Clerical workers at Pier 400 walked off the job to protest their inability to negotiate new contracts with terminal operators. The International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 63′s Office Clerical Unit has been trying to negotiate a new agreement with 14 employers at the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles since its last one expired on June 30, 2010.
Craig Merrilees, a spokesman for the ILWU based in San Francisco, said he is not sure how long the strike will last or whether it will spread to other terminals at the Port of Los Angeles or to the Port of Long Beach.
“Big companies are outsourcing good jobs that the harbor community needs and can’t afford to lose,” ILWU spokesman Craig Merrilees said. “There have been talks for 2 1/2 years and companies continue to deny the outsourcing problem. The strike may cause them to look at this as a real problem instead of the fantasy they claim it is.”
According to a union release, terminal operators have eliminated 51 clerical jobs in the past five years.