Who Else Wants More WC Port Drama? Port of Oakland Shutdown by ILWU

Who Else Needs Extra WC Port Drama? Port of Oakland Shutdown by ILWU


You already know what there hasn’t been sufficient of recently? ILWU drama at West Coast ports. Don’t fear, the ILWU Native 34 on the Port of Oakland is fixing that downside.

A lot so, in truth, that the Port of Oakland was closed down on Sunday night time.

Shippers have been disgusted with the expensive slowdowns and congestion at West Coast ports through the lengthy and contentious contract negotiations between the Worldwide Longshore & Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime Affiliation (PMA). When the new contract was ratified by the ILWU on Might twenty second, the hope was for port stability on the West Coast, no less than for a couple of years earlier than negotiations begin on the 2019 contract.

Nevertheless, each time a brand new contract goes into impact on the ports, there are kinks to be labored out in its implementation.

There appear to be lots of kinks on the Port of Oakland as Sunday’s shutdown is “the third work stoppage attributable to the ILWU in Oakland in simply over per week,” in response to a PMA assertion.

The PMA assertion launched yesterday (June 1st) introduced:

Regardless of reaching a brand new settlement within the protracted 2014 negotiations with PMA on a dispatch process for Sunday and vacation operations on the Port of Oakland, ILWU Native 34 officers determined to not honor the settlement. As a substitute, the Union officers refused to dispatch employees for the second shift on Sunday, inflicting a shutdown of terminal operations on the Port of Oakland.

Sunday’s night time shift was the primary shift throughout which the brand new contract’s dispatch process would go into impact. Clearly, it wasn’t a very efficient begin.

PMA’s assertion doesn’t element the brand new process saying solely, “In brief, the dispatch course of outlines occasions by which labor orders have to be positioned.” A Invoice Mongelluzzo article within the Journal of Commerce (JOC) enlightens us on the brand new dispatch process:

Up to now, terminal operators needed to inform ILWU Native 34 by Saturday morning as to its want for marine clerks for the Sunday night time shift. Employers stated they usually had issue ascertaining their wants till the day of the dispatch, so the brand new contract stipulates that the terminals should file their dispatch wants on Sunday mornings for the Sunday night time shifts.

When the ILWU Native 34 didn’t dispatch employees for the second shift on Sunday that the employers on the Port of Oakland put in for on Sunday morning, the PMA took the matter to an arbitrator. The PMA described the leads to their assertion:

After the ILWU failed to stick to the brand new dispatch procedures for vessel operations for the second shift on Sunday, the PMA took the matter to an space arbitrator who dominated that ILWU officers and dispatchers took a unilateral motion in violation of the settlement with PMA. The arbitrator additional instructed the ILWU to simply accept and dispatch employers’ labor orders. The arbitrator additionally dominated that the ILWU reneged on an settlement to work across the dispute.

After all of the drama on the finish of the contract negotiations that centered across the ILWU having the ability to do away with arbitrators who rule in opposition to them, I’d anticipate the ILWU to be gunning for this arbitrator.

The JOC article shared the ILWU’s perspective on Sunday’s occasion:

ILWU spokesman Craig Merrilees gave a unique account of what occurred. Native 34 officers charged that the PMA itself didn’t comply with all the provisions within the new contract in regards to the dispatching of marine clerks, however quite “cherry picked” the provisions it needed to implement. However, the ILWU labored with the PMA to make sure that dispatching for Monday’s day shift labored easily, Merrilees stated.

The PMA assertion did certainly say, “labor orders have been correctly processed for the primary shift on Monday, and operations on the Port of Oakland are presently regular.”

Whereas this new dispatch process appears to now be labored out, Sunday’s incident does depart stress between the PMA and ILWU in Oakland as can clearly be seen within the phrases of the PMA:

“The ILWU in Oakland has an extended historical past of taking unilateral actions that disrupt ongoing cargo operations,” stated PMA spokesperson Wade Gates. “Now we have a brand new coastwise contract in place that was lately ratified by each events, a brand new understanding in Oakland on dispatch and an arbitrator’s ruling discovering the ILWU in violation of that new understanding. It’s time for the ILWU leaders in Oakland to acknowledge these info, comply with the provisions of the brand new settlement and be part of us in regaining the transport group’s confidence in West Coast ports.”

There may be nonetheless lots of work to do in regaining the transport group’s confidence in West Coast ports.

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