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Longshoremen exercise their contractual right to refuse to cross anti-outsourcing picket line at Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach

ILWU Coast Longshore Division News release:

Union and employers confirm that the ILWU Local 63 Office Clerical Unit picket line is bona fide and that longshoremen have a right to respect the picket line

SAN PEDRO, CA (November 29, 2012) – The ILWU-PMA Coast Labor Relations Committee that establishes policy and administers the contract between the employer and union on the West Coast waterfront on Wednesday agreed that ILWU Local 63 Office Clerical Unit (OCU) picket lines at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach were bona fide. The agreement confirms that longshoremen in ILWU Locals 13, 63 and 94 have the right to refuse to cross OCU pickets under the collective bargaining agreement between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association.

Members of the OCU have been working without a contract for 30 months, while simultaneously negotiating in good faith to reach an agreement with their employers, who include the carriers and terminal operators that employ longshoremen under the ILWU-PMA collective bargaining agreement.

Ray Familathe, the ILWU’s International Vice President for the Mainland, said, “I’m proud of the sacrifice that is being made by the men and women of Locals 13, 63 and 94 as they stand in solidarity with OCU and against the outsourcing of the good jobs that this community needs. And, despite the employer propaganda to the contrary, the ports are still moving cargo.”

Joe Cortez, President of ILWU Local 13, said, “We support our sister local as its members work to reach a good contract that maintains local jobs with good working conditions, and family wages and benefits. We urge the employers to get back to the negotiating table and reach a good contract with the OCU.”

Ray Ortiz, Jr., an ILWU Coast Committeeman who represents all 30 longshore local unions on the West Coast, said, “Longshoremen stand up when other workers need our help. Sure, it’s a sacrifice to give up a paycheck when you refuse to cross the picket, but we believe it’s in the long-term interest of the Los Angeles-Long Beach Harbor area to retain these good local jobs. By standing with OCU, we stand with the community.”

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