Los Angeles/Long Beach port complex clerical workers, who last year went on an eight-day strike that crippled operations at the seaport, ratified the terms of proposed labor agreements with employers, negotiators announced today.
Members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 63 Office Clerical Unit approved the pacts Wednesday night.
"OCU bargaining units voted and agreed to ratify the terms of tentative agreements reached with the Harbor Employers Association member companies Dec. 4," union negotiator John Fageaux and his management counterpart, Stephen Berry, said in a joint statement.
"The contracts for the roughly 600 office clerical workers and the 14 employers at the ports will run through June 30, 2016."
Because the union is dealing with more than a dozen employers, the agreement involves several contracts with varying terms, a union official said.
Earlier this month, clerical workers at three of the companies, many of them multi-national freight companies, refused to ratify the agreements reached last December after federal mediators were called in to end the strike, according to Fageaux, president of the clerical workers' union.
Some of the workers were disputing restructuring plans that would change the scope of their jobs, but those issues were resolved last night, he said.
The ratified agreement protects the clerical workers from getting laid off and increases their pay by $1 an hour, officials said. The union can also now audit employers' computer systems to ensure clerical tasks are not off-shored.
"Our scope of work and how it relates to the outsourcing of jobs, or the limiting of the outsourcing of jobs, was of paramount importance to the union," Fageaux said.
He added they did not get everything they requested, but "we did get everything we needed to get."
Negotiators for the employers said the deal was "good for workers, good for employers and—most of all—important for ensuring smooth operations at our Southern California ports...
"Our local, regional and national economies depend on these ports, and the agreements ratified ... pave the way for continued growth in the years ahead."
The strike by the clerks that started Nov. 27 was also supported by thousands of dock workers represented by the International Longshore and Warehouse Union.
About 20 ships were serviced by rival ports, including Ensenada, during the strike—the biggest work stoppage at the complex since a 10-day management lockout in 2002.