ILWU S. Calif. office workers reach tentative deal
Less than two days after declaring an impasse in talks, the union representing marine office workers at two Southern California ports said Thursday they have reached a tentative agreement with maritime industry employers, averting a strike at Southern California ports.
The new contract, which faces a ratification vote early next week by the 930 members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 63 Office Clerical Unit, calls for wage increases of $2.50 an hour, or 14 percent, over three years. The workers currently make an average $37.50 per hour.
The contract also creates a multiemployer pension trust that would provide retirement and health benefits for the clerical workers.
In return, the 14 marine terminal operators and ocean carrier lines were given greater flexibility in hiring and conflict resolution with employees.
The OCU union local, an entity unique to Southern California, is part of the area's larger ILWU dockworker union. However, the union directly negotiates its contract with 14 Los Angeles and Long Beach-area maritime firms and not with the Pacific Maritime Association, which represents the interest of West Coast maritime firms in negotiations with the parent ILWU union. The OCU represents mainly 'white collar' office and clerical workers in the 'off-port' offices of maritime firms. Local 63 represents more than 900 workers for 17 shipping companies and terminal operators at the ports. The current contract talks, however, only covered members at the 14 area firms.