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American Shipper

Hueneme port authority in fight with union

Hueneme port authority in fight with union

A labor dispute has stalled approval of the Oxnard Harbor District annual budget, and district officials have less than two weeks to approve a budget or find themselves in violation of state law.

   The district, which governs the Port of Hueneme, has been unable to pass the budget due to an ongoing dispute with members of the Service Employees International Union, which represents 17 district employees. The workers, ranging from clerical to wharfinger to maintenance positions, are asking for increased job security and higher pay. The union workers are also opposed to a district move to restrict outside work, which many of the workers say they depend on due to lack of salary increases at the district.

   While declining to detail salary demands, union officials said they were willing to negotiate with the district to obtain cost of living increases. The 17 SEIU members' salaries range from just under $40,000 per year to more than $75,000 per year.

   The Port of Hueneme, which moved more than $7 billion worth of cargo last year, has seen double-digit annual volume growth taper off to a projected 2 percent for this year.

   The current three-year union contract with the district expired June 30 and the union is seeking a similar three-year pact. Talks continue today.

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