No deal yet on L.A.-Long Beach clerk contract
The organization spearheading efforts by employers to reach a new contract with clerical workers in the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach said Monday it remained “far apart on key staffing and wage and benefits issues,” despite bargaining through the holiday weekend.
The Los Angeles-Long Beach Harbor Employers Association said a sticking point is that Local 63A Office Clerical Unit (OCU) of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union insists “employers hire temporary and permanent workers even when there is no work for them to do.”
It said “these ‘featherbedding’ provisions are reckless and completely unacceptable to employers — a relic from an earlier era that promotes and rewards absenteeism and inefficiency — and, amid depressed cargo volumes and a fragile economic rebound, serves only to make work for union workers when there is no work to perform.”
Management said it has offered the roughly 600 clerical workers represented by the OCU “significant job security — including protections against layoffs.' Employers have offered a wage increase, a 10 percent increase in pension benefit, and maintenance of all in-network PPO health plans despite rising costs. OCU employees current average contract pay is $96,900.
“OCU continues to press for 32 percent pay and benefits increases for 12 of 14 employers at the twin ports, as well as pursuing contract provisions that would reverse technology gains the OCU agreed to six years ago that have improved efficiency on the waterfront and help meet evolving customer needs,” the employers association said.
The OCU contract expired June 30.