SSA, PMA WEATHER ILWU BLAST
Stevedoring Services of America and the Pacific Maritime Council flatly denied allegations from the International Longshore Warehouse Union that the stevedore is 'the primary roadblock to an effective West Coast longshore contract.
'While most (PMA) employers want to work with us, SSA is undermining negotiations because their primary interest is breaking the union,” said James Spinosa, international president of the ILWU, which represents West Coast dockworkers in ongoing contract negotiations with the PMA.
Spinosa also referred to Joe Miniace, president of the PMA, as being a 'handpicked' puppet in blocking the agreement. “
“This is a divide-and-conquer tactic,” Miniace said, referring to demonstrations against the SSA that the ILWU has called for Wednesday in Seattle, Oakland, and Long Beach.
'This is a smear campaign, pure and simple, and we’re going to let the PMA respond, ” a source at the SSA told Shippers' NewsWire.
A source in Long Beach said the SSA had not “broken ranks” with other PMA members “to send any message on its own to anyone. We are mystified as to why the union is being this disruptive so late in the game.”
Miniace told Shippers' NewsWire, “what we have here is a case of the disappearing ‘howevers.’ The union gave us their technology statement over the weekend in which everything was qualified by ‘however’. We deleted the ‘howevers’ and gave it back to the union, and then they went ballistic.”
One sticking point was a disagreement over “free flow.” “The union guaranteed ‘free flow’ only into a terminal” where the cargo “stopped at a clerk and then and then went from person to person,” much as it does now, Miniace said.