week of crippling work slowdowns at the ports of Los Angeles and
Long Beach, CA, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union
has refused to extend its contract with the Pacific Maritime Association,
according to the PMA. The PMA says the ILWU's decision indicates
union slowdowns and other disruptions are likely to continue.
The PMA board
met over the weekend and spent considerable time examining the
slowdowns and other disruptions that occurred during the past
week. At the conclusion of its meetings, the board reaffirmed
its policy that there would be a need for a collective response
in the event of further slowdowns.
the four-day ILWU work action at one of the largest terminals
in Long Beach apparently has come to an end, other sporadic work
actions were reported over the weekend, prompting PMA President
and CEO Joe Miniace to deliver an urgent request to ILWU President
James Spinosa on Saturday. The request called for a return to
the 24-hour contract extensions in place from July 1 to Sept.
1, when the union refused to continue the practice.
union refused to comply with his latest request, Miniace said
there was little ambiguity about the result.
only reason not to extend the contract is to open up the door
to work slowdowns, so this refusal leads us to one conclusion,"
Miniace said. "The ILWU is planning to continue its practice
of crippling job-actions on the waterfront."
saw a concerted effort by the ILWU to interrupt the operations
of Stevedoring Services of America, one of PMA's largest member
companies, and one of the biggest tenants at the Port of Long
Beach, which is the nation's second-largest container port.
saw incidents at Portland, OR, Tacoma, WA, and Port Hueneme, CA,
which the ILWU insisted were not officially sanctioned job actions.
Given that statement by the union, Miniace suggested in his letter
to Spinosa that a contract extension would ensure that local disputes
"do not become the basis for a wider confrontation."
his letter by saying, "PMA believes that the contract extension
would assist the parties in the process of negotiations by removing
these distractions and at the same time provide assurance to the
shipping public that normal operations will continue on the West