After 20 months of talking, negotiations broke off a couple of days ago between harbor employers and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union. Workers were setting up informational picket lines this afternoon at the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles. Some of the targeted terminals are being shut down for the day. A little background from the Daily Breeze.
Office workers initially went on strike just minutes after their last three-year contract with the employers association expired July 1, 2010. The association represents 14 terminal operators and shipping companies. That walkout ended 11 days later when the clerks abandoned their picket lines in front of five shipping terminals and returned to work. Port operations were not affected because managers took up most of the work. No walkouts have been held since then as the union and employers continued to hold friendly, albeit lengthy, negotiations.
Past skirmishes have focused on the use of new technology that would limit the need for workers. Those workers, by the way, earn an average of $40 per hour, along with 13 sick days, 21 paid holidays and four weeks of vacation annually.