Monday, July 2, 2012
Portland union rift must be resolved by Tuesday, says judge
A federal judge declared Tuesday as the deadline to resolve a dispute concerning which union has jurisdiction over two reefer maintenance jobs at the Port of Portland. The union conflict has slowed work to a crawl, causing major shipping lines Hapag-Lloyd and Hanjin to circumvent Portland until the workflow returns to normal.
On Friday, Governor Ted Kulongski, in charge of the arbitration, told U.S. District Judge Michael Simon that the ILWU, the longshoremen's union, and the electrical union were still at loggerheads over the disputed jobs.
The judge is giving the unions one more chance to work out a settlement. If no settlement is reached by Tuesday, the judge may grant a temporary restraining order that would require ILWU workers to end the work slowdown that has upset port operations for the past three weeks. Alternatively, the judge may grant the longshoremen's temporary restraining order, giving them the disputed jobs.
The electrical union has been plugging and unplugging reefers for more than 40 years under an agreement with the port. Now that the port's Terminal 6 has a new private lessor, ICTSI Oregon, the ILWU claims the jobs must switch due to the collective bargaining agreement they have with the Pacific Maritime Association that is in effect at all West Coast ports.
For more of the Bloomberg story: www.businessweek.com
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