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L.A.-Long Beach IWLU ordered back to work

L.A.-Long Beach IWLU ordered back to work

   The Los Angeles/Long Beach Harbor Employers Association said longshoremen once again briefly honored a picket line thrown up by members of ILWU Local 63A Office Clerical Unit (OCU), but were ordered back to work Friday by an arbitrator.

   The employer’s group said that ILWU longshoremen from three Los Angeles area local unions initially refused to cross OCU picket lines, but an “area arbitrator” ordered the dockworkers back to work, ruling that the picket line was not “bona fide,” because the OCU had engaged in bad faith bargaining. It said following the arbitrator’s ruling, the loading and unloading of cargo proceeded without interruption.

   The incident came as OCU workers began picketing a COSCO terminal in Long Beach. The union has also picketed Ports America and Yusen Terminals. Employers for 14 companies are trying to negotiate a new contract with the OCU.

   The decision followed a similar ruling a week earlier by another area arbitrator, who likewise found that the OCU had not bargained in good faith and ordered longshoremen to cross OCU picket lines and return to work.

   The employers association also said Friday the union during contract talks withdrew an offer to maintain wage and pension levels, but has left no new proposal on the table in its place.

   The OCU has said their actions are aimed at preserving job security, but the employer group said it is offering complete protection against layoffs due to existing or new workplace technologies — with a promise not to outsource any jobs or transfer any bargaining unit work away from the OCU – and additional protections against layoffs for any other reason.