Strike at Los Angeles & Long Beach Ports, But Not By ILWU

 In ILWU, truckers

strike at Ports of Long Beach There’s a strike at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

The Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) and International Longshore and Warehouse Workers Union (ILWU) released the following statement Monday, July 7th:

The parties have agreed to take a 72-hour break from negotiations on a new coast-wide contract while the ILWU attends to an unrelated negotiation taking place in the Pacific Northwest. During this break, starting at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, July 8, through 8 a.m. on Friday, July 11, the parties have agreed to extend the previous six-year contract, which expired last week. The PMA and ILWU are negotiating a new contract covering nearly 20,000 longshore workers at 29 West Coast ports.[1]

That’s right, the ILWU and PMA are stepping away from the negotiating table, but for an agreed upon amount of time with no strike or lockout coming from these contract negotiating parties.

An earlier press release promised the ILWU and PMA would keep negotiating without a strike or lockout until a new contract agreement is reached:

While there will be no contract extension, cargo will keep moving, and normal operations will continue at the ports until an agreement can be reached between the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) and the International Longshore & Warehouse Union (ILWU).

Both sides understand the strategic importance of the ports to the local, regional and US economies, and are mindful of the need to finalize a new coast-wide contract as soon as possible to ensure continuing confidence in the West Coast ports and avoid any disruption to the jobs and commerce they support. [2]

Truckers StrikeSo if the ILWU, which people worried about striking, is not striking, who is striking at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach?

Truckers of the Green Fleet, Pac 9 Transportation, and Total Transportation Services Inc. companies are the ones striking. Again.

The issues, including misclassification of truckers as independent contractors instead of employees, are the same as when the truckers went on strike in April.

The difference between then and now is that no expiration for the trucking strike has been offered.

While the ILWU seems committed to negotiating with the PMA and not striking until a contract is reached, will the dockworkers honor the truckers’ picket line? Not likely.

The truckers strike is backed by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

“The ILWU and the Teamsters don’t get along” said [trucking industry veteran Greg] Stefflre, the CEO of Fontana-based Rail Delivery Services.  “The ILWU has jurisdiction there [at the Ports], and the Teamsters would like jurisdiction there, so there’s a natural antipathy between the two that I think bodes against them [ILWU members] doing a ‘sympathy’ shut-down.”[3]

Without the ILWU honoring the truckers’ picket lines, this strike is not likely to cause significant disruptions at the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles.

All the same, the truckers seem determined to make their strike effective.  Lakewood’s Byron Contreras, who has worked for almost three years as a driver for Green Fleet Systems said, “We’ll be out here as long as it takes.”[4]

Land Line Mag reports:

“We are fed up,” Alex Paz, a former driver with Total Transportation Services Incorporated, toldMSNBC. “When the company misclassifies you, you’re denied Social Security, you’re denied medical, you’re denied workers’ comp.”[5]

Here at Universal Cargo Management, we’ll be watching the situation to make sure your imports move as smoothly as possible.

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