Solely weeks in the past, the dockworkers union was using excessive as its members voted to approve a brand new six-year contract, making certain peace on the ports of Los Angeles, Lengthy Seaside and 27 different West Coast harbors.

Now, the union has landed in chapter safety because it figures out the right way to pay a hefty courtroom judgment involving accusations of slowdowns and different labor actions throughout a 2011 dispute — the identical sort of techniques employed throughout the latest contentious contract negotiation. Labor specialists are involved {that a} severe precedent is being set.

“We intend to make use of the Chapter 11 course of to implement a plan that may deliver this matter to decision and make sure that our Union continues to do its vital work for our members and the group,” mentioned Willie Adams, president of the 40,000-member Worldwide Longshore and Warehouse Union, in a information launch this week.

The union mentioned it’ll proceed to function as normal however can not afford to defend itself within the lawsuit introduced by a former delivery terminal operator on the Port of Portland, Ore.

The corporate, ICTSI Oregon Inc., which is predicated within the Philippines, couldn’t be reached for remark. In an announcement emailed to Reuters, the terminal operator mentioned that the chapter submitting was the union’s “newest maneuver to keep away from accountability.”

Ken Jacobs, a labor specialist and chair of the UC Berkeley Heart for Labor Analysis and Schooling, mentioned “persons are very involved in regards to the precedent that is setting with an employer suing a union over labor exercise. The severity of the penalty that was levied was additionally disconcerting.”

Nelson Lichtenstein, director of the UC Santa Barbara Heart for the Examine of Work, Labor and Democracy, mentioned: “I believe it implies that when employers see a authorized opening in opposition to a union they will run with it to bankrupt or weaken present unions.”

The case entails a bitter labor dispute over simply two jobs that pitted the ILWU in opposition to terminal operator ICTSI Oregon at a seaport of solely minor significance when it comes to the variety of cargo containers moved.

The obscure feud started when ILWU leaders pushed ICTSI Oregon to offer it two jobs beforehand represented by the electricians’ native after ICTSI signed a lease with the Portland port in 2011 to start operating the container yard. ICTSI, which accused the union of labor slowdowns, mentioned it couldn’t reassign the roles as a result of the port managed them. In the course of the dispute, worldwide delivery traces stopped sending cargo containers to Portland.

ICTSI paid the port $20 million to get out of its lease and sued the union, itemizing that quantity and different losses as damages.

A federal jury discovered the union accountable for illegal labor practices and awarded the corporate $94 million, an quantity subsequently diminished by a U.S. District Courtroom choose to $19 million. However ICTSI rejected that quantity, and a retrial was set for subsequent yr, resulting in the chapter submitting, ILWU informed its members.

“Whereas now we have tried quite a few occasions to resolve the decade-long litigation with ICTSI Oregon, Inc., at this level, the Union can not afford to defend in opposition to ICTSI’s scorched-earth litigation tactic,” Adams mentioned.

#battle #jobs #pushed #highly effective #union #chapter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *