Caucus gives union negotiators authority to request strike authorization

| Tuesday, July 30, 2002

One day before it was scheduled to end its contract caucus July 26, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union suspended negotiation with the Pacific Maritime Association until Aug. 13, then authorized its negotiators to request strike authorization from the rank and file.

Although the PMA area offices report cargo terminals continue to operate within expected parameters and the rolling 24-hour contract extension remains in place until Aug. 13 with no strikes, lockouts or slowdowns, this agreement is "subject to cancellation by either party."

PMA President Joseph Miniace was "disappointed and dismayed" with the recent union actions surrounding labor talks.

"We are disappointed and dismayed with the union's twin actions, suspending talks and delegating strike authority," Miniace said. "The delegation of authority to call a strike is a threat to an already fragile economy. PMA's focus is to improve the ports to make them an even stronger engine of economic growth and job creation. The union's actions are a threat to that expansion and to the economic well-being of millions of Americans."

Despite his comments, Miniace stated the PMA fully expects there will be normal productivity levels on the waterfront with no work slowdowns.
By René Tankersley

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