Tuesday, June 26, 2012
L.A.-Long Beach employer group offers revised third option to clerical workers
The employer group that represents 14 marine terminal operators at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach offered three contract options on May 30 to the 600 members members of the Local 63 Clerical Unit of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, issued a revised "Option C" to its counterparts this week.
"The new Option C proposal contains improvements over the proposal for a supplement agreement that was made by the PMA last September," said the Harbor Employers Association in a statement.
The clerks broke off from two days of negotiations with one of the marine terminal operators at the end of May, as new technology implementation had apparently become a sticking point.
The Office Clerical Union workers had previously elected to bargain with each HEA member company one at a time on the heels of a coast arbitrator's ruling that ILWU members could honor an OCU picket line.
The HEA said its third contract option is modeled on the OCU in Northern California that is aligned with the ILWU Marine Clerks contract and includes" wage parity with other clerical union members; a one-time "special payment" of $3,000 for contract ratification; seniority retention; pay for future needed time off equal to that of 66 shifts; and participation in the ILWU pension fund, among other concessions.
The new third contract option also stipulates permanent union employees must agree to work as "steadies" for their current employer for 15 years and in turn employers must agree to employ that same staff for 15 years. In addition, the agreement states existing permanent employees could not be sent to the dispatch hall for 15 years, with a guaranteed job at their current company for that time period.
The HEA said the office clerks would operate under the "same technology framework and protection as ILWU marine clerks, with added protections from the OCU technology framework" and the clerks' jurisdictional rights would be preserved.
The clerical workers group had previously said it wanted new hires despite management's contention there is no current business need, and insisting vendors call, fax or email rather than use an employers' websites, according to the HEA. The terminal operators have also contended OCU workers prefer to manually enter data instead of utilizing automated data transfers.
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