West Coast Port Employer Group PMA and Longshore Union Seek Temporary and Permanent Injunction against Philippines-based ICTSI and Enforcement of the West Coast Collective Bargaining Agreement to get Cargo Moving at Port of Portland’s Terminal 6
PORTLAND, OR (June 14, 2012) — On Wednesday, June 13, the employer group and union that load and unload cargo at all West Coast ports jointly filed a lawsuit in Federal Court against Philippines-based ICTSI, which operates Terminal 6 at the Port of Portland, for violating the longstanding collective bargaining agreement between the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA), which represents shippers, terminal operators, and stevedores on the West Coast, and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU).
ICTSI is a member of the PMA, and is being sued by its own association for its failure to abide by its contractual obligations to workers and the industry. In order to become a PMA member, ICTSI provided written assurances that the company was not bound by any other labor agreements and that it would abide by the requirements of membership.
“Philippines-based ICTSI is failing to follow the contract that establishes jurisdictional harmony at all West Coast ports,” said Leal Sundet, ILWU Coast Committeeman. “Local longshoremen are ready, able and willing to get to work moving cargo, and we hope that this lawsuit will stop ICTSI from violating its contract and clear up the mess it’s causing at Portland’s Terminal 6.”
The ILWU and PMA’s lawsuit filed yesterday asks that the Court enter an order requiring ICTSI to comply with the Pacific Coast Longshore and Clerks’ Agreement (PCL&CA), which establishes jurisdiction at all PMA member companies in California, Washington and Oregon. It asks the court to order ICTSI to immediately assign the work of plugging, unplugging and monitoring of refrigerated containers (or reefers) on the dock at Terminal 6 to ILWU longshore mechanics.
The lawsuit is the most recent of a series of actions taken jointly by the PMA and the ILWU to require ICTSI to honor its contractual obligation to workers and the industry. On June 4, a neutral arbitrator ruled in favor of the ILWU longshoremen who claim that maintaining refrigerated shipping containers on Terminal 6 at the Port of Portland is their work under the contract.
The Pacific Maritime Association and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union have loaded and unloaded cargo at all West Coast ports for decades, and ICTSI leased Terminal 6 from the Port of Portland in 2010. The Port of Portland privatized Terminal 6 in 2010, and in so doing, relinquished operational control of the facility to Philippines-based ICTSI, which also operates terminals in the Philippines, Brazil, Poland, Japan, Madagascar, Indonesia, Syria, China, Georgia, Colombia, Brunei, Mexico, Ecuador, Argentina, Croatia and India.
“ICTSI has been instructed by the PMA to assign the refrigerated container work to longshoremen at Terminal 6, and its failure to do so is causing PMA member carriers to bypass Portland,” said Sundet.
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— ILWU Coast Longshore Division News Release