Dec 03 2012
We turn next to another worker strike, happening on this coast and still in effect – clerical workers employed by the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are on their 7th day of strike demanding more job security and an end to outsourcing. Eight hundred members of the clerical unit of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union or ILWU have the support of 10,000 dockworkers, truckers and longshoremen, who are bound by their union contracts to stand in solidarity with their striking compatriots and refuse to cross the picket lines. The clerical workers’ strike has brought one of the nation’s largest ports to a complete stand still and is reportedly costing the city about $1 billion dollars a day as ships are being turned away with ten terminals completely shut down. Negotiations between the two sides continued throughout the weekend to no avail. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villariagosa called in from his $252,000 trade trip to Columbia which is being paid in part by The Port of Los Angeles to say, “I call on labor and management to start bargaining around the clock with the assistance of a federal or other mediator until an agreement is reached. The cost is too great to continue down this failed path.”
GUEST: Craig Merrilees is the Communications Director of ILWU
Visit www.ilwu.org for more information.