, the employers have offered the employees:


  • No layoffs due to technology;
  • No layoffs for any other reason without OCU agreement (or arbitrator approval);
  • No transfer of bargaining unit work;
  • Wage increases; and
  • Pension increases.


In return, the employers ask simply for the following, all of which are consistent with industry practice in the harbor:


  • Ability to hire permanent and temporary staff as needed;
  • Maintain the technology language agreed upon by the parties in 2004 and again in 2007;
  • That the existing workforce work as directed;
  • That the OCU bargain in good faith with each of the harbor employers in a fair and equal manner; and
  • A six-year contract, to provide stability during these turbulent economic times.


The OCU's actions threaten to shut down the Los Angeles-Long Beach port complex, which directly and indirectly supports more than 3.3 million jobs, and is the landing point for more than 40 percent of the nation's imports.  The port complex is a critical economic engine for the Southern California region, employing tens of thousands of people on and off the waterfront. 


Given the impact on the public and the importance of the continued movement of cargo to jobs and the economy across the United States, the ports should not be shut down over unreasonable OCU contract demands.


About the Los Angeles/Long Beach Harbor Employers Association

The Los Angeles/Long Beach Harbor Employers Association is a not-for-profit association representing shipping agencies and terminal operators in Southern California. The Association assists its members in matters relating to the employment of OCU employees, including the administration of the labor contracts of member companies.


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Link: http://www.harboremployers.com/web/news/press/details/?LOS-ANGELES-LONG-BEACH-WATERFRONT-LABOR-NEGOTIATIONS-UPDATE-19